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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.

Wed, 24 Apr 2013 02:11:32 GMT
NHL Awards

Here are my choices with a couple games left in the NHL season for the individual award winners. In a couple cases, my choice is partial based on the assumption that the team will or will not make the playoffs and if that changed, then my opinion would change. But I doubt it. You'll find my choices a little different that the conventional people who think they know hockey.

Hart

Had Craig Anderson not been injurred, his sneeking the Senators in the playoffs with a 1.71 GAA and .941 SV% would've won him the Hart, but I can't give it to a goalie that only played half the season? Can I? Without Anderson's heroics early in the season, this injury riddled team could very well be competing for the 1st overall pick in this summers entry draft instead of being in the playoff race. Still, I can't believe

How about a forward that played only 3 quarters of the season? Sidney Crosby was still leading the NHL in scoring and 2nd in assists with 3 games left in the season. His linemates are #1 and #2 in the plus-minus leaders (he's currently 4th) and he's in the top 15 in faceoff wins.

Can you give it to two forwards, Martin St Louis and Steve Stamkos, who may win the Art Ross for most points while leading their team to a lottery pick instead of a playoff spot? These two players rank last and 2nd last on their team in plus-minus for forwards. This isn't new territory for this pair. These are two players that I would absolutely not consider for the Hart. In fact, I doubt this team will ever make the playoffs until they break up their core group of offensive players who don't skate in their defensive zone.

Alex Ovechkin is by far the Hart winner in the 2nd half of the season, but is that enough to overcome a very bad start? Remember 2 months ago when everybody was saying OV was washed up? Now he's gonna win yet another Rocket Richard trophy and is a prime candidate for the Hart as well.

Other players I would consider voting for are Ryan Getzlaf, Jonathan Toews and John Tavares. All four elevated their teams to new heights this season, but none stood out as much as Crosby or Ovechkin.

Winner: Sidney Crosby

Vezina

Let me start by repeating the same argument that Craig Anderson would've won here too had he not been injured.

That said, people are starting to talk about Sergei Bobrovsky as the prime candidate for the Vezina. And I agree. Without Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets would not be in the playoff picture.

I'm also gonna make a case for another goalie that took a team that hasn't made the playoffs in a decade into the playoffs this season; James Reimer. In the game that clinched the playoffs for the Leafs, they were outshot 50 to 22 by the Senators, yet won the game 4-1 on 49 saves by Reimer. Getting outshot isn't a rarity in Toronto these days (years).

You could also make a case for Tuukka Rask, Henrik Lundqvist, Cory Schneider, Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford, but Bobrovsky and Reimer were the best this season in my opinion.

Winner: Sergei Bobrovsky.

Norris

He's hated, just as much as he's loved, but this year he became a true all-star and Norris candidate; P.K. Subban. He hits hard, he leads all d-men in goals and points and has a nice plus-minus to boot.

How about Brooks Orpik? If he could only score. But how about 10th in hits and 6th in blocked shots? This guy is a true unsung warrior.

And then there's Dion Phaneuf. Twenty-sixth in blocked shots, 6th in hits, 6th in points, 3rd in goals, 5th in ice-time. Now those are some impressive numbers.

Ryan Suter is another possibility, but his team has under-performed even with Ryan playing his best season yet and they don't look playoff bound.

My finalist are Phaneuf and Subban.

Winner: P.K. Subban.

Calder

Jonathan Huberdeau leads all rookies in goals and points and he's nearly leading a bad Florida offense in both categories as well.

Justin Schultz leads all rookie defensemen in goals, assists and points, but he does have a lot of offensive help on a very talented Oilers team.

Cory Conacher is a nice story and does lead all rookies in assists and points. That said, he accumulated most of those points playing along side the offensive-minded Lightning.

I'm deciding between Huberdeau and Schultz.

Winner: Justin Schultz.

Lady Byng

I don't really care.

Selke

This is by far my favorite award. Mostly because I think it's histerical that the most recent winner of the award doesn't even play much on his teams short hand unit. Pavel Datsyuk may very well win this award again, but in my opinion he isn't even in the top 20 best defensive players in the NHL. If he's so good defensive, then how come he only ranks 3rd on his team in short-handed ice-time per game for forwards? And how can you even give the award to a player that isn't played much in defensive situations like power plays?

