My girlfriend was away on work related award show and I was home so I took the opportunity to watch the first full NHL of 2016 for me. And it was on a good time even for us NHL fans that love sun Europe. The game I chose to see was the New York Rangers vs Philadelphia Flyers. A game where there was real rivalry and it show in the game. The big talker wa about Flyers Simmons getting a game penalty for misconduct and what Simmons did wasn’t according to the rule book but what McDonald did to Simmons wasn’t either according to the rule book if I’m honest. However this nicely said stirded up some feelings and after a while we got a fight and at that point it felt like the referees lost the control of the game and I think fans of both teams felt that way.
Flyers took the lead in the first period but Rangers tied it early in the second. But now for long before Flyers where back in the lead. In the third Ramgers did all they could in order to catch up and it didn’t seam like they where going to succeed but in the lag seconds of the third period Rangers pulled their goalie Henrik Lundqvist and with 12 seconds left they got tied. After that tree was overtime and I once again became convinced about that the 3 on 3 over time format is genius and among the most entertaining forms of hockey I’ve seen. The intensity and skilled and opportunities makes it just fantastic. I love it. But in this game no team had won after the over time so it became a shootout and Lundqust stopped all shoots and Zuccarello made a Peter Forsberg move and where a part of the winning trio that made Rangers win this game. Rangers really stole this game from the Flyers and I really liked watching it but I had hoped more out of the Rangers to be honest.
Either way a great Sunday evening!
This season the NHL introduced 3 on 3 and I know I’m a bit late to the subject but found this youtube video and was just impressed by the entertainment value of this part of the game. I think it shows the potential of this part of the game and how entertaining it really is. It’s a show people and I like it.
I wish the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) will pick this thing up because I think it would add something to the league. Just check this video out.
The team from the second largest city in Sweden, Gothenburg. Gothenburg is a harbor town on the Swedish west coast. In fact a recent poll has shown that Frölunda is the most popular hockey club team in Sweden.
Frölunda that looks stronger than they done in many years. Last couple of years the club has improved but had difficulties in the playoffs. But this year I think they got the chance to win the championship and go all the way. And right now they leading the leauge.
The team have also a history of producing good NHL players. The former captain of the Ottawa Senators Daniel Alfredsson comes from Frölunda. But as that’s not enough where successor as captain of the Ottawa Senators Erik Karlsson is also from this team. And the up and coming defenseman John Klingberg from the Dallas Stars who challenger Karlsson for the Norris Trophy this years is also a form this team. And of course “The King of New York” Henrik Lundqvist in the New York Rangers comes from Frölunda and his twin brother is in fact the captain of the team.
When this season started I had went through what Swedish Defenders that might be able to be contenders for this years Norris Trophy.
1. Erik Karlsson
The two time winner of the Norris Trophy and the captain of the Ottawa Senators. Karlsson makes so many points that he get in among the players with most points in the NHL overall. Quick and offensive qualities that often gives Ottawa an extra edge. I think he will be a contender this year and I’ve though so all season long.
2. Victor Hedman
Rather similar qualities as Karlsson and can when he’s in the right shape also produce points but he’s also good in the defensive game. In the Stanley Cup final and the playoff he was one of the best players in Tampa Bay Lightning. Unfortunately he haven’t started the seasons as good as we all hoped and he doesn’t play first power play right now either. If he get more even on the high level of hockey he has with he can become a contender but I think it will be though this year. But he still have many good years in front of him to compete for that title.
3. John Klingberg
I know he’s goo I’ve seen him in the SHL before he came to NHL and both he and Karlsson comes from the same Swedish SHL club Frölunda. Similar to Karlsson with big offensive qualities. So far he have really delivered and for a while he had the most points of all players in the entire NHL. Even more than all forwards. And he have made more points than Erik Karlsson himself. Thir guy I though would be a dark horse for the Norris Trophy I would see as a clear contender this year.
4. Oliver Ekman Larsson
A good defender but he plays of Arizona which not exactly is the best team in the NHL but this season they have got a better team and seams to slowly be moving forward and then Ekman Larsson might get a better shoot on the Norris Trophy.
There are also other great Swedish defenders such as Hampus Lindholm but I think I playa a to defensive style to win right now. There is also several Swedish defensmen who now I reaching a higher age and because of that not will be able to fight for this trophy but still are great defensmen.
So I thighs I would kick of this with introduce you to the first of the teams in the Swedish hockey league (SHL).
This is a real classic Swedish hockey team and they have won the championship 13 times and produces and the club is over 100 years old that’s tradition. The team is from the city of Gävle. So what famous players at from Brynäs? The first Swedish player inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame and with his own statue in Toronto where he played for many years, the one and only Börje Salming. Another top NHL players that come from this team is Nicklas Bäckström the Washington Captials center. Vancovers backup goalie Jacob Markström, Eddie Läck the Caroline Hurricane goalie and Niklas Svedberg who played backup goalie in Boston last year and now players in the KHL. So they e produces quite a lot of goalies the last year. Then there is the up and coming Jacob Silferberg, the forward that represents Anaheim Ducks today.
So far this year Brynäs have surprised be and among the top teams. I think that they defiantly will be a playoff team this year but I think they need some more time in order a team than can win the championship.
This weekend is the hall of fame weekend. A big weekend got the history of hockey. Few players has been more obvious to be selected into hall of fame than Niklas Lidström. I would call him the best defender of all times. He won 7 Norris Trophy and where nominated many more times. That’s just an incredible achievement. He also has Olympic gold, 4 Stanley cup rings and a fantastic carrier.
Now he will become a hall of famer and he deserves it and he is the biggest Swedish player ever and the perfect human. Congratulations!
So finally the hockey season have started at least here in Sweden. For the NHL I will have to wait some more before but I will manage. However, the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) is for you who don’t know the third best league in the world after the NHL and KHL. Its also a league that produces a lot of players to the both there other leagues and especially the NHL.
I haven’t got the opportunity to watch any game so far because I live in Norway its make it a bit more difficult to watch but I solve it from time to time anyway.
So far both Färjestad and Frölunda are the only two teams that won both their games so far. But from what I predict for this season these two teams should be two of the contenders for the title this year. Even if you really can’t make any predictions from the results so far. However my predictions for these two teams are more built on what players they have on the roster this year.
Are you interested in SHL and like it or want to know more, please leave a comment below.