Humboldt Hockey prepares for a return to the ice

On Wednesday night, the Humboldt Broncos will play their first regular season home game since a deadly crash in April that killed 16 players and staff and injured several others. A special ceremony will take place after the game to remember all those affected by the tragedy.

Among the few special things being done, the Broncos wont have anyone wear the C this year, in honor of captain Logan Schatz.DmwVx8SUcAAnpvJ.jpg

They will also raise a banner for each player lost. This team has an entire community behind them, the hockey community, and its the strongest sports community in the world.

NFL Power Ranking Week 1

Is it too soon for NFL rankings? Absolutely not, people are making mock draft for 5 years in the future, me doing this ranking is nothing compared to the crazies out there.

32. Buffalo Bills

Bro…Peterman sucks. I feel for the guy, but hes had his chances. I dont want to get political but how does Kaepernick not have job and this guys does? I mean this from a pure football perspective, this also goes for Johnny Manziel. Theres guys out there without NFL jobs who could do astronomically better. I get that he’s just here until Allen is ready but damn. This was a playoff team with Tyrod Taylor, now they are bottom-feeders.

31. Oakland Raiders

Let me be honest, they’re this low because I think it was beyond stupid they traded Mack. This team could also turn it around and make the playoffs. They are so hard to read, but its all on Carr’s shoulders and he proved it might be too much Monday. He falls, they all fall. Plenty of time to turn this around though.

30. Detroit Lions

This team just threw up every red flag possible. Stafford seems like a good guy, but is he really worth all that money? They got blown out by the freakin’ Jets!! Hit the panic button, this should be an interesting season in Detriot.

29. Tennessee Titans

Ok, these guys are not this bad, and they barely lost. Buuutttt they lost Delanie Walker and Taylor Lewan suffered a concussion. Those are big blows, you have to hope Lewan comes back soon cause Mariota needs him. Mariota also seemed to bang up his elbow, luck for them the rest of the division didnt play great either.

28. Arizona Cardinals

This was embarrassing, and they should probably be higher, but they have some extremely talented players and suffered no long term injuries. Bradford needs to tread carefully but also play to win. That’s a tough formula and it could be Rosen’s turn before we know it.

27. Cleveland Browns

The Believeland Browns tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which means they didnt lose. Thats most positive thing to some out of that city in a while. Until the Browns start putting together wins, you have to assume they are still the same old Browns. Prove me wrong Cleveland. Lebron’s gone, Stipe lost his UFC title, and the Cleveland Browns didnt lose their first game, what a wild year so far. Baby steps though, its safe to note that Myles Garrett is a stud, so if the defense does their part this could be a respectable squad.

26. Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck only got sacked twice, that’s the biggest news the Colts had. He also didnt play terrible, but the defense may be an issue. They fell apart and should have won. Should have, means nothing in the NFL, its still a lose. This team either realizes they can make small adjustments or they get in their own heads and lose alot of games. The ultimate test for a new head coach and a healthy Andrew Luck.

25. Dallas Cowboys

Hot take!! Dak Prescott isnt really that good, now that his offensive line is banged up, he proved he couldn’t adapt. Unless they get back to form quick, this season will be in the trash, much to most of the leagues delight.

24. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle’s offensive line is a dumpster fire, and this team will struggle. Remember when Seattle was the leagues team to beat? People are quickly forgetting those times, you gotta feel for Russell who tried to make the most of what he had but it just wasn’t there.

23. New York Giants

Jacksonville should have won by more, they under preformed. I’m giving no credit to New York and by next week they could be alot higher on this list. On the other hand Barkley could live up the hype and blow up. Manning just seems to not care anymore, even with all the talent around him. Really seems like time for him to hang them up.

22. New York Jets

Let the over hyping begin, east coast bias begin. They Jets blew out a bad team, lets wait until they get real competition. Its only realistic teams will figure out Darnold, its just how well he adjust. There’s always surprise playoff teams, but this isnt one of them. Keep it in your pants Jets fans.

21. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins could start the season 3-0, that’s completely realistic (at Jets and vs Raiders), before meeting the Patriots. Lets not throw them in the playoffs, because the won some wild weather delayed game. This could be an average team that steals a few wins from playoff teams, that’s about it.

20. San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy G didn’t earn that money week one, that’s for sure. Losing McKinnon may also be a way bigger deal than previously thought. Lets not totally panic, they did play Minnesota who looks unbeatable right now. As the season goes on we will see who the 9ers really are.

