NHL Week in Review (Dec. 27-Jan. 2)

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For international hockey fans all eyes are on Finland right now where the young future stars of the NHL are trying to win the World Juniors.

The NHL is also watching closely with not only their own prospects playing but future prospects looking to make an impact.

Scouts are having a great year there with younger players having a great tournament and showing what they have ahead of the draft.

There are plenty of eyes on that tournament throughout the holiday season and until the championship early next week.

It wasn’t the only tournament going on throughout the week though as another interesting tournament was underway in Davos, Switzerland.

The Spengler Cup is one of the oldest hockey tournaments in the world and it is a unique one from the rest of the international tournaments.

The Spengler Cup is an invitational club tournament that welcomes teams from around the world to Davos to compete for the Spengler Cup.

It has been running since 1923 and teams from all over have taken part including teams from the NCAA and AHL alongside teams from the Swiss League, KHL, and DEL.

Every year HC Davos hosts teams from all of these leagues and Team Canada made up of players from around Europe and the AHL.

The tournament is interesting as fans can be exposed to the level of hockey in the multiple professional and amateur leagues from around the world.

What makes it slightly more interesting is the fact that almost every team is made up of European players and North American players that have played in the NHL and are now in Europe.

The continent has long been the back-up plan for so many that have dreams of playing professionally.

Making the NHL is not an easy thing with only thirty teams and limited spots available with more young and talented players entering the league every year.hockey-sidebar

It is a constant battle to stay in the league and like in any sport if the performance is not there the decision to cut a player is an easy one.

When a player gets cut and they believe that they still have plenty of hockey left in them there are multiple European leagues willing to take them in.

They may not pay as well as the NHL but they provide a place to play hockey and continue the thing that these players have been working for all their lives.

The Spengler Cup features a number of these players with familiar names like Devin Setoguchi, Cory Conacher, and Tom Pyatt all participating in the 2015 tournament.

The tournament may not be the one that every scout has to go to but for those participating it could be a chance for them to be noticed.

NHL teams are paying attention to these games and some players that had their time in the NHL could gain some interest in the near future.

It is all up to the performances of the players in the tournament as they need to impress anyone watching and get people talking about them.

If they can do that they may very well be on a short list for teams needing NHL talent either for the rest of the season or for next season.

The Spengler Cup may not be the tournament that everyone is watching throughout the holiday season but it can be just as important.

It is a chance for players to show what they have in international play.

It might not be the World Championship or the World Juniors but it is great club teams playing against each other and some players hoping that they can make a big impression.

Overtime
(Other News this week in hockey)

Doan Finally on Top
Shane Doan has been a long time member of the Arizona Coyotes but it took him until this week to become the Arizona Coyotes franchise leading scorer passing Dale Hawerchuk with his 380th goal in a Coyotes uniform

Continuing the Turnaround
The Florida Panthers are flying up the standings right now and the management is being rewarded as GM Dale Tallon received a contract extension this week as he will continue his rebuild plan to bring the Panthers back

Making History
Shannon Szabados is the starting goalie for the Canadian women’s team and like many of her teammates she looks to test her talent playing in men’s professional hockey and after becoming the first goaltender to play in professional men’s hockey she became the first to record a shutout

standings-w13.fw

Key Scores:
Calgary Flames 5 – 3 Edmonton Oilers
– The Battle of Alberta is not necessarily for the top of the division but that doesn’t mean either team doesn’t want to gain some bragging rights as the Flames came out on top of this one rising above the Oilers for now

Colorado Avalanche 6 – 3 San Jose Sharks
– The Avs continue to try to find their footing in the very tough Central Division but they gained some confidence beating the Sharks who were on a roll but dropped their 10th straight game at home despite coming off of a great road trip

Chicago Blackhawks 7 – 5 Arizona Coyotes
– The Coyotes continue to rise to the top of their division and will need to continue to prove themselves as they did against the Blackhawks keeping up with Chicago but coming up just short of taking the win

Montreal Canadiens 5 – 1 Boston Bruins
– The Winter Classic was underway again this time in New England where the Bruins played host to their long-time rivals but didn’t seem to have an answer for them as the Canadiens took command early and took home a big divisional game

Next Week:
Ottawa Senators vs. Chicago Blackhawks (Sunday January 3rd; 7:00 pm ET)
– Both teams have been rising and falling through their division standings all year and both will face-off looking to get a good two points to help them in their division races and gaining momentum in the new year

Dallas Stars vs. New York Rangers (Tuesday January 5th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Stars might be the best team in hockey right now and the Rangers were once in that category as they look to beat the Stars and prove that they are still in the hunt for the top team while they try to move back to the top of their division

Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders (Thursday January 7th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Caps have risen to the top of their division midway through the year but the Islanders sit right behind them as New York looks to take a chunk out of the division lead of Washington with a big divisional win

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens (Saturday January 9th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Penguins were supposed to be a powerhouse with some new talent on the team but have yet to show what they can do in the season while the Canadiens were the best team in hockey but have fallen off recently as both teams try to get back on track

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