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Tue, 01 Oct 2013 02:18:32 GMT
NHL Western Rankings

1. Chicago Blackhawks (Cup Contender)

When you win the Stanley Cup, you often lose a lot of players to free-agency and have to retool. Stan Bowman appears to be great with tools, cause I don't see why this team isn't still the bet to win the Cup again. This team still has Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford.

2. Los Angeles Kings  (Cup Contender)

This team is loaded with talent. They'll finish near the top of the conference. Supreme goaltending; Jonathan Quick. The real key on this team is the party boys; Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Hang out at the clubs in on Los Angeles next playoff to find out if this team is gonna challenge for the Stanley Cup. If Richards and Carter show up at the clubs, then they won't show up on the ice.

3. Vancouver Canucks (Cup Contender)

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Roberto Luongo. I don't see this team missing the playoffs. When Roberto starts slow this season, there's nobody to take the reigns. He'll struggle thru the first month, then catch fire and this team will move up to the top of the conference. Add a solid top 4 defenseman set (Alexander Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison and Dan Hamhuis) and you have a really good team.

4. San Jose Sharks (Playoff Team)

Years after year, the Sharks have one of the best teams on paper, but always fall short in the playoffs. This might be the last year you see Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle leading this team. They're all UFAs at season end. All three are likely looking at pay cuts going forward unless they return to their all-star statuses or produce in the playoffs. Not sure what else can be said, except SAME OLD.

5. St Louis Blues (Playoff Team)

Ken Hitchcock doesn't score a lot of goals and neither does he block a lot of shots, but the Blues' coach doesn't like missing the playoffs. I don't expect anything different. The key to this team competing for more than a playoff spot is Jaroslav Halak. If he returns to form and their scoring by committee continues to work, then this team could move up. Unfortunately, their lack of big scorers makes a Stanley Cup a pipe dream.

6. Anaheim Ducks (Playoff Team)

The Ducks look like a playoff team, but a couple key injuries could easily put them out. They are already missing Sheldon Souray for the 1st half and their 2nd line may require geriatric care; Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. That said, I don't really see this team competing for the President's Trophy or the Stanley Cup.

7. Edmonton Oilers (Playoff Contender)

Loaded with talent at forward and defense. If they can just convince these superstars to play a team game, then we might be looking at the next NHL dynasty. It's really up to their top 4; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle. They will define where this season takes them. They could win the President's trophy or miss the playoffs.

8. Nashville Predators (Playoff Contender)

Pekka Rinne is everything for this team. He's good enough, he can steal games to put this team in the playoffs. He's also good enough to steal some playoff games. Outside of Shea Webber, the skaters on this team are very weak. Don't expect a lot of goals. I wouldn't qualify any forwards on this team as NHL quality power play material. If Rinne gets injured or struggles, this team could be looking at a high draft pick.

9. Dallas Stars (Playoff Contender)

The forwards are mostly refabs from other teams, but the Stars have a premier top 4 d-man lineup; Sergei Gonchar, Alex Goligoski, Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley. Keri Lehtonen is no all-star goalie, but he's good enough that with their defensemen, they might be able to sneak into the playoffs.

10. Winnipeg Jets

There's enough good pieces here for this team to compete for a playoff spot. Some good years from Blake Wheeler, Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane could actually put them into the playoffs, but I'm guessing they'll be on the outside of the playoffs when all is said and done.

11. Phoenix Coyotes

The Coyotes will finally have stable ownership this season, or at least we hope. This could turn around the franchise, but it could take a few years before they contend for anything. Mike Ribeiro and Shane Doan are quality leaders, but they are both in their mid-30s. Their experienced defense (Keith Yandle, Zbynek Mahalek, Rostislav Klesla {concussion} and Derek Morris) is what could save this team. And Oliver Ekman-Larsson is an up and coming potential all-star on their defense.

