What NHL Coaches are on the Hot Seat?

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With the NHL regular season coming to an end next Saturday Night, it is time to think about which coaches could potentially be fired.

Alain Vigneault, New York Rangers: Despite signing a two-year contract extension with the Rangers during the middle of the 2016-2017, it is possible the New York Rangers decide to go in a different direction after the season. The Rangers are going to go through a rebuilding process and I am not sure if Vigneault will be the guy leading this team in the near future. Lindy Ruff certainly won’t be the new head coach if Vigneault is gone.

Doug Weight, New York Islanders, The Islanders have been a major disappointment in the 2017-2018 season. They were supposed to be a playoff team, but they will be on the outside looking in for the second consecutive season. The New York Islanders have had goaltending and defensive problems all year. In order for John Tavares stick around, they are going to have to make coaching and general manager changes this offseason, or they can kiss him goodbye since Tavares is a free agent.

Bill Peters, Carolina Hurricanes: This will be interesting how the Hurricanes decide Peters fate. If Carolina feels they have another level to get to and Peters is not taking them to it, then the Hurricanes will probably fire him. If they feel goaltending is the issue, then they will decide to keep him. Carolina will finish the season once again on the outside looking in and the Hurricanes have not made the playoffs since the 2008-2009 season. Carolina would be one of the best jobs available if Peters is let go. Maybe they would hire Doug Weight since he played there, if the Islanders decided to fire him. How about the possibility of him as the general manager and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant Mark Recchi as the head coach.

John Hynes, New Jersey Devils: Hynes is in his third season as the Devils coach and he has gotten them within grasp of making it to the postseason for the first time since the 2011-2012 season. However, he has to becareful that New Jersey doesn’t somehow miss the postseason. If the Devils do miss the postseason, it is most likely Hynes will be canned. If New Jersey makes it, then he will be safe. If the Devils job were to get opened up, it would probably be snatched in a second because of the promising young players they have in Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier, along with veteran caliber players like Taylor Hall, Marcus Johannson, Kyle Palmieri, etc.

Barry Trotz, Washington Capitals: It is very rare a coach who has a very good team is in the hot seat. Trotz’s contract is up at the end of the season and it is going to depend on how far the Washington Capitals go in the playoffs. If they are a first-round exit, I am not sure if they will keep him around. If they go to the second-round or go to at least the conference finals, I think the Capitals will keep him around.

Claude Julien, Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens haven’t had a very good season and Julien’s system hasn’t worked well in Montreal. The Canadiens have only scored 192 goals so far this season and they have given up 243 goals so far this season. Montreal needs to start a rebuild process and they need a different voice behind the bench. Julien is 58 years old and a younger guy would suit better for them. It doesn’t help that Montreal signed goaltender Carey Price to a 8-year deal worth $84 million. His contract will expire after the 2025-2026 season.

Jeff Blashill, Detroit Red Wings: Blashill made it to the playoffs in his first season with the Detroit Red Wings, but he will have Detroit missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season. Detroit isn’t used to missing the postseason after making it 27 years in a row. Blashill is going to probably get another chance at redemption next season, unless management decides otherwise. The Red Wings aren’t far away as people think they are and maybe that’s why they will give Blashill another shot.

Todd McLellan, Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers had expectations heading into the season after making it to the playoffs in 2016-2017. Edmonton was one win away last season from heading to the conference finals. McLellan will be the downfall guy for the Oilers disappointing season, but the one to blame for this season is general manager Peter Chiarelli. He messed up chemistry with this team from a season ago. Chiarelli decided to let Benoit Pouliot walk in the offseason and trade Jordan Eberle in the offseason, which proved to be costly. He also traded away Patrick Maroon and Mark Letestu at the trade deadline. If McLellan gets fired, so should Chiarelli. McLellan shouldn’t lose his job, but he will because of the mess Chiarelli left for him in the 2017-2018 season.

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NHL Power Rankings: Vegas Back In The Top 5.

1. Nashville
2. Tampa Bay
3. Winnipeg
4. Boston
5. Vegas
Nashville continues to be the best team in the leauge. Tampa has a few slight Achilles heels. For instance, defensive depth isn’t what it could be for this team. That doesn’t make them any less of a contender though. Winnipeg and Boston are still smoking hot but won’t catch their perspective division leaders. Neither team can let up though as the Leaf’s and Wild are hot on their tails. After a short rough patch Vegas is back up and about. 6-4 in there last ten days.

