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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.

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 01:42:29 GMT
Stanley Cup Predictions Round 2

Wings v Sharks

Thornton, Marleau and Heatley combined for 1 goal, a combined -7 plus/minus and somehow they beat the Avalanche. Unless there big line wakes up and this isn't the 1st year the Thornton line sleeps thru the playoffs, then expect the Red Wings to win. Wings in 7.

Habs v Pens

OK, the Habs won the series, but solely on goaltending. As much as I think goaltending is the most important part of the game, you cannot win games consistantly when you are getting outshot 45 to 15 every night. Not to mention, they are playoff Sidney's Pens. Pens in 6.

Flyers v Bruins

The Flyers made the playoffs because the Rangers played worse. The flyers defeated the Devils because the Devils played worse. This isn't even a playoff worthy team. Marc Savard is returning to the Bruinds lineup that won round 1 without him. Bruins in 4.

Canucks v Blackhawks

A redo from last year. This series will likely produce the best hockey. I expect the winner to be in the Stanley Cup finals. I'm picking Luongo over Niemi, but it's pretty much a pick'em. Will Luongo and the Sedin's show up all series? Canucks in 7.

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.

Sat, 10 Apr 2010 01:39:49 GMT
Talk-Sports NHL Awards

If Talk-Sports could name the nominees for the major NHL awards, then here's what we would pick. Let the debate begin. Tell us who should win in each category and why. In a week or two, we will tell you our winners.

Hart (MVP)

  1. Sidney Crosby
  2. Ryan Miller
  3. Alex Ovechkin
  4. Henrik Sedin

Vezina (Best Goalie)

  1. Craig Anderson
  2. Illya Bryzgalov
  3. Ryan Miller 

Norris (Best Defenseman)

  1. Mike Green
  2. Duncan Keith
  3. Chris Pronger

Calder (Best Rookie)

  1. Matt Duchene
  2. Tyler Myers
  3. Tuukka Rask

Lady Byng (Best Wimp)

  1. Pavel Datsyuk
  2. Anze Kopitar
  3. Brad Richards

Frank Selke (Best Defensive Forward)

  1. Patrice Bergeron
  2. Mike Fisher
  3. Jay McClement

Jack Adams (Best Coach)

  1. Terry Murray
  2. Joe Sacco
  3. Dave Tippett
Thu, 11 Mar 2010 02:13:26 GMT
NHL All-Stars

Here is my Year-To-Date all-stars including the Olympics.

G - Craig Anderson, Ryan Miller, Roberto Luongo. two USians.

D - Mike Green, Chris Pronger, Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty, Shea Webber, Brent Seabrook, Stephane Robidas. entirely CDNian

F - Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Sedin, Sidney Crosby, Daniel Sedin, Jonathan Toews, Steve Stamkos, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Mike Fisher, Ryan Getzlaf. mostly CDNian (very rare). No Thornton (becoming convinced he disappears in big games, see Olympics)

Fri, 26 Jun 2009 02:55:44 GMT
What about the Sedins?
Rumor is that Marion Gaborik just bought a house in Vancouver and Roberto Luongo is on the verge of signing a long term deal with the Canucks. In other words, the Sedins are likely moving over the summer.
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

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

Tue, 24 Apr 2007 13:46:32 GMT
Round 2 Western Predictions

Red Wings vs Sharks

The Red Wings made it to the 2nd round on a horrible performance by the Flames. Unfortunately, they now have to play a much better team. The key to this series is Pavel Datsyuk. After a quick start in the playoffs, he's once again pulled his playoff disappearing act with 1 assist in his last 4 games. If Detroit wants to win, then Pavel has to show up. Go with the Sharks.

Goaltending: even
Defense: +Wings
Offense: +Sharks
Coaching: +Sharks
Heart: +Sharks

Ducks vs Canucks

Both the Canucks and Stars should've been eliminated in the first round but one of them had to win. If the Canucks are gonna win again, then Roberto Luongo is gonna be the reason, but that won't be enough. The Swedes are the key to this series. Can Markus Naslund, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin score against the best defense in hockey; Chris Pronger, Francois Beauchemin and Scott Niedermeyer?

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

Fri, 13 Apr 2007 02:45:42 GMT
NHL Leaders

This is a list of the 23 players that I think are true leaders in the NHL for the recently ended regular season. These are not necessarily the top scorers, but it surely does include some. It's mostly to recognize those that contribute beyond just stats.

Goalies

  1. Wade Dubielewicz
  2. Tim Thomas
  3. Ray Emery

Defensemen

  1. Roman Hamrlik
  2. Marek Malik
  3. Chris Pronger
  4. Jay Bouwmeester
  5. Sami Salo
  6. Brendon Witt
  7. Petteri Nummelin

Forwards

  1. Rod Brind'Amour
  2. Jordan Staal
  3. Sidney Crosby
  4. Teemu Selanne
  5. Daniel Sedin
  6. Daniel Briere
  7. Vincent Lecavalier
  8. Dany Heatley
  9. Henrik Zetterberg
  10. Sean Avery
  11. Kris Draper
  12. Colby Armstrong
  13. Erik Christensen
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

Tue, 10 Apr 2007 21:13:44 GMT
2007 All-Stars

I put together a list of the best players in the 2007 regular season.

Goalies

  1. Martin Brodeur
  2. Roberto Luongo
  3. Miikka Kiprusoff

Defensemen

  1. Nicklas Lidstrom
  2. Chris Pronger
  3. Scott Niedermayer
  4. Dion Phaneuf
  5. Jay Bouwmeester
  6. Kimmo Timonen
  7. Roman Hamrlik
  8. Sami Salo

Forwards

  1. Sidney Crosby
  2. Joe Thornton
  3. Vincent Lecavalier
  4. Teemu Selanne
  5. Dany Heatley
  6. Joe Sakic
  7. Jarome Iginla
  8. Alexander Ovechkin
  9. Daniel Sedin
  10. Olli Jokinen
  11. Martin St Louis
  12. Marian Hossa
  13. Henrik Zetterberg
  14. Rob Brind'Amour
  15. Thomas Vanek
  16. Daniel Alfredsson
Sat, 24 Feb 2007 16:29:03 GMT
Sedin Twin Commercial

Every guy wants swedish twins right?

Wed, 05 Oct 2005 21:27:44 GMT
Northwest Division Predictions
  1. Vancouver Canuks - Top team in the west. Their top line (Naslund, Morrison, Bertuzzi) will be pushed for power play time (Sedins). Come playoff, it's all upto Cloutier. 100+ point team.
  2. Calgary Flames - The Stanley Cup finalist are better (Amonte, Hamrlik, Langkow, McCarty), but will be hard pressed to repeat the fluke. Definate playoff team.
  3. Colorado Nordique - This team can score; Blake, Brisebois, Brunette, Hejduk, Sakic, Tanguay, Turgeon, but will likely struggle defensively. Goog enough to make the playoffs.
  4. Edmonton Oilers - One of the best D's (Cross, Pronger, Smith, Staios), might not be enough to compensate for unproven goaltending and poor offense.
  5. Minnesota Wild - These guys are in the wrong division. The AHL might be better suited. It's Jacque Lemaire magic or they have zero playoff chance.
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