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Hockey Players Club Podcast, Episode 27

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With a wild start to the NHL playoffs, HPC podcast co-host Kevin Kustron hopes none of the pod listeners took any advice from the crew for their brackets or Weekly Picks predictions. As not a single podcast member predicted the Columbus Blue Jackets or New York Islanders seeing the second round, let alone sweeping their first-round opponents.

Kittelberger, fortunately, didn’t have to witness too much of the Penguins first-round woes after being laid up on a beach drinking daiquiris in Costa Rica for 5 days. Which explains his dogshit goaltending performance in his Monday night beer league game.

Schwartz deservingly chirps Rubeo for his terrible beer league etiquette. Having bailed on the team with an email 40 mins before puck drop, the Dogs were left with 7 skaters. One guy scored 5 goals. One guy showed up drunk after a “late work happy hour.” Another guy shit himself mid-game.


Minnesota-Duluth captured their second-straight NCAA title beating UMass 3-0. They’re the first team since the University of Denver (2004 and 2005) to win back-to-back championships.

Further proving to be the draft lottery good luck charm, Taylor Hall‘s New Jersey Devils won the rights to the 1st overall pick in this summer’s NHL draft. Jack Hughes is widely considered the consensus number 1 pick but Kaapo Kakko out of Finland certainly won’t make that decision easy for Devil’s GM Ray Shero.

As predicted by Kittelberger on last week’s pod, Joel Quenneville signed to a long term contract with the Florida Panthers. While the Flyers signed Alain Vigneault and the Kings hired Todd McLellan to their head coaching vacancies.

As for the NHL playoffs in the East…

Is the Blue Jackets’ sweep of the Lightning the biggest upset in recent NHL history? What was Kucherov thinking with the headshot that got him suspended for game 3? Was Panarin being a dick to Kucherov in the handshake line? And what’s up with the Lightning’s near-instant apology to their fans via twitter?!

The Bruins-Maple Leafs series has been a fun one to watch, tied up at 2-2. Nazem Kadri certainly isn’t helping the Leafs after being suspended for the remainder of the playoffs for his retaliatory cheap shot on Jake DeBrusk.

The Capitals came out hot going up 2-0 vs. the Hurricanes after an OT snipe by Brooks Orpik in game 2. Game 3 saw Alex Ovechkin KO Andrei Svechnikov, somehow rallying the Hurricanes to a 5-0 victory.


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K O-vie (🎥: @hockeycollective)

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Our Pittsburgh-born podcast crew was obviously left stunned and disappointed with the Pens first-round sweep. Props to the Islanders for holding the Pens to only 6 goals in the series and winning every game, except game 1, in regulation.

And the playoffs out West have not disappointed…

At the time of recording, the Dallas Stars were up 5-0 on the Nashville Predators in game 4 to even the series at 2. Rookie sensation Miro Heiskanen has continued his stellar play, scoring 2 goals in his playoffs debut while logging the most ice time behind Kris Letang.

The Jets and Blues series has been just as good as anticipated, although we’re still waiting for a home team to win a game. What’s up with that?! If the trend continues, the Blues will be moving on after a game 7 win in Winnipeg’s barn.

Since the Flames torched the Avalanche in game 1 with a 4-0 victory, the Avalanche are giving the Flames everything they can handle, taking a 2-1 series lead into Wednesday night’s game. Nathan MacKinnon scored the overtime game winner in game 2 and Hobey Baker-winner Cale Makar made his NHL debut in game 3, burying a goal against the Flames Mike Smith.

It’s been all Golden Knights since the Sharks took game 1, 5-2. But thanks to the Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Paul Stastny line, (the top 3 in playoff scoring) the Golden Knights have the Sharks on the brink of elimination. Plus, there have been some great storylines from Joe Thornton’s suspension (for his headshot on Nosek) and trash talking to Kane and Reeves fight and ensuing social media beef.


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And will Jaromir Jagr ever stop scoring sick goals?


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In case you forgot, 47 year old @jj68jaromirjagr has still got it. 🤭🚨

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All before…

Weekly Picks:

First time Weekly Picks player, Rezija Laumane led the pack last week, winning a free $20 HPC gift card. And Rubeo reminds everyone to get their picks in for this week and the entire playoffs for a chance to win an HPC XV3 hockey stick, Power Play hat, vintage tee, and accessory bag for leading the playoff’s leaderboard.

Place your Weekly Picks now!

Top Shelf Trivia:

Kittelberger brings this week’s Top Shelf Trivia with NHL captains in mind.

Please follow and reach out to the Hockey Players Club via InstagramFacebook, and Twitter to submit your questions and comments to the HPC podcast crew.

Ever wonder, why are hockey sticks so expensive?! Check out our full explanation here.

Need help buying the right hockey stick for you? Check out The Ultimate Hockey Stick Buying Guide.

Want a light, top-of-the-line hockey stick without spending an arm and a leg?! Check out our XV3 hockey sticks.

Looking to improve your game and score more goals? Check out the video Schwartz and Rubeo made about improving your catch-and-release shooting:

And don’t forget to check out our:

Shooting in Your Stride To Score More Goals Like Phil Kessel [VIDEO]

VIDEO: 5 Drills to Improve Your Snapshot

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