NHL Week in Review (Oct 30-Nov 3)

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It takes a lot to be a professional athlete even though on the outside it looks like a pretty good life.

They get to play the game that they love and get millions of dollars to do that while they essentially hang out with friends on road trips.

It seems like a dream for many as they truly get to do what they love every day.

What isn’t seen as much though is the work that is put in when the lights are off as only those who work hard and sacrifice can make the professional ranks.

In any sport, there are endless amounts of talented players trying to make it into the professional ranks.

Only those willing to do all of the extra work will actually make it to the pros and for them, that life comes with a lot of sacrifices.

In the world of hockey that means sacrificing time when you are young travelling around the country and the world to play the sport throughout the year.

In the off-season, it is about going to the gym or getting on the ice to continue skating leaving everything else mostly behind.

That sacrifice pays off when they make it to the NHL and get to play the game they love as their job.

When they make the league the sacrifice isn’t over though as most of the players eventually have a family and must spend the majority of the year away from that family.

They are constantly on the road playing and when they aren’t on the road they are usually at the rink for a game or for practice.

It is not the easiest life for the kids, the wives, and the players who sometimes want to spend that important time with their family.

For these players, though, their time in the NHL is limited and they want to make the most of it while they have the chance to play a game for a living.

The sacrifice is often worth the fact that they not only get to do something they love but also for the fact that they are supporting their family while doing something they love.

It is always a challenge to balance family life and professional life with the type demands that a professional athlete has.

Often the big moments for a family are missed because players are gone on a road trip or are playing.

It often seems like players are sacrificing family for a game but it is understandable when you look at the work put in to get where they are.hockey-sidebar

For them, the most important thing in the world is the game because it always has been the game.

They have never known anything but playing hockey and working to be the best they can be in the sport.

Every now and then the reality of life steps in though and the importance of hockey or any other sport fades quickly.

Whether it be the death of a loved one or the birth of a child players do step into these important moments and take a step away from the game and into reality.

Craig Anderson got a lesson in just that this past week when his wife was diagnosed with cancer.

It was a shocking revelation for the family and one that brought a big dose of reality for the Ottawa goaltender.

At that point, Anderson stepped away from the team to be with his family in this tough time.

He returned only to leave again for another brief stint but returned to the team on Saturday for Hockey Fights Cancer night in Ottawa.

Anderson wants to be with his wife as they go through the realisation of the diagnoses and prepare for the treatment to come.

For so long hockey was the only thing that mattered to Anderson and although there is little question he loved his family he could always focus on hockey.

Now the real world has interjected and for Anderson hockey has, understandably, taken a backseat.

For everyone else, it is a reminder that there are things that are far more important than a game.

Overtime
(More on this week in hockey)

Trouba’s Time Running out
The time for Winnipeg and Jacob Trouba to come to terms or on a deal is running out as Trouba wants out of Winnipeg but the Jets seem unwilling to deal him or can’t find the right price but if they don’t do something by December 1st Trouba’s season will be over before it starts

Iconic Game not Happening
The Ottawa Senators have announced that after attempting to figure out how to hold a historic game on Parliament Hill they have been unable to figure it out and the game will not be taking place despite the excitement surrounding it

The Drought Debate
This week the Chicago Cubs broke the longest championship drought in sports and that win has already sparked a debate in the NHL about who could break their drought including the 48-year drought in Toronto, the longest in the NHL

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Key Scores:
Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 Los Angeles Kings
– It used to be the biggest rivalry in the west as the Kings and the Blackhawks always fought for the western title but now both teams were just trying to get out of the middle of the pack which is what the Blackhawks did with the win

Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 Edmonton Oilers (OT)
– With young talent taking over every match-up between top teens becomes a big one and this match-up between the number one pick in the last two drafts was no different as Matthews and McDavid faced-off with the American getting the first win

Columbus Blue Jackets 10-0 Montreal Canadiens
– This was not supposed to happen as the best team in the league wasn’t supposed to get shut out by one of the worst but with the Canadiens resting Carey Price, Al Montoya had to sit in for ten goals in one of the worst defeats in Montreal history

Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 San Jose Sharks
– It was a Stanley Cup rematch as the Penguins took on the Sharks with San Jose attempting to get some revenge for their loss in the finals last year but that wasn’t in the cards as the Sharks lost the game in a repeat of last spring

Next Week:
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers (Monday, November 7th; 7:30 pm ET)
– Last year the Battle of Florida actually meant something as Tampa and Florida were fighting all season and now they get back to it as both teams are not necessarily where they were last year both looking to get some momentum

Edmonton Oilers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Tuesday, November 8th; 7:00 pm ET)|
– Connor McDavid has always been built as the next great player in the NHL and he has made good so far on that promise and now he gets to face the man he is essentially following in Sidney Crosby

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues (Wednesday, November 9th; 8:00 pm ET)
– It is a long-lasting rivalry in the league and for another year it looks like it will be a battle between St. Louis and Chicago in the Central with both having good years so far and they will start off their season series with one of them trying to take an early advantage

New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers (Saturday, November 12th; 7:00 pm ET)
– Last year both of these teams were big surprises as they looked great despite the thoughts that they might not be but this year it has been a different story as both of them have not been the teams they were last year

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