Let's look are real defensive players, not just great offensive players who are reasonable defensively. The real great defensive players are those that hog most of the short-handed ice-time and are on the ice in the last minute when your team is winning by a goal.

This guy should've won the Frank J Selke most every year he's been in the NHL. No other player even needs to be named. He leads the league in short-handed ice-time by a forward with 163 minutes. No other player has more than 131. In those 163 minutes, the power-play has only 11 goals. His new team joined this season had their penalty kill go from 24th last year to 3rd best this year. He plays every shift against the other teams best offensive players and maintained an even plus-minus. And does he play in the final minute in one goal games? He must. He has 3 empty net goals this season. No player since Michael Peca has scored such a high percentage of his games into empty nets (just saying, didn't double check that stat).

Winner: Jay McClement.

Adams

The Ottawa Senators have been devastated with key injuries, yet the team still managed to stay in the playoff hunt. Paul MacLean deserves consideration for the Adams for holding this team together all season.

John Capuano deserves a gold medal for managing to put the worst managed hockey organization in the NHL into the playoffs. His team has Tim Thomas, Alexei Yashin and Rick Dipietro accounting for $11-12 million of the cap space. Without these players, who aren't even on the team, they wouldn't meet the CBA team salary floor for 2012-13.

The Columbus Blue Jackets suck. If they make the playoffs then Todd Richards is another candidate for coach of the year. This team is made up almost entirely from players unwanted otherwhere in the NHL.

All three coaches have taken a bad team to the promised land.

Winner: Paul MacLean.

GM of the Year

The Penguins added Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Douglas Murray and Brenden Morrow to an already stacked team. Ray Shero must be using a different math then the other General Managers in order to fit so many stars into the same salary cap every other team struggles with. Their backup goalie Tomas Vokoun is better than most NHL starting goalies and he signed him for next to nothing.

Not as impressive as the Penguins, but the Bruins added Jaromir Jagr and Wade Redden at the deadline. Peter Chiarelli also managed a very skillful trade to free up salary room by trading Tim Thomas to the Islanders. The trade was clearly made to circumvent the salary cap for both teams, as the Islanders were under the salary floor and the Bruins needed some room to work with.

I can't put my finger on a 3rd GM that stood out as much as these two.

Winner: Peter Chiarelli

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 17:01:41 GMT
Who won the Trade War?

Who won? Lot's of team. Forget all the small trades, let's go thru the big ones. I'm only going to discuss those made on trade day.

Otherall winner is Florida. Picking up Evan Oberg, Samsonov, Hauswirth, Bergfors, Rissmiller, Kennedy and three 3rds. No blue chip prospects, but a lot of them. Unloaded salary and they are gonna suck for the next 20 games. Sign players in the off-season and start all over. I  like it. Fans aren't gonna like the remainder of the season. But this is how you build. Brian Burke?

