GWMHL

Archive for the ‘NAS’ Category

Delta Ships Ladd to Division Rival

In DEL, NAS, Transactions on January 8, 2016 at 9:25 am

The Delta Sturgeon (18-18-4) may only be three points out of a playoff spot, but that didn’t stop them from shipping out one of its top wingers — to division rival Nashville, no less.

The white-hot Knights (30-4-6) add Ladd, who has 29 points in 40 games, to a forward corps that already boasts three of the season’s top scorers, including Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Daniel Sedin.

The trade was made during the first half of play but only finalized at the just-opened midseason trade window.

Salem Wannabees Win 2013 Gump Cup!

In NAS, News, SAL on September 4, 2013 at 10:23 am

They’re ‘Wannabees’ no more. In their third finals appearance in four years, the Salem Wannabees are finally bringing the coveted Gump Cup to the Willamette Valley with a 4-3 win in game 6 over the Cinderella Nashville Knights.

Salem, a perennial regular season powerhouse, overcame shaky netminding from Craig Anderson – and outstanding work by Mike Smith at the other end – to sew up the championship. The turning point in the series came one game earlier, when Salem snapped Nashville’s home playoff winning streak in game 5. Nashville kept game 6 close but couldn’t claw back from a second-period deficit.

Salem’s Patrick Sharp led all skaters with 12 goals and 22 points. Nashville’s Claude Giroux was surprisingly quiet, but the Knights got clutch postseason work from Henrik Zetterberg (18 points and 3 game-winning goals) and Smith.

2012-2013 Award Winners

In BOS, NAS, SAL, SFS, Special Features, STL on August 7, 2013 at 9:07 am

In a season notable for a lack of headline-making offensive performances, many players still shone in the 2012-13 GWMHL regular season. As a few select teams battle it out in the playoffs, we take a (totally biased and absolutely unscientific) look at the players who made the biggest mark on the year.

Scoring Champ

Claude Giroux, Nashville Knights
Giroux won his first-ever — and not likely his last — scoring title in style. With 108 points, he was the only player to surpass 100 and was 11 points up on his nearest competition. Most remarkably, and we’ll circle back to this, is that Giroux finished the year with 42 points more than his nearest teammate, Patrick Kane. Where would the Knights have gotten without him? Not very far.
Honourable Mentions: Erik Cole, Saint Louis Blues (97 points), Patrik Elias, Boston Banshees (96 points)

Sniper Award

Erik Cole, Saint Louis Blues
Erik Cole was lighting it up even before Saint Louis started acquiring a deep supporting cast at the trade deadline.  We didn’t see many stratospheric point totals this season, but Cole had some close competition in the goals race, but the winger — who had 32 goals last season and just 16 the season before — just kept ticking en route to his league-leading 54.
Honourable Mentions: Steven Stamkos, Charleston Chiefs (51 goals), Milan Lucic, Boston Banshees (47 goals)
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Which Deadline Pickups Made the Biggest Impact After 24 Games?

In DEN, NAS, SCA, Special Features, STL, VAN on June 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm

streit

It was the most active trade deadline in recent memory. 24 games later, most of the players who found new homes have had a chance to show what they’ve got. But which teams’ acquisitions made the biggest difference?

1) Saint Louis Blues (17-6-1 since deadline)

The Blues were a good team before the deadline, but that didn’t deter them from making bold moves – and it paid off. Daniel Alfredsson (9 goals in 24 games) and Alex Steen (13 points in 12 games) were notable producers, but the real impact was on overall team depth. They’ve never been harder to defend.

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Bobrovsky Dealt to Baltimore in Deadline Blockbuster

In BAL, NAS, News, Transactions on May 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm

It finally happened.

Just one hour before the trade deadline, the Nashville Knights finally found a taker for Sergei Bobrovsky. With a logjam in goal and the specter of losing Bobrovsky’s rights at the end of the season, Nashville pulled off an eleventh-hour blockbuster, sending the netminder along with their first round pick in 2013 to the Baltimore Crab for winger Daniel Sedin and defenseman Mark Streit.

It’s a clear commitment for a total rebuild for the Crab, who also shed Alex Burrows two weeks ago. For the Knights – already laden with high-end offense – it’s a major push for a playoff spot, with division leader Vancouver falling off its first quarter pace.