19. San Diego Chargers

Rivers, Rivers, Rivers just cant beat KC. This team was hyped to be a sleeper Super Bowl pick. They still could be, but they have to find an idenity. Bosa will be back soon, which will help the pass rush, but the real concern is how didn’t Rivers carve up a weak KC secondary? Dropped passes didnt help but Rivers is looked at by many as a Hall of Famer, he needs to figure it out. They cant keep finishing 9-7 and barely out of the playoffs.

18. Washington Redskins

Welcome Alex Smith, he did exactly what he did in KC. Good news for Washington, that means win. If they string together a few wins early, we have to take them serious, especially if Peterson continues to roll.

17. Denver Broncos

Case Keenum threw 3 interceptions, but also threw 3 tds. If he can manage to not throw interceptions, then that quickly moves Denver to the top right along side KC. They have the skill and if it comes together then this team could be a dark horse contender. The AFC West is tough and they all like to beat each other up, so if they can weather the storm then Denver might surprise people.

16. Chicago Bears

They got beat by Jesus…I mean Aaron Rodgers. This team has tons of potential and a stud defense, even before adding Mack. Cut them a break after this game, lets just see how they rebound. not sealing the game means they have a ways to go, but the future is bright.

15. Cincinnati Bengals

This win is exactly what Cincy needed headed into their next game with the Ravens. When Dalton is on, hes good, and long story short he was on. good showing from the defense and running back Joe Mixon, give the Bengals a lot of positives. They have short week to prepare, so two hot teams colliding should be fun to watch.

14. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons lost, I get it, but by college football standards this is a quality loss against the defending Super bowl champs. Are there things to work on? Yes, obviously, but Atlanta isn’t hitting the panic button. Losing Keanu Neal for the season is a concern and Devonta Freeman being hurt doesn’t help either. Matt Ryan will bounce back, but will Atlanta ever get over that hump, we’ll see its a long season.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fitz-Magic!!! Who expected that outcome with Jameis out? The defense was terrible, that’s a cause for concern, but the fact they escaped that shootout in the Big Easy is a blessing. No way they score that much every week so the defense needs to step up, if JPP cant suit up the Bucs will struggle even more to hold opponents. They are ranked this way for now, as long as Fitz can steer the ship until Winston returns.

12. Houston Texans

They played the Patriots on the road, so what do you really expect. Watson looked shaky, but that can be fixed with time. The defense couldn’t get to Brady, that will guaranteed to be fixed, because of their personnel. Houston does not have a problem, they just played a great team.

11. New Orleans Saints

I’m calming down on my thoughts of the Saints being a Super Bowl contender. The Minnesota Miracle, now this slugfest with Bucs, makes you wonder if they’ve just lost their edge. The offense can still ball out, just did the first team defense even show up? Drew Brees has a way of figuring things out, so hopefully him and Sean Payton can rebound.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

Nevermind who they played and tied. Big Ben had 4 turnovers and they gave up a 4th quarter lead. The Steelers are in the top 10 because if any team will put this game in the past, its them. Don’t forget that they are still undefeated this year, and James Conner was a beast. They play a tough KC team, who they always seems to have their number. So a big win against KC will make all the yinzers quickly forget about that week one tie with the Browns.

9. Carolina Panthers

Losing Greg Olsen is huge, but Carolina has a lot of positives in their dominant win over Dallas. They played Panther football, gaining almost the same numbers on the ground as they did the air. New Orleans and Atlanta losing was also a nice touch.

8. Green Bay Packers

Sunday night was amazing and added to Aaron Rodgers legend, but Packers fan have to hope that this isn’t a long term injury. Rodgers getting beat up doesnt look good for the offensive line, but he proved if anyone can over come that its him. The season hinders on if he is healthy.

7. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens looked like the best team on the planet, they made the Bills look like a Pop Warner team. One blow out doesn’t define a season, but it helps get it off to a good start. This blowout also brings another point to the surface, is Joe Flacco elite? All will be realized soon enough.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags aren’t the most exciting team in the world, but what they do works. Smash on defense and don’t turn the ball over. Leonard Fournette left with an injury and the running game barely lost a step, but the team has to hope he comes back. Expect alot of these same results from Jacksonville this year.

