Weekend Preview for Jan. 16 – 18, 2015
There are SO MANY games this weekend!
There are SO MANY games this weekend!
The Montreal Stars are currently second in the league, just one point behind the league-leading Calgary Inferno (although the Inferno does have a game in hand on the Stars). Toronto is currently second from last, but have the least games of anyone in the league with only 10 games played.
Montreal’s Caroline Ouellette and Toronto’s Natalie Spooner are currently tied for 5th in the league’s scoring leaders, with nine points each in ten games, but it might be goaltending rather than scoring that’s the decider in this weekend’s series. Montreal’s Charline Labonte is currently second in the league with a save percentage of .925% in 7 games. Sami Jo Small has a .917 SV% for Toronto this season, but she’s only played 3 game so far– it’s more likely that we’ll see Christina Kessler, who has a .909 SV% in 7 starts.
Also, for everyone who can get to Saturday’s game, the first 50 fans in the door will get free CWHL clackers!
This weekend is a bit light on the CWHL action as we head into the home stretch on Christmas, but the Boston Blades will face off against the Toronto Furies twice.
We’ve got a jam-packed weekend starting TODAY, as the CWHL gets a bunch of games out of the way before the All-Star Game (which is NEXT WEEKEND, in case you’ve missed it! GO VOTE FOR YOUR CAPTAINS!) Sadly, only one of the games will be streamed.
Boston and Calgary kick things off tonight, as the two hottest teams in the league go head to head in a three game series. Boston will be looking to make up the points lost in their forfeited games earlier in the month, while Calgary will be looking to continue their five game win streak. Notably, their win streak is all home games– we’ll be looking to see if they can continue this on the road in Boston.
These are both high octane offensive teams– Calgary is currently averaging about 3.6 goals per game, while Boston is averaging 2.8/game, but 4 per game if you take out the two forfeits lost to player contract issues. Both are also getting points from up and down their line ups, although Calgary’s getting most of their goals from their top lines, while Boston’s spread the goals out a bit more.
What I think this series could hinge on is penalties. Boston has taken the least amount of penalties in the league (a little under half of 64, the average number of PIMs) while Calgary has taken almost exactly the average number of PIMS with 62 PIMs. Boston has the best power play in the league, with an average scoring likelihood of 23.08%, and the best penalty kill, with an average 91.67% kill. So Boston doesn’t take many penalties, have a really good kill when they do, and they can capitalize on a power play chance, while Calgary has a really middle of the road power play at 14.29%, and the second to last penalty kill in the league at 83.33%. I think if Calgary comes out rough, it’s really going to hurt them.
This is going to be a fascinating series to watch, and I’m really looking forward to it. Thankfully, Saturday’s game in this series will be streamed, so remember to tune in! Interestingly, the Blades’ twitter has announced that all three games will be being filmed by ESPN for a Hilary Knight feature– we’re not sure what kind of feature, but have reached out for (hopefully) some comment.
— Boston Blades (@BostonCWHL) December 4, 2014
This home-and-home series will also kick off tonight! These two rivals will twice this weekend, but neither game will be streamed. 🙁
Toronto and Brampton are 4th and 5th in the standings respectively, but I think both can play much better than their standings indicate– sometimes. Normally I’d say Brampton’s higher PIMs could be a point of concern, but Toronto’s power play is the worst in the league, and Brampton’s penalty kill is pretty league average.
I’d anticipate a rougher, gritty game from Brampton, but better goal-tending from Toronto. Howe’s been having a rough time behind Brampton’s defense, but Knox, who has the second most starts for Brampton’s goaltending, has only a very slightly better save percentage. Sonja van der Bliek, who has a much better save percentage than both of them, is unfortunately out with a hip joint injury, according to what I have heard. I have not heard a time line on her return. It’s a real pity that she’s been sidelined by injury now, just when it seems like her game was really starting to come together after a somewhat rocky start in the league.
