Around the Arena: Seating Preference

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Bench Seats. Photo by: predators.nhl.com

What does it really mean to have the best seats for the game? For every person you ask you are likely to get a different answer. Every person has a seating preference at the game. Some seating preferences are more vague such as the 100 level, and some can be as specific as 200 level section 5 row 1. Then there are some that are just sad, everybody has that friend that says “my favorite spot to watch the game is on my couch”, of course with some of the new camera angles used by Rogers this year maybe that isn’t as sad as it used to be. Check out Spencer’s article on these new camera views here. For me seating preference is a dilemma. I can never truly decide where is best. That is largely due to being spoiled by having the Joe Louis Arena, often cited as the best arena to view hockey in with not a single bad seat, as my closest arena to watch the game. However even for those of you that don’t get the amazing sight-lines of The Joe, here is some food for thought:

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Leafs Player Analysis: Is Tyler Bozak Batman?

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Tyler Bozak is the 28 year old 6’1″, 195 lb center who has received his fair share of criticism since becoming a Leaf in 2009. Number 42 for the Maple Leafs was never drafted, but was still a sought after free agent during the 2008-2009 off-season. Bozak played college hockey instead of junior, which is one reason he may not have been drafted as college players are more likely to be overlooked. Regardless, after signing his first ever pro contract with the Maple Leafs, a 23 year old Bozak came to camp as a rookie with high expectations.

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2014-15 NHL Weekly Review: Week 2

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This is an article that I will be doing weekly to summarize the important events of the NHL every Sunday starting this week. Any errors and news stories that you think should have been included, post a comment and I will review it to see if it is worthy.

The surreal feeling that the hockey season has actually started is gone, now it’s down to business. Here is my Week 2 summary of the comings and goings of the NHL.

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Fantasy Hockey Week 1: Patience or Panic?

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Fantasy Hockey. Photo by: games.espn.go.com

With over a week of games in the bag and tons of early season story lines, the NHL season is underway and moving fast. This also means that for many fans the beginning of their quest to reign supreme over their friends has begun in Fantasy Hockey. Unfortunately, the beginning of the NHL season can be one of the most confusing and frustrating times to be a fantasy GM.  Great fantasy hockey teams are built on consistency and the first week of the NHL season is about everything except consistency. The first week of the NHL is a week where a starting goaltender is just as likely to get a shutout as he is to let in 6 goals, injuries will seem to annihilate whole teams in 5 days, the media will lambaste a team for losing two games and thus call the season a wash, some players seem to have a little less jump in their step (Riding in golf carts for 4 months is hardly staying in shape), and new faces try to make an impact in the hopes of staying in the big leagues. All of this is exciting, especially to a fan, but it can wreck havoc on your fantasy hockey team. As a fantasy hockey GM at the beginning of the NHL season you are most likely to either have one of the best or worst weeks of your fantasy season. This along with all the stories emanating from the NHL during the beginning of the season can easily overwhelm a fantasy hockey GM and result in hasty decisions that could be short-sighted. So should you practice patience or panic?

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Predicting the NHL’s Top Goal Scorers for 2014-2015

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Goals are the currency of the NHL, and in 1998-99 the league introduced the Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy to recognize their importance. Awarded to the player who scores the most goals in the regular season, 12 different players have captured the title in the 15 seasons since it was created (2004 and 2010 saw multiple players tie for most goals). Alexander Ovechkin leads all player with 4 titles including winning each of the past 2 years (scoring 51 goals last year and 32 in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign). 

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Boston Bruins @ Montreal Canadiens Preview

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Steve Babineau/Getty Images

Boston Bruins @ Montreal Canadiens Preview:

Storylines and Keys to Success of Hockey’s Best Rivalry

Gary Bettman and the NHL scheduling staff have decided that tomorrow will be the day the Montreal Canadiens (3-1-0) and the Boston Bruins (1-3-0) will meet for what will undoubtedly be a war on ice. After a full offseason plus since their last matchup (an emotional game seven which resulted in a couple of remorseless death threats…) the Canadiens and Bruins have had plenty of time to prepare for tomorrows match. This game will host several underlying story lines, and each team will have a specific game-plan set in place to ensure their respective success. This article aims to provide some insight on what fans can expect of this Thursdays matchup.

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A Closer Look At: Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers

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Authors Note: During the regular season I will be trying to look at 2 different NHL teams every week.  Typically it will be one Eastern Team and one Western Team, but that may adjust depending on developing stories in the NHL.  

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Review of the NHL’s New Camera Angles

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Note: All gifs have been compressed to be mobile friendly using gfycat.com

As I have stated in one of my previous articles, there are quite a few changes coming to how we, the fans, consume the product that is the NHL. Of those changes, the most noticeable is the five new camera angles. When watching on your TV, this opens up so many possibilities for the broadcasters to be able to give you so much more depth into the action that happens in the game. However when using the online based services, NHL GameCenter Live and Rogers GameCentre Live, you are given access to these angles at any moment that you want. Feel like creeping Carey Price all game? Go ahead. Want conclusive evidence that the ref is an idiot? Why not. Now that we have gotten through 34 games of hockey, I feel like it’s a good time to review these new camera angles.

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2014-15 Week in Review: Week 1

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Here is the big highlights of what has happened in the first 32 games of the 2014-15 NHL season for those of you who were too busy to catch everything that is going on in the league.

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Around the Arena: Home Ice Advantage

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Cover Photo by: www.aynottawa.ca

The idea of having an advantage over your opponents when playing at the place you call “home” is centuries old in sports and competition. In hockey this idea is known as “Home Ice Advantage”. However is there really such a thing as home ice advantage? This is a topic of debate among analysts because often the factors pointed to improving a team’s performance at home games are intangible ideas that can’t be measured with statistics. If this were true, how is it that in the current NHL, where parity is so prevalent between teams, do the majority of teams still have better home records than away records? The idea of home ice advantage should have been lost in an age of parity in the NHL, but it has actually grown as an idea. The Detroit Red Wings, during the 2011-2012 season, brought home ice advantage to the forefront of hockey lore with their 23 straight home game wins. This was a remarkable feat not ever accomplished even before the salary-cap era. There is one constant in the idea of home ice advantage, the arena. Here is a look at how a team’s home arena has made home ice advantage become such a prevalent part of the modern game.

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