Friday, April 30, 2010

Nighthawks found goalie for rest of season

With the Nighthawks struggling to keep their team together, and their team not showing up every week it has been hard for this team to find ways to make it through the season. This week there was no Emily yet again, and back-up goalie Mike could not make it for personal reasons. To counter this the team decided to put their second round pick from last year, Luke Bahrou, back in goal. Luke lost his starting job in the first game of last season, and the team has yet to find a permanent goalie since, but it seems the team will go back to Luke, at least for the rest of the year. Behind the great goaltending of Bahrou and five points from Veronica the Nighthawks got their first win of the season, and still have a chance at .500. The final score of the game was 10-5 against Crossfire, a team they lost to earlier in the season. Other goal scorers were Carissa, Rachel, and Sherif (2). The defense of Saxon and Travis continued their dominance as they combined for a +10 in the game and had three points. The real story of the game was Luke Bahrou and his excellent goaltending. He made a number of great saves, and stepped in when the team needed him the most. With the team mainly focused on rebuilding for the next season it seems that having a set goalie for the last three games will allow them not to worry about that position from week to week. Captain Saxon Feravich said, "Now that we have our goalie set for the rest of the year I am hoping that we can get to .500 as a team, and use that momentum for the next season."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nighthawks team falling apart

The Nighthawks continued their disappointing season with a loss to their arch rivals Los Hooligans. The 9-8 loss gives them four on the year, and a third by only one goal. This game featured lazy goaltending for some of the game, missing players (again), and stars missing on the stat sheet. Andrew Willis was quoted as saying this is the worst game he has had this year. Travis Feravich missed his second game this year because of injuries, and his presence could have helped the team. There were some positives in this game though. This game featured goals by Leanne and Carissa, and if the Nighthawks want to be an elite team, like they feel they are, then these are the secondary scorers that need to step up. Sherif added the other four goals, and lastly Luke Bahrou, who came to the team as their supposed starting goalie, has found a new position, defense. The team's main problem doesn't seem to be the play on the field, but instead it seems to be their off the field issues. Complainants about playing time have made the team worry more about that then winning, and injuries have plagued this team throughout the year. So much is uncertain for this team, and there are many people who wonder if they can salvage a .500 season. Also, with these problems many players are planning to leave the team. Of the 14 players on the team, seven players contracts expire at the end of the year, the most important of all is Travis Feravich. Captain Saxon Feravich had this to say about the situation, "It is no secret that our team is having problems with playing time. Our number one priority will be to re-sign Travis, and after it is up to the GM." There have been reports that at least five players will test free agency, and at least one player will be pulled up from the minors. The General Manager said that there is a chance this upcoming season will be forfeited if they can't figure things out. Although the team has yet to win, and personal problems threaten the future of this team, there are some positives. Some of the players are on pace to meet their preseason goals. Andrew Willis is second on the team in goals right now, but only has six points. Carissa Coon has kept up the physical play. Rachel Willis already has her six points and also a goal. Saxon Feravich has six points, and leads the team with a +10. Sherif Hassanien has 13 points with 10 goals. Travis Feravich has a point per game, but has only played two games, and he second on the team in plus/minus. Also, look for some season records to be broken, Sherif needs six goals in four games to set a season record in goals, and Saxon needs to be a +9 to beat his previous season record of plus/minus.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finals Picks

So the Stanley Cup playoffs are right around the corner and everyone is anxiously waiting to see how far their team will go. Will there be a Cinderella story this year, or will we have the same finals we have had the past two seasons?

I feel that this year the Finals will be much different. In the West I see the Red Wings Central Division rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks, making it to the Finals this year. In 2009 the Blackhawks made it to the Western Conference Finals before being bounced by their rivals the Red Wings, but now, with the addition of Marian Hossa, I feel they have enough fire power to get over that final hump. The real question will be their goaltending. Can Antti Niemi be good enough to get them to the finals? I believe he can.

