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Archive for January, 2012

Jan
03

Now that the NHL is close to the halfway mark of its 2011-12 season, one team that might start panicking is the Anaheim Ducks. In October, the team got off to its usual slow start. However, the team (whose roster looks good on paper) has thus far failed to find any kind of scoring touch despite a coaching change which saw the replacement of Randy Carlyle with Bruce Boudreau.

Part of the team’s problem stems from a steady stream of injuries which caused key players to miss a substantial number of games. Lubomir Visnovsky was out with a broken bone in his hand. Jason Blake was lost due to a wrist laceration. Saku Koivu missed games with a groin pull, and rookie Devante Smith-Pelly was loaned to Team Canada for the IIHF’s World Junior Championship during which he broke his foot while blocking a shot. Although Visnovsky and Koivu both paid dividends in their first game back in the lineup scoring one goal and two assists, respectively, the team continues to struggle with only three wins in its last nineteen games.

More help is on the way as Blake hopes to return for Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks but with elder statesman Teemu Selanne as the team’s leading scorer and only consistent player, fans wonder if it’s too late for the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions to turn things around fast enough to qualify for the playoffs. Time is against them so if the Ducks are going to make a push, they need to do it soon.

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Jan
03

Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park was the site of the NHL’s 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic on Jan. 2 featuring the Philadelphia Flyers and their bitter rivals, the New York Rangers. The Flyers took a 2-0 lead but were unable to hold off the determined Rangers who pulled off an exciting come-from-behind 3-2 win.

Leading up to the Winter Classic, the two teams were showcased on the four-part HBO series “24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic.” The breakout star of the documentary is none other than Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who waxes poetic about everything from the universe to the penalty for killing tigers in Russia. Now jokingly referred to as “Mr. Universe,” Bryzgalov has been a real treat for hockey fans who had no idea he’s such a Renaissance man.

The final installment of “24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic” airs this Thursday, Jan. 5. on HBO. Check your local listings for show times.

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Jan
03

The staff of From The Mez wishes everyone a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year!