National Gridiron League Announced

NGL Helmet Logo

The sport of Gridiron in Australia has been bolstered from the announcement in June that Channel Seven has picked up the exclusive rights to show the NFL over the next five years.

The timing was perfect for the  launch of the first ever National Gridiron League in Australia. The governing body of the NGL remains independent to the rest of the Gridiron Association in Australia. However, the NGL claim that it will benefit the leagues and teams already in place throughout Australia.

“We believe that the existing organizations will significantly benefit from NGL marketing, player and management development programs. We are confident NGL marketing campaigns will create additional awareness of the sport in Australia, which will also benefit the recruitment and funding opportunities for local leagues and clubs.” a spokesperson on the website said.

Currently the league is slated to begin in 2016 with eight teams having already been announced through QLD, NSW and Canberra.
They are:

  • Brisbane
  • Canberra
  • Gold Coast
  • Logan City
  • Newcastle
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Sydney
  • Wollongong

Further expansion will occur through 2017/18 with teams from Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia coming on board.
According to the website this will help the game in multiple areas grow while also creating a foundation for the players to showcase their skills and be seen by a wider audience.

They are taking extra time and caution to make sure that the league will be sustainable through revenue with how it will operate. This is obviously one reason why it is still another year away. It is a huge gamble but one which we hope will pay off in the long run.

“Following extensive consultation and research, the NGL has developed a very exhaustive funding and revenue model that has been designed for sustainable operation in a challenging environment. All aspects of operation will be constantly reviewed for the next two years before first kick off to ensure sustainability and ongoing success of Gridiron in Australia.”

source: http://www.nglaustralia.com.au/national-gridiron-league/

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Gustav Nyquist – NHL’s Most Underrated Player in 2014?

Gustav+Nyquist+Detroit+Red+Wings+v+New+York+ydSC6CVlAKPl

Is Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist the most underrated player in the NHL in 2014?

There is no denying the fact that if it weren’t for Gustav ‘Goose’ Nyquist the Red Wings would be in a vastly different position at this stage of the season. With injuries to star players Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit needed someone to step up and fill the void left by these two big shoes. Enter Gustav Nyquist, picked in the 4th round (121st overall), 2008 NHL Draft. He played the last 3 seasons with the farm team Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL and occasionally played for Detroit due to an injury or another player’s performance. Biding his time with the Griffins, he has proven his worth for the defending AHL Champions time and time again.

In the 2013/14 season however, it has seen him be a regular starter for Detroit. It wasn’t all parades and parties for Nyquist though, he managed to amass only 9 pts in 16 games entering the new year. This was anything but spectacular. It was mid January and leading into the Olympic break that the ‘goose’ got going.  He was placed on various line combinations until Coach Mike Babcock found his perfect match. Veteran players in Johan Franzen and David Legwand (who was transferred from Nashville during the trade window) supported him and gave him the confidence with the puck he looked like he had been lacking to date. He has since put up incredible numbers so much so that the NHL recognised him as the ‘NHL First Star Of The Week’ last week.

From January 18th to the end of February 2014, he put up 17 pts in 13 games with a +7 rating to boot. This got media pundits head’s turning and everyone started wanting a piece of Nyquist. Queue the month of March. 18 pts in 15 games including crucial goals against Toronto, Pittsburgh and Minnesota in situations that looked dire for Detroit’s playoff hopes. The question here is, where to next for this kid? Can he keep this sort of form up for the remainder of the regular season to help Detroit make its 23rd straight playoff appearance?

My gut instincts scream yes. Not since Sergei Fedorov and Pavel Datsyuk when they burst onto the scene have we seen this type of potential really materialize in front of us in a short amount of time. We all knew he had exceptional talent growing up, that’s why the scouting staff here in Detroit are some of the best in the business, they have a knack for getting the young hopeful superstars.

Here is the video of his highlight reel goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning two days ago.

One of the most sensational goals I have seen all season long. Next up an ‘Original 6′ match-up against the NHL leading Boston Bruins. If he can manage to keep his pts scoring streak going, the time would be now against the Bruins.

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Posted in Detroit Redwings

Canberra Brave Making Exciting Moves

The Brave making a social media footprint.

