NHL Playoff Predictions

The NHL Playoffs have started, and after one of the most exciting seasons in history, many fans are looking forward to watching how it will all end. There are a lot of uncertainties for this year, and many questions to be answered. Here are my predictions for this year’s NHL Playoffs. 

Eastern Conference Winner: Carolina Hurricanes 

The Carolina Hurricanes had an incredibly successful season, finishing 3rd overall in the league. With Vezina-caliber goaltending and an incredibly deep roster, the Canes can compete with practically any team. Their biggest worry is starting the playoffs without their starting goaltender, Frederik Andersen, but if they can get him back and make it through the first round, they will likely go all the way. There aren’t really any holes within this team, which cannot be said about many of the teams in the playoffs. 

Western Conference Winner: Calgary Flames 

The Calgary Flames were the third winningest team in the Western Conference and confounded many expectations to get to the top of the Pacific Division. Their offensive output was ridiculous, with 2 100-point players in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, as well as 3 40-goal scorers. Additionally, their play in their own end was solid, with a strong defensive core as well as another Vezina candidate out of Jacob Markstrom. Because of this, the flames let in the 3rd fewest goals in the league. The flames have a relatively easy route to the conference finals, and whoever they end up facing there likely will not be prepared. 

Stanley Cup Winner: Carolina Hurricanes 

The Flames and Canes will be a spirited series from two of the most consistent teams, but I believe the edge will have to go to the Hurricanes. However, this will be an incredibly evenly matched series that will likely come with a couple of surprises. 

 

Dark Horses 

Edmonton Oilers 

Edmonton is a weird case. They have struggled a lot in recent seasons, both in and out of the playoffs, despite having the two best offensive players in the league. They have been on a losing streak in playoff games going back to 2017. Their defense and goaltending are incredibly shaky, and average at best. But the Oilers are one team I could potentially see making a solid run. They are a speedy, offensive team that can catch a lot of teams off guard. They were revitalized mid-season with the appointment of Jay Woodcroft as Head Coach, going 26-9-3 in his control and ending the season with a ton of momentum. And at least Oilers goalie Mike Smith has a decent history in the playoffs. 

 

Toronto Maple Leafs 

Toronto has not won a playoff series since 2004. If they can do as much as win this series, they could probably do anything. 

 

Series To Watch 

St. Louis vs Minnesota 

This will be the most evenly matched series in the playoffs. Two heavily offensive teams, who experienced incredibly passionate regular-season matchups, are to face off in the first round. There shouldn’t be a single game that isn’t a war. 

 

Edmonton vs Calgary 

The battle of Alberta, one of the best rivalries in the NHL, will likely return for the first time in 30 years, if there aren’t any surprises. It should be an excellent match up of star power and offense. 

 

Conn Smythe Winner-Frederik Andersen 

If the Carolina Hurricanes win the cup, I believe Andersen would be the winner as long as he could recover from his injury and previous playoff woes. He will be an important backbone to an already deep team and be a major help every step of the way. 

 

Breakout Players 

Seth Jarvis, Carolina Hurricanes 

Jarvis had a solid rookie season, with 17 goals and 40 points in 68 games. If the Canes do end up making the cup run, he will definitely be one of the many cogs that helps them get there. 

 

Bowen Byram, Colorado Avalanche 

Colorado’s 2019 first round pick had his rookie season cut short due to lingering concussion issues but was strong in the sample size we got from him. If Colorado makes a deep run, which is likely, Byram, Devon Toews, and Cale Makar will set a dangerous offensive standard for blueliners in the league. 

This year’s playoffs look to be incredibly exciting. Many teams have already defied expectations, so it’s not always easy to predict what will happen next. But no matter what happens, it’s important to just sit back and take it all in. It’s still a long road to the finals.

Opinion: Climate Change Causing Extreme Flooding in Australia

Photograph taken as flood levels were rising in Brisbane, March 2022 (Photo: Jaana Dielenberg
via Twitter @Jaana_Dielen).

