Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs, Fantasy Hockey

Blue Jackets Understand Task At Hand

The Columbus Blue Jackets know what they need to do. Now they have to let their play do the talking.

It’s not often that a team’s fifth game of the season is a virtual must-win. But tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs is just that for the Blue Jackets; a virtual must-win.

Very little has gone right for the Blue Jackets to this point. At 0-4, they are off to the worst start in franchise history. For a team in the midst of a bad start, their locker room today was upbeat.

They know the task at hand, and it begins with tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I got the chance to talk with captain Nick Foligno, Gregory Campbell and David Savard about how important tonight’s game is, how close they think they are to a breakthrough, and whether there is some chemistry issues that still need to work themselves out.

There is a confidence in the room. They know that the season has a long way to go. They know what they need to do. It starts by simplifying the game and taking care of their end of the ice. The team spent most of their practice by working on drills in their own end. The rest will work itself out.

You can hear my conversations below.

Nick Foligno

Gregory Campbell

David Savard

NWHL

McLaughlin, Beauts Ready To Make History Sunday

The day that they have waited for is almost here.

On Sunday, the four teams of the new National Women’s Hockey League will drop the puck on their inaugural season. It’s a moment that they’ve hoped to celebrate for some time. Their dream is about to come true.

The excitement of the moment is tangible. Just by one quick glance at the expression in their faces, you can tell the women of this league are ready to embrace this moment. But they also realize that the moment is bigger than themselves.

The Buffalo Beauts made a trip to Erie to play an exhibition game against the Mercyhurst College women’s team. Prior to that game, we had the honor of talking to U.S. Olympian and Buffalo Beauts star Brianne McLaughlin. We talked about a lot of things.

First, we chatted about Sunday’s home opener and the emotions leading up to the puck drop. We then switched gears and talked about the league and where it can go in future years. We also talked about how the women’s game is overlooked in many areas in comparison to the men’s game. We then wrap up by talking about the growth of hockey in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and what she’s doing in her spare time.

You can hear the entire conversation by clicking on the link below.

The 4th Line Podcast: The Central Preview

The guys preview the Central division with Alli Baker (@allibaker23) and Dan Mount (@DanMountSports) from The Hockey Writers. They also break down the news of the week (Voynov, Peverley and Vasilevsky) and give away a mini stick as they name their giveaway segment. Also, Joel asks the listeners to reach out to us in a new and special way.

About The 4th Line Podcast:

Coming from Calgary, AB and Nanaimo, BC, Carl and Joel provide their own unique and fun view of hockey.  Every week the guys share their thoughts on the news of the week, have a variety of guests from the world of hockey and spend sometime in segments like Kangaroo Court, The Rant Shack and The Hot Seat. So, tune in every week to hear the latest from the guys and their guests, and get a view on the game you can’t find anywhere else.

You can also find The 4th Line on Soundcloud, iTunes and Twitter.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Q & A With Rob Mixer Of The Columbus Blue Jackets

Welcome back to our summer preview series.

This is the second part of a two-part series we are doing with the Blue Jackets. We are going to ask 10 burning Blue Jackets questions. Helping us do that are two people that know the Blue Jackets about as good as anybody.

In Part One, Alison Lukan from Bluejackets.com and Buckeye State Hockey joined us to help answer these burning Blue Jackets questions. You can listen to that conversation here.

This time Rob Mixer, the man behind the Blue Jackets Twitter account, stopped by to give his perspective on the same questions. What will the Top Nine look like come opening night? Who will play with Ryan Johansen and Brandon Saad? Which prospect will end up in Columbus first? Click below to hear our entire conversation with Rob.

Alex Broadhurst

10 Burning Blue Jackets Questions, Answered

Welcome back to our summer preview series.

In case you missed our first two previews, we previewed the Metropolitan Division with TSN’s Frank Seravalli. We also previewed fantasy hockey with NHL.com’s Matt Sitkoff. Today, we focus on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This is the first part of a two-part series we are doing with the Blue Jackets. We are going to ask 10 burning Blue Jackets questions. Helping us do that are two individuals that know the Blue Jackets about as good as anybody.

In Part One, Alison Lukan from Bluejackets.com and Buckeye State Hockey joined us to help answer these burning Blue Jackets questions. Can the Jackets win the Metro? What is the state of the defense given no new acquisitions? Why is Sergei Bobrovsky the NHL’s second highest paid goalie? How much pressure is Todd Richards under to win this season? That is just some of what you’ll get.

Stay tuned for Part Two of 10 burning questions, when Rob Mixer from Bluejackets.com stops by to give his perspective on the same questions. Click below to hear our entire conversation with Alison.

Alex Ovechkin

Previewing Fantasy Hockey With NHL.com’s Matt Sitkoff

Looking for a competitive edge in fantasy hockey? You have come to the right place.

This week, we talked fantasy hockey with one of the best in the business. NHL.com’s Matt Sitkoff joined us to help set up the upcoming season. We hit a lot of topics.

Whether you are looking for rankings, or sleepers, or even draft day strategy, this interview has you covered. Sitkoff spent more than 40 minutes with us giving you hints and tips that will give you an edge on the competition.

Who will go first overall in drafts? How will familiar faces do in new places? Which players aren’t getting enough attention, but will help you win your league? How should you approach your draft? Is Connor McDavid a first-round pick? When should you consider taking Jack Eichel? Would you rather own Victor Hedman or Drew Doughty? Which newly drafted players not named McDavid or Eichel will have an impact this season? It’s not who you think.