The Australian Ice-Hockey League (AIHL) 2014 season is about to kick into gear and bring us a whole bunch of fresh surprises and upset’s along the way. However, before it begins, one team is making big noise with its moves across social media outlets. That team is the Canberra Brave.

One of these ‘moves’ is their attention to Twitter and Facebook – the two juggernauts – using social media for the masses has been instrumental to the Brave. Canberra have established their return to fame in such a way that it has won over the heart of the Hockey community in Australia and abroad. This video below exemplifies their purpose and focus for the 2014 campaign. Are you ready to watch the ‘Brave’ and be pumped local fans? And rival fans, are you quietly adopting a second team?

They haven’t stopped there with the hype. Just tonight the Canberra Brave have announced their import goalie, Petri Pitkänen. The 22 yr-old Finnish goaltender plays for KeuPa HT in Suomi-Sarja (division 3) of the Finnish League. They won the championship this year and will be promoted to Mestis (division 2) next season. Here are his stats courtesy of Elite Prospects

2006-07 JYP U16 Jr. C SM-sarja Q 7 4.81 .876 |         
JYP U16 Jr. C SM-sarja 11 6.86 .880 |         
 2007-08 JYP U18 Jr. B SM-sarja 11 3.13 .906 |         
 2008-09 JYP U18 Jr. B I-divisioona 14 1.78 .939 |         
 2009-10 KeuPa HT II-divisioona 14 3.00 .924 |         
 2010-11 KeuPa HT II-divisioona 3 2.67 .890 | Qualification 3 5.21 .838 
 2011-12 KeuPa HT Suomi-sarja 34 3.06 .918 | Qualification 6 6.68 .800 
 2012-13 KeuPa HT Suomi-sarja 27 2.80 .923 | Qualification 4 3.02 .914 
 2013-14 Hydraulic Oilers Suomi-sarja 7 - .868 |         
LeKi Mestis 0 - - |         
KeuPa HT Suomi-sarja 11 - .923 | Playoffs 8 - .921 
CBR Brave AIHL - - -

 

As you can see, he has been growing in confidence and his stats have been improving over the years. Remembering this kid is only 22 yrs of age. He will be fresh from the excitement of a championship win and hope he can bring the same to the Brave.

 

Petri Pitkänen doing his thing in net for KeuPa HT (attributed to Teemu Eirtovaara for the picture).

Petri Pitkänen doing his thing in net for KeuPa HT (attributed to Teemu Eirtovaara for the picture).

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Posted in AIHL News

San Jose Sharks Cherished Gift

Sam Tageson stands next to his hero's while the National Anthem is playing.

LIFE long fan of the San Jose Sharks, 18-yr-old, Sam Tageson signed a ‘One Day Contract’. Sam has had a heart syndrome since birth and today received possibly the most heart felt and genuine gift a fan could ever dream of coming true.

He was given the opportunity by the Sharks Foundation and Make A Wish Foundation to get suited up with his beloved team and skate out onto the Ice. He was able to practice with the team earlier in the day before watching from the bench as the Sharks came out for a pre-game skate. He stood with his favorite players as the national anthem rung out around SAP Center. The crowd gave him a standing ovation. Overwhelmed with emotion, Sam waved to the crowd before heading back down the players tunnel. All the while,  the players were up standing to acknowledge their favorite fan.

Watching this video is one of the best professional sporting moments the world could see. Sam Tageson you strong, brave boy… We salute you son.

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Posted in San Jose Sharks

Week 3 Game Day Previews Assassins vs Jokers, Anarchy vs Wolves

X-league played at Maximum Skating Arena, Tuesday Nights'

X-league played at Maximum Skating Arena, Tuesday Nights’

Maximum Skating Arena, Smeaton Grange.

Good afternoon Hockey lovers. Tonight’s X-League games are upon us and another week of Simon Says Sport Podcast is on.

Listen below for all tonight’s pre-game talk, stats and strats.

 

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Posted in X-League

GAME REVIEW: Detroit Scrapes Past Edmonton

2014-03-15 11.28.18

Tomas Tatar looks on as line-mate Riley Sheahan puts the Redwings on the board. (photo attributed to Getty Images)

Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan.