We’ve got a full weekend of CWHL hockey ahead of us! Brampton will be going to Calgary for their three away games this season against the Inferno, and Montreal will be attempting to crack the Boston Blades, who are perfect so far on the season.
Continue reading CWHL Weekend Preview: Brampton Thunder @ Calgary Inferno x 3, and Montreal Stars @ Boston Blades x 2!
It feels so long since we’ve had a CWHL game! Coming back from the break for the Four Nations Cup, we have the Blades kicking off this weekend’s slate of games with their first home game.
Boston’s first home game of the season! The Blades have only played one game this season, a shutout win against Montreal. Toronto has only played two, against Calgary and Brampton, but both have been wins. Both teams sent a solid handful of their players to the Four Nations Cup– Boston sent 6, while Toronto sent 3– so they might be feeling a bit stiff, but between these two teams, we can still expect some good hockey.
This game will also have a special meet and greet for Cornell alumni– check out the details on the Blades’ website.
This game will not be streamed.
Both of these teams come into this weekend trying to break some early season skids– Montreal has only won one of their four games so far, while Brampton hasn’t won either of their games. It’s obviously early days yet, but Montreal has to be feeling the pressure– they finished last season first in the rankings, before losing earlier than expected in the Clarkson Cup tournament. They need their younger players to become the leaders on this team, consistently and in every game. Five of Brampton’s players and one of Montreal’s are returning from the Four Nations Cup with a gold medal.
This game will be streamed.
Second of the two meetings these teams will have this weekend. This game will be streamed.
Second of the two games these two have this weekend. This game will not be streamed.
Just a quick heads up, there won’t be a weekend review today– there wasn’t a lot that happened this weekend! Expect a game recap tomorrow of the first Four Nations Cup game, US vs Finland!
The US and Finland face off at 4:00 PM EDT– follow along with a live-stream and other updates on Hockey Canada’s website.
Canada and Sweden will face off at 10:00 PM EDT– this game will not be streamed, but will be on TSN. Follow along on Hockey Canada’s website here.
The 2014/2015 CWHL season starts this weekend!! We are SO EXCITED. There are three match-ups this weekend, opening with Montreal hosting the Blades, and Calgary doing the GTA tour of the Furies and the Thunder.
Continue reading CWHL Opening Weekend Preview!
So, we have a wealth of games this weekend! Remember, this is the end of the regular season, and with the standings SO CLOSE, this weekend is going to determine a lot of the seeding for the playoffs. Seven points out of contention, and with three games this weekend, Brampton won’t be able to make it into the playoffs– but they can sure as hell wreck havoc on the seeding.
As of Friday morning, the standings are:
Montreal is a lock for first, but the rest of the playoff teams are pretty up in the air at this point. Very exciting! Sadly, there is not a streaming game this weekend, but remember, all Calgary games have a live radio call that you can listen to, either streaming live from the CWHL website, or download later as a podcast from IGNITE (That’s also on iTunes, if you use that for podcasts– search for Calgary Inferno!). The podcast includes all the intermission interviews, which can be super interesting– I highly recommend checking that out. And with three Calgary games this weekend, you’ll have a chance to follow things along pretty well. 🙂
Things kick off tonight, Friday, at 7 pm CDT, with Brampton going to visit Calgary for the first of their three meetings this weekend. They meet again on Saturday at 2 PM CDT.
The other game on Saturday is at 6:35 PM CDT, between the Toronto Furies and the Boston Blades. It’s the first of a two game series this weekend that could be crucial for the two teams, as they’re currently tied for second in the league.
On Sunday, the games kick off at 10:00 AM CDT, with a game between the Brampton Thunder and the Calgary Inferno. Excitingly, this game will be the Saddledome, and admission will be free! You can check out more about that on the Inferno’s Facebook page. The other game on Sunday will be the final game between the Toronto Furies and the Boston Blades, at 12:35 PM CDT.
And that’s it, that’s the end of the season! Stick around through, playoffs are just about to start.