5. St. Louis Rams

Win now, worry about money later. This will come back to bite the Rams, but they obviously don’t care. Theyre stacked and it showed, the biggest question is can this team gel quick enough to win a championship. They are going to break teams down with their speed, so eventually the Rams will get a rude awakening , until then LA’s new show is a hit. They showed great half time adjustments which is key to any team.

4. Kansas City Chiefs

All any one could talk about was San Diego, so the Chiefs shut them all up…and quickly. Tyreek Hill struck fast and often. His buddy Patrick Mahomes wasn’t afraid to let him work his magic either. Mahomes will eventually have to distribute the ball better, but he didn’t have to Sunday. The defense was shaky and if anyone has followed the Chiefs this off-season, they would have known that was expected. They made plays when they had to, and that’s the biggest take away. This is a new era in KC, its just a matter of Andy Reid getting over that playoff hump. This team will be good in the regular season, just a matter of how good.

3. Minnesota Vikings

This team should be #1, and my reasoning for not having them at spot is that I don’t want to jinx them. Cousins looks to fit extremely well with this team, making them that much better than last year. This is the Vikings year, barring any big injuries. The 2 teams ahead of them were in the Super bowl last year, that’s not bad company to be in. Defense, offense, what cant this team do?

2. New England Patriots

These guys aren’t going anywhere, they had one of the toughest test of any week one team and did exactly what they had to do to win. The evil empire continues its reign of terror and after the Super Bowl lose, they have new motivation. That’s a scary thought, only thing to improve would be the running game, but I’m not telling them that.

1. Philadelphia Eagles

If they keep winning with Foles, until Wentz gets back, then they may be unstoppable. It was sloppy at times, but once again, they’re playing with a back up quarterback. This team knows how to win the big one now, so if they can grind for just a few more weeks, then it will take alot to knock them off their porch. Also losing a few games before Wentz is healthy won’t be the worst thing in the world, but the Eagles are soaring high right now, its wonder who will bring them down.

Torts signs 2 year extension & other hockey news this week

The off season has slowed a bit but there are things to talk about none the less.

John Tortorella signs 2 year extension with Columbus

This obviously makes the Blue Jackets favorites for the cup, right? I mean they have the most electric coach in the league and now added 2 more years. Torts is entertaining, that undeniable, but he has a window. That window is for how long it takes him to lose his locker room and they start an uprising against him. The real facts are that hes a good coach but it rubs people the wrong way, he will inevitably piss off the wrong star player and be without a job again. Columbus is a good team, but no coach has been able to garner them any playoff success. He won a Stanley Cup with Tampa…in 2004, he hasn’t done much of anything sense, and that’s with some very talented teams in New York. He has a checkered coaching past and still seems to be riding those coattails, I take back what i said earlier, the Blue Jackets are far from cup favorites, but congrats to Torts for still getting paid.

Max Pacioretty to Vegas

Vegas gave up a few solid pieces, but in return they get a player who can help them get back to the Stanley Cup, no one can say this was a bad deal, unless by some crazy circumstance he falls off the side of the earth and doesn’t produce. Vegas has done everything possible to put a winner on the ice again this year. PLUS, they can still possibly land Karlsson, future is bright in Sin City.

Seguin, Star Close to Extension

Dallas, pay the man, for the love of God! I dont even like Dallas and I cant see why they haven’t done this. Trust me, a lot of peoples favorite teams will gladly take him off your hands. Only thing I can think of is that Tom Gaglardi’s (Stars owner) wife has a crush on Tyler and Tom is jealous. Its also possible I watch too much reality television and I assume that’s the story behind everything. He has the numbers of an elite forward, so pay him as such, boom problem solved.

Yzerman resigns as Lighting GM

Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman stepped down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lighting, this comes as a shock to the hockey world. He built a masterpiece in Tampa, one that is steps away from a dynasty. Yzerman lives in Detroit Red Wing lore for his on ice contributions, so its only fair to speculate he will come home and continue building his legacy with the team that he helped win 3 Stanley cups with. Should be interesting to watch what moves will be made next.

Top 10 NHL goalies for 2018-2019

These rankings focus on player success and team success. Lets be real you can be a great goaltender and get nothing from your team, so that may effect their placement.

10. John Gibson

Bottom line, Gibson keeps getting better and his teams not half bad either. His win total has gone up each of his years, with the team he has in front of him don’t expect that to change. Hes lower on this because he doesn’t do anything spectacular, just wins.

