NHL Week in Review (November 15-21)

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In the never-ending quest to make the all-star game interesting the NHL has made massive changes to the format for this year’s game.

All-stars games are often considered a necessary evil in professional sports as they are a chance to highlight the best of the best in the game.

They provide fans with a chance to see the best players all in one spot and provide the league a chance to showcase their game.

All-star festivities are usually a massive festival to celebrate the game giving fans a chance to meet up in one place and show their love for the sport.

Overall it is a great idea as fans get a big event to celebrate and the leagues get a chance to showcase what they have.

The only problem is that these games mean absolutely nothing and for players that often means the effort level is nowhere near good enough.

These games should be a display of the best that a sport has to offer but instead the end up being the worst parts of the game.

There is no league that has figured out their all-star games but that hasn’t stopped leagues from attempting to make them interesting.

The NFL has changed their Pro Bowl time and time again moving the location from Hawaii to the mainland and back to Hawaii while also trying to change the date from after the Super Bowl to before the Super Bowl and back again.

The MLB attempted to provide some incentive with the winner of the all-star game earning home field advantage in the World Series.

The NHL has made multiple changes over the years in an attempt to make things a lot more interesting.

The game started as a conference against conference matchup with the Campbell and Prince of Wales conferences and then the Eastern and Western conferences.

Then in 1998 the NHL made a change that brought national pride into the equation with North America and World teams facing off.

After a brief stint back to East against West the NHL established the all-star draft where two team captains were allowed to draft their team of all-stars.hockey-sidebar

All of these changes were part of the constant attempt to make people interested in the game and none have really worked out.

So the NHL has decided to once again shift the game but this time it is the biggest change the all-star weekend has ever seen.

There will no longer be one game between two different teams in all-star weekend as the league will take the success of the new 3-on-3 overtime into the game.

This year the league will put together four teams that represent the four divisions in the league.

These teams will include 11 players, six forwards, three defenceman and two goalies, that will play a 3-on-3 tournament.

Each game will be 20 minutes as the western teams will play each other and the east teams will play each other to determine the representatives of the eastern and western conferences in the final.

For some incentive the NHL has posted a $1-million prize that will go to the winning team after the tournament.

It is the latest in a long evolution of the NHL all-star game as they once again try to make it interesting for the fans that want to see the best players in the world.

The new tournament will take advantage of that new popularity of the overtime rules but that popularity is limited to the fans as the players are not fans of the toll it takes.

This new tournament will test that as players will now have to play a tournament in the taxing conditions for a game that essentially means nothing.

The players may not like the new format of the all-star tournament but in the end the NHL is looking to get fans more interesting and there may be no better time than now as the league travels to a non-traditional market this year in Nashville testing out their new system.

Overtime
(More Thoughts on this week in hockey)

Bye Week Coming
The players are not fans of the new all-star format but the league didn’t change it without having to give something up as they will build a five day bye week into every team’s schedule next year giving players some time off during the season

Personal Trade
This week it was revealed that Travis Hamonic had requested a trade before the season began and that the Islanders were working on moving him to western Canada as he had requested to be traded close to his hometown of Winnipeg for undisclosed personal reasons

More Trouble in L.A.
The Los Angeles Kings are quickly becoming the bad boys of the NHL with multiple players getting into trouble off of the ice and that included this week when they cut their minor league goalie Patrik Bartosak who is facing 12 charges of domestic abuse

standings-w7.fw

Key Scores:
New York Rangers 4 – 3 Toronto Maple Leafs
– The two most valuable teams in the league faced off with the Leafs beginning to play better but it was the Rangers who came out on top and stayed on top of their division with another win in a good start to the year

Montreal Canadiens 4 – 3 Vancouver Canucks (OT)
– The Canadiens are trying to keep up with their great start to the season without Carey Price and despite some bumps they have kept their regular pace including in this game where they got by the Canucks in overtime

Detroit Red Wings 3 – 2 Los Angeles Kings
– The Kings have risen to the top of the Pacific division with a good start to their year but they couldn’t get by the Red Wings who continue to stay consistent this year and got a boost of confidence beating one of the top teams in the western conference

Detroit Red Wings 4 – 3 St. Louis Blues (OT)
– The Red Wings and the Blues are two of the top teams in the league right now as both are trying to keep up with the top teams in their division but it was the Wings who took the two points after pulling off an overtime win

Next Week:
New York Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens (Sunday November 22nd; 7:00 pm ET)
– Two of the top teams in the league will face-off as the Canadiens have their superstar goaltender back and hoping to help the Canadiens on another streak at the expense of the Islanders and their strong firepower

New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins (Friday November 27th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Rangers are rising to the top of the Metropolitan Division as they continue a strong November and they will try to continue it against the Boston Bruins who began the season strong but have fallen off of the pace recently

Calgary Flames vs. Arizona Coyotes (Friday November 27th; 9:00 pm ET)
– The Flames and the Coyotes are two teams that haven’t been very successful in recent years but youth movements in both cities have the fans excited as they face-off in a battle of two of the best young teams in the league

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings (Saturday November 28th; 10:30 pm ET)
– The Blackhawks and the Kings have been two of the best teams in the best conference in the NHL but last year the Kings sunk to the bottom and the Blackhawks were near the top as they face-off again with the roles reversed and the Blackhawks trying to work their way up

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