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6. San Jose
7. Washington
8. Toronto
9. Colorado
10. Minnesota

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San Jose continues to quietly look like a true Stanley Cup contender. Washington has gotten hot late and let me tell you, I know we say this every year but this might be the Caps year. They just don’t have the buzz they normally do and I feel like they can make a deep playoff run. Colorado has been incredibly hot and Nathan Mackinnon looks like the league’s MVP and the Aves feel like a sleeper playoff team that could knock off the Golden Knights and go on a run.

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11. Columbus
12. Florida
13. Pittsburgh
14. Los Angeles
15. Anaheim
Columbus and Florida are suddenly two very hot eastern conference teams battling for a wild card spot. Pittsburgh is up and down and Los Angeles is points away from falling out of a playoff spot while the red hot Ducks sit right behind them.

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16. Philadelphia
17. New Jersey
18. Saint Louis
19. Calgary
20. Dallas
21. New York Rangers
22. New York Islanders
23. Carolina
24. Arizona
25. Edmonton
26. Chicago
27. Buffalo
28. Ottawa
29. Montreal
30. Vancouver
31. Detroit

 

Will Nathan MacKinnon Be Considered for MVP?

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The NHL MVP race is one of the tightest it has been in a long time. There is an argument for at least five-to-six players to win the Hart Trophy, including Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon.

MacKinnon has 35 goals and recorded 50 assists, in 62 games played so far this season. He is one of the reasons why the Colorado Avalanche have a 38-28-4 record with 84 points so far this season. Colorado is currently in fourth place in the Central Division and they are one point back of the Minnesota Wild for the third spot in the Central Division.

The Avalanche are currently in the first wild-card spot in the western conference and Colorado has 12 games remaining. MacKinnon has astronomically put the team on his back. The Avalanche were porous in the 2016-2017 season and ever since Matt Duchene has been traded from Colorado on November 2, MacKinnon has been a totally locked in player.

Nathan MacKinnon is fourth in the NHL in points. Connor McDavid (86, Edmonton Oilers), Evgeni Malkin (89, Pittsburgh Penguins), and Nikita Kucherov (91, Tampa Bay Lightning) are all ahead of him. Kucherov and Malkin will be finalist for the Hart Trophy because Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh will be in the playoffs.

The case for MacKinnon to be the third finalist will depend on a couple of things: 1.) Will the Colorado Avalanche make it to the playoffs? If they make it to the playoffs, then he deserves to be on it.

2.) It depends what Connor McDavid does from now until the end of the season. If McDavid continues to light it up, he might be a finalist because McDavid won the award last season and even though the Edmonton Oilers won’t make it to the playoffs, his reputation alone will get him on the ballot.

3.) Will MacKinnon actually be favored to be on the ballot with Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov over Evgeni Malkin? In Malkin’s career, he has been over looked many times and this could be another case here. MacKinnon has carried a team on his back and Malkin has Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel on his team.

This should be a year that the NHL allows four candidates for the Hart Trophy instead of three. MacKinnon belongs to be a Hart Trophy finalist, but the right dominoes have to fall in place.

The PSF GOAT Tourney Seeding.

The Committee made of myself, Brian Willis, Donny, Travis Calvin, and Eric Jensen has disbanded and this is what we have come up with. The seeding for our PSF GOAT Tourney.

Kobe received a lot of debate for a two seed but ended up getting a three. Usain Bolt was nearly a three but I pushed for him to be a four and have Phelps as a three. Mike Tyson as a five was championed by Tristan and it worked out for him.

If you want a bracket to fill out go head and Grab this.