And that’s not even the half of it. Click on the link below to hear our entire conversation. Make sure you follow Matt on Twitter @msitkoffnhl.

Other Great Fantasy Content

While you are listening to our interview, check out some other great fantasy content that will help you get ready for the upcoming season. Clicking on the links will not interrupt the interview.

Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid is sure to go early in most fantasy drafts. (Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports)

For those that have rookie drafts coming up, our Larry Fisher wrote a great piece on how to reload through the rookie draft.

Interested in fantasy trade history? Fisher shared his 120 fantasy trades from five years of keeper leagues.

Our James Tanner shared his thoughts on if Connor McDavid is number one overall material in fantasy circles.

Are you looking to create a keeper league? Our Andrew Forbes shares his how-to guide.

Who’s got the best core of players? Zachary Cook shares his entire list.

And here is NHL.com’s Offseason Top 200 Rankings.

 

Braden Holtby Capitals

Previewing The Metro Division With TSN’s Frank Seravalli

Three Takes is a weekly feature that explores the world of the Columbus Blue Jackets and offers strong insights into the team and what to watch for. Have a strong take to share? Feel free to leave your comments below or tweet me anytime @THWMark.

Take One: Frank Seravalli Previews The Metro Division

The deeper we get in August, the closer we get to the training camps and the upcoming season. We all eagerly await what the new season will bring. With that in mind, it’s time to start previewing the season.

We begin with the Metropolitan Division. The New York Rangers are the defending division champions. They’re also the defending President’s Trophy champions. Nipping at their heels are teams like the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Other teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils all feel they can make noise, as well. So how is it all going to play out?

We discussed this and many other Metro topics with Frank Seravalli, formerly of the Philadelphia Daily News, and current TSN Senior Reporter. Does the Metro have a clear favorite? Can five teams make the Eastern Conference playoffs? Click on the link below to hear our entire conversation.

Capitals Oshie
Adding T.J. Oshie to a deep lineup gives the edge to the Capitals. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Take Two: Who Wins The Metro?

Any of five teams can win the Metro, but one team stands out to me. It’s the Washington Capitals.

The Capitals are the most complete team in the Metro. They have the right balance of offense, defense, and goaltending. They are on the verge of contending for a Stanley Cup. In fact, I believe this is the year the Capitals make the Stanley Cup Final.

They lost a couple of players in Mike Green and Eric Fehr, but added T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams to an excellent core of forwards. Braden Holtby is a top-five goaltender. It adds up to a very successful 2015-16 season for the Capitals.

Take Three: Who was the Metro’s Best Acquisition?

No question the best acquisition in the Metro, and in the league for that matter, was Phil Kessel to the Penguins. Adding that kind of offense to an already solid core of forwards is a scary thing for everyone else. Kessel easily has the potential to score 40 goals this season.

He also helps balance the rest of the lineup. All of a sudden, the Penguins have the look of being a true Stanley Cup contender again. If they get a decent performance from their blue line, they can make major noise this coming season.

Brandon Saad was also a great acquisition for the Metro. He now joins one of the game’s rising stars in Ryan Johansen on the top line of the Blue Jackets. This duo has an opportunity to dominate for many seasons to come.

Now it’s your turn. How does the Metro play out? What are your thoughts on our conversation with Seravalli? Leave your comments below.

 

The 4th Line Podcast: Episode 39

Episode 39 of The 4th Line Podcast presented by The Hockey Writers is here, and it’s sure to be one of the more fun episodes of the cast.

The guys talk about the Voracek and Galchenyuk contracts, the Bonino/Sutter trade, talk to Dan Rice from The Hockey Writers about the New Jersey Devils and realignment, share some of their fantasy hockey history and read your feedback about Space Jam.

About The 4th Line Podcast:

The 4th Line Podcast Presented By The Hockey Writers comes out of Calgary, Alberta, bringing a no finesse take on the world of hockey.

Started by Carl, Dave and Gary in October 2014, the guys share their thoughts on the news of the week and air their grievances in the Kangaroo Court.  With a variety of opinions, The 4th Line provide their own unique and fun view of hockey. So, tune in every week to hear the latest from the guys and their guests, and get a view on the game you can’t find anywhere else.

You can also find The 4th Line on Soundcloud, iTunes and Twitter.

the 4th line

The 4th Line Podcast: The Greatest Thing About Hockey

Carl and Joel are back with episode 36 of The 4th Line Podcast presented by The Hockey Writers. This week features talk about what makes the game so great.

Synopsis:

The guys take their top 32 things that make hockey great and try to decide which one is ultimately The Definitive Greatest Thing About Hockey. They take the time to disagree on just about every pick as they attempt to mutually decide which is best.

About The 4th Line Podcast:

The 4th Line Podcast Presented By The Hockey Writers comes out of Calgary, Alberta, bringing a no finesse take on the world of hockey.

Started by Carl, Dave and Gary in October 2014, the guys share their thoughts on the news of the week and air their grievances in the Kangaroo Court.  With a variety of opinions, The 4th Line provide their own unique and fun view of hockey. So, tune in every week to hear the latest from the guys and their guests, and get a view on the game you can’t find anywhere else.

You can also find The 4th Line on Soundcloud, iTunes and Twitter.