Author Archives: Cameron Burgess

Bench Life NHL Previews: 12. St. Louis Blues

Part 20 of 31 in our NHL previews where Ballantyne, Waind and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. Starting from the worst, we’ll be giving you the reasons why we ranked each team where we did.

Check out the other parts to this series:

#31. Colorado Avalanche , #30. Vegas Golden Knights, #29. Vancouver Canucks, #28. Detroit Red Wings, #27. New Jersey Devils, #26. Arizona Coyotes, #25. Buffalo Sabres#24. Winnipeg Jets#23. New York Islanders, #22. Florida Panthers, #21. Los Angeles Kings, #20. Carolina Hurricanes, #19. Philadelphia Flyers, #18. New York Rangers, #17. Calgary Flames, #16. Boston Bruins

2016-17 Recap

Record: 46-29-7 (99 points) 3rd in Central Division (10th overall)
GPG: 2.84 (12th)
GAPG: 2.63 (12th)
PP%: 21.8% (8th)
PK%: 84.8% (3rd)
Corsi For %: 49.5 (20th)

Like many teams that make a coaching change midseason, the Blues played like two different teams last season. After starting the year with a 24-21-5 record, St. Louis fired head coach Ken Hitchcock, who had been with the team since 2011. To replace him, they promoted assistant coach and former Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo. With the coaching change, the Blues went on the finish the year on a 22-8-2 tear. After knocking out the Wild in the first round, the Blues were knocked out by the Predators in 6 games in the second round.

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2017-18 Bench Life NHL Previews: 15. Ottawa Senators

Part 17 of 31 in our NHL previews where Ballantyne, Waind and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. Starting from the worst, we’ll be giving you the reasons why we ranked each team where we did.

Check out the other parts to this series:

#31. Colorado Avalanche , #30. Vegas Golden Knights, #29. Vancouver Canucks, #28. Detroit Red Wings, #27. New Jersey Devils, #26. Arizona Coyotes, #25. Buffalo Sabres#24. Winnipeg Jets#23. New York Islanders, #22. Florida Panthers, #21. Los Angeles Kings, #20. Carolina Hurricanes, #19. Philadelphia Flyers, #18. New York Rangers, #17. Calgary Flames, #16. Boston Bruins

2016-17 Recap

Record: 44-28-10 (98 points) 2nd in Atlantic Division (12th overall)
GPG: 2.51 (22nd)
GAPG: 2.56 (10th)
PP%: 17.0% (23rd)
PK%: 79.7% (22nd)
Corsi For %: 48.3 (25th)

The Senators exceeded the expectations of almost everybody last season, despite having Craig Anderson missing about half of the season. When Anderson did play however, he was stellar, leading Ottawa to 25 wins with his 2.28 GAA and .926 SV% in his 40 games last season. Anderson missed time to be with his wife who was diagnosed with cancer last fall. While he was away, the Sens relied heavily on backup Mike Condon, playing 38 games and winning 19 of them. Despite not having a true #1 goalie, the Senators goaltending actually held up well last year, finishing 10th with just 2.56 goals allowed per game.

However, the biggest strength of last year’s Senators team was their captain Erik Karlsson. Putting together a season that would have been more than worthy of a Norris Trophy if not for the play of San Jose’s Brent Burns, Karlsson finished the year with 71 points in 77 games, while adding another 18 points through 19 games in the playoffs.

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Just How Bad are the New York Giants?

It’s a bit late, but better late than never right? Check out my view on some of the big stories from Week 4 of the NFL season.

Heading into this season, the Jets were expected to be the worst team in the NFL, with some experts predicting an 0-16 season. Yet after Week 4, they’re 2-2 and not even the worst team in their city. The Giants were actually supposed compete with the Cowboys for the NFC East division, but after a slow start they’re one of four teams with an 0-4 record. Which raises the question, just how bad are the Giants?

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2017-18 Bench Life NHL Previews: 18. New York Rangers

Part 14 of 31 in our NHL previews where Ballantyne, Waind and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. Starting from the worst, we’ll be giving you the reasons why we ranked each team where we did.

Check out the other parts to this series:

#31. Colorado Avalanche , #30. Vegas Golden Knights, #29. Vancouver Canucks, #28. Detroit Red Wings, #27. New Jersey Devils, #26. Arizona Coyotes, #25. Buffalo Sabres#24. Winnipeg Jets#23. New York Islanders, #22. Florida Panthers, #21. Los Angeles Kings, #20. Carolina Hurricanes, #19. Philadelphia Flyers

2016-17 Recap

Record: 48-28-6 (102 points) 4th in Metropolitan Division, (9th overall)
GPG: 3.09 (4th)
GAPG: 2.63 (12th)
PP%: 20.2% (11th)
PK%: 79.8% (19th)
Corsi For %: 49.1 (21st)

While the Rangers were able to make the playoffs last year in a Wild Card spot, their record indicates that they were much better than that of a typical Wild Card team. They were one of five teams in the East that finished with over 100 points, and did so while playing in a pretty stacked Metropolitan Division. If they were in the Atlantic, they would’ve been the 2nd place team in the division.

Part of their recent run of success can be attributed to the fact that Lundqvist has been one of the best goalies in the NHL for the last decade or so. But one of the only accolades missing from his collection is a Stanley Cup. At 35, he’s entering the final few seasons of his career, but the former 7th round pick in 2000 is still capable of leading this team back to the playoffs. Despite only playing in 55 games last season, he was still able to manage 31 wins. The concerning part of last season was his 2.74 GAA and .910 SV%, both below his career average. However, once playoffs started, these numbers improved to 2.25 GAA and .927 SV%. In addition to that, it seems like saves like this have started to become the norm for King Henrik.

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2017-18 Bench Life NHL Previews: 21. Los Angeles Kings

Part 11 of 31 in our NHL previews where Ballantyne, Waind and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. Starting from the worst, we’ll be giving you the reasons why we ranked each team where we did.

Check out the other parts to this series:

#31. Colorado Avalanche , #30. Vegas Golden Knights, #29. Vancouver Canucks, #28. Detroit Red Wings, #27. New Jersey Devils , #26. Arizona Coyotes, #25. Buffalo Sabres#24. Winnipeg Jets#23. New York Islanders, #22. Florida Panthers

2016-17 Recap

Record: 39-35-8 (86 points) 5th in Pacific Division (22nd overall)
GPG: 2.43 (25th)
GAPG: 2.45 (6th)
PP%: 19.1% (15th)
PK%: 84.5% (5th)
Corsi For %: 54.8 (1st)

The 2016-17 season was a disappointment for the Kings as they ended up missing the playoffs, but injury was a big reason for that. When Jonathan Quick was injured in the first game of the season, many fans were left wondering how the rest of the season would go. This is the same question any fan would have if their starting goalie was hurt, but when your goalie is one of the best in the world and regularly makes saves like this, it’s a little bit different.

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Burgess’s Week 3 NFL Rundown: Jacksonville Jaguars… 2017 AFC South Champions?

This headline would have been only possible in a video game a few months ago but, before you start laughing, just hear me out. For starters, the Jaguars find themselves at 2-1 and tied with Tennessee for the first place in the division. While this is surprising in itself, even more surprising has been the play of Blake Bortles, who somehow went from the joke of the preseason/training camp to a competent quarterback seemingly over night. Bortles had one of the best games of his career on Sunday against the Ravens, throwing for 244 yards, 4 TDs and surprisingly, no interceptions.

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