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Adam Gretz

Adam Gretz NHL Blog

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How much did goal scoring go up in the Conference Final?

Saturday May 31, 2014

If you've been watching the NHL's conference finals, especially the Western Conference final, you've probably noticed a bit more goal scoring than you're used to seeing in the playoffs.

Well, you're not imagining that.

This year's conference finals have been one of the highest scoring in recent history, and goal scoring this entire postseason has gone up from where it was in the regular season.

Here, we take a look at just how rare that has been in recent years and how much it has increased.

Who will sign Thomas Vanek?

Saturday May 31, 2014

Thomas Vanek had a pretty disastrous series against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final, and it probably couldn't  have come at a worse time for a player that's about to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent.

What sort of impact will his performance have on his value in free agency, and what chances does he have to rebound next season with a new team?

We examine all of that and more here.

The Rangers are back in the Stanley Cup Final

Friday May 30, 2014

For the first time in 20 years the New York Rangers are playing in the Stanley Cup Final, so we decided to take a quick look back at their previous trips to the Final, including their 1994 win and a series of appearances in the 1930s that were disrupted by a circus that kept kicking them out of their home arena, Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers are in the final for the 10th and looking to win their fifth title.

Here, you can take a quick a look back at all of their Stanley Cup Finals appearances.

Rene Bourque and playoff hot streaks

Thursday May 29, 2014

Most NHL players do not consistently score goals over the course of a season. They hit hot streaks and struggle through cold streaks. They score in bunches, then can't find the back of the net for two weeks at a time.

In the Eastern Conference playoffs Rene Bourque is currently going through a hot streak and can't stop scoring goals for the Montreal Canadiens, already scoring eight in his first 16 playoffs. He's doing this after he scored just nine goals in 63 regular season games. And that's a pretty rare performance.

Here, we take a look at just how rare it is and just how strange his 2013-14 season has been.

Barry Trotz takes over the Capitals

Tuesday May 27, 2014

The Washington Capitals have their fourth coach in four years, and it's former Nashville Predators boss Barry Trotz.

Is he the guy that can get them back to Stanley Cup contender status? And what sort of look will the Capitals have under Trotz's watch? For years Trotz has been known as a defensive coach and he's never had the opportunity to work with players as talented and skilled as Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Here, we take a look at everything you need to know about Trotz and the Capitals.

Islanders sign goalie Jaroslav Halak

Monday May 26, 2014

Taking a quick break from the ongoing NHL playoff action, let's take a quick look at an early offseason roster move that could impact next year's playoff races.

The New York Islanders signed veteran goalie Jaroslav Halak to a four-year, $18 million contract this past week in the hopes that he could solve their ongoing goaltending woes.

He isn't one of the top-five goalies in the NHL, but he's certainly good enough to perhaps make a difference for a team that received some of the worst goaltending in the league this past season. How much of a difference could he possibly make? Well, here we try to crunch some numbers and figure it out.

Some thoughts on leadership, Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby

Thursday May 22, 2014

With the Pittsburgh Penguins losing in the playoffs again and the Chicago Blackhawks trying to win their third Stanley Cup in five years, there's been a lot of talk recently about leadership and who the best player in hockey is.

There seems to be a perception that Toews, the Chicago Blackhawks captain, has caught up to Crosby and surpassed him as the top player in the league because of his team's success.

Well, here is why that is wrong.

Keep your star players, even if it's expensive

Sunday May 18, 2014

One of the biggest mistakes we make in evaluating teams in the salary cap era is worrying about teams spending too much money on their core.

The teams with the most talent win. The players with the most talent cost a lot of money. Because of that, if you're a contending team you're going to have a significant chunk of your salary cap space going to just a small handful of players. Every team experiences this.

This is why the teams that draft the best, develop their own talent the best, and are able to find value in free agency in trades to complement their big-money stars are the teams that win. No team has been better at this over the past few seasons than the Chicago Blackhawks.

Here, we take a look at how much money teams have spent this season on their five most expensive players (as well as the past six Stanley Cup winners).

Unexpected changes in the Penguins front office

Friday May 16, 2014

If you were expecting the Penguins to fire coach Dan Bylsma on Friday, it did not happen.

It might still happen in the coming weeks and months, but for now the only person that the organization has let go is general manager Ray Shero. And that might be the right move, as we explain here.

The new general manager, whoever it turns out to be, will make the final decision on the coaching staff and the hockey operations department.

Shero's eight years in Pittsburgh were mostly successful, but some cracks started to develop in the foundation that the front office had to be accountable for.

When will Rick Nash score again?

Thursday May 15, 2014

Every player experiences goal-scoring slumps at some point in their career and there is no way to avoid it. Sometimes, no matter what you do or how well you play the puck is just not going to go in the net for you. When that happens in the playoffs, and you're one of the highest paid players in the league and the most talented player on your team, it's going to get a lot of attention and result in a lot of criticism.

So let's say hello to New York Rangers forward Rick Nash who is currently mired in the worst goal-scoring slump of his career and is chasing history for all of the wrong reasons.

With 52 shots and zero goals in his first 14 playoff games this postseason, Nash is getting close to setting the all-time mark for most goals in a playoff run without scoring. Here, we take a look at the all-time longest playoff goal droughts in NHL history. It's a list that features two current Hall of Famers, one future Hall of Famer, and a couple of 40-goal scorers.

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