Detroit overcame the Edmonton Oilers’ in dramatic fashion as Tomas Tatar scored the winning shoot-out goal and Jimmy Howard made the save on Taylor Hall to save the Redwings’ from embarrassment.

 In the 3rd period, Brendan Smith made an error in judgement in his own end and made a pass right in front of Howard to veteran Ryan Smyth, who beat Howard. An embarrassed Smith was smiling and gratefully thanking his heroes in Tatar and Howard for saving his skin, in what could’ve been a devastating blow to their playoff hopes.

 Detroit, who are right in the hunt for the final wildcard spot in the East, came into the game on the back of 2 losses to Columbus and the New York Rangers. Edmonton on the other end of the equation are still trying to find their niche with the young players and the veterans coming together. Coming off a loss to red-hot St.Louis the night previous took some of the gas out of the tank.

This did not show in the 1st period however, Edmonton heaping the pressure on Howard and making the Olympic goaltender come up big. Detroit shifted momentum in their favour. It was the make shift “Kid Line” of Sheahan, Tatar and tonight Miller that caused Edmonton problems down low. Sheahan scored on a beautiful one-two exchange with Tomas Tatar, who found Sheahan in the slot, he popped it over the glove of Fasth.

Tomas Tatar dekes around Fasth to score the winning shoot-out goal. (photo tributed to Duane Burleson)

Tomas Tatar dekes around Fasth to score the winning shoot-out goal. ( AP photo attributed to Duane Burleson)

Much of the game went the Redwings way. Piling the pressure on the tired Edmonton defense while moving the puck well out of their own end. Detroit had four opportunities on the powerplay to convert but failed to do so. The most crucial one being in over-time on a delay of game penalty called on Marincin. Detroit didn’t manage to generate the chances that they should’ve, clearly missing the likes of Datsyuk and Zetterberg on the powerplay lines.

The surprising player of the game was Grand Rapids Griffins leading scorer, Teemu Pulkkinen. He has become the sixth rookiee to play for Detroit this season, and impress while doing so. Pulkkinen’s highlight of the night was certainly when he lined up David Perron just over the Detroit blue line with a well-timed hip check to send him hurtling. The Finnish native contributing 2 shots and 7:36 of ice-time.

In an interview post game, Teemu had this to say of his first NHL game experience.

You play your first game, your full of energy, I feel like I still have energy, so it was good for me I played hard every shift. The guys helped me a lot, they told me what to do in certain situations. Thanks to the guys, it was easy for me to play.”

Here is the highlight of the Pulkkinen hit on Perron

Coming into this game Jimmy Howard has no worries facing Edmonton. In fact he was 9-0-0 with a 1.43 GAA, .944 SV%. Howard was perfect in the shoot-out, stopping all three shots faced including the crucial one on Hall.

Danny Dekeyser was cut by a skate during  play involving Luke Glendening and Aaron Lander in the left corner. Glendening accidentally tripped over Lander, as his skate came up high right at the unfortunate moment Dekeyser skated in, cutting his lower lip requiring two stitches. He would return to play the rest of the game.

The injury woes continue for Detroit as they have added Jurco to the IR after the Columbus Blue jackets game with an upper-body injury. Here is the full list of injuries to date.

The long list of injured Detroit players. (image courtesy of FoxSports Detroit)

The long list of injured Detroit players. (image courtesy of FoxSports Detroit)

Simon Says 3 Stars Of The Game

  1. Tomas Tatar – GWG Shoot-out, 1 A, 16:26 ice-time
  2. Jimmy Howard – 3 sv in SO, 21 sv, .955 sv%, 64:54 TOI
  3. Riley Sheahan – 1 G, 2 SOG, 17:08 ice-time
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Posted in Detroit Redwings

X-League week 2 round up with Simon Says Sport

X league Cup

X-League Week 2 Simon Says Podcast

Podcast for week 2 of the X-League is now up at the soundcloud link below. Game day reviews, stats and news all discussed in this weeks release. It’s my first show and there’s some things I need to smooth out but it’s a lot of fun to do. I will endeavour to do these weekly, every Friday.

Sit back relax, and don’t laugh at me too much :D

 

 IMG_2444IMG_24452014-03-03 17.21.23969819_370176463109123_2071826764_n1157597_370176593109110_778566091_a

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Posted in X-League
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