In the East, I believe that the Philadelphia Flyers will make it to the promised land. They have a mixture of youth and veterans on their team. The addition of Chris Pronger has made a huge impact, and when you have a top tier defenseman on your blur line you can go far in the postseason. The problem for them coming from the East is the finals go through Pittsburgh. Facing them will be no easy task. I feel that they have enough talent all around to give Pittsburgh fits and make their way into the Finals.

NHL playoff preview

The playoffs start today in the NHL and the match-ups are as follows:

Western Conference
#1 San Jose Sharks vs. #8 Colorado Avalanche
#2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #7 Nashville Predators
#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 Los Angeles Kings
#4 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings

Eastern Conference
#1 Washington Capitals vs. #8 Montreal Canadians
#2 New Jersey Devils vs. #7 Philadelphia Flyers
#3 Buffalo Sabers vs. #6 Boston Bruins
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Ottawa Senators

In the Western Conference there are only three starting goalies that have any playoff experience, and of those three Nabokov has more playoff wins than the other two goalies have participated in playoff games. The Blackhawks have Hossa this year so they could easily make it to the Finals just to lose. The Kings are my sleeper team in the West. Although they finished the year 2-0-3, with all five going to at least overtime, they beat the Canucks 8-3 on April 1st. The Wings may have the easiest trip to the Western Conference Finals, provided all the top seeds win. The Wings face a team in the first round with little playoff experience and a their second round opponent would be San Jose, a team they are 3-0-1 against this year. Also, let us not forget they are the hottest team in the league since the Olympic break, including 8-1-1 their last 10 games. If Howard can continue his Calder-like performance and the veteran players play like they should, then there is no reason to think that the road to the Stanley Cup won't go through Detroit.

In the East it is a different story. This is the second year in a row the Penguins have finished fourth in the East. That isn't a bad thing for them since they won the cup last year. They did not finish the season strong though. Their record was a 5-4-2 with four of those wins coming against teams that are not in the playoffs. A possible first round upset is the Flyers over the Devils. The season battle between these two was 5-1 in favor of Philadelphia. Emery and Leighton won both their games against the Devils, and Boucher went 1-1. The real question is: is this the year for Ovechkin? With Backstrom becoming a restricted free agent at the end of the year, it is unknown where he will end up. The main problem will be the goaltending, but with the number one scoring offense in the league the Capitals have a legitimate chance this year. One thing I do know is the playoffs should be great.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nighthawks comeback falls short

The Nighthawks struggles continued this week as the team feel just short of an amazing comeback, 9-8. The team came into the game expecting to have their full roster, but in pre-game warm ups a blast from Mike Roos caught Emily in the ribs and she was taken back for x-rays. She missed the first half. Because of this Mike got his third start in a row. The game started off highly contested, and when Saxon came off the field the score was tied at zero. A penalty kick from Andrew Willis gave the Nighthawks the lead, but Stormin Normin came right back with a goal less than a minute later. They followed that up with five more and went into the half leading 6-1. Emily came back for the second half, and the Nighthawks, trying to get back in the game, put in Sherif, Willis, Veronica, and the Feravich brothers. After some bench complaining Saxon and Travis left for Billy and Rachel. The next time Saxon and Travis saw the field the score was 8-1 with 15 minutes left. It was right then that the comeback started. Travis was quoted as saying, "Give me the ball. I'm going to try to score." He got the ball took it down and came close to scoring his first career goal. Stormin Normin cleared it down and a pass from Saxon to Sherif led to a goal and an 8-2 deficit. Veronica added another goal before Stormin Normin stopped the bleeding with a goal after Travis slipped. Andrew added his second of the night, and Sherif had three more (all assisted by Veronica), but it was not enough to complete the comeback and therefore the Nighthawks, despite the six points from Veronica, have fallen to 0-3 on the year. Another thing to look for in the coming weeks is the team's ability to co-exist. There are rumors that some of the players are upset with playing time. Captain Saxon Feravich had this to say, "I am not concerned about my team. They can complain to me all they want, but the best players will play when we need them. If they don't like it they won't be on the team next year. I took Travis out when we were down by four to put Andrew in. Travis didn't want to leave, but he did because he knows Andrew is better offensively." This comment makes it sound like there will be some changes at the end of the year if the season isn't turned around.