Ever since its inception in 1946 The Hockey News has been known as "The Bible Of The Sport." That said, its annual predictions hardly turn into Gospel nor do they achieve Biblical proportions -- except for mis-calls!
Last year for example, The Hockey News made the following forecasts for MSG Network's four teams which it regularly televises. At a glance you can tell how poor the prognosticators' radar evolved in 2011-2012 and how they see the finish this time around:
RANGERS: Torts' Troops were penciled in for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. This time the Blueshirts have been hiked to fourth overall. What's more, two out of the publications thirteen editors have the Rangers winning The Stanley Cup.
DEVILS: The team that finished just two wins short of the Championship got short shrift last September with an 11th-place prediction. Apparently New Jersey's march to the Final Round didn't impress. Peter DeBoer's sextet is listed eleventh again!
ISLANDERS: Alas, the Nassaumen were written off as a 20th-place outfit last year. Despite some nifty additions and the maturation of young talent, THN is not impressed. Yikes! The Isles darkhorse credentials are even better; fifteenth overall!
SABRES: Is Darcy Regier's club buffaloing Hockey News observers or do they see something missing from last year's disappointing club? A year ago, the Sabres were listed with a fifth place finish, ahead of the Rangers. The Sabres will make the playoffs this time; according to THN, which puts them in seventh place.
The Hockey News also featured a "Top 50 Players" segment. Of the local talent, Henrik Lundqvistwas ranked the highest, 10 behind the winner, Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh. Next highest was Ilya Kovalchuk at sixteen with John Tavares just two behind him.
After Jonathan Quick notched fifth place, only two other goalies made the cut and one wasn't Buffalo's Ryan Miller. Pekka Rinne of the Predators was slotted at 19 while "Mister Goalie," Martin Brodeur, rounded out the list at 50. And if you're wondering why the Devils' future Hall of Famer edged Miller, here's the explanation:
"Brodeur continues to defy the laws of nature and time. Just look at the 2012 playoffs."
P.S. The Rangers turned out to be the only one of the Locals to have a pair in the Top 20; Lundqvist and Rick Nash at 20.
Many notable hockey names have sought the grueling, ambitious training program of longtime NHL winger Gary Roberts. They include Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Brett Connolly, Carolina’sJeff Skinner, and New York Rangers’ prized prospect, Christian Thomas. The program emphasizes dedication to a high-intensity training routine and provides guidelines for a strictly organic diet. Roberts has an outstanding track record and has been gaining notoriety in the training world, as his intensive workouts have seen players such as Stamkos and Skinner make some big on-ice improvements in many different departments.
Have you ever wondered about the player who has amassed the most penalty minutes since the 2005 lockout? Worry no more. Over at KuklasKorner.com, they came up with the list. The top five are: Chris Neil, Daniel Carcillo, Sean Avery, Steve Ott and George Parros.