Monthly Archives: November 2013

Which forward pairings in the NHL are most effective this year?

Image courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

A bit of fun for this article here (depending on your definition of fun, of course…), as I decided to take a look at the various forward pairings around the league.  Generally speaking, people tend to think of NHL forward groupings as lines made up of three players, for the most part it seems to be particular pairs of players find themselves becoming particularly linked together.  Gretzky and Kurri, Hull and Mikita, Hull and Oates, Lemieux and Jagr, Trottier and Bossy, Sedin & Sedin, Getzlaf and Perry, Kane and Toews, Selanne and Kariya.  Whether they played on the same line in reality or not doesn’t seem to devolve the myths surrounding such legendary pairings.

I went through each of the NHL’s thirty teams, and selected a forward pairing for each team, in order to examine their scoring effectiveness as a duo, and how it relates to their team as a whole.

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Catching Up On Recent Trades

Get used to seeing these two together. Image courtesy of

S ince the flurry of transactions following the conclusion of the 2012/13 NHL season, something that hasn’t Ice Nation UK hasn’t reported on is the trades carried out since the league returned to action in September for training camp and preseason.

We’ll take a brief look at each trade made from September 28th onwards, while also performing a “Where Are They Now?” on each player involved, giving an idea of how the transaction worked out for each team.

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NHL Atlas: A Primer on League Alignment, or “Why Are All the Cartographers Weeping?”

Map of NHL Teams no colours no boundaries

O n today’s trip to the NHL reference library we’re going to bypass the dictionary and look instead at an arcane, mystical text that transcends humanity’s understanding of physical space: The NHL Atlas. If you seek to travel through a strange land where Ottawa is on the Atlantic Ocean and Raleigh, North Carolina is considered “metropolitan,” then this is the chapter for you. Your journey starts…

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The State of the EPIHL – Part 1 (So Far This Season…)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yet more excitement here at Ice Nation UK!  We are delighted to announce the addition of ANOTHER new writer to our team: Matthew Gunstone.  Matthew is, like Sam and myself, a resident of the United Kingdom, and like Melissa counts the New Jersey Devils as his NHL team-of-choice.  He has plenty of experience writing about hockey.  Matthew will be our resident EPIHL writer, bringing you the latest news, updates and analysis, whilst also offering his skills to our NHL coverage.  We are extremely pleased to welcome him aboard, and I am sure you will enjoy what he has to offer.

Image courtesy of

We’re a full 17 games (on average) into the 2013-14 EPIHL season and first impressions have come and since faded. There is always time for things to change but it’s pretty evident by now where each team stands. A lot of the “status quo” equates to pre-season predictions but there are some surprises. Let’s examine where we are team by team.

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NHL Dictionary: Gordie Howe Hat-trick

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

T his week’s NHL Dictionary term is “Gordie Howe hat-trick,” which means one goal, one assist and one fight. If all you want is the literal definition, now you’ve got it. Go forth in peace, and we’ll see you in this space next week.

If you’d like some context though, gather ’round and let’s speak in hushed, reverent tones about one of the greatest, most skilled, toughest and dirtiest players ever to take the ice.

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NHL Dictionary: One Billion Dollars

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hot on the heels of Arto Palovaara’s wonderful guest post for us last week – hopefully the first of many guest posts, though he is a very busy man – we are extremely excited to announce the addition of Ice Nation UK’s third “full-time” writer: Melissa Geschwind.  Melissa hails from New Jersey, USA, and has extensive professional experience writing about sports, including a stint covering the Buffalo Sabres during the Dom Hasek – Martin Biron transition era.  We are delighted to be adding not only someone with her experience, but also with the quality of her writing and knowledge of the game we hold so dear.  Please welcome Melissa aboard – we’re sure you’ll enjoy reading her as much as we do.

Image courtesy of

As a hockey fan in the UK, odds are you long ago picked up the official terminology – no small feat, considering how hard it is to explain icing without making it sound like differential calculus. But knowing the formal lingo only gets you so far when it comes to following the NHL. You might have noticed that a certain percentage of what you read about the NHL sounds like gibberish – and not just “hybrid icing,” which still sounds like gibberish even to the people writing about it. This is about the shorthand that people picked up along the way, and that you missed by not following the league from birth. If you’ve ever felt like you’re being left out of an endless stream of inside jokes, despair no more: We’re here to help! Each week we’ll introduce you to the stories behind some of the references you’re likely to come across on Twitter or in blogs, so you can start feeling more and more like a native speaker of NHLese.
Today’s term is: One Billion Dollars.