Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What's 'appening With Hockey Apps?

Now for something a little off the beaten path (but not too far off).  I thought it would be cool to talk about some of the great mobile hockey apps that are out there.  There are some that are very informative, and have great detail on breaking news in the NHL and even other professional levels of hockey.  Some of them are great tools geared more towards youngsters that can help kids learn and navigate their way around them game. 

As far as news goes, you have your "common-knowledge" apps such as; TSN, the Score and The Hockey News app.  But what some people don't realize is that the best app for hockey news (make that any news) is actually the Twitter app.  On Twitter you can follow NHL experts in the media, players, coaches and even member of the NHL executive team.  I like Twitter the best for NHL news because it comes straight from the fingertips of the people that are given the news directly, so it should be accurate, and you can see the tweets immediatley after the news happened. 

One of the great tools that you can find in your App Store is one that parents will love especially.  HockeyGPS is an app that helps you find the address and distance from your location of any arena in your town, city, province, anywhere?  The only problem I have with the app is that it doesn't map out best route of your destination.  Right now you would have to enter the address on Google Maps or whichever web mapping service app you prefer.

There's also an awesome app for coaches.  The Hockey WhiteBoard app is a full ice or half ice display in which you can draw out entire plays or drills to show your players.  Now this probably isn't ideal for your whole team, but when meeting with an individual player this is the perfect tool.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

We Got One!!

Winnipeg saw their NHL team win for the first time since April 26, 1996 last night, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1.  After watching the first three games, it seemed like it was never going to happen, but finally the Jets prevailed; and better yet, it was in our own barn.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the nerves got the best of them in game one against the Canadiens, being blown 5-1.  Game two against Chicago looked like it had some promise when the Jets got out to an early 2-0 lead against the Hawks.  But the experience on the Chicago team ended up being too much for the Jets as they lost that one 4-3.  And game three in Phoenix?  Well let's not even talk about that one.  But last night's victory?  Oh how sweet it was! 
Kyle Wellwood started the night off on a very high note, scoring just eight seconds into the game, tying the an Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets franchise record for the fastest goal scored in a game.  Tanner Glass deposited the second, and game-winning goal for the Winnipeg.  The Jets also got a glimpse of what Ondrej Pavelec is really capable of as he stopped 28 Pittsburgh shots in the victory. 
Some might say (in fact some are saying) that we can't be that proud of the win as the Penguins two stars, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were out due to injury.  I say that is a bunch of buuullllogne.  Pittsburgh still had their cup-winning goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes, as well star players like; Jordan Staal, Kris Letang, and James Neal.  Plus, one of our better players, Evander Kane was sitting on the sidelines after blocking a shot in the game against Phoenix on Saturday.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Shake It Off

Even though the Jets were beat pretty bad on Sunday, there's nothing they should be hanging their head about.  They filled a void in Winnipeg's heart that has been there for sixteen years.  I can't remember the last time I heard an arena that loud during a warm-up.  Don Cherry was even impressed, and it's not easy to impress Don Cherry.  Sunday was a day filled with emotion, not only for the fans, but for the players too.  So many of them (especially the ones who only played for Atlanta) have never experienced having that many people on their side.  They had so many people relying on them to get that "W".  I feel that played a big part in the final score.  You could tell those young players were extremely nervous.  And even though they were trying to shake off the jitters of that first game, they all played with ton of heart.  Every player was giving it their all to get the city that long awaited first win.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Get ready to see the number 55 everywhere you go Winnipeg.  Today at the MTS Iceplex, Mark Scheifele was skating with a 55 stuck on to the back of his helmet.  He originally would have liked number 19, but it is already being worn by Jim Slater.  Scheifele has the potential to have the highest jersey sales in town.  I think 55, 16 (Andrew Ladd), 9 (Evander Kane) and 33 (Dustin Byfuglien) are all going to be contenders for the top spot.  Derek Meech also announced he will be wearing number 7 and Kenndal McArdle is going to be 23.

Rookie of the Year...? Perhaps...

You can't have a conversation about the Jets without mentioning a certain player's name: Mark Scheifele.  The kid is amazing!  Not only did he finish first in points during Winnipeg's preseason, but he finished second in the entire league, only behind Dallas' Mike Ribeiro.  And better yet, the Jets announced yesterday that they have signed Scheifele to an entry-level contract, meaning he's going to start the season out on the NHL's newest team.  Now this doesn't mean Scheifele will definitely play the entire season in the NHL.  He has nine games to prove that he can compete before the Jets coaching staff and management decide whether or not to send him back to his OHL team, the Barrie Colts.

At the moment, Scheifiele looks like he could be a possible Calder Trophy candidate, appearing to be the Jets' primary source of goals.  But there are a lot of rookies around the league that could also display a promising rookie campaign.  Along with Winnipeg, the Edmonton Oilers announced that their 2011 first overall pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will begin the year on their squad on the same terms as Scheifele.  Nugent-Hopkins put on an impressive exhibit of skill in the preseason as well, getting six points in five games.

And of course there's recently traded prospect, Brayden Schenn.  Schenn was traded from the Los Angeles to the Philadelphia Flyers in June and his expected to start the season in the NHL.  Schenn has excelled at every level he has played at so far, including the 2010-2011 World Junior Championship where he finished first in points for Canada. He is believed to do so for the Flyers this season and onward.