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ONES
Michael Jordan
Tom Brady
Wayne Gretzky
Muhammad Ali

TWOS
Pele
LeBron James
Babe Ruth
Ted Williams

THREES
Hank Aaron
Kobe Bryant
Michael Phelps
Gordie Howe

FOURS
Usain Bolt
Ken Griffey Jr.
Diego Maradona
Joe Montana

FIVES
Mike Tyson
Shaun White
Barry Bonds
Serena Williams

SIXES
Floyd Mayweather
Bill Russell
Larry Bird
Cristiano Ronaldo

SEVENS
Willie Mays
Roger Federer
Jack Nicklaus
Lawrence Taylor

EIGHTS
Tiger Woods
Rafael Nadal
Magic Johnson
Bo Jackson

NINES
Nolan Ryan
Patrick Roy
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Sidney Crosby

TENS
Rickey Henderson
Deion Sanders
Peyton Manning
Shaquille O’Neal

ELEVENS
Jerry Rice
Lionel Messi
Mario Lemieux
Bobby Orr

TWELVES
Julius Erving
Henrik Lundqvist
Richard Petty
Johan Cruyff

THIRTEENS
Neymar
Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Barry Sanders
Wilt Chamberlain

FOURTEENS
Brett Favre
Jimmie Johnson
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Jeff Gordon

FIFTEENS
Jim Brown
Allen Iverson
Tony Hawk
Chicharito

SIXTEENS
Alfredo Di Stefano
Aaron Rodgers
Anderson Silva
Conor McGregor

Predicting The Rest Of The Colorado Avalanche Schedule.

So let me come clean. I am a fair-weather Colorado Avalanche fan, I was born into an Avalanche family. I have never seen the team experience much success and I would consider my self more of an NHL fan than that of the Aves. However, Colorado is battling for a playoff spot and I really want to see if they get there or not. So without further ado here is a full breakdown and prediction for the rest of the Colorado Avalanche schedule.

 
3/13 @ Minnesota: A big game against a team currently in third in the central division. My prediction, Aves win 3-2 in OT.
3/15 @ Saint Louis: A desperate central bubble playoff team as well, Aves lose 4-2.
3/16 Nashville: A brutal back to back that ends against the best team in the central. 3-2 OT loss for Colorado.
3/18 Detroit: Aves rebound big against a struggling Detroit team 4-1 win.
3/20 @ Chicago: After losing earlier this week in the mad house I believe the Aves will get a win 3-1.
3/22 Los Angeles: Aves keep up the momentum against another playoff bubble team. Aves win 4-3.
3/24 Vegas: The Avalanche take care of business in their own building. Aves win 4-2.
3/26 @ Vegas: The Vegas affect is a thing. Though I predict at this point the Aves will be on a 4 game winning streak and add another one in Vegas. Colorado wins 3-2 in OT.
3/28 Philly: The Flyers have cooled down and the Avalanche win handily. 5-1 Aves win.
3/30 Chicago: The Hawks visit finishes with a heartbreaking OT loss to the Black Hawks. 3-2 OT Hawks win.
4/1 @ Anaheim: The Aves never travel to Anaheim well and lose. 3-1 Ducks.
4/2 @ San Jose: The Sharks will be quietly competing for the division at this point. 4-1 Sharks win.
4/7 Saint Louis Blues: The Avalanche close the season with a big win. 3-1 Aves win.

 
In conclusion: I believe the Avalanche will go 8-3-2. That would have them finish with 98 points. Now would that give them a playoff spot? Well I assume the wild will finish with 100 so I would say yes, the Aves grab the last available playoff spot. So Congrats Colorado your in the playoffs.

NHL Power Rankings

1. Tampa Bay
2. Nashville
3. Las Vegas
4. Minnesota
5. Boston
Beware the surging Wild. Minnesota are 7-1-2 in there last ten and look like a force to be reckoned with in the central. Meanwhile Vegas drops after back to back tough losses to Los Angeles, is the magic starting to wear off? If Ryan Mcdonagh wasn’t traded to the Lightning the Preds would be the best team in hockey right now. That team is electric to watch.
6. San Jose
7. Philadelphia
8. Dallas
9. Toronto
10. Winnipeg
San Jose and Philly suddenly went from middling teams to looking like sneaky contenders in the past few weeks. Dallas has slowly risen into the playoffs but shouldn’t be ignored. Winnipeg falls only because it just cant seem to keep up with the big boys in the central when it plays them.
11. Washington
12. Los Angeles
13. New Jersey
14. Pittsburgh
15. Anaheim
Washington has played well but occasionally loses games they shouldn’t and so they fall out of the top ten. A team on the rise right now is Los Angeles, they look like they could make a real stretch run here to close the season. Losing Matt Murray really hurts the Penguins, hopefully he’s back come playoff time, and yes I have no doubt the Penguins will make the playoffs.
16. Colorado
17. Calgary
18. Columbus
19. Saint Louis
20. Carolina
21. Florida
22. Detroit
23. Edmonton
24. New York Islanders
25. Chicago
26. Montreal
27. New York Rangers
28. Arizona
29. Buffalo
30. Vancouver
31. Ottowa

The Jensen TV Guide 6 Things To Watch In Sports This Week and One To Keep You Well Rounded.