Seventeen people dead. Houses, buildings, schools, and parks have been indiscriminately destroyed by terrible floods in eastern Australia. As an Australian, I am pained knowing my country is suffering due to the terrible floods.  

Recently in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia, there have been vigorous floods that are supposed to occur “once in 100 years.” Houses, buildings, schools, and parks have been destroyed by these terrible floods. These are the second “100-year floods” in the past 5 years.  

Residents of flood-prone regions in Australia are asking, “Is this the new normal?” I think it will become the “new normal”. Climate change is getting worse and worse every day, and we aren’t doing enough about it. Statistics prove these extreme weather events have been happening more frequently in recent decades. If it gets worse, it will become the new normal. 

Is climate change the issue? I feel as if it is. The Brisbane flooding is one of many natural disasters that have occurred recently. I spoke to Northwood’s Environmental Science teacher, Ms. Kelly Carter to ask if she thinks this will be the new normal and if this is a climate change-related disaster. 

“Yes, in ways this is the new normal, although what Australia is experiencing regarding extreme rainfall is due to a natural, cyclical, phenomena called La Nina that’s part of El Nino Southern Oscillation pattern,” carter said.  

Carter noted that most scientists now agree climate change is being caused by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels which add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, resulting in rising temperatures, melting glaciers and ice caps, sea level rise and overall changing weather patterns.  

Climate change “could be intensifying El Nino events and making these events happen more frequently,” Carter said. “Currently the globe is experiencing the effects of La Nina.”  

El Nino and La Nina are patterns of shifting winds and ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean between South America, Australia and SE Asia. “This pattern oscillates between El Nino and La Nina conditions every 3-7 years, bringing different weather patterns around the world, which is likely a major reason why Australia is experiencing record flooding,” Carter observed.  

Normally the trade winds blow from east to west, they reverse during an El Nino event and return to their normal direction during La Nina but with greater intensity. The stronger trade winds during La Nina events move warmer surface waters toward the coast of Australia giving them warmer and rainier conditions than the Americas.  

Carter sees climate change as a major cause of the extreme weather in Australia. “Overall, the average sea surface temperatures have risen 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1901 due to climate change, and warmer oceans will most certainly influence weather patterns and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation,” she said. 

I agree with Ms. Carter: climate change has been affecting the world severely. The world needs to wake up. If these new natural disasters become the “new normal,” humanity could become extinct. People need to have faith in science, there is scientific proof the floods in Australia are related to climate change. It is quite worrying knowing my country has been affected this badly, my attitude towards climate change has changed. This is a serious matter. 

Why is Everyone is Watching Euphoria?

If you listen closely, you’ll hear what students are talking about on campus. “What’s going to happen in the next Euphoria episode?” It seems like nearly everyone is watching the show on HBOMax.  

The cast of Euphoria features Sydney Sweeney as Cassie Howard, Hunter Schafer as Jules Vaughn, Zendaya as Rue Bennett, Maude Apatow as Lexi Howard, and Jacob Elordi as Nate Jacobs. (Photo: IMDB)

Euphoria follows a group of high school students as they try to navigate teenage life while dealing with drug addiction, physical and emotional abuse, sex, gender identity, and body insecurities.  

It’s a favorite of Northwood students, but why? Maisie Crane ’23 likes the show because it depicts real-life issues high school students face but in a fantasized way. “Younger viewers connect with the show because it’s a fantasized version of the modern-day high school life. Some of the scenarios the writers thought up, happen to multiple teenagers on a day-to-day basis,” Crane said. 

The show depicts teenage life through the variety of characters developed by Sam Levinson, the show’s creator. The issues that are shown in the television series are the same ones that your classmates could be dealing with and you wouldn’t have any idea.  

The show being rated TV-MA (Mature Audience) makes some parents nervous, and if the rating doesn’t raise concerns, the warning at the beginning of the most episodes will: “This episode contains depictions of drug abuse, very strong language, some strong violence, scenes of a sexual nature and strong images of nudity from the start.” The idea of a fifteen-year-old watching a show based on the horrors within high school is unsettling for most parents.  

