NHL Week in Review (June 5-11)

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The Stanley Cup Final is reaching an end as the Pittsburgh Penguins try to finish off the Sharks as they gained a 3-1 lead.

The Sharks are fighting back though as they took a big win in Game 5 to extend the series at least one more game.

Getting the comeback would be huge for the Sharks who have never won a Cup and could be immediately be considered an all-time great series with one of the best comebacks in NHL history.

The Penguins are trying to just get the job done and win their second Cup in the last decade with Crosby and Malkin both seeing their legend on the line.

The series has been fairly erratic this year as the Penguins have controlled four games but only taken three while the Sharks have really only taken one convincing win.

Among all of the excitement for the end of the season and the beginning of a new one with the Draft right around the corner, the hockey world paused to honour one of the greatest to ever play the game.

This week the great Gordie Howe passed away at 88 years old after it seemed like he was recovering from a stroke suffered in 2015.

Howe was simply one of the greatest to every put on a pair of skates as he is on the short list of the greatest players of all-time.

According to the man that is simply known as “The Great One” considers Howe to be the best player in NHL history.

In many terms, he just might be the best player to play in the league if only for the simple fact that he did everything.

Howe currently sits at second all-time in goals, fourth in points, but also had a habit of getting into fights throughout his career.

In fact, he was so inclined to fight that there is a certain in-game accomplishment named after Howe.

The Gordie Howe Hat Trick is when a player gets a goal, an assist, and a fight all in the same game.

It is perfectly named as Howe regularly did all of these things as one of the most well-rounded players in a time when scoring was nowhere near the level it is today and where toughness was a need.hockey-sidebar

As great as Wayne Gretzky was he regularly had tougher guys on his team and his line to ensure him the freedom to make the moves he needed to score more goals than anyone else.

Howe never had protection because there was no such thing in his era, every player had to defend themselves.

Howe did just that while putting up more points than ever and playing longer than anyone had played before him.

He was a hero to many but for hockey crazy Canadians he was the perfect representation of every Canadian.

There is an image of Canadians that has spread throughout the world that many Canadians fully accept.

That image is that Canadians are extremely nice but are also very tough and are people not to make angry.

That was Howe in a nutshell as he was very humble and almost averse to any type of compliments.

On TV he was uncomfortable and never wanted to be in the spotlight no matter how well he was doing.

Yet on the ice, he was one of the toughest players on the ice and never backed down from a fight.

For Canadians Howe was their identity and the loss of the legend was a terrible day and for hockey fans it was just as devastating.

The man known as “Mr Hockey” simply represented all that is great about hockey.

It is a sport with skill but also plenty of toughness while the players are generally humble and but do things that most people can’t do.

That is what Howe was and for many the nickname was perfect for him.

The hockey world is now without a legend but in no way will Howe ever be forgotten as he will always be known as one of the greatest players to ever play.

Overtime
(Extra Thoughts on this week in hockey)

Stevens Back
Scott Stevens was one of the toughest players in the NHL when he played for the New Jersey Devils and he will look to bring that attitude to Minnesota as he was named an assistant coach for the Wild

St. Louis Tandem
The St. Louis Blues have used a two-goalie system for a few years now and despite the knock against the system, they still look to two goalies they seem to be set to continue that strategy of giving both goalies equal time as they plan to do the same

Cherry Returning
Don Cherry is easily one of the most polarising figures in hockey as he regularly says things that many don’t agree with and many do agree with, which has caused some issues in the past but that polarising figure will continue his job signing an extension with Hockey Night in Canada

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