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Nashville Predators Make History’ Reach First Ever Stanley Cup Final

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“STAND WITH US”

This is not only a slogan following along the Predators magical season but now one that is plastered all over the city and beloved by the people whom it holds.The Nashville Predators have made history. For the first time in franchise history they have reached the NHL finals to play for their first ever Stanley Cup.

The 8 seed Predators who squeaked into the playoffs and weren’t given a shot to win the series against the 1 seed Chicago Blackhawks have thrived.After sweeping Chicago 4-0 they were onto facing the Blues. Never getting past the second round, they made history by reaching the Western Conference Finals with a 4-2 series win against St. Louis.

Entering uncharted territory, the Preds didn’t flinch.They showed they belonged with a 4-2 series win over the Anaheim Ducks and never gave up home ice. The final stop, to hoist the greatest trophy in all of sports, the Stanley Cup.

This hasn’t been a case of lucky puck bounces or fluky extra power plays but rather that of dominance by the Predators.

They have wanted it more, scored late in the third period, and always made adjustments under head coach Peter Laviolette. That along with incredible team speed and key players like P.K. Subban, Filip Forsberg and Pekka Rinne have led to an incredible run.

The defense and surprise strong play of goalie, Pekka Rinne (undoubtedly the Predators unofficial MVP),  could not have come at a better time. As the National Post reports, “P.K. Subban called it a “dog on the bone mentality.” The Predators play hungry hockey.

Now starts the most exciting time of the Nashville Predators 21 year history of an already storied run. The Preds are the first team in 20 years to win 10 consecutive home playoff games, have only lost once at home this postseason and became the first ever 8 seed to sweep a 1 seed.

The NHL Finals air on NBC starting May 29th between the Nashville Predators and the winner of the Pens/Senators series.

Tennessee isn’t known as a hockey town. The Nashville Predators aren’t the most storied franchise. But make no mistake, after the Western Conference Finals win and chants from the crowd of “we want the cup”, there is no denying it:

MANY STAND WITH THE PREDS!

 

Matt Ladd is a Graduate of King University B.B.A. He writes on NFL, NBA, and College Athletics.Follow on Twitter: @MattLaddTN

Calgary Flames

Flames Fire Bill Peters Following Racist Epithet Scandal

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Bill Peters

The Calgary Flames have fired head coach Bill Peters four days after a former player came forward and claimed that the Peters directed racial epithets toward him while they were in the minors 10 years ago, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.

Akim Aliu, who played for Peters in 2009-2010 for the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate Rockford Ice Hogs, tweeted on Monday night that Peters “dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music.”

Peters, who was hired by the Flames this past offseason, penned a letter of apology for the incident to general manager Brad Treliving, saying that the comments were made “moment of frustration.”

“Although it was an isolated and immediately regrettable incident, I take responsibility for what I said,” Peters, 53, wrote.

Aliu says that he found Peters’ letter of apology to the Flames “misleading, insincere and concerning”, adding that he won’t comment further on the matter until he met with the NHL as part of their investigation into the incident.

“This investigation we’re doing, I know everyone wants this done immediately and the world we live in is immediate,” Treliving said. “I hope you can appreciate we’re trying to do everything we possibly can to make sure we get it right and get all the information that needs to be gotten.’

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour, who was an assistant on Peters’s staff when the incident happened, said earlier this week that the incident “for sure happened.”

“Management handled it directly and never heard of it again and never saw anything else after that,” Brind’Amour said. “So it was definitely dealt with, in my opinion, correctly … We’ve definitely moved past that.”

A report from TSN’s Frank Seravalli, that dropped on Tuesday, included Aliu’s Rockford teammates — Simon Pepin and Peter MacArthur, who both corroborated Aliu’s account.

Aliu says that he was in charge of the music in the locker room for the morning skate and when Peters walked in he said:”I’m sick of hearing this n—–s f—ing other n—–s in the a– stuff.”

“He then walked out like nothing ever happened,” Aliu told TSN. “You could hear a pin drop in the room, everything went dead silent. I just sat down in my stall, didn’t say a word.”

“This isn’t me being bitter. I sat on this a really, really long time. It broke my heart, I think it made my career go downhill before it started,” Aliu said. “This isn’t to the degree of Kaepernick by any means, but if you play the race card, it’s most likely the end of your career.”

“What am I going to say? I was 20 years old and a first-year pro. I was too scared to speak up,” Aliu said. “I beat myself up every day over it.”

