Tag Archives: nhl

Why I Love the NHL Playoffs

Before the NFL lockout of 2004-2005, I was an avid hockey fan, and die-hard Colorado Avalanche fan. I was able to enjoy the Avalanche all the way on the east coast, with hockey being broadcasted on ESPN, ABC, and other television channels as well.

But the lockout changed everything.

When the NHL and NHLPA re-negotiated their Collective Bargaining Agreement, television broadcasting took a major hit. Now, I can only enjoy hockey on Verses, and sometimes NBC. And since I don’t get Verses at home, I can only watch hockey during the semester.

And with the playoffs in full swing, I am able to enjoy a lot of high-quality hockey.

This has been one of the most exciting playoffs I can remember. While watching the Canucks/Blackhawks game tonight, I heard an interesting stat. Today was the sixth straight night where a game went into overtime, and the 11th of the playoffs so far. There have only been two series-sweeps, two series-wins, and four series that are coming down to the wire.

That is why I love playoff hockey.

Playoff hockey is fast-paced, hard-hitting, and gets you to the edge of your seat. You don’t get this high quality hockey during the playoffs. This is the best-of-the-best. Everyone equally matched. You have rivalries, like the Bruins/Canadians, and interstate rivals, as in the San Jose Sharks and the Sacramento Kings.

You can’t script this stuff. The playoffs are supposed to be good, but this year’s playoffs are living up to the billing. Most, if not all of the games are being televised, so the public can watch. They are close games, with a bunch of them going into extra time. You have intensity and passion from the players, which can be felt through the television.

Let’s hope the rest of the playoffs can be this exciting.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Campus Lantern Articles, NHL


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Quick Hits

So, it has been a while since I have written here. With having three midterms and a project due the two days before break, and not having internet on Spring Break, it has been hard to find time to write. And boy, has there been a lot of stuff going on in the sports-world that I have wanted to write about.

Instead writing a bunch of full blogs, which would take a day and a half, I figure I would just write about a bunch of short blurbs.

1. There have been two rule-changed in the NFL that will take place this season (hopefully). One change was they would review all scoring plays, taking the stress off of NFL coaches. This is one that was overdue. As a head coach, you have worry about players, plays, a wide variety of other things. They are 30 yards away from scoring plays, having to rely on the big screens and other assistant coaches to tell him to challenge it. With this, it will take more stress off the head coach, and automatically replay every questionable scoring play.

The other rule passed was they moved the kickoff spot forward five-yards, to the 35-yard line. Kick off specialists Devin Hester and Joshua Cribbs have both publically lashed out against the new rule. They have a point. It will severely dimish their skilled position as a kick returner (although both play crucial parts in their teams offenses). But, if you think about it, strategy can come into play. You might be able to catch some teams off-guard who are expecting a touchback.

1a. The NFLPA wants the rookies to boycott the draft. They don’t want the draft class to show up to Radio City Music Hall, not to walk across the stage infront of the entire country, not to hug Roger Goodall and receive the ceremonial jersey, and to not take pictures that will last a lifetime.


As a kid, you dream about that. Hoping one day you can strut across that stage. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the NFLA want them to miss it. How selfish.

And P.S.- it is the same NFLPA who wants to implement a rookie pay scale. Which means the rookies, who they are asking to boycott, will lose out on millions.

[Insert witty comment here]

1b. Still no word on the labor front. April 6th seems to be the day. Keep your fingers crossed.

2. March Madness! Like everyone else in the country, my bracket was done after the third-round, with both Pittsburgh and Notre Dame losing early. This has been the most exciting tournament in a while. There have been buzzer-beaters, multiple Cinderellas, and controversial endings. All play into an exciting four days of college basketball.

3. But, there is a downside to the tournament. The length. In the first four days, 48 games were played. Then, there was a three-day break, then eight games in two days, and so on and so-forth. It slows down. The pace of the tournament screeches to a halt after the third round, and limps to the finish. Yes, I understand the kids do have school. But between rounds, they don’t go back to school. They hang around the beach, and relax. March Madness could add more excitement by shortening the tournament (It is called March Madness, but ends in April; does anyone else see the problem?)

4. The big thing in the NBA still focuses around the Carmelo Anthony trade, but not the focus the Knicks wanted. They are under .500 since getting ‘Melo, while the Nuggets are 11-4 since they traded away ‘Melo and Billups, getting most of the Knicks. The Knicks have also fallen two spots in the playoff standings, and are looking at a first-round matchup against the Celtics.

Guess the Knicks were better BEFORE they got ‘Melo. Walsh and D’Antoni got this one wrong (so far).


5. Alex Ovechkin is out 7-10 games. He doesn’t elaborate on the injury. The Capitals are saying he ‘needs the rest for a playoff push.’ They have clinched a playoff spot, and look to have one of the top-two seeds in the Eastern Conference. If I was on the Capitals, and a player was ‘resting’ 7-10 games, while I was busting-my-butt on the ice every night, I would not be a happy skater.

6. Kyle Busch won the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway last Sunday. He swept both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races. Week after week, he is the ‘man-to-beat,’ always a favorite to win the race. Jimmie Johnson, on the other hand, never expects to win, but always flies under the radar into the Top-five by the end of the race. JJ is one of the most under-rated drivers in NASCAR. Yet, Jimmie has won five straight series championships, Kyle was won none. Doesn’t sound right.

7. One week until Opening Day. So excited to see Boston’s revamped lineup and rotation. They look good so far. But spring games don’t count towards a World Series. If everyone stays healthy, the Red Sox look like the favorite to win the American League.

A lot has happened in the sports world, with a lot more left to come.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.


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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in College Sports, MLB, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL


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NHL All-Star Format

Before the NHL lockout, which lasted close to a year and a half, I was an avid fan. I spent many nights during the summer watching my Avalanche play in the playoffs, and winning multiple Stanley Cups.

But since the lockout, my interest has dissolved. It just isn’t the same anymore. I can watch maybe one, maybe two, Colorado Avalanche games a year on national television. And on ESPN, hockey is thrown on the back-burner compared to the NBA, College Basketball, and many other sports.

But as of late, my interest has been peaked, and has come flooding back.

The reason for that; their All-Star weekend format.

In most sports, players are voted on by the public, making it basically a popularity contest. Especially in the NBA, you have the washed-up big names playing in the All-Star game, where the younger, more deserving players are at home, watching the game on the couch with some Cheetos. But with the NHL, its something different.

Sure, they have the players voted in, but that is where the similarities between the NHL and the rest of the sports end.

The fans vote in a pool of players. The friday before the All-Star game, the two coaches get to pick their own team from the pool of players, like a draft. Saturday night, the two teams compete against each other in the Skills Competition. Players get a chance to show off their speed, agility, and flashiness on the ice. The weekend ends with the NHL All-Star Game.

All I have to say is “Bravo.” The league executives have hit a home-run with this format.

It adds an added excitement to the now mundane-routine that are All-Star Games in professional sports. They have injected excitement, intrigue, and  showmanship that you don’t get in any other games.

I hope the other major sports take a page out of the NHL’s playbook, and look into improving the All-Star game for the players, and more importantly, the fans.

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Posted by on January 30, 2011 in Campus Lantern Articles, NHL


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