Students understand parents’ concerns, but they still the think they should be allowed to watch. “Some adults don’t realize that although we are still in high school and learning, we know right from wrong, and we can choose to be persuaded or not,” said Bryan Jones ‘22 a Euphoria viewer.  

Season Two of Euphoria just concluded and is available to stream. HBOMax recently announced plans for season three. 

Celebrating Northwood’s Girls on International Women’s Day

On this International Women’s Day, The Mirror is celebrating the Northwood School students who identify as women/girls. We are recognizing each one of their accomplishments and hard work.  

Did you know that each International Women’s Day has a theme? This year’s theme is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” According to UN Women, “The year 2022 is pivotal for achieving gender equality in the context of climate change, and environmental and disaster risk reduction, which are some of the greatest global challenges of the twenty-first century. Without gender equality today, a sustainable future, and an equal future, remains beyond our reach.” 

 

Ukraine Crisis in the Classroom

Parilov/Shutterstock

The Russian invasion of Ukraine may be on the other side of the world, but in many Northwood classrooms, it’s what’s for homework and the topic of the day’s lesson. 

On February 23rd around 4:00 am, Russia started to invade Ukraine. This conflict has been an ongoing situation for many years. Russia and Ukraine had previously been close allies until Ukraine made gestures to join NATO when tensions between the neighboring countries arose. Russia was irritated when they heard Ukraine was attempting to join NATO because the two countries have been close for generations; Ukraine was part of the U.S.S.R. Russia began stationing troops around Ukraine, insisting they weren’t going to attack — until they did of February 23rd. Many innocent people have been injured or killed while Russia invaded and attacked Ukrainian military bases, infrastructure, and according to some news reports, civilian targets.  

In response to the current events happening in the world some of Northwood’s teachers have been keeping their students up to date.  

In the ninth grade Integrated Humanities class taught by Ms. Carmichael and Ms. Wardlaw, they had been listening to a podcast overviewing the events in Ukraine. The podcast touched on the people of Ukraine that are fleeing to surrounding countries, people going into Ukraine to help fight, families having to say goodbye to loved ones going to fight, commercial flights being cancelled because of the crisis, and media outlets backed by Russia being banned.  

Students also discussed war history and how this crisis compares to past events. Teachers consistently ask students’ opinions on what they were learning. They had previously written personal reflections on the crisis; in the future they will look back on what happened without any media bias.  

Also, to relate to students’ athletic interests, they discussed how Russia and Belarus, a close ally of Russia who provided support for the invasion, were getting kicked out of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Many athletic teams from around the work have objected to allowing Russia into international completions. 

Students in Ms. Odell’s and Ms. Riffle’s sophomore Integrated Humanities class are also comparing the Ukraine crisis to past wars to see how they correlate. “We learned about NATO, which was founded after World War II, and the Cold War and the Soviet Union and how it collapsed and how that relates to the current ongoing war and conflict in Ukraine and Russia,” Brian Brady ‘24 said. Brady also said he’s interested to see how the U.S. responds, and how the conflict will affect fossil fuel prices. Brady said he appreciated discussing current events in class. “It broadens our understanding of what’s happening in the world,” he said. 

Students in Mr. Nemec’s AP Macroeconomics class they have been learning about the Ukraine crisis from a financial standpoint. “In Economics, we’re trying to follow the economic impact [of the conflict],” Nemec said. “It’ll be interesting to see the effect of sanctions. The Russian economy will be directly impacted, and it’ll be interesting how their leadership navigates,” he added.  

Northwood Marks Women’s History Month

March 1st marks the start of Women’s History Month. For many years the hard work of many brave and brilliant women went unnoticed. So, to shine a light on our accomplishments Women’s History Month was created.  

Womens History Month is used to celebrate women and support them on the path to equal rights. It began as a small celebration, Women’s History Week, in Santa Rosa, California. Eventually the small celebration spread throughout America and reached the president at the time.  