9. Matt Murray

The kids young and already has a 2 cups, enough said. Well maybe it isnt, Murray regressed without Flower to back him up or save the day when he got hurt. Murray has also yet to play 50 games, something Tukka Rask has done each of the last 5 seasons. Murray’s good, thats a fact, but he needs to be great on his own. It helps he has a perennial cup contending team in front of him, which puts him in the top 10.

8. Marc- Andre Fleury

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The resume speaks for its self, Flower wins. With his most recent run with Vegas proves how valuable he his to an organization. His hype after being drafted #1 overall, faded slightly early in his career but the team just wasn’t any good. Ask Henrik Lundqvist, you need a team in front of you to win a cup, and that’s exactly what he got. Hes widely known as a great teammate, which can be just as valuable as his on ice talent. Vegas looks good again, expect Marc-Andre to continue winning. I also see Malcolm Subban getting more game and developing as the future, but for now its Flowers team.

7. Braden Holtby

What has this guy done lately? Nothing that i can think of. In all seriousness, Holtby over came being benched and won a Stanley Cup. Now with Philipp Grubauer gone, its back to being Holtby’s team. Its worrisome that he was benched in the first round last year, but everyone knows his skill. Now that the Caps have the monkey off their back, there’s no reason to believe they wont contend for the leagues best record. On the other hand a cup hangover could hold him back, the team has to find a new way to get motivated and stay atop the mountain.

6. Tukka Rask

What hasn’t Tukka done, he has already won the Stanley Cup and the Vezina Trophy, two of the NHL’s biggest prizes. Tukka has only one losing season in his career and that was 2010, he only played 29 games. He plays alot of games and wins, and it looks like Boston is bouncing back as a team, which bumps him up on the list.  Also not every goaltender can say he’s inspired his own species of wasp.

5. Connor Hellebuyck

I’ve seen list put Connor in their top 3, lets be realistic, the guys come out of nowhere and only  played 3 years. We really need more years and games to evaluate a player. His experience with team North America combined with the Jets faith to make him the full time started after originally being a 5th round pick, is pretty amazing. But look back at things, its wild how he went unnoticed. He was great at University of Massachusetts-Lowell, leading them to win consecutive Hockey East titles. He proves scouting is no where near a perfected science, and with a solid core in front of him, the wins will continue.

4. Johnathan Quick

After being injured the season before, Quick reminded the NHL why he is great. Johnathan Quick is Los Angles King goaltending, his name is all over the record books and his Stanley Cups make him legendary, the guy just keeps cementing his legacy. His athleticism has been unmatched between the pipes and after a decade in the league he looks as young as ever. The Kings will be good again, his position on this list is dependent on that. When you look at the standard bearers look no further.

3. Sergei Bobrovsky

This guy went undrafted, no joke, google it. An undrafted player winning 2 Vezina trophy’s is a crazy story. Russian goalies have gone unnoticed in the past Evgeni Nabokov and Nikolai Khabibulin were both drafted in the 9th round, others like the number 2 goalie on the list were drafted slightly higher, but that’s for later. Bob has had issues in the playoffs, mostly with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he has a solid team in front of him and a psychopath coach. The Blue jackets will win games in the regular season with Bob, just how many will they win in the playoffs.

2. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Ok ok I get it, I made the point about Hellebuyck needing more games under his belt. But have you seen Tampa’s roster?! That’s why hes at 2 and Connor at 5, they have similar stats and wins, but the Lighting are cups favorites again. He already has cup experience and it looks for good the former 1st rounder to continue growing.

1. Pekka Rinne

Should I even waste my time explaining this?

Ok I will, Pekka is in his prime and he shows no sign of letting up. He plays for a great team and is likely their most important player. He never won a Vezina, up until 2018, which is also amazing, a runner-up twice, you would think all he really cares about at this point is winning a cup. That’s a lot of motivation, they smelled the cup once, now they want to drink out of it.

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The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Sports for the Midwest, a Midwestern lifestyle, these are the focuses of this blog. Sports outlooks for seasons, such as an NHL preview for each division, weekly fantasy football outlooks and even some college football predictions. Honestly….no one really knows what this is going to be. Why should it have an exact format, if i want to post about Missouri State ACHA hockey I will. This is inevitably a note to myself to make something I enjoy, cause who the hell is really reading this? If I want to bring in my friends to come along and share then ill do that too. Its a free country, suck it.