12. Minnesota Wild

Ryan Suter is a great defenseman, but they don't have too much on defense beyond him. They are gonna need big improvement from their 2 thru 4 defensemen (Jared Spurgeon, Keith Ballard and who) to make the playoffs. They surely aren't gonna have a hard time scoring goals with Zach Parise, Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville. Might be a struggle just to make the playoffs.

13. Colorado Rockies (Lottery Team)

Upfront, the Rockies have a lot of good forwards. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said between the pipes and on defense. The defense is led by Erik Johnson, whom many thought would be an all-star defenseman. He's still a good d-man, but he's no power play quarterback, nor is he a shutdown d-man. He's a good 3-4 d-man on most teams in the NHL. The rest of the Rockie defense is stop gap at best and Semyon Varlamov and J.S. Giguere are not gonna steal many games for this team. I suspect they'll have fall short of the playoffs once again.

14. Calgary Flames (Bad Team)

A bad start to the season could quickly degrade. Karri Ramo is an extremely good goalie, but unproven in the NHL. If he doesn't win a few games early for the Flames, his own performance might start to suffer, especially with the weakest lineup in the NHL standing in front of him. Then it becomes all too possible their 1st line (Mike Cammalleri, Matt Stajan, Lee Stempniak are all UFAs) gets traded for prospects. Even if Ramo performs like an all-star, this team has no chance of making the playoffs.

Sun, 17 Apr 2011 06:50:45 GMT
Post Game 2 Roundup

Bruins v Habs (0-2)

The biggest surprise of the playoffs is the Bruins complete lack of offense; one goal in two games. This is due to three reasons; solid play from the Canadians defense (Gill, Subban, Sopel, Spacek, Hamrlik, Wisniewski and forwards Moen, Plekanec), good goaltending from Carey Price and weak shoots from the Bruins. As much as Carey Price has made the saves, the shot difficult is making Price look even better. Down 2-0 and going to Montreal, this series could be over quickly.

Pens v Lightning (1-1)

Not a surprise, without Crosby and Malkin, the Pens will be hard pressed to win this series. One great goaltending performance by Fleury has kept this team in the series. Interesting side note; Craig Adams has 6 goals in the last 3 regular seasons (207 games) and 6 goals in the last 3 playoffs (39 games). If Crosby comes back, then they still have a chance, but I see the Lightning taking this now that they have home ice advantage.

Caps v Rangers (2-0)

I didn't expect the Rangers to be able to keep up with the Capitals and they haven't. Only Matt Gilroy has scored for the Rangers. Lundqvist is gonna have to steal a game or two to get this team back in the series. Looks like a Capitals sweep is possible.

Flyers v Sabres (1-1)

Miller stole game one but the Flyers offense was too much in game two. With Miller injured, I didn't think the Sabres had much of a chance, but stole home ice advantage. The biggest difference in this series may turn out to be the lack of Chris Pronger. Normally, Pronger would be wearing down the Sabres forwards. Add something redundant about Flyers goaltending here. This looks like a 7 gamer. Then flip a coin.

Wings v Yotes (2-0)

It's called the Pavel Datsyuk show. Even without Henrik Zetterberg, the Wings are simply too much for the Yotes. Bryzgalov hasn't been at his best. He really needs to step it up at home and steal both games for his team or it's over. I doubt the Wings will sweep and that's all I got for the Coyotes' fans.

Sharks v Kings (1-1)

There's no reason the Kopitar-less Kings should be in this series. Well, except that Joe Thornton is up to his playoff disappearing act once again. In game 2 on the power play, Big Joe was fed the puck in the slot. He didn't even try to shoot. He skated behind the net, then out to the half boards and shot from there. Going the other way, Drew Doughty scored 4 pts giving him 11 points in 8 career playoff games. I see this going 7 games.