According to the National Women’s History Museum, “In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.” This was the first official recognition of women’s history by a president. The preceding presidents followed in Carter’s footsteps until 1987 when Womens History Week was officially changed to Women’s History Month. 

To celebrate the women of Northwood School, a few students volunteer to do a presentation at our school meeting. They inform our community of the importance of Women’s History Month and highlight key events of women’s suffrage which are usually explained along with quotes from important and influential women.  

2022 also marks 50 years of coeducation at Northwood. Previously, Northwood had been an all-male school for 66 years before women began attending in 1971. The incorporation of women into Northwood school was an impactful step in the school’s history.  

Northwood Alum Drury has Sights Set on Gold in Beijing

Kevin Drury ’06 (Photo: Getty Images)

Northwood graduate Kevin Drury ‘06 is competing in the Winter Olympics Games in Beijing, China. Drury is 33, competes for Canada and was born and still resides in Toronto, Ontario.

Drury competes in ski cross, a freestyle event where skiers must race through a challenging course at top speeds against 4 other competitors. Drury was a talented alpine racer at Northwood and later found success on the ski team at University of Vermont as he got second in the giant slalom in the 2011 NCAA championships.

This will be his second time competing for Canada in the Olympics. He also competed in PyeongChang in 2018 where he finished fourth, just shy of the podium. More recently, Drury has gained a lot of success and respect after receiving silver in the 2020 world cup for ski cross. This makes Drury won of the top competitors in the world for his sport and a favorite to podium or win this year’s Olympics.

All of Drury’s heats will take place on Friday, February 18. A complete schedule of his competition is available here.

Composting Program Improves School’s Sustainability

A student puts compostable waste into the Blue Line Compost bucket (photo: Conrad Katzander ’22)

Northwood’s Environmental Club is working to advance sustainability at Northwood by diverting our food waste from the landfill through a new composting initiative. Northwood is partnering with Blue Line Compost, a local small business, to help manage the collection process and turn our food waste into great compost.

Northwood generates a significant amount of food waste in the form of pre-consumer and post-consumer waste every day. The food waste that we throw into the trash goes to the landfill and creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Food waste also takes up valuable space in the landfill. By sending our food waste to Blue Line Compost we will significantly reduce our carbon footprint as a school and will also benefit the community by creating amazing soil that can be used by the people who grow our food.

Composting is an easy thing that can substantially benefit the community.

According to the Blue Line Compost web site the company “is committed to rebuilding soils, helping our local agricultural community, and working within our local economy.”

What can we compost at Northwood?  

Anything that is edible, sauces, soups, bread, bones, meat, fish, citrus, egg shells, shellfish, coffee grounds, coffee filters, napkins, paper towels, paper towel rolls, parchment paper, wooden stirrers, shredded office paper, brown paper bags, and compostable paper take-out containers.

What can’t we compost at our school? 

Metal, glass, plastic, ashes, compostable plastic, gum, wax, brines or cures, bulk salt, pet food, pet waste, baby wipes, dryer sheets, lint, junk mail, or receipts.

The composting program began shortly before February break and will continue through the end of the year and hopefully beyond.

Opinion: Australia Was Right to Deny Djokovic 

Novak_Djokovic_AO_win_2011

Djokovic with the 2011 Australian open trophy. (Photo: CC BY-SA 2.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Novak_%C4%90okovi%C4%87#/media/File:Novak_Djokovic_AO_win_2011.jpg

On January 9th, my home country and city started hosting the infamous Australian Open, the prestigious tournament that dates to 1905. Despite the optimistic Melbournians (City Where the tournament is hosted) who are enthusiastic about finally being out of a year of harsh lockdown, there has been major controversy over the reigning champion Novak Djokovic’s visa application. 

Djokovic, the Serbian tennis star currently ranked number one in the world, had his entry visa denied by the Australian government. He appealed, won the appeal and was allowed to enter but authorities then revoked his visa again and he was prohibited from entering the country and winning the tournament for a tenth time.  

