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yave1964 last won the day on April 11

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About yave1964

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  1. PRESEASON OUTLOOK A bit optimistic, a few of the other Western teams were getting a bit long in the tooth, the 'Yotes were hoping for a playoff run behind Raanta and Keller. FINAL RECORD 39-35-8 86 points 4 points behind the Avalanche for the final spot in the West. They didn't make it but somehow they came really close. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR When they bested the Ducks 6-1 on March 14th they had won 10 of their previous 12 giving up only 15 goals during those 10 wins. They were 3 points up for the final playoff spot with 11 games to go. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR They faded from there, losing 8 of their final 11 games to barely miss a playoff spot in the last week of the season. WHAT WENT WRONG No scoring. None. Galchenyuk led the team with 19 goals which was tied for 133rd in the game, Keller had a sophomore slump but led the team with 47 points which was good for 122nd in the game. Raanta was supposed to be the savior in net and went down early only appearing in 12 games.Dvorak missed the first 60 games and only managed 2 goals in 20 games. Connautan who had established himself as a power play specialist over several years only managed 1 goal all year.Schmaltz came over from the Hawks and scored 14 points in 17 games before going down for the year. Derek Stepan had a very poor year. WHAT WENT RIGHT Darcy Kuemper IMHO deserved to be put up for the Vezina over Lehner who split time in net, Keumper came from nowhere and put this team on his back and kept them in the race until the final days with brilliant netminding. Galchenyuk was good, OEL was a beast, a force of nature on the back end. A bunch of guys like Grabner, Hinostroza, Panik, Cousins and Brad Richardson, all retreads bought into the team concept system and contributed with solid years. Conor Garland and Chrsitian Fischer showed they have potential to be at worst top nine forwards for years to come. The defense was unsung but very, very good. FREE AGENTS Servicable Panik, enigmatic Mario Kempe and the usable in a pinch Pickard are all free agents. The 'Yotes have expessed interest in retaining Panik. OFFSEASON QUESTIONS: WHERE THE HELL DOES THIS TEAM FIND SOME OFFENSE?It was not an accident that I left that last question capitalized, they need to find a scoring winger for the top line and a top six center. The next question is one of health, this team was snakebit last year with one player after another missing time, They need to figure out a way to stay healthy. The other big question is this penny pinching organization has a slew of free agents coming up next year including their top two goal scorers and Keumper. Can they, will they retain them beyond 19-20? Can Schmaltz be a top six center? Stepan? Chuckie? At least one of them needs to be, probably two of them. This past seasons near miss will be quickly forgotten if they dont add much needed offense but overall they should feel very satisfied with the direction of the organization.
  2. I hate Boston sports. God how I hate them. Bruins in five. Ugh.
  3. I like Zucker quite a lot, two way player, great 5 on 5 guy which killed your Pens last year. He can score too, not like Kessel to be sure but offense is part of his game. In Pittsburgh I could easily see 30 goals, great even strength two way play and while he is nowhere near the player Kessel is on the power play he has never played with the likes of Crosby/Malkin/Letang either, but I would consider that the biggest drop off. Rask is garbage pure and simple. He had a very good first year in the NHL, not great but showed promise and has done absolutely nothing since. I am sure if he is in the deal it is to make the salaries work. You dont want him trust me, he is slow and is kind of Brassard lite if you can picture that.
  4. PRESEASON OUTLOOK Most folks expected them to be a non competitive team from start to finish and a big seller at the deadline. Most people got this one right. FINAL RECORD 32-36-14 78 points 7th in Metro miles out of a playoff spot. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR The Rangers went 9-1-1 through November 12th beating a bunch of very solid teams during that stretch to run their record to 12-8-2 making many believe they could end up fighting for a wild card spot. The other high point was at seasons end when they moved up to third in the draft. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR Well from there they won a few and lost a few more with regularity. They faded badly at years end, going 4-10-5 down the stretch to finish well out of the race. WHAT WENT RIGHT They managed a nice haul for Zuccarello who rumor has it they intend on making a run at bringing him back. Mika Zibenajad turned into a star or nearly so. The net combo of Lundqvist and Georgiev were a great duo with the kid giving the king rest without a significant dropoff. Kevin Hayes brought a nice return. Kreider had a smashing year. Tony DeAngelo and Neil Pionk established themselves as top four blueliners.They continued to move veterans out for picks and assets and appear to have a serious plan. Kids Chytil and Howden look to have a future as in next year in the top nine. WHAT WENT WRONG Shattenkirk looks dreadfully lost in New York. Namestnikov, Vesey and Buchnevich were all okay but more was expected. Skei took a big step back. Staal continues to steal his paycheck. Lias Anderson looked hopelessly overmatched in his first season. FREE AGENTS None to speak of. the concern is next year as Namestnikov, Kreider and Vesey are all UFA after the coming season and the Rangers need to decide where they are in their rebuild between now and next deadline. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Okay here it is, the Rangers seem to have a plan, putting a bunch of talented kids in place, accumulating tons of picks, do they stick with the plan or turn back into the Rangers and overpay for free agents wrecking what they have been working on? Rumor is they plan on making a huge run for Erik Karlsson which makes sense but he has been fragile in recent years to me the only question is do they stay the course of a pretty solid rebuild or do they spend stupid money on free agency as in years past? To me if they come out of the offseason by dabbling in free agency without the big splash it fits the blueprint they have been working on and IMHO would be better than giving Karlsson 7 years 77 million or some such.
  5. Frustrating for Jackets fans as well: Two years ago they lost to the Penguins in the first round, the Pens won the cup. last year they lost to the Caps who won the cup, if the Bruins win this year it will be three cosnecutibe years losing to the eventual cup winner which I am sure happens on rare occasions but is damn frustrating. As mentioned about the Leafs at least you can say you lost to the cup champ but that doesn't go very far......