Canucks v Hawks (2-0)

Kane, Toews, Sharp and Hossa have combined for 1 assist in the 1st two games of this series. It might simply be fatigue. All four players have played an enormous amounts of hockey over the last 2-3 yrs. The Canucks look like he team to beat. Three lines are contributing and six d-men. And they have a pretty good goalie. Unless the Hawks win both at home, they could be done in 5.

Ducks v Preds (1-1)

Mike Fisher stole game 1 for the Preds and now they have home ice advantage in this series. The Ducks Big 4 (Selanne, Ryan, Perry and Getzlaf) showed up big time in game 2, each scoring a goal. This series is gonna be a showdown between the big 4 and Pekka Rinne. The series should go 6 or 7 games.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 13:33:52 GMT
2011 Western Round #1 NHL Playoff Predictions
These are my, Randy Charles Morin's 2011 western conference round 1 NHL playoff predictions.

Canucks v Hawks

This is just a crazy match-up. This time, Hawks can't move Byfuglien up to forward on the PP. But its still gonna be a major mental challenge for Luongo. Can he beat the team that has always beat him.

The Hawks are a lot better than their 8th placing. They are defending Stanley Cup champs. They may have lost a lot of parts, but the core is still intact.

I've gotta believe the Canucks will finally pull it out. They are simply that good. Most goals. Least against. Olympic gold netminder. Hart and 2 Art Rosses.

Canucks in 7

Sharks v Kings

This is a no-brainer. After a great start, the Kings held onto a playoff spot. No Kopitar.

But wait, this is the playoff no-showing Sharks led by the playoff disappearing show himself; Joe Thornton.

Still, its the injured Kings.

Sharks in 5

Wings v Yotes

One question. Can you name a skater on the Coyotes? I betcha many of you can't. Lidstrom, Zetter, Datsyuk, Holmstrom, Rafalski.

If you look at the skaters only, then you wonder the Yotes made the playoffs and how they might steal one game in this series.

The answer is the Bryz. In goal, this series is just as much a landslide against the Wings. How many games can Bryzgalov steal? Four? Maybe not.

Wings in 6

Ducks v Preds

The Ducks are the hottest team in the NHL and Corrie Perry, the hottest player. And the core of this team still won a Cup together a few yrs back.

The Preds are a consistent team, that made the playoffs on team effort and great goaltending. Now we find out if Pekka can do this in the playoffs. Unfortunate he ran into the hottest team and goal scorer. Maybe next year.

Ducks in 6.

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 13:47:48 GMT
2010 Playoffs Update

Review of the series to date.

Avalanche v Sharks

Sharks are looking at another early exit from the playoffs. I blame Joe Thornton. It's hard to believe that one of the largest players in the league, plays one of the softest games in the league. Can Craig Anderson do it two more times?

Kings v Canucks

The Sedin's took over in the 3rd period to tie the series. This series is gonna come down to Luongo and the Sedin's will. Once again the NHL looks stupid by screwing up the kicking the puck into the net rule.

Preds v Hawks

Preds are surprising. I thought they might have a chance if the Hawks goalies fail, but other than one bad goal, Niemi has been primed. The Hawks offense appears to be on empty.

Wings v Yotes

Can one goalie defeat an entire team? Only in hockey. Illya Bryzgalov is the series. If he plays awesome, then the Coyotes win. If he plays great, then the Coyotes lose.

Habs v Caps

Habs are completely outclassed. Don't blame the goalies here. OK, maybe Theodore for blowing game one and almost blowing game two. The Caps are going deep. Only a goalie can stop them now (or maybe a Kid).

Bruins v Sabres

And I thought the Bruins couldn't score. With Vanek, the Sabres appear to have no offense. Their season is done. They need to shop for scoring depth to support the franchise; Ryan Miller.

Flyers v Devils

Flyers stunk down the stretch. WTF!? This series looks like a couple AHL teams. Devils are done. Flyers are done next rounds.

Sens v Pens

If the Ottawa citizens are really lucky, then they will be able to catch the Sidney Crosby show one more time. I can't wait for the Pens v Caps semi-final. This'll be a classic.

