Thursday, 30 April 2015

First Round Comes to a Close

Hello follks! The first round of the playoffs is officially over. 8 teams have been eliminated. 8 more are one step closer to hockey glory.

Last week, I profiled the 6 Christians I’m aware of that were involved in the playoffs. 1 was eliminated, and only 5 remained. We’ll take a look at how these remaining Christians in this year’s NHL playoffs did this past week.

Matt Cullen and Mike Fisher

Cullen and Fisher, who both play for the Nashville Predators, were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks this past week. Fisher returned in game 5 and added an assist to force game 6. In game 6, Cullen scored for the Predators as they battled to force game 7. Unfortunately, they gave up a 3-1 lead, and lost 4-3. Cullen and Fisher are both unrestricted free agents this offseason. Fisher seems sure he’ll get a deal done with the Predators, while Cullen is undecided if he will continue to play or retire. Both players played well for the Predators this past year will have contracts in the NHL next year if they want.

Dan Hamhuis

Hamhuis and the Canucks were eliminated this past week at the hands of the Calgary Flames. Hamhuis got an assist in the Canucks game 5 win, but despite the Canucks taking a 3-0 lead just 10 minutes into game 6, they lost 7-4 and were eliminated. Hamhuis’ season isn’t over yet though, as he will represent Canada at the 2015 World Championships. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.
    
Eric Fehr

It’s been a good and bad week for Eric Fehr. Bad since he hasn’t been able to return from injury, and good since his team advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Fehr will travel with the Capitals to New York for their first 2 games against the Rangers, but his status is uncertain.

Marc Staal

Staal and the Rangers advanced to the second round this past week; with Staal logging 26:08 in the Rangers game 5 win which eliminated the Penguins. The Rangers are set to face Eric Fehr and the Washington Capitals in their next round. The Rangers are favored in the series, and are chomping at the bit to start the series with a game 1 win tonight.
      
That was a quick look at how the Christians playing in the NHL have fared. Matt Cullen and Mike Fisher have been eliminated, along with Dan Hamhuis. Hamhuis will represent his country at the World Championships, while Marc Staal and Eric Fehr will battle each other in the second round of these 2015 NHL playoffs.


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Christians in the NHL Playoffs

The 2015 NHL playoffs are underway!  Based on my current knowledge, 6 proclaimed Christians are participants in this year’s competition. Let’s take a look at each of them one at a time.

Paul Postma
The Winnipeg Jets were the first team eliminated from the 2015 NHL playoffs. Paul Postma, a defender for the Jets, has had many trials this season. After a blood clot was discovered in his leg last year and limited his play, Postma hoped to have a bounce back season. Injuries plagued the Jets defense core early in the season, and Paul played well in their absence. Once the team was healthy again, and due to the emergence of fellow defensemen Ben Chiarot and the acquisition of Jay Harrison, Postma became a healthy scratch for 27 straight games.
His opportunity to play again came on March 14th. The Jets were in dire need of a win to keep pace in the playoff race. Paul played well, and helped lead the Jets to an important win. He had shown he could still play. Two days later, it was revealed he had suffered an injury and would be out for multiple weeks. He never was able to return for the season. Tough break, but look for him to have a good season next year.
     
Matt Cullen
Matt Cullen is a versatile forward for the Nashville Predators, who is in his 17th NHL season. This is his second year with the Predators, and he has been an important veteran presence on the team during their breakout season. The Predators are one game from elimination, but will be able to count on Cullen as they strive to come back in their series.

Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher is another veteran forward on the Nashville Predators. His season got off on the wrong foot, as he was forced to miss the first 2 months of the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon during a training session in the summer. Once he returned to the lineup in late November, he was the effective leader we've gotten used to seeing perform so well. He also became a father, as his wife, Carrie Underwood, gave birth to their first child, Isaiah Michael Fisher. Exciting times for the Fisher family. On the ice unfortunately, he was injured in game 1 of the his series, and has been unable to return. His status for game 5 is unknown.
                 
Dan Hamhuis
Dan Hamhuis is a defensemen for the Vancouver Canucks.  He has had to battle through some injuries this season and missed nearly 2 months of play after he tore his groin in November.  After he elected to not have surgery, he returned to the lineup in January. The injury has still plagued him, but he continues to battle like a warrior. The Canucks need 3 wins and no losses to get to the next round, and we know Dan will be there battling to the very end.

Eric Fehr
Eric Fehr is a forward for the Washington Capitals. He’s gone through a lot in his NHL career, and it appeared his career might’ve been over in 2012. After a stint in Europe during the NHL lockout, Fehr signed with the Capitals, and has had 3 productive seasons with them since. Similar to Mike Fisher, Fehr has been injured in his first round playoff series, and has not returned.

Marc Staal
Marc Staal, a defensemen for the New York Rangers, has enjoyed a healthy and productive season. 4 years removed from a serious concussion, and 2 years removed from a scary eye injury, Staal has been playing great hockey. His great play has rewarded him with a contract extension with the Rangers, and has helped them get 1 game away from advancing to the second round. No doubt they’ll be aiming to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals with a different result this time.
       
This was a quick look at some of the Christians playing in the NHL playoffs this year. In future weeks, I’ll keep you updated on how their playoffs are going. Unfortunately, Postma and the Jets are eliminated. Cullen and Fisher will hope to lead the Predators back in their series. Same goes for Dan Hamhuis. Fehr’s Capitals are even in their series, and Marc Staal seems destined to make the next round.

Let’s pray for them as they seek to glorify Christ with the gifts He has blessed them with.