Death, Deflategate, and a Cubs World Series: 2016 in Sports

Hockey
12
Getty Images11/12

Hockey

Yeah yeah, we don't really know hockey, either — at least not as well as our resident hockey guru, comedian and actor Eddie Pepitone, known to many as The Bitter Buddha. Here, he explains the current Stanley Cup champions and what we can expect from the remainder of this season. 

The Penguins turned hockey into a game of speed again and it's not your father's NHL anymore. The fighting and the physicality of the league has been lessened a great deal. There used to be great, bench-clearing brawls, and from there it went a little more mellow. Now it's just a fast league. There's still some fighting, but Sidney Crosby and Carl Hagelin of the Penguins — they won the cup — they blasted through everybody, and so now teams are copying their speed game. The Canadiens look great this year. The Metropolitan division in the NHL is a behemoth — it looks like everybody is going to make the playoffs — and teams that are 15 games over 500 are not even near first place. The Blackhawks remain a powerhouse. It seems like the Blues will never break through. Edmonton and Toronto have great rookies: Connor McDavid and the Oilers now look really good, they look poised to re-establish the greatness of Wayne Gretzky. Auston Matthews on Toronto started off with four goals in his first game. I think he's cooled off since then. Jack Eichel is another great rookie on the Sabres. So the league has become this league where the young stars are really looking good. So the NHL looks good, the NHL is on the rise — as opposed to football, which is on the decline.

MVP: Sidney Crosby

Runner Up: Patrick Kane

Back to Top