Wed, 14 Apr 2010 13:43:19 GMT
Western 2010 NHL Playoff Predictions

Sharks v Avs

This series comes down to one player, Joe Thornton. Joe rarely shows up to big games and usually gets pushed around, which is odd considering he's one of the biggest players on the ice. I doubt Joe will show and the Avs are good enough to beat the playoff-hapless Sharks. Avs in 7.

Hawks v Preds

The Hawks have the Preds beat in every facet of the game, except goaltending. But neither team is impressive in net. The Hawks could lose on goaltending, but otherwise, they far outclass the Preds. Hawks in 5.

Canucks v Kings

The Kings have no playoff experience to draw on. Most teams with little playoff experience simply don't know that they have to play better and harder in the playoffs. They'll know next year. Canucks in 5.

Coyotes v Wings

The Wing were the best team down the stretch. They are back. Contending for the Cup. The Yotes are happy they actually made the playoffs. Bryzgalov might steal a game or two. Not enough to beat the Wings. Wings in 6.

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 01:53:17 GMT
Courts to Slow for the Real World

The Phoenix courts have admitted they are too slow to rule in a reasonable amount of time to allow the relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes. They, of course, present the argument as two months is not enough time to present all the argument. Truth is, they ajourn for several days at a time and don't move fast enough.

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2009/06/15/sp-coyotes-balsillie.html

Thu, 28 May 2009 21:38:59 GMT
Let's Stand Up to the NHL

It's too bad that the media simply reports the lies coming from the NHL about the Coyotes. It wouldn't take much courage to sit there and being laughing at them. Sure the NHL would black-balled you, but you represent integrity. When they report stuff like this, then you should laugh.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=424166

Weeks ago, the NHL reported they were not in control of the Coyotes. When the Coyotes declared bankruptcy, the NHL changed their mind and claimed they had taken control of the team from the owners. A month later, the courts disagreed as the NHL couldn't produce the documents they claimed to have.

Then the NHL claimed they controlled the rights to a second southern Ontario team and that this had nothing to do with the Sabres or the Leafs. Yet how many teams have moved in the last 10-20 years? Hartford? Winnipeg? Quebec? Dallas? How many times have we heard rumors of southern U.S. teams moving to Kansas City? Why was it made public that the Leafs would allow a 2nd Toronto team solely if they paid rent at the ACC? Why did some U.S. politicians petition the courts with concerns about the Sabres franchise?

Everybody knows it's just the NHL being the NHL again. Just as they did with Nashville (which is still in trouble). The Trashers are still in trouble. The Leafs gave $millions to the Lightning late (also in trouble) in the season and Bettman didn't seem to have any problem with that blatant circumvention of the NHL rules.

Why does the NHLPA put up with the NHL protecting broken teams at the expense of their revenue share?

I know why! Too many chickens. Nobody with the guts to stand up to Bettman, the Leafs and the Sabres. What we need is someone with the balls to do it. Like Balsillie. He's the solution to the current NHL problem. Let's support him. And let's stand up to the NHL and tell them that we want a team in Hamilton. Let's stand up to the Leafs. Let's stand up to the Sabres.

Thu, 30 Oct 2008 21:51:58 GMT
NHL Update

We just updated all the NHL rosters.

New Jersey Devils
Chicago Blackhawks
New York Islanders
Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Philadelphia Flyers
Nashville Predators
Pittsburgh Penguins
St. Louis Blues
Boston Bruins
Calgary Flames
Buffalo Sabres
Colorado Avalanche
Montreal Canadiens
Edmonton Oilers
Ottawa Senators
Minnesota Wild
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks
Atlanta Thrashers
Anaheim Ducks
Carolina Hurricanes
Dallas Stars
Florida Panthers
Los Angeles Kings
Tampa Bay Lightning
Phoenix Coyotes
Washington Capitals
San Jose Sharks
Tue, 22 Jan 2008 23:35:19 GMT
Welcome Back Fletch

