Category Archives: NHL

Bench Talk 17/06/2017

 

“It’s like the bottom of the ninth and I’m never gonna win. This life hasn’t turned out, quite the way I want it to be.” — Chad Kroeger

Losing can be tough. Losing while riding the pine is downright insufferable. Reach into the styrofoam cooler, crack a cold one and let’s talk some sports.

In the News

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather: Is this the greatest examples of cross-sport performances or are boxing and MMA too similar?

Cameron Burgess (CB): I’m just hoping this ends up being more entertaining than the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. That fight was supposed to be the fight of the century, yet fans witnessed Mayweather run in circles, land a jab, and then back out and keep running. This tactic isn’t just a one-time thing for Mayweather, and I’m expecting much of the same when he faces off against McGregor. I’d love to see 49-0 become 49-1, but I don’t know how realistic that might be. McGregor has become the biggest star in the UFC, but boxing is a completely different sport. The UFC has a ground game, and obviously many different fighting styles, while boxing is just one style that fighters may specialize in. McGregor is a better all around fighter, I don’t doubt that at all, but Mayweather has been one of the best boxers throughout his whole career and has been training and improving his skills since he was a kid. My heart says McGregor, but my head says Mayweather. Read more

Rolling Rock (Unofficially) Presents: The 2017 Bench Life Stanley Cup Prediction Battle

 

The Bench Life team are taking the gloves off for a winner-take-all prediction battle to prove once and for all (at least for now) who is most in tune with playoff hockey. Winner of the challenge gets a case of ice cold Rolling Rock beer paid for by the losers. Whoever finishes dead last will get punished in some sort of humiliating way, so stay tuned for whatever that ends up being. I had envisioned some sort of tie Goldberg to the net situation but that could potentially be too harmful. This is a classic TBD situation.

Without further ado, here are the categories for the challenge with each of our various picks.

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Stanley Cup Finals Preview and Prediction

Another round of the NHL Playoffs has come to an end, and we’re left with only two teams. In the Western Conference, the underdog Nashville Predators have been the surprise of the playoffs this year, taking down Chicago, St. Louis and Anaheim on their path to the Finals. From the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to be the first back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions since the Red Wings repeated in 1997 & 1998. They beat out Columbus, Washington and Ottawa en route to their shot at the Cup. With Game 1 set for tonight, let’s take a look at the series and I’ll tell you why the Predators are going to stun the defending champs. Read more

NHL Conference Finals Preview and Predictions

On Wednesday night, the second round of the NHL playoffs came to an end in one of the most exciting ways possible: not one, but TWO Game 7’s.

First, the Penguins went into Washington and shutout the Capitals on their way to another series win for Crosby over Ovechkin. After coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to tie the series at 3, the Capitals looked to head back to the Verizon Center and complete the comeback. Honestly, I was really looking forward to all the “Pittsburgh blew a 3-1 lead” jokes. And for the sake of my bracket, I was hoping that Washington would move on. However, the Penguins decided they didn’t want to be added to the list of teams to have blown a massive lead in the last year or so. Washington struggled to generate offense, Ovechkin was quiet and Marc-Andre Fleury was playing like it’s 2009, making 29 saves. Pittsburgh advanced with a 2-0 win, and will look to get ready to take on the Senators.

The second game of the night featured the young, up and coming Oilers against the older and experienced Ducks. After putting up 7 goals in Game 6, Edmonton looked to be in control of the series heading into the final game. But it turns out they should’ve saved some of those goals, because they could’ve used them in Game 7. After scoring early in the game, the Oilers offense was held in check, being held to just 3 shots in the 2nd period and 8 shots in the 3rd. Andrew Coglianio tied the game in the 2nd, Nick Ritchie scored the game winner a few minutes into the final period, and the Ducks managed to hold on for the win and will move on to play the Predators. Read more

Approaching this Leafs-Capitals Series with 2 mindsets: The Homer vs. The Buzzkill

The REAL playoffs start tonight and I’m feeling pretty conflicted. While I’m ready to get on the hype train, the Leafs have crushed my spirits at every turn. Being a Toronto sports fan in general has made me a bit of a cynic and at the end of the day I have come to hate that about myself. I’d love to yell at my TV like an idiot, fully-decked out in Leafs gear, but anytime you fly that high the fall is all the more tragic. Read more

PHPA Feature: Jeff Schultz

Another interview in the books! Jeff Schultz is an awesome guy and he gave me plenty of great content for this article. Winning hockey follows this guy around: i.e. the powerhouse Washington Capitals, two-time Calder Cup champion and 2014 Stanley Cup champ. Below you can find my “10 rapid fire questions” segment. Some great answers given, but I must admit the questions may need a bit of tweaking. I’m open to suggestions for new questions to ask in future interviews. While the quotes are fun, the real meat of the content is on the PHPA website so please be sure to click the link below!

Excerpt from PHPA Article

“It’s one of those stats where some guys say ‘it counts’ and others say it doesn’t mean anything’.  But to myself, whenever you can say that you’re a leader of a category in the NHL, it’s something to be proud of.  It’s one thing that I can look back on and say, ‘One year I led the NHL in a category’ and it’s something that I take pride in.”

This quote was given by the 2009-10 NHL plus/minus leader himself, Jeff Schultz, who now plays for the San Diego Gulls in the American Hockey League. While the debate over the “plus/minus” statistic’s relevance is a hot topic of debate among the hockey analytics crowd, Schultz didn’t reach this lofty total by accident.

Click here to read the full article on PHPA.com

Rapid Fire Questions with Jeff Schultz

1. Favourite team growing up?
“Calgary Flames”

2. Favourite athletes from any sport?
“I liked Al MacInnis as a Flame for his big slapshot. I also like Tiger Woods. He was every kid’s favourite athlete.”

3. What’s the weirdest thing a coach has ever said to you?
*Couldn’t think of one*

**I think I may need to scrap this question. These guys are too polite

4. Street hockey or pond hockey?
“Pond”

5. What’s your go-to pump up song?
Whatever’s on the radio”

6. Go-to offseason cheat-day meal?
“Chocolate chip cookies”

7. What’s your favourite road city?
“I like New York. Always stuff going on”

8. What’s your favourite show to binge-watch?
“It used to be Entourage and Breaking Bad. Haven’t picked a new one”

9. Who is the toughest teammate that you’ve played with?
“It’s got to be Matt Hendricks”

10. Who has been your toughest defensive assignment?
“In the NHL, definitely Sidney Crosby.”

2017 NHL Prediction Battle

For this 2016-17 NHL season my brother Phillip and I made a list of predictions of potential outcomes that we feel strongly about. We plan to assign points for each correct guess and the winner will get… something. We were initially going to say that the loser will buy the winner a brand new Leafs jersey, but then we realized that we are both broke. If you have any suggestions for a reward/punishment for winning/losing this challenge comment below. Some of these predictions are, dare I say, insightful. Others, I’m not going to sugar coat it, are idiotic. My picks will be marked by TW and my brother’s as PW. If anyone cares about this stuff comment below with any opinions on our picks or even comment your own picks.

Standing Predictions

(5 points for each correct guess)

Atlantic Division
TW: Tampa Bay Lightning
PW: Tampa Bay Lightning
This is an exciting start!

Metropolitan Division
TW: Washington Capitals
PW: Philadelphia Flyers
Whoomp there it is. I guess the Flyers have some scoring touch, a young blue line with a high ceiling and Steve Mason. Giddy up.
Read more

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