A few of my mates from home who are of Serbian descent have posted photos on social media protesting Djokovic’s absence. I spoke to some of them, and they all seemed agitated about the decisions. I asked my friend Luka Jevtic what his thoughts were on the decision. “Extremely frustrated and unfair, we were going to go watch him play,” Jevtic said. I sympathized for my mates back home because this is such an important event for my city and not having the world’s best player here is a huge loss. He is such a huge role model to the people in Australia and it is devastating for many young athletes, like my little cousin who idolized Djokovic. I feel bad for tennis fans back home. 

After speaking to some people back home, I wasn’t sure whether my country was doing the right thing. As an Australian, I have concluded that my country did the right thing. Djokovic shouldn’t be at this year’s tournament because he is anti-vaccination and broke several covid rules during a critical time. He was spotted in public shortly after testing positive, which is extremely unethical and infuriating.  

Many people are saying, “he was recently positive, which makes him immune for the next three months. He should be allowed to play.” I understand their argument, but in this scenario it’s not about him being immune or not. It is about his attitude towards the virus and his behaviour. His past decisions were appalling, which makes the visa decision fair: he shouldn’t be playing in this tournament.  

Hopefully, Djokovic will learn his lesson and develop as a human and come back next year. On the bright side, Australia’s fan favourite Nick Kyrgios has more chance of winning now that Djokovic isn’t here.  

C’mon Australia!! 

Students Reflect on Media Bias on Anniversary of January 6 Riots 

On January 6th last year, nearly 2,000 supporters of then-President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building, infuriated by the 2020 election, which he lost to Joe Biden. A joint session of Congress was inside the Capitol and certifying the election, and the protesters outside hoped to overturn that result.  

Photo “2021 Storming of the United States Capitol” by Tyler Merbler. CC https://www.flickr.com/photos/37527185@N05/50812356151/

January 6th2020 may not be in our textbooks yet, but it has become a particularly important day in American history. On that day, the Northwood campus was quiet. Students were still at home following an extended winter break and were attending remote classes. Like so many others, the Northwood community learned about this tragic incident via social media.  

Ms. Noel Carmichael is Northwood Dean of Academic Affairs and co-teacher of integrated humanities teacher. Carmicheal marked the one-year anniversary by teaching her class about the January 6th incident and exploring various news sources reported the incident.  

“In our humanities class on January 6th we will be comparing and contrasting how different media sources are covering the event, including an analysis of what terminology is used by each source,” she said before the lesson.  

Carmichael was leading her ninth-grade integrated humanities class when the riots began January 6. “We were actually in class at the time it happened. It was 1:30 in the afternoon, I think. Our class was virtual, so I was at my kitchen table with all our students on the screen,” Carmichael said. When a student blurted out something about riots at the Capitol during class, she was suspicious. “Honestly, at first, I didn’t believe him. I thought he was exaggerating.”  

Dean of Academic Affairs Ms. Noel Carmichael (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

Carmichael saw the incident as a teachable moment. “We spent a lot of time the rest of that week trying to understand what exactly happened and how it had been able to happen. We also did an exercise looking at what have now become iconic pictures and writing our responses as a way of beginning to process the events.”  

Incorporating the event into her class wasn’t easy for Carmichael. “Honestly, in a classroom with a wide variety of opinions and political leanings and during a time of heightened emotion, it was difficult to feel like we could have productive conversation,” she said, “More time needed to pass before we could do that.”  

This year, on the anniversary of the riots, Carmichael open class by asking, “Who knows what happened on January 6th?” A majority of the class appeared confused until she mentioned what happened and sounds of recognition filled the room. Students then proceeded to talk about the riot: where they were when they learned about it, why they think it happened and more. 

Media bias was the focus of the lesson, the class learned about how different media sources portray different stories. Ms. Carmichael also discussed how the January 6th riot will be written in history and asked students “How would this history be written?”. Lots of students shared their beliefs and opinions, which were all listened to respectfully by the class.  

It was a great class taught by Ms Carmichael that helped her students think about January 6th and learn about media bias. 

 

Ed Note: the author is a student in Ms. Carmichael’s Integrated Humanities class described in this article. 

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