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired an interim General Manager. Welcome back Cliff Fletcher. Cliff was the orchestrator of the Leafs only rise in the last 40 years. A dozen years ago, he was hired for the same role and the Leafs went to the conference finals in successive years. Cliff is looking really old, so interim is a given. In the meanwhile, Cliff will bring in a new GM to replace himself, likely before the end of 2008. He'll then remain with the Leafs as an adviser. Fletcher didn't fair well in his last GM role with the Phoenix Coyotes, his only GM experience in the salary cap era.

Paul Maurice will remain as coach for the remainder of the season. That makes him a lame duck coach who is unlikely to return for the next season. I suspect Fletcher's first orders of business will be to prune the dead-weight from this team, look for younger talent and find a long term coach.

http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=350824

Fri, 12 Oct 2007 14:39:31 GMT
Jesse Boulerice, the new Hanson - Episode #13

A new episode of the talk-sports.net podcast

  • Flyer's Jesse Boulerice, assault to do great bodily harm less than murder in OHL
  • Paul Holmgren, Broad Street Bullies, Charleston Chiefs, Johnstown Jets
  • Tootoo's elbow to the head
  • Thrasher (0-4, Hossa, Kovalchuk played) v Sabres
  • Hurricanes v Sens (Gerber)
  • Panthers (good) v Devils (out)
  • Coyotes (Gretzky) v Preds
  • Leafs TV and Rogers
  • Leafs (Raycroft shot chart, bounce back, Sundin 14mins, Stajan 1-3 21mins ) v Isles

http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-53113/TS-49950.mp3

Wed, 26 Sep 2007 16:01:11 GMT
Episode #4

Today, I broadcasted live and recorded a new episode of the talk-sports.net podcast. You can join me around 11:30 AM most weekdays for the live broadcast.

Pacific Division Preseason Preview

http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-53113/TS-46555.mp3

Thu, 09 Feb 2006 20:38:39 GMT
Wayne Gretzky Caught on Wiretap

TSN: NHL legend and current Phoenix Coyotes head coach and managing partner Wayne Gretzky has reportedly been caught on state wiretaps talking about Coyotes associate coach Rick Tocchet's alleged gambling ring. [cut] Gretzky's wife, Janet Jones, is allegedly [to have] placed bets [cut] that exceeded a total of $1.7 million [cut] during a 40-day period.

Randy: 2004-5 will forever be known as the year of the strike. 2005-6 seems to be acquiring it's own identity and it's not good either.

Sat, 28 Jan 2006 04:01:07 GMT
NHL Players Protest New Goaltending Penalty

The Onion: Less than six months since players returned from a yearlong lockout, hockey is once again in turmoil following last week's announcement that "goaltending," or attempting to obstruct a shot on goal or impede the puck's progress with one's body or stick, would become a two-minute minor penalty, a rule change that went into effect Monday. "Increasing scoring with rule changes and cracking down on obstruction is one thing," said Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Curtis Joseph, who claims his job is being banned by the league. "But to take a page from the NBA and just outlaw goaltending outright… Maybe it's just me, but I think that rule just plain goes against the spirit of hockey." Veteran NHL centers, forwards, and some defensemen took issue with Joseph's remarks, claiming he was still angry over being penalized seven times in the Coyotes' Monday night game against Dallas, in which Joseph had zero saves and lost 88-105.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/44841

Sat, 21 Jan 2006 19:40:06 GMT
Leaf 4 Game Recap

The Leafs were doing just fine until the recent four game losing streak and with the next two against the Senators, things could very well get much worse. There was no problem offensively, as we recorded 3 goals in each of the four losses. I'll focus on the defensive side of the game.