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 20:49:46 GMT
My NHL Fun
Here's what I'd do to improve the NHL game. These thoughts are feasible, although I doubt everyody will agree with them or their feasibility.
  1. Reduce game roster to 19 from 20. This will reduce the ability for teams to put goons who otherwise can't play on the 4th line. NHLPA might not like this as it could be suggested this may remove 30 players from the NHL. Since we haven't reduced the 23 man roster, this isn't exactly true. Either way, the next item will more than compensate.
  2. Add more expansion teams; Quebec City, Kitchener/London, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Seattle. This will add new spots for the NHLPA. Kitchener is out of range for all of Buffalo, Toronto and Detroit and brings a new team to southern Ontario (sorry Hamilton). Quebec City should never have lost a team. Teams in Kansas City, Las Vegas and Seattle will increase US TV coverage.
  3. As expansion teams are added, consider reducing game rosters to 18.
  4. Every team plays every other team at home and away every 2 years. That's 29+ games accounted for. The rest of the games would be divisional or tournament (see tournaments below), no extra out of division conference games.
  5. All divisional winners plus the next teams to 6 teams in each conference receive a 1st round buy. The next 4 teams play a two out of three playoff to advance. Teams are reseated every round with no account to divisional placement. Conference winners meet in the finals.
  6. Refs call the same game in the playoffs as the regular season. The playoffs is not a testiment of your ability to play with a broken foot or torn ACL. Kunitz and Cooke were the real Conn Smythe winners this last playoff. Just ask the Red Wings defense who were afraid to go into the corner in game 7.
  7. Follow up to Cooke and Kunitz, hitting a d-man on a shoot-in is called charging. No rule change required, just call it.
  8. Investigate 4 on 4 hockey. Let's start with a handful of AHL games. I'm almost positive this will create a better game.
  9. Suspend obvious dives one game to start. Repeat offenders get increasing larger suspensions.
  10. Fighting major is an automatic misconduct. Repeat offenses are one game suspensions. Third offense are multi-game suspensions.
  11. No touch icing when iced from behind the blueline.
  12. Missed passes are not icing. It's already a rule that missed two line passes are not icing, it's just not called. Intentional misses remains an icing, as are difficult to hand passes. Defensive deflections do not obviate icings either.
  13. Shooting the puck from the defensive zone over the boards in the offensive zone is not a penalty. This applies only when the player is shooting it from behind his blueline and the puck crosses out-of-play inside the other teams blueline.
  14. On an icing shot from inside the blueline and not a missed pass, the defensive player centerman stands outside the faceoff circle.
  15. Clearing the puck out of play and icing from inside the blueline should have the same rules. Either both are penalties (rather not) or both are uncontended faceoffs (see previous) and defensive team may not change players.
  16. Any delay on a faceoff where the defensive team may not change is called a timeout on the defensive team. Subsequent delays are a penalty, even if legitimate. Absolute rules are required or refs will be complacent.
  17. Examine breakaway situations instead of timed penalties. When a penalty occurs, the offended player is given the puck at centre ice and all other players must be behind the far blueline. Ref blows his whistle to resume play. Powerplays are so boring. On a major penalty, a player still sits for the duration of his timed penalty, but the team remains at full strength.
  18. Assuming breakaway situations, the offending team is not aloud to change players. The offended player may not change either unless obviously injured, ref's discretion.
  19. Start the NHL season AT LEAST one month earlier. I still like the June finish. NHLPA might not like this.
  20. The NHL pre-season is reorganized into an elimination style tournament. Each team plays 5-7 games with winners playing winners and losers playing losers. The result of this tournament determines all tie-breakers in the regular season. These games do not count in the standings.
  21. Mid-season elimination style tournament occurs between late November and early February. These games count in the standings. The location of the games are played in a neutral city.
  22. Every team is required to play at least one neutral site game and specifically not in an existing NHL city. For example, the Flames and Oilers might play in Red Deer. This might start as an exhibition game, but the intent is to make this game count.
  23. New NHL arenas should be required to have at least 20,000 seats.
  24. Three stars of the game are formulized into an award.
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
Thu, 11 Oct 2007 16:02:11 GMT
Oilers Suck v Wild - Episode #12

A new episode of the talk-sports.net podcast

  • Oilers vs Wild (Boogeyman)
  • Pens vs Habs (Price)
  • Canucks (Luongo, Sedins, Naslund, Morrison) v Flyers
  • Kings (Bernier) v Stars
  • Islanders (Berard) v Rangers
  • Hawks (Toews)
  • Lightning (no depth)
  • Bluejackets (Leclaire)

http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-53113/TS-49068.mp3

Thu, 11 Oct 2007 00:27:00 GMT
Leafs Suck? - Episode #11

A new episode of the talk-sports.net podcast

  • Pens (Crosby)
  • Habs (Price)
  • Oilers
  • Sabres
  • Islanders
  • Hurricanes (v Leafs)

http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-53113/TS-49067.mp3

Fri, 28 Sep 2007 13:31:25 GMT
Episode #5

I recorded a new episode of the talk-sports.net podcast at 8:30 instead of the regular time of 11:30 AM because I'll be busy later today. We'll return to 11:30 AM on Monday.

Northwest Preseason Preview

http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-53113/TS-47163.mp3

Fri, 21 Sep 2007 15:48:32 GMT
Episode #2

Just finished our 2nd live broadcast on talkshoe. Not my greatest show, but the number of listeners is increasing big time, so I'm gonna keep doing this.

http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-53113/TS-46412.mp3

I talked about 5 teams.