Pilots Acquire Getzlaf

In GLP, NAS, Transactions on February 13, 2013 at 9:35 am

In one move, the Great Lakes Pilots may have solved their woes up the middle. The Pilots have acquired centre Ryan Getzlaf from the Nashville Knights in exchange for defenseman Barret Jackman and a second round pick in next year’s rookie draft.

Getzlaf likely slots right into the Pilots’ first line with Martin St. Louis – his 55 points for the Knights last season would have had him second among team forwards. Jackman, meanwhile, skated to an abysmal -25 last year but is still considered one of the league’s best stay-at-home blueliners. The Knights will hope he can stabilize a defense led by youngsters PK Subban and Justin Faulk.

Chiefs Make Two Huge Deals Up Front

In BAL, CHA, NAS, Transactions on January 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm

After a quiet draft, the Charleston Chiefs made a big splash in the trade market today with two moves, dealing away – among others – 3rd overall selection Sean Couturier to reel in centre Anze Kopitar from the Baltimore Crab.

Chiefs management had made it known they wanted to shore up on the left wing, and the team’s first move did just that – sending Wayne Simmonds to the Nashville Knights for Clarke MacArthur and a 3rd rounder.

That deal was quickly overshadowed by news that Charleston had acquired Kopitar from Baltimore in exchange for Couturier and longtime Chief Nathan Horton.

Kopitar endured a somewhat disappointing 2011-2012 season, scoring just 15 goals. He joins a formidable Charleston group at centre, highlighted by Steven Stamkos and David Backes.

Playoff Preview: Conference Semis

In EDH, NAS, News, PWH, SAL, SCA, Special Features, STE, VAN, WVR on May 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Plante Conference Semifinals

#1 Salem Wannabees (54-16-12) vs. #4 South Carolina Fire Ants (34-40-8)

Another year, another Salem powerhouse. Once again, no team was better in the regular season – or even really very close. The Wannabees have it all: scoring, defense, goaltending. That’ll make for a tough slog for a plucky, often-undermanned South Carolina, whose sub-.500 record was still enough to snag the last playoff spot.

Season Series: Salem won 4-1-1

#2 Sterling Eagles (44-24-14) vs. #3 El Dorado Lynx (43-27-12)

This is the Eagles’ first playoff appearance since 2006-2007 and they have goaltending to thank for it. Tim Thomas will lead the way for a team that allowed just 157 goals during the regular season (no other team had fewer than 200). The Lynx, meanwhile, finished just four points back of Sterling, so it’ll be tight — especially if the ageless Teemu Selanne plays the way he did all year. Of note: both teams averaged under 2 goals per game against each other during the regular season, and they even played to a 0-0 tie.

Season Series: Tied 2-2-2

Sawchuk Conference Semifinals

#1 Vancouver Night Train (49-26-7) vs. #4 Nashville Knights (39-32-11)

After finishing with just 72 points last season, the Night Train bounced back and captured the conference crown, narrowly avoiding a first-round series against Portland. The Night Train weren’t exactly dominant all year but found a way to win, largely thanks to Jonathan Toews and a cast of clutch scorers. The question is, can Pekka Rinne get his act together? And will Nashville be able to overcome their paper-thin D, as they did for much of the season?

Season Series: Vancouver won 6-1-1

#2 West Virginia River Rats (46-27-9) vs. #3 Portland Winterhawks (45-29-8)

The two highest-scoring teams of the regular season [check Salem] go head-to-head in the opening round. Can the Winterhawks get their dynasty back on track against the reigning Gump Cup champs? Crosby, Thornton. Staal, Spezza. Perry, Iginla. Vanek, Kovalchuk. This should be fun for everyone but the goaltenders.

Season Series: West Virginia won 4-1-1

Biggest Midseason Surprises of 2011-12

In DEN, EDH, IHS, NAS, News, SCA, Special Features, STE on January 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

We’re halfway through our season. So what’s been raising our eyebrows?