  1. The losing streak started in Vancouver, where the Leafs massively outshot the Canucks 38-19, but lost the game 4-3. After the 1st period, the Leafs were winning 2-1. On the nine shots in the 2nd and 3rd period, Belfour allowed 3 goals. Let's examine these 3 goals; give-away by Kronwall, bad angle shot beats Belfour and deflection by Anson Carter. The last two goals were weak defensive play by Berg, who simply let his man make his play.
  2. The Leafs had a 3-0 lead against the Canucks when things fell apart. The shots were 28-28. The troubles started when Belfour took a bad penalty in the 2nd when the Leafs were already going to be down a man. The Coyotes scored 2 PP goals in 16 seconds. Belfour played pretty well in the first 25 minutes, allowing only no goals on 14 shots. But in the 3rd, when the Leafs took back control of the game, Belfour allowed 2 goals on 5 shots.
  3. The Leafs were winning again after two periods; 2-1. The game turned when the Leafs were called for too many men on the ice, while already short-handed. Hejduk scored 2 PP goals and the Avalanche were off to the races. The fourth goal was a bad pinch by Kronwall. Belfour allowed 5 goals on 28 shots. The last goal the Leafs (Berg and Wellwood) were slow to clear the puck. In these first 3 games, the Leafs allowed only 78 shots, even though they were leading all three games, Belfour's SV% was .833. Note also the Belfour has 6 PIM in his last 4 games.
  4. The 4th of the games was against the Wild and once again we took the 1-0 lead. The 1st Wild goal was on the PP and Kronwall let the pass into the slot and Tellqvist didn't anticipate the shot. Colaiacovo gives the puck away. But the Leafs tie up the game. Now on the PP Kronwall doesn't take his make in the slot and it's an easy one timer. O'Neill then takes another dumb hooking and follows that up with a unsportsmanlike minor. Quinn benches O'Neill for the entire 3rd period. The 4th goal was mostly a mistake by Tellqvist, he misplayed the situation. Tellqvist allowed 4 goals on 22 shots. Not good.

Most of the goals were the fault of the goalies and d-men. Kronwall leading the pack, but Colaiacovo, Kaberle and Berg were also to blame. Neither Belfour or Tellqvist played well enough either. Going forward, Kronwall will be sent down by the end-of-the month. That leaves the Leafs with...

If Belak can't be the 7th defenseman, then we are in need of a 7th d-man for when players like McCabe are injured. What this also means is the while McCabe is injured, Kronwall will be playing everyday. And don't forget that Khavanov missed most of the last game after being injured. He is expected to play tonight.

Rumour is the Leafs offered Allison for Leetch and were turned own. I don't know why everybody wants to trade Allison, when Allison was injured our PP disappeared. If we have one salary that's not paying it's Belfour's. You know he has 5 wins this season where he allowed 4 or more goals.

Is it possible to dump Belfour and Domi's salaries? Belfour's contract is up at the end of the year, but Domi has yet a full remaining year on his contract. Obviously he can't play this year and next year he'll only be worse. So, how do we get rid of that salary? Further, what would it take for the Hawks to trade us Khabibulin for Belfour. What if we throw in one of Tellqvist, Pogge or Rask? What about Belfour plus a pick for Kolzig?

Sat, 21 Jan 2006 15:17:47 GMT
Coyotes trade Nedved to Flyers

Free Press: The Phoenix Coyotes traded centre Petr Nedved to the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday in exchange for defenceman Dennis Seidenberg.

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Sports/Hockey/2006/01/21/1404182-sun.html

Randy: This is a good trade both ways. Nedved has about $3 million left on his contract, which still has one full season left on it. Coyotoes lose the salary and pick up a decent young d-man in Seidenberg. If the Flyers can fit Nedved under the cap, he should score a lot more on a PP with Forsberg. The Flyers PP has been average (13th in the NHL) this season.

Sun, 15 Jan 2006 00:23:56 GMT
Leafs v. Coyotes

1st Period

2nd Period

3rd Period

Recap

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