Blake’s Takes: Player Polls & Trick Shots

Although it was a quiet week in the NHL, most of my takes this week are not COVID-19 related. We could all use some positive news. On that note, today is my 25th birthday, so please include your birthday wishes in the comments. Stay safe everyone!

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Blake’s Takes: The Pause Lingers On

We’re entering another week of quarantine. I hope everyone is staying inside and is assisting in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. Sadly, a few new NHL players tested positive for COVID-19 last week. However, there was a bit of good news that I’m happy to talk about. The virus hasn’t stopped me from giving you all the hot takes you deserve.

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Blake’s Takes: COVID-19 Continues

We’re still in quarantine. The state of Illinois has issued a state-wide “shelter-in-place” warning, so I’ll be hanging out in my studio apartment for the next month. However, I still cooked up a batch of NHL-related takes for everyone. There are some things COVID-19 can’t stop!

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Blake’s Takes: COVID-19 Forces NHL to Pause Play

This might have been a slow week in the NHL, but it was the craziest in our lives. The Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the country and has forced the U.S. government to declare a national state of emergency. I’ll do my best to wrap my brain around what that means for the hockey world. Even without any games being played, I’ll still be cooking up some hot takes for everyone.

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Blake’s Takes: The Arrival of Mika Zibanejad

It was a quiet week in hockey outside of what could have been the game of the year between the Rangers and Capitals. I’ll highlight that game and the major milestones that came from it. The league also announced some news that could impact the future of emergency goalies. Happy reading.

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Blake’s Takes: Extensions in New York

The trade deadline ended last week but I missed some things in the aftermath. I’ll give my opinion on a few notable trades that also yielded extensions. There were a few other major stories around the NHL that I found worth mentioning. Happy Monday!

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How to Get a David Ayres Rookie Card

The whole sports world has been abuzz about David Ayres, the 42-year old emergency backup goaltender who manned the pipes when both Carolina Hurricanes goaltenders went down with injuries in a February 22 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ayers, who works for the Toronto Marlies AHL team as a facilities manager and Zamboni driver, was on hand for the Maple Leafs should either team need an emergency goalie. He played in nearly half of that game and stopped eight out of 10 shots that he faced, recording the win in the Hurricanes’ 6-3 victory. He is the first EBUG to be credited with a win in an NHL contest.

Of course, whenever an EBUG makes an appearance, the question is if he will be featured on a hockey card. And the answer is yes — Ayres will be featured on two hockey cards this year. One you can purchase between now and the morning of Friday, March 6, as a part of Upper Deck’s “Game Dated Moments” set. The other Ayres card will come out in May, but will be much tougher to get.

So, if you’d like to own a David Ayres rookie card right now, but don’t understand how Upper Deck E-Pack works, never bought hockey cards online before, or haven’t bought trading cards since they came packaged with gum, then read on.

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Blake’s Takes: Another Emergency Goalie!

Happy Monday and welcome back to my takes. The NHL was buzzing this weekend with big stories and exciting plays. I’ll obviously write about Hurricanes instant superstar, David Ayres, and Ovechkin finally reaching another milestone. You’ll want to read all five takes for a few other fun stories I highlighted this week.

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Blake’s Takes: The Trade Deadline Approaches

Last week we saw a few major trades in the NHL. I’ll dive deep into those and why I think all teams involved actually made smart decisions. I’ve scoured the internet for a few other takes I think everyone will enjoy, too!

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Hockey Road Trip Across the Carolinas

Hello, hockey nerds! Today, I’m hopefully going to wow all of you, and maybe inspire some of you to go on a Hockey Road Trip. Over the summer, Tom Dundon, The Most Interesting Man in Hockey, reached an agreement with the Greenville (South Carolina) Swamp Rabbits to become the ECHL affiliates of the (North) Carolina Hurricanes. This made a lot of sense as they are only little more than an hour’s drive from Charlotte where the Calder Cup Champion AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers play. Almost as soon as this was announced, my friends and I waited with bated breath for the schedules of all three teams to be published and looked for a time to visit on a Lost Hockey Weekend Roadtrip. That perfect weekend ended up being January 17 to 19, 2020.

My wife, my best friend and I planned this weekend because all three teams were playing at home on consecutive days; the Canes played on Friday, the Bog Bunnies on Saturday, and the Checkers on Sunday afternoon, which was all too perfect because with a three hour drive back, it meant that we only had spent one night out of town and without having to take a day off of work!

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