After a week off the Jensen TV Guide makes its return. Enjoy, and stay well rounded.

Tuesday: Nashville Predators Winnipeg Jets. A battle for the top of the division and the debut of newly minted Jet Paul Stastny. A massive game in the central, there are all kinds of great NHL games Tuesday night though. I would heavily recommend Blues Wild and Oilers Sharks. In reality, the playoff teams in the NHL aren’t really going to change over the next six weeks the fun part will be seeing where they all end up in the seeding. Especially in the west because other than the Kings, sorry Aves fans, there isn’t a really exciting bubble team but the playoff field itself is wide open.

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Wednesday: Villanova Seton Hall. This game is on the list because you should be on upset watch for the Wild Cats. Seton Hall is an extremely good team getting extremely hot before tourney time. This game is the highlight of college basketballs week night closing week slate.

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Thursday: 76ers Cavaliers. A key game in the eastern conference. If the Sixers could grab a win over the Cavs it would bolster their credibility in the race for the Eastern conferences three seed. Simmons Lebron is also one of those matchups that you just really want to watch.

Friday: Big Ten Championship Qaurterfinals. To give a specific game, Michigan Sate vs Maryland or my pick Wisconsin. If Wisconsin and MSU played each other again I think there is a real chance that Wisconsin could pull off the upset.

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Saturday: Duke UNC. I mean what else could it be? It is the best rivalry in college basketball and Duke has something to prove coming off a loss to Virginia Tech while North Carolina is red hot. I cannot wait for this game.

 
Sunday: LA Galaxy Portland Timbers. MLS kicks off Saturday so lets give it some pop for a week until it disappears into march madness. LA finished last year as the worst team in the league, so all they can do is move up at this point. However, they have the talent to be a really good team. On the other side the leagues reigning MVP Diego Valeri takes the field for the first time in a while without former Portland star Darlington Nagbe.

And one: Write a letter. The art of letter writing has been lost on my generation. However I believe there is nothing better than receiving a letter in the mail. Especially one you don’t know is coming. So write someone. Enjoy your week guys!
Eric

 

What Would a Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh First Round Series look like?

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I have took a close eye at the NHL Standings as of late. If the season ended today, the Philadelphia Flyers (#3 in Metro, 28-19-5 record 65 points) would face the Pittsburgh Penguins (#2 in Metro, 31-22-4 record 66 points) in the first-round of the playoffs. How would that matchup be?

Well, this would be the first time since the 2012 playoffs that these two teams would meet. Philadelphia defeated Pittsburgh in six games in the first-round that season. There was a ton of offense in that series and Ilya Bryzgalov and Marc-Andre Fleury were the goalies then and they both struggled in that season.

The goalies now would be Brian Elliott or Michal Neuvirth for the Flyers and Matt Murray for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Keystone Rivalry would be back on and the intensity would be turned up a notch.

It would be good for the NHL if this series happened. Even though Pittsburgh has beaten Philadelphia twice this season, this wouldn’t be an easy series for the Penguins. I would expect them to win this series in six because of the experience and firepower on offense they possess, but don’t tell me that the Flyers wouldn’t be pumped up for a series like this and show up.

Are the Dallas Stars Quietly Becoming Serious Contenders in the West?

The phrase silent but deadly doesn’t only refer to smells, but it also could refer to how well sports teams are playing as well. This is the perfect description of the Dallas Stars right now. They have won five straight games and are comfortably in the first wild card spot in the Western Conference (up six points on the Minnesota Wild).

Dallas plays in a very tough Central Division and if the season ended right now, they would play the Nashville Predators in the first round. The Stars are in fourth place in the Central Division, but they are one point behind the St. Louis Blues for the third spot in the Central Division and the Stars are three points behind the Winnipeg Jets and the Nashville Predators for second and first.

