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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, 24 Apr 2011 18:28:30 GMT
Vezina Nominees
Quite a battle for the Vezina this year. And who do I think should win? All of them and more.

Luongo simply had an amazing season. But so did most of the Canuck players. They dominated the NHL. Any other year and he'd be a lock. Already considered one of the best, he posted he's career best GAA and SV Pct. Still might not be enough.

Thomas, like Luongo, posted his career best numbers and even better than Luongo's. I can't see Luongo winning over Thomas. The Bruins struggle offensively and rely on Luongo a lot more than Vancouver. If it were not for Thomas, the Bruins may not have made the playoffs.

Rinne had a break out season. He plays for a bad team and single handledly put his team in the playoffs. Without Rinne, the Preds would've been in contention for a high draft pick.

Lundqvist didn't get nominated and won 11 games for the Rangers via shutout. Rangers, like the Preds, could easily have been fighting for a high draft pick had their goaltending had yet another great season. I understand why Lundqvist was left out, but I'm gonna mention him anyway.

All said, Thomas' .938 save percentage is what convinces me to award my vote to him as the Vezina winner. Not to mention his GAA was in fact below 2 (1.998), but rounded up to 2.00 in the stats.

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 16:10:30 GMT
WHL Rosters Updated

I updated all the WHL rosters on Talk-Sports.

Brandon Wheatkings
Calgary Hitmen
Chilliwack Bruins
Edmonton Oil Kings
Everett Silvertips
Kamloops Blazers
Kelowna Rockets
Kootenay Ice
Lethbridge Hurricanes
Medicine Hat Tigers
Moose Jaw Warriors
Portland Winterhawks
Prince Albert Raiders
Prince George Cougars
Red Deer Rebels
Regina Pats
Saskatoon Blades
Seattle Thunderbirds
Spokane Chiefs
Swift Current Broncos
Tri-City Americans
Vancouver Giants
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.
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 17:09:05 GMT
NHL Fun
Here are one person's thoughts with regards to making the NHL more entertaining for him. There’s nothing in here that would be remotely appetizing to the 30 votes that matter.

 

  1.          Reduce the number of players dressed per game to 18. This effectively removes less skilled players.
  2.          Reduce the number of teams to 20. This effectively removes less skilled players.
  3.          Reduce the number of games played per week to 3. This effectively allows for better rested players, where games per week are currently 3.5.
  4.          Reduce the number of regular season games. I’m flexible with regards to the exact number of games. A minimum of 50 games would certainly let the cream rise to the top without bumping those quality teams that go on a 3 week swoon. The number, however, should not become so high that the outcome becomes too predictable for the majority of the teams. That just might make 70 games the maximum.
  5.          I prefer a balanced schedule, although I’m well aware that most enjoy playing local teams more often
  6.          Reduce the number of teams that qualify for the playoff to 8, with 3 7 game rounds. 5 games might be sufficient; however I can not get my mind to think of a playoff round being other than 7.
  7.          1st seed will play 8th seed, etc…
  8.          I prefer that these 8 seeds are the top 8 teams in the NHL with no preference being offered to division and conference. I am well aware that some may lose interest if no one from their region was competing in the playoffs. Perhaps my opinion is one from the east end of our continent.
  9.         I should be noted at this point that with a balanced schedule and no seeding preferences the concept of division and conference adds little to our world
  10.          No playoff round is to begin before the previous round is complete
  11.          Playoff games will be scheduled such that you are playing every 2nd day, where each team is to get at least 1 day off. This last point is important between rounds.
  12.          3 week training camp seems sufficient
  13.          Time off for Xmas, All-Star break, between regular season & playoffs, for Olympics & World Cup can easily be accommodated
  14.          Shut down 11 franchises Atlanta, Phoenix, Nashville, Columbus, Florida, Carolina, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Anaheim, Washington & New Jersey
  15.          Add a new and 2nd franchise in Toronto
  16.          No expansion to Winnipeg, Québec, Halifax. In the new 20 team NHL teams such as Edmonton & Calgary will be considered weak in many respects. Although I did intend on staying away from any reasoning of this sort.
    •          West division
      •          Vancouver
      •          Calgary
      •          Edmonton
      •          Los Angeles
      •          Colorado
    •          Midwest division
      •          Detroit
      •          Chicago
      •          Minnesota
      •          Saint Louis
      •          Dallas
    •          Southeast division
      •         Boston
      •          New York Rangers
      •          New York Islanders
      •          Philadelphia
      •          Pittsburgh
    •          Northeast
      •          Montréal
      •          Ottawa
      •          Toronto Maple Leafs
      •          Toronto 2nd
      •          Buffalo
 

What undermines everyone’s effort when entertaining any conversation that puts forth anything resembling the above is the idea that you can sell it. Don’t! You can’t! It’s purely entertainment!

Fri, 01 May 2009 13:31:39 GMT
Hello Blackhawks?

The game winning goal for the Canucks over Blackhawks last night looked like a game of shinny hockey. Note, all five Hawk players rush to the top of the circle, four of them, including one defenseman, goes for a skate behind the goalline. Vancouver doesn't immediately turn the puck up ice, there was plenty of time for the four Hawks to recover, but it appears only one of them decided to make an effort to get into the play. Is this an NHL team?