As a Rule, Eagles are Pretty Badass

The Sterling Eagles have missed the playoffs four seasons in a row. But after 40 games, they’re second overall in the entire league with a stellar 23-12-5 record, and even managed to steal five points on the road against division rival Salem. They’re getting help where it counts, like unheralded winger Nikolai Kulemin, who already has 22 goals. Previous career high? Eight.

Backups Earning Their Keep

The Eagles’ Tim Thomas has the numbers (1.88, .939) but backup Johan Hedberg is winning more games. His record is 12-6-0 to Thomas’ 11-6-5. Likewise, the Ice Harbor Storm’s Alex Auld (.914) and Jonathan Bernier (.933) are busy overshadowing the “starting tandem” of Mathieu Garon (.885) and J-S Giguere (.874).

Pick One Already!

The Storm aren’t the only one with a menagerie of netminders in a pen out back. Five goalies have seen action for the Nashville Knights already this season: Sergei Bobrovsky (17 games), Cory Schneider (16), Ray Emery (3), Brian Boucher (3), and Mike Smith (1). That’s two rookies backed up by three vets, and the elevator pitch for an ensemble basic-cable sitcom.

Ovie-Shadowed

Alex Ovechkin is not leading the El Dorado Lynx in points. That’s kind of remarkable. The Lynx are okay – still in good playoff position at the halfway point, actually – thanks largely to the ageless Teemu Selanne, who has 18 goals and 45 points to Ovie’s 20 and 41.

Giddy-Up?

The Denver Spurs offense could use a swift, spiky kick in the rear. They don’t have the lowest GF, but let’s break it down: they’re deep up the middle and shallow on the wings, and that means they’re leaving lots of goals on the table. Mike Richards and Daniel Briere each have just 18 points in 40 games. Joffrey Lupul is their top scorer but has the lowest point total (28) of any team leader league-wide. Oh, also, he’s nursing an injury that could see him miss significant time.

Head of the Class

The top five draft picks (Skinner, Hall, Seguin, Eberle, and Stepan) are all playing pretty well, but they’re trailing in the rookie scoring race to an unlikely gaggle (herd? colony? murder?) of youngsters: South Carolina’s Tyler Ennis, Nashville’s PK Subban, Ice Harbor’s Mikael Backlund, and Baltimore’s Michael Grabner.

Brett Freaking Clark

Subban isn’t just the second highest scoring freshman so far. He also leads all defensemen in goals with 13, which might just make him the leading rookie-of-the-year candidate at this point. But that’s not even the most surprising development on Nashville’s blueline: Brett freaking Clark already has 10 goals, people. That’s just crazy.

Rookie Race: Backlund, Grabner Among the Best So Far

In BAL, GLP, IHS, NAS, Special Features on December 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

We might be just 20 games into the 2011-2012 rookie race, but there’ve already been some flat-out stunners. With several marquee freshmen handed plum jobs in their teams’ top-sixes, it’s boom-or-bust time. Here are four of the biggest surprises – good and bad – so far.

Mikael Backlund, Ice Harbor Storm

Backlund is a 2009 draftee who saw 23 games last year (0 goals, 4 assists). This season, with a young Ice Harbor team that’s thin up the middle, he’s had a chance to play a big role. And while the Storm have struggled (6-13-1), Backlund’s played well with second-line minutes, notching 8 goals and 6 assists on the quarter.

Taylor Hall, Great Lakes Pilots

First overall Jeff Skinner has had a decent start for 8-11-1 Nashville, with 12 points in his first 20 games. But where’s second overall Taylor Hall? He’s playing big minutes for the Great Lakes Pilots but has managed just 3 goals and 3 assists so far, is being outscored by teammates like Darren Helm, and sits at a team-worst -11.

Michael Grabner, Baltimore Crab

The fleet Austrian was drafted in 2010 by Vancouver and immediately dealt for a second rounder in 2011, who would become winger Kyle Palmieri. After spending all of last season on reserve, Grabner has started this season well with the Baltimore Crab, with 11 goals in his first 20 games.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Nashville Knights

Bobrovsky was taken 21st overall in 2011 and the expectation was that he’d step in and backstop a young but very talented Nashville team to playoff contention. But no one’s going anywhere with numbers like his: a 4.30 GAA and .887 save percentage. Bobrovsky has been soundly outplayed by Cory Schneider (4 games, 1.76, .927).

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