It's all over now. The push towards the 2012-2013 NHL Season is officially on for every team in the league.
And what a culmination it was. For Tampa Bay Lightning fans, we got to watch our AHL affiliate win the Calder Cup after a 43-3 finish to the season. Yep, forty three and three. I'll let that speak for itself.
Then, two days later, the Los Angeles Kings finished off their first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history. They punctuated an incredible 16-4 run with a 6-1 drubbing of the New Jersey Devils. That run included only one loss on the road. Which I think we can all agree is either A.) absolutely ridiculous or B.) the final proof that everyone has been right in saying that home ice advantage in the playoffs is highly overrated. Or both.
Regardless of how you feel about either team, their runs were pretty special. And at the end of the day, that's what you want most out of hockey: something special.
So, is it October yet? Let's look at some links, eh?
Your Lightning Links:
- Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray discusses the team's approach to the Draft this year and how pretty much every forward in this year's class is Russian.
- Speaking of amateur scouting, here's a look at Bolts prospect Tyler Johnson. Sounds like another Martin St. Louis case; overlooked because he's small. Silly.
Are the Lightning changing affiliates? Long story short, no one really knows yet, so why bother asking the question?
Steve Yzerman is not a fan of offer sheets. Now, why every rumor monger on the planet can't grasp this reasoning is beyond me, but hey, they keep it interesting, I guess.
- Speaking of Yzerman, it doesn't look like he's interested in Cory Schneider. Hint: that's probably a good thing.
- Alexandre Picard was voted as the playoff MVP for the Admirals. Now what?
Lightning Links Continued:
- Lightning fans have known this since training camp, but now the rest of the league is starting to notice. Cory Conacher can no longer be ignored.
- Once you get past all the Sidney Crosby nonsense, Elliotte Friedmann has quite a bit to say about Admirals coach Jon Cooper.
- Speaking of Jon Cooper, and of the rest of the league noticing we have some good things going on in our farm system, he's caught the attention of those in Buffalo.
- And also, those in Washingon.
- The Norfolk Admirals run even garnered the attention of those at Hockey's Future. Well, I'd hope so.
- And of course, finally, we can all thank the Admirals for making Canadian hockey fans bitter about the existence of the Tampa Bay Lightning one more time.
Your Links from around hockey in general:
- This is rather humorous, the KHL is looking at expanding to 64 teams. With 32 of them making the playoffs. Not kidding.
- There are a lot of things to be taken from this "taboo" Twitter interview done with Roberto Luongo. But, the biggest thing I get out of it? The guy can't win for losing.
- In an issue that has been going on for quite some time, North Dakota finally appears ready to drop the "Fighting Sioux" nickname for good.
- Here's your way over the top, dumbest thing you've heard in a while story of the week: A Canadian junior hockey coach has been suspended for allowing his team to skip a ceremony - NOT A GAME - to study for finals.
- While there is a lot of basketball talk, and Bill Simmons isn't exactly known for his love of hockey, this is a great story about his daughter's first sports love.
- A look at the AHL's top 25 scorers under the age of 25.
- And finally, a further look back at Derek Boogaard and how sadly, no one told him no. This just never gets less sad.