Monday, April 14, 2014

Nine Former Winterhawks Competing in the NHL Playoffs

The 2013-14 NHL playoffs get going on Wednesday and the Portland Winterhawks are once again heavily represented by their prestigious alumni. Some are making their first forray at the sports biggest prize, some are making perhaps a last grasp at Lord Stanley's chalice and one is going after his 3rd Stanley Cup.
Here are the former Winterhawks, with who they are playing for in the playoffs and their 2013-14 regular season stats:

Anaheim (playing Dallas in 1st Round):

  • (D) Luca Sbisa (30 GP, 1 Goal, 5 Assists, 6 Pts)- He battled a knee injury for most of the year and after he came back, was briefly sidelined with an upper body injury. This is not surprising for Sbisa, who battled a broken hand during his short time with the Hawks and seems just cursed with ailments.
Dallas (playing Anaheim in 1st Round):

  • (RW) Colton Sceviour (26 GP, 8 Goals, 4 Assists, 12 Pts)- Sceviour, after 5 seasons of playing in the AHL, finally made his case to stay with the NHL's Stars, with fantastic two way play after his March 11th call up.
Colorado (playing Minnesota in 1st Round):
  • (LW) Cody McLeod- 71 GP, 5 Goals, 8 Assists, 13 Pts)- McLeod has been the resident enforcer for the past 7 seasons and is a fan favorite, as well as, a great teammate. Cody seems like he is just a guy who enjoys every second he gets to play in the NHL. He also contributes a lot in the Denver community.
Minnesota (playing Colorado in 1st Round):
  • (LW) Nino Niederreiter- 81 GP, 14 Goals, 22 Assists, 36 Pts)- Nino had an up and down season in Minnesota, spending time on every line from the 1st to the 4th throughout the year. It just came out recently that he will be moving to Center in the post-season, which seems like a natural move for the big bodied Swiss. It really makes me nervous though, that someone as talented as Nino, has not found a natural fit in the NHL yet, with the Islanders or Minnesota.
St. Louis (playing Chicago in 1st Round):

  • (LW) Brenden Morrow- 71 GP, 13 Goals, 12 Assists, 25 Pts)- At the beginning of the year, this seemed like it could be Morrow's last chance at a cup. He had a bit of a career resurgence, though with his best season since 2011-12, which was much better than his poor post season with Pittsburgh last year would have led you to believe. The unfortunate thing for Morrow is that he injured his foot late in the season and was reportedly in a walking boot because of it. It seems that the Blues will need a long post-season run for Morrow to get a chance at playing.
Chicago (playing St. Louis in 1st Round)
  • (RW) Marian Hossa- 72 GP, 30 Goals, 30 Assists, 60 Pts)- Hossa had off season shoulder surgery after helping the Blackhawks win their 2nd Stanley Cup in 4 seasons and it was unknown whether he would recover his form. He proved that he still has it though, bringing him 5 points away from 1,000 career NHL points and a guaranteed spot in the Hall of Fame. A third cup would go a long way in helping him lock that spot up.
Columbus (playing Pittsburgh in 1st Round):

  • (C) Brandon Dubinsky- 76 GP, 16 Goals, 34 Assists, 50 Pts)- Dubinsky has made his home with the Blue Jackets, after being part of the trade for Rick Nash. He had his best season in the NHL since 2010-11 and has been one of heir best two way forwards.
  • (C) Ryan Johansen- 82 GP, 33 Goals, 30 Assists, 63 Pts)- Johansen had a break out season in Columbus and after getting benched in the playoffs in the AHL last season, this is even more impressive. We all knew he would make a great professional with his large frame and solid two way play, but the potential he has shown this year is incredible.
Philadelphia (playing the New York Rangers in the 1st Round):

  • (D) Braydon Coburn- 82 GP, 5 Goals, 12 Assists, 17 Pts)- Coburn has been the steady, nearly mistake free Defensemen, since his 15 year old season in Portland. He has continued this now for 8 seasons with the Flyers and is one of only 4 players (Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell are the others) that are still remaining from their 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final team. Coburn just doesn't get the attention he deserves, because a lot of the great things he does on the ice are overlooked.
Regardless of how the NHL playoffs turn out, it is a great time for you to pridefully turn to your non-Winterhawks fan friends and say, "yeah you see that guy? I saw him play in Junior!"

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