Let's start with the pass. With all four Blackhawks deep, Versteeg passes it backwards, then proceeds to leisurely skate into the corner. Havlat and Barker crash the net, which is fine, but Havlat had all day to try and come back and is nowhere to be found. Barker is a defenseman, he shouldn't be going to the net and engaging the d-man. Oddly, Barker was the only Hawk deep that was engaged with another player. Barker skates all the way back but fails to pick up the Canuck standing right beside him who scores the easy goal. What is the point of skating back, if you aren't gonna try to stop them. All three other Hawk forwards made no attempt to backcheck. Kane missed the pass, which causes the turnover, but the puck goes to the far boards and it takes several seconds to turn up ice. Where is Kane? Walker was the only Hawk on this play that played any defense, but he fails to take the guy with the puck and allows him to make a pass thru the middle.

Question. How did these guys beat the Flames? Or worse, were they trying to lose?

Mon, 16 Mar 2009 04:09:41 GMT
Ducks v. Canucks, March 11
We had our choice of Ducks games to go to, but we chose Vancouver next Wednesdaybecause we wanted to see Sundin. I got three tickets from StubHub for 9 dollars each, plus about 20 in handling charges. Not bad for tickets that would otherwise cost hundreds. The tickets arrived a few days later, we had them delivered to our campground. I paid with my PayPal account.

003

We paid 15 dollars to take a taxi to the game. The taxi was 30 minutes late, so we arrived only 20 minutes before the game, which is late for us.

The Ducks were killed in the first 10 minutes and saved by their goaltender, Hiller. The Ducks took a two goal lead on bad giveaways. The Canucks tied it in one minute. The Ducks took another lead. The Ducks appeared to take a 4-2 lead, but the refs called a phantom goalie interference penalty.

004

The concessions ran out of cotton candy, Firestone beer and possibly other stuff, causing extreme lines. I wanted one of their 1/2 pound dogs, but gave up after sitting second in line for 5 minutes.

The Canucks scored and put the game into overtime. In overtime, Scott Niedermayer won it on a partial break. Great game.

013

We went to JT Schmid's after the game. They had a great stout beer.

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 15:27:30 GMT
WHL Players Updated

We just updated the WHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.

Brandon Wheat Kings
Calgary Hitmen
Chilliwack Bruins
Edmonton Oil Kings
Everett Silvertips
Kamloops Blazers
Kelowna Rockets
Kootenay Ice
Lethbridge Hurricanes
Medicine Hat Tigers
Moose Jaw Warriors
Portland Winter Hawks
Prince Albert Raiders
Prince George Cougars
Red Deer Rebels
Regina Pats
Saskatoon Blades
Seattle Thunderbirds
Spokane Chiefs
Swift Current Broncos
Tri-City Americans
Vancouver Giants
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, 16 Feb 2006 03:22:49 GMT
Dale Begg-Smith wins Gold

TSN: Dale Begg-Smith,a Vancouver native who now skis for Australia, captured the gold.

http://www.tsn.ca/olympics/news_story/?ID=154976

Tue, 31 Jan 2006 02:49:11 GMT
Jovocop to Miss Olympics

AP: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ed Jovanovski will miss the Olympics because of a lower abdominal injury.  [cut] Jovanovski is expected to be replaced by Toronto defenseman Bryan McCabe, selected earlier to Canada's backup squad.

http://www.nhl.com/news/2006/01/254946.html

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?

Thu, 05 Jan 2006 23:16:26 GMT
The Leafs January

This January will be tough for the Leafs. A lot of games on the road and out west.

That's a deadly schedule for both the players and fans. If the Leafs struggle in the first 6 of those games, then the Senators could easily turn this into a long losing streak with the final two in Ottawa. For the fans, 3 of the next 5 are on premium ($$$) TV. Yuck! Doesn't sound like a great January and like they say, as goes January, so goes the year.

Thu, 20 Oct 2005 00:43:12 GMT
Hockey Canada preliminary roster

CP: Preliminary Team Canada roster for 2006 Turin Olympics released Wednesday by Hockey Canada.

http://www.nhl.com/news/2005/10/239358.html

Randy: I organized the players by their likelyhood of being selected. I placed all reasonably young players who played well on the 2004 Canada World Cup team (marked *) and complimented it with players who are obvious choices (2002 Canada Olympic team marked **). Injuries will change everything, but as it stands, either Theodore or Turco will be the 3rd goalie, one of Blake, Foote, Jovocop and Pronger will be the 7th defenceman and one of a long list of players could be the 12th and 13th forward.

Goaltenders

Defencemen

Forwards

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.
Wed, 20 Jul 2005 02:43:30 GMT
TSN to show NHL Draft Lottery
TSN: TSN, which is the rightsholder for the 2005 NHL entry draft in Ottawa on July 30, will carry the lottery event. [cut]  The big prize, of course, is talented youngster Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic. [cut] Four teams (Buffalo, Columbus, the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh) have three balls in the lottery. Ten teams (Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, Phoenix) have two balls in the drum. The remaining 16 teams (Boston, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, New Jersy, NY Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington) have one.
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