Best of the Nation - 12.16.12

Jonathan Willis
December 16 2012 11:23AM

The lockout keeps rolling on, but that doesn't mean we lacked for quality content this week. We had another entry in our "Worst to First" jerseys series, talked about the frightening salary cap situation for a bunch of teams, looked at how forward usage by NHL coaches has evolved over the last few seasons, talked about the World Juniors and buyouts, the lockout and the league's very best prospect, as well as half a dozen things I'm not even mentioning.

More after the jump!

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AGD: Looking for back of the net

Kent Wilson
December 15 2012 02:39PM


Time: 8:00pm MST

Location: Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre

Broadcast: SNET

While the Heat have deserved a better fate in some of the games they've lost this month, last night wasn't one of those instances. Abbotsford was being outshot 21-5 at one point in the second and spent a generous portion of the evening in the penalty box. The 3-1 score probably flattered them.

The Heat can get right back on the horse tonight against the Stars, potentially with the return (maybe) if Sven Baertschi. Scoring has continued to be an issue in his absence and there's no question he is the most creative offensive talent on the club by a wide margin.

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AGD: Stars Double Header

Kent Wilson
December 14 2012 05:15PM


Time: 8:00pm

Location: Abbotsford Sport and Entertainment Centre


Tonight the Heat are back at home in Abbotsford where they'll play the first of two games in two nights against the Texas Stars. The Heat remain the best team in the Western Conference despite losing four of their last five games. The Stars, in contrast, have steadily moved up the standings over the last month or so, collecting six wins and two OT losses in their last 10 games. They currently sit tied for 5th in the West with 27 points, seven back of Abbotsford.

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WHOAtherspoon! Or Why Brossoit got Cut

December 14 2012 03:27PM

You can all go ahead and admit it, you did NOT see this one coming.

Today was the easiest part of any coach's job. The cuts. And while Team Canada didn't cut as many players as they'd like to, they did cut a lot of them.

(I'm being told I have to stop quoting the Simpsons before FOX sues us, so let's just move on)

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Let’s talk about contraction

Jonathan Willis
December 14 2012 11:54AM

Contraction is a favourite concept of hockey writers around North America. For those who simply want to see higher-calibre hockey, it’s a beautiful dream – fewer teams means higher quality players at the highest level, something that can’t help but result in better hockey. Most recently, though, contraction has emerged as a preferred cudgel with which to beat the NHLPA.

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