Ken Hitchcock has this team playing well right now and they could be a team no one wants to play against in the postseason. Dallas has scored 175 goals so far this season and they have given up 145 goals. That’s one of the best goal differentials in the NHL this season.

Dallas missed the playoffs last season after making it to the postseason the year before as the number one seed in the Central Division before losing to the St. Louis Blues in seven games in the semifinals. The Stars haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1999 and Hitchcock was actually the coach of that team.

Offseason acquisition Alexander Radulov leads the Stars with 53 points (21 goals and 32 assists). Jamie Benn has scored 21 goals and recorded 31 assists so far this season. John Klingberg has only scored seven goals, but he has recorded 45 assists so far this season which is one of the best in the NHL.

Tyler Seguin has scored 29 goals and recorded 22 assists so far this season. Dallas also has some very good role players Mattias Janmark (15 goals and 14 assists) and Radek Faska (12 goals and 13 assists). Devin Shore and Jason Speeza each have scored seven goals so far this season.

The Stars defense is playing a lot better this season and so has been the goaltending. Ben Bishop was traded to the Dallas Stars in the offseason by the Los Angeles Kings after he was traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline last season. Bishop’s record so far this season is 23-14-3 with a .920 save percentage and a 2.43 GAA, along with four shutouts.

Backup Kari Lehtonen’s record so far this season is 10-5-1 with a .919 save percentage and a 2.26 GAA. Dallas obviously made the right move getting rid of goaltender Antti Niemi in the offseason.

Dallas is ranked 17th in the NHL in power play percentage (20.1%). Dallas is ranked 10th in the NHL in penalty kill percentage (82.2%). If the Stars continue to play at a high level until the end of the regular season, people will take Dallas seriously come playoff time and they aren’t talked about enough because they have the Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, and Nashville Predators in their division.

The Jensen TV Guide: You’re Going To Be Watching A lot Of CBB This Week.

Football season is over, sad, but fear not there are other Sports. Every week Eric Jensen has you covered with a game a night you should be watching. He also throws in something else you should be doing, to keep you a well rounded human being. Enjoy!

 

Tuesday- Russ and KD aka Golden State OKC, what more do I have to sell you on. The Thunder are on a skid but the Warriors are coming off a loss in Denver. This game is tight all the way down to the end.

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Wednesday- Ohio State Purdue, one and three in the big ten clash on Wednesday night. This is a week jam packed with challenges for Purdue and this is the game they need to win to prove they are a legit threat to win the tourney. Not to mention to take momentum with them to a colossal matchup against Michigan State Saturday.

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Thursday- Duke UNC, the fact seven loss UNC is still ranked is disgusting. Like honestly, what does this team have to do to fall out of the top 25? Even if they win this game I wouldn’t have them in the top 25. Duke on the other hand is coming off an embarrassing loss to Saint Johns. Honestly they’re lucky to still be in the top ten in my opinion. I wanted to put another game on Thursday so bad but there just isn’t much going on in the world of sports Thursday night. This is a rivalry game of epic proportions I get it. This goes one of two ways though, Duke stomps them and people gloss over the fact they are a flawed team or UNC wins and people forget they’ve lost to South Carolina and NC State. Either way a lose lose because neither of these teams are top 10 worthy right now.
Friday- Blues Jets, a massive game in the NHL’s central division. If Saint Louis wins there matchup with the Avalanche, which they should, and take care of the Jets they would be in firm control of the division for a little bit.

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Saturday- Michigan State Purdue, your going to be watching a lot of college basketball this week. This is a key game in the struggle to win the top heavy BIG Ten. By top heavy I mean either Purdue or Michigan State is winning this league, sorry OSU.

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Sunday- Jazz Trail Blazers, a key matchup in the battle for the western conference playoffs. If the Jazz could grab a win against Portland it would be massive for them as they are currently a playoff bubble team. Also watch dunk star contestant Donovan Mitchell in action.

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And one- Write your significant other, or yourself a nice little poem. I know that isn’t the angle for a sports blog usually but let me tell you poetry, wins, women. End of story, learn to write it and your set for life.