With a network as vast as ours here at SB Nation, we figured we'd put our fine hockey bloggers to good use. You've got questions every week. We know. And we're here to help.
Each Monday at noon ET we'll take your questions on Twitter at @SBNationNHL. Our NHL Blog Council (made up of different bloggers from around the SBN hockey network) will meet and consider your queries. And on Wednesday we will render our verdicts to the masses.
Without further ado ...
Blog Council: COMMENCE
@SBNationNHL Which of Gretzky's standing records will fall first?— BKS (@gusbeansjr) December 21, 2015
Cornelius Hardenbergh, Stanley Cup of Chowder: Most of his career scoring records are untouchable once goalies and defenses stopped ineffectively waiving at the other team. Could it be a trophy? It won't be Art Ross, it won't be Hart, it won't be Ted Lindsay unless Crosby really blows up for three more seasons. He's only got two Conn Smythes, but Patrick Roy has three, so it's not a record. Even something like short-handed goals are tough. He scored a short-handed every 20 games or so. Brad Marchand isn't quite at that pace, but he's close. But to keep it up over the 20 years required to beat it? Unlikely.
He was the best player to ever lace up skates that wasn't named Bobby Orr, and he played in the wild 80s. So, I'm guessing it'll be a single-game record when someone like Sam Gagner goes wild on a bad team again.
Kurt R., Broad Street Hockey: Sheesh. He has a lot of standing records that really do seem unbreakable, don't they? Out of the ones on that list, let's say ... seven straight single-season scoring titles. Crosby came reasonably close to doing this on a per-game basis in the earlier part of his career, and he'd have likely had five in a row over each of the past five seasons had he stayed healthy, which suggests it's not out of the realm of possibility for the next transcendent player to do. Granted, a whole lot of things would have to go right for whoever it was (Connor McDavid admittedly comes to mind) to pull it off, but it still seems more feasible than almost any of the other records The Great One holds.
Eric Kveton, Jewels From The Crown: It almost feels like cheating to pick one of his numerous All-Star Game records, since his 25 career ASG points look quaint in an era when 25 goals in an ASG would be a grinding affair. So, I'm going with Gretzky's single game assist record of seven. Sure, it'd take a perfect storm (and an awful goalie), but breaking most of his other records would require about 82 perfect storms to strike.
Satchel Price, Second City Hockey: This is like trying to predict which solar system we’ll fly to once humanity figures out interstellar flight. Some of Gretzky’s records feel so unattainable in the present-day NHL that they’re probably unbreakable, not unlike Cy Young’s 512 wins in baseball. It’s just a different game these days and barring a radical shift in play style -- which, hey, entirely possible -- many of Gretzky’s records feel out of reach. With that said, Gretzky has set so many records that at least a portion of them might be doable. One that I’ll suggest is Gretzky’s record of 40-goal seasons: 12. Alex Ovechkin is on pace for his eighth 40-goal season and at age 30 could still have several more left in him. Let's go with that.
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Cornelius Hardenbergh, Stanley Cup of Chowder: The Rangers weren't really all that good to begin with, and now Henrik Lundqvist isn't channeling the ghost of 2011 Playoffs Tim Thomas. It's not really much more complicated than that, I think. Can we talk about how the habs are trash right now instead? Because they are. They absolutely are.
Kurt R., Broad Street Hockey: They're not a team that's well-equipped enough to withstand any sort of cold streak by their goalie. Granted, that's true of most teams, but when you rely on your goalie as much as the Rangers do on Henrik Lundqvist, and when he has a rare cold streak that he currently seems to be on, it'll squeeze you a bit. That, and their defense just doesn't seem to be as good as most thought it would be. Ryan McDonagh doesn't seem to be the same (though playing alongside the remains of Dan Girardi for much of the year surely doesn't help matters), nor does Marc Staal. They've got the talent there to turn it around, but there's ample reason to be worried.
Eric Kveton, Jewels From The Crown: It's easy to look at the Rangers' skid and see it as the flipping of a switch from good to bad, but this team isn't that different from the one that started the year 16-3-2. The odd part, as of late, has been that the problem isn't a lack of scoring (which contributed to the initial slump). Rather, Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta finally faltered, and the deluge came once those two stopped covering up the weaknesses on the blue line. Defensive lapses are bad news for a team with a Corsi For percentage of 48. Oh, and those possession figures will get worse with the return of Dan Girardi.
The cushion they built helps, though, and they showed tighter coverage in yesterday's win over Anaheim. Combining that with a bounce back from Lundqvist could pull them out of their nosedive.
Satchel Price, Second City Hockey: Goaltending can be the thing that turns a rough stretch into a disastrous one. The Rangers usually have been able to rely on the steady glove of Henrik Lundqvist, but the team has an 87.6 save percentage over its past 14 games. That’s how the past month, in which New York has taken a step back in possession and shown some leaks on the defensive end, has gotten so ugly. The Rangers were never a team equipped to play end-to-end and rack up goals in a shootout. That’s become painfully clear as their goal prevention has gone south since Thanksgiving.
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If you could send every gift from from the "12 Days of Christmas" song to one NHL player, which player would you choose and why?
Cornelius Hardenbergh, Stanley Cup of Chowder: Probably Zac Rinaldo, so he's too busy keeping track of all of it to actually make it to practice or games or being a part of the Bruins in general. Either that or Brent Burns, who would be able to do proper care and feeding.
Kurt R., Broad Street Hockey: I would definitely send them all to Brandon Dubinsky because he deserves to receive a gift that would be as annoying as he is.
Eric Kveton, Jewels From The Crown: Ryan Getzlaf. Half the gifts are birds, so they'd fit right in with the Ducks. Half of them are humans who could presumably put on skates, jump on the ice and draw the opposing defenders away long enough for Getzlaf to score a goal, because even I feel bad for the guy at this point. And eventually, all the gifts combined would be enough of a locker room distraction to further tank Anaheim's season.
Satchel Price, Second City Hockey: Hmmmm a lot of these gifts are animals so I’d probably go with a player who loves animals. I’d say David Backes, who started the Athletes for Animals charity, but he’s officially disqualified as a result of this video. So, let’s go with Evgeni Malkin because I definitely know he’d appreciate being gifted like 15 birds.