 

 

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NEWS

Finding Clues in Hockey Stats – How to Successfully Bet on the NHL

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sidney crosby

The advancement of hockey is pretty impressive. Players used to come from Minnesota and Detroit. Now, it’s a completely different story. Hockey players are recruited from all over and they’re respected for their game and wisdom. Those who are willing to put some effort into handicapping the NHL are rewarded big time. Indeed, NHL betting will never reach the same level as other important sports, like basketball, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth wagering on the games. Advanced stats can make you more successful when betting on hockey. Keep on reading to discover the most valuable stats for bettors. 

Fenwick 

This advanced stat is used to measure the overall number of shots while playing at even strength. Approximately 75% of shots taken throughout an NHL season are at even strength, so it doesn’t come as a surprise. Fenwick is the same as Corsi, the only difference being that it doesn’t take into consideration blocked shots. Why? Simply because blocking shots is a skill, not a string of random events. As a rule, a hockey team’s CF% and FF% are close. If you’re curious to know what’s with the weird name, find out that Fenwick is named after Matt Fenwick, a blogger for the Calgary Flames. Mr. Fenwick can be found on Twitter. 

Expected goals 

According to the experts at ATS, expected goals is a relatively new metric in data analysis. This advanced metric allows you to get a better understanding of the goal scoring opportunities that are created. A team that is trailing, say, 3-0 will obviously up its game and score more goals. Expected goals is particularly helpful when it comes to predicting future scoring because it focuses on shot attempts. You can use 2 metrics, namely Corsi and xG, to evaluate teams and players. Fenwick and Corsi consider shot attempts, they don’t consider the quality of the shots. xG takes into account shot location and uses league-wide averages. 

PDO 

PDO is a shooting percentage, combined with a save percentage. You can use it with Corsi or Fenwick to handicap team strength. To get the number you need, add the team’s 5v5 SH% and 5v5 SV%, and then multiply the result by 10. You can use the advanced stat for individual players, but keep in mind that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. It’s not uncommon to see PDO regression drive results in the NHL. Most teams regress to the mean. 

Corsi 

Corsi refers to the value of the entire team and it counts for the total number of shots at the net and against at even strength. It’s an indirect measure for offensive zone position. If the team directs the puck towards the net, it’s a Corsi For. If the other team does that, it’s a Corsi Against. It’s important not to overestimate the value of Corsi. You’ll have a shortsighted view of the game or worse, underestimate the factors that lead to wins and losses. Numerous things in a hockey game are worth your attention, so it’s difficult to know on which one to focus on first. Anyway, Corsi isn’t a fancy stat. It’s a number that helps you approximate puck possession and, implicitly, forecast future success. 

 

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Anaheim Ducks

Capitals’ Garnet Hathaway Ejected After Spitting on Ducks’ Erik Gudbranson

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Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway was tossed from Wednesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks for spitting on Ducks’ defenseman Erik Gudbranson during a brawl that took place during the second period.

“That’s about as low as you dig a pit, really,” Gudbranson said (h/t ESPN). “It’s a bad thing to do. It’s something you just don’t do in a game, and he did it.”

When discussing the incident after the game, Hathaway expressed remorse for his actions.

“Unfortunately, spit came out of my mouth after I got sucker-punched, and it went onto him,” Hathaway said. “It has no place. It was an emotional play by me. You don’t plan any of that stuff in your head, and it was a quick reaction and unfortunately the wrong one for me to a sucker punch.”

The brawl was brewing for most of the chippy game, and things boiled over with 33.4 seconds left in the second period when Capitals forward Brendan Leipsic leveled Ducks’ Derek Grant behind the net, which set off a series of fights between the team’s fourth lines, and eventually involved all 10 players on the ice.

“It just escalated,” Ducks’ defenseman Brendan Guhle said. “It for sure was in the works. There were scrums all night. Guys were going after each other. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

“These games can get physical, and they can get nasty,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “These guys’ll throw down, drop their gloves. That stuff goes on in the game, but what I saw there I haven’t seen; I think I’ve been in pro hockey 30 years, maybe, and I’ve never seen that before. It’s just something you don’t see in the game.”

The loss of Hathaway to suspension will be a devastating blow to the Caps’ roster moving forward.

“It seems like it’s been a constant equation for us the last little while here,” Capitals’ head coach Todd Reirden said. “[We’ll] see where we’re at in terms of injured players and [the] potential situation here with whatever the league does. It’s out of my hands now.”

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