Wed, 11 Apr 2007 22:40:21 GMT
2007 NHL Playoff Predictions Western Conference

Red Wings vs. Flames

This looks like the easiest upset prediction in world history. The Red Wings are proven chokers and now minus Yzerman. The Flames on the other hand are known for playoff grit. The goaltending should be spectacular with Kiprusoff and Hasek. The key to the series is Datsyuk. He usually disappears in the playoffs and is likely the biggest reason that the Red Wings are known chokers.

Goaltending: +Flames
Defense: +Red Wings
Offense: +Red Wings
Coaching: +Flames
Heart: +2 Flames

Ducks vs. Wild

There's a lot of people predicting upset here, but honestly, it just can't happen. The Oilers went to the finals last season on Pronger's back. He's now on the Ducks. Add Giguere's spectacular 2003 playoff, Scott Niedermayer (what can I can?), Teemu Selanne gets better in big tourney's and this team is loaded with playoff performers. The key is going to be the Wild's goaltending (Backstrom or Fernandez). Somebody between the Wild pipes is gonna have to play the best seven games of his life.

Goaltending: +Ducks
Defense: +2 Ducks
Offense: +Ducks
Coaching: +Wild
Heart: +Ducks

Canuks vs. Stars

This is a difficult one to predict. I wouldn't expect either team to go very far in this years playoff. This'll be the first time the Sedin's (Daniel and Henrik) are the go to guys on offense. This is also Luongo's first playoff go, but he's proved himself in World tournament before. In the other net is known playoff choker Marty Turco. The key to this series is whether the Star bother to show up.

Goaltending: +Canuks
Defense: +Stars
Offense: +Canuks
Coaching: even
Heart: +Canuks

Predators vs. Sharks

This is gonna be a very unexciting series. Except for the key player to be named later, I would expect the Sharks to win and get knocked out in the 2nd round. Can Joe Thornton break his streak of playoff choking (only 27 points in 46 games)? The key to this series will be Forsberg. Forsberg has scored within one point of a point per game in 11 straight playoffs. This guy is a playoff god.

Goaltending: +Predators
Defense: +Stars
Offense: +Sharks
Coaching: +Sharks
Heart: +Predators

Wed, 08 Mar 2006 20:31:10 GMT
Roloson to Stupid Oilers!

NHL: Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired Edmonton's first round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, along with future considerations, in exchange for G Dwayne Roloson.

http://www.nhl.com/news/2006/03/263042.html

Randy: The Oilers just acquired a goalie who's record is 6-17-1. With Roloson not playing the Wild were 24-11-5. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Fri, 27 Jan 2006 03:23:00 GMT
Oilers Trade for D

CP The Oilers first acquired Tarnstrom, who will help their power play, from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Jani Rita and defenceman Cory Cross. Then Lowe acquired Czech Olympian Spacek from the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Tony Salmelainen.

http://www.nhl.com/news/2006/01/254316.html

Randy: The Oilers may have the best D-men in the league; Pronger, Bergeron, Staios, Smith, Tarnstrom and Spacek. I don't like the Cross for Tarnstrom trade. Cross is a better 6th d-man than Tarnstrom. But Spacek for Salmelainen is a steal. The Leafs could've used some D, where's Ferguson?

Fri, 20 Jan 2006 00:52:42 GMT
Bruins claim Craig Anderson off waivers

PR: The Boston Bruins have claimed goaltender Craig Anderson off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks, it was announced today by Bruins General Manager Mike O'Connell.

Randy: This also means that Raycroft has been traded. Rumour is to the Oilers.

Wed, 11 Jan 2006 04:19:26 GMT
Leafs v. Canucks, Game 43

First Period

2nd Period

3rd Period

Final notes

Sat, 07 Jan 2006 19:47:25 GMT
Hockey Day in Canada

Today is hockey day in Canada, which means CBC is broadcasting hockey all day. We start with the Senators v. Canadians, then Leafs v. Oilers and Flames v. Canuks wrap it up.

Game 1 - Sens v. Habs

Game 2 - Leafs v. Oiler

Game 3 - Flames v. Canucks

Tue, 03 Jan 2006 18:31:25 GMT
NHL Midseason Report

Here we are at the midway point in the NHL season. So, what's happened to date? This is my summary of the first half of the NHL season.

My midseason all-star team.

Some players left off, but playing great.

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