  6. PRESEASON OUTLOOK The year before they came back from the dead fighting their way back from double digit points out of a playoff spot to barely missing the playoffs, hopes were extremely high that with the addition of Mike Hoffman for free they would compete and make the postseason. FINAL RECORD 36-32-14 86 points 5th place in division, 11 points out of a playoff spot. HIGH POINT OF THE SEASON Well really there wasn't one. They won a few and lost a few all year, never quite falling out of contention until late in the season, never quite making that push. I suppose if I had to say a high point it was the hiring of Joel Quenneville to coach the team at seasons end. LOW POINT OF THE SEASON The Cats lost 8 of their first ten to throw away the momentum of the previous season and never quite recovered. WHAT WENT RIGHT First off they hired Quenneville which is huge, one of the games all time great coaches and GM Tallon go way back and know a thing or two about winning cups. Hoffman was better than hoped for with 36 goals, Barkov with 96 points and the games greatest defensive forward has turned into the new Datsyuk. Huberdeau was amazing, Dadonov was solid, the quartet of Ekblad, Yandle, Weeger and Matheson are a solid top four on the back end. Frank Vatrano came from absolute nowhere to add 24 goals. Borgstrom was worked in gradual and looks like a sure fire top six forward for years to come. WHAT WENT WRONG Losing Trocheck for several months with a ugly leg injury was devastating, the team was really a two line team and when he went down it took a lot of wind out of their sails. Really the biggest disappointment last year was the simply dreadful goaltending, both Luongo and Reimer had goals against over 3 per game in spite of a young solid defense in front of them, Luongo cannot play anymore and Reimer never could. With average goaltending this team would have coasted into the playoffs. FREE AGENTS Veteran forwards McGinn, Sheahan, MacKenzie and Brouwer all are free agents and all will be gone. The next year Hoffman and Dadonov are UFA's and will command big deals. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Both Bobrovsky and Panarin are rumored to be Florida bound can the Cats add one or both? If they have to pick which one which will it be? Can they resign their own pending free agents for next year in Hoffman and Dadonov? Most important, if they don not sign Bobrovsky, what can they do about their goaltending mess with both Reimer and Luongo still with multiple seasons remaining on their deals?
  7. PRESEASON EXPECTATIONS Zip. Nada. Nuttin. The Canadiens were written off as a mix of old and young, neither particularly good or interesting. Everyone saw them battling for the basement in a top heavy division. FINAL RECORD 44-30-8 96 points missed the playoffs by one single point. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR They started hot and stayed in contention all year with most everyone saying they were going to fade to also rans they refused to listen. In late March they moved 3 points up for a wild card over both Carolina and Columbus with a 3 game winning streak by a combined score of 14-5 over the 3 games. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR Over the next three games they lost both to Carolina and Columbus, the Jackets game 6-2. Although they hung around they were eliminated on the next to last day of the season. Those two losses essentially ended their season. WHAT WENT RIGHT lets start with Price being healthy and appearing in 66 games, what a difference that makes for this team. Domi came over and was the real deal providing grit and scoring. Tatar came as partial payment for Pax and had a damn solid year. Danault, Drouin and Gallagher all had fine years. Andrew Shaw (remember him?) came back from the dead to have his best ever offensive season. Shea Weber came back when everyone wrote him off and his booming slapper changed the power play. I cannot overstate what Jeff Petry does for this defense, he is everywhere in all situations and is among the most underrated players in the game. Kotkaniemi as a rookie showed flashes of brilliance. Lunch pail guys like Paul Byron, Joel Armia and Brett Kulak were all contributors. Perhaps the biggest and most underted addition to the team was Coach Claude Julien who pushed every button correctly all year. WHAT WENT WRONG Well they missed the playoffs in a year in which all four wild card teams won at least one round. Antti Niemi was dreadful as the backup tender. They really never established a center rotation, just kept throwing in a bunch of wingers like Drouin, Danault and Domi into the middle by default which seldom works but worked okay for them. The 4th line was dreadful most of the year, at one point they had went almost two months without a goal from a fourth liner forcing the team to constantly add on the fly guys like Nate Thompson and Jordan Weal. They are still paying the price both monetarily and body wise for the poor signings of Alzner and Schlemko. FREE AGENTS Niemi almost certainly is done not only in Montreal but in the NHL, Jordie Benn was useful on the back end and they would like him back. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS After coming so close and just missing the playoffs, can they build off of it going forward or was it an illusion? Can they find a legit backup for Price so they dont wear him out down the stretch? Will Kotkaniemi take the next step and be the desperately needed 1C? Will Jullsen finally develop into that top four defender he has been much hyped to be? Overall even barely missing the playoffs the team has to be satisfied, almost every move worked, Julien, Domi, Kotkaniemi, Tatar all came aboard with question marks and all worked out. That usually doesn't happen and so there has to be a bit of fear of a dead cat bounce but overall this was a fantastic season for Montreal.
  8. PRESEASON OUTLOOK Pretty much everyone thought they were doomed to finish dead last not only in their own division but most thought they would compete with Ottawa for the overall league basement. FINAL RECORD: 35-36-11 81 points 5th in their division HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR I would argue the first month of the season in which Elias Pettersson captured hearts with a hot goal scoring streak and the team was winning games they had no business winning would be the high point. When they crushed the Bruins of all teams 8-5 on November 8th they were 10-6-1. LOW POINT Here is the thing, yeah they shortly after that hit a bad stretch in which they lost 12 of 13, they bounced back and hung around the fringe of the playoff race until the seasons final weeks. I submit that for a team that nobody expected anything from they really had no true low point. They got fan interest up and their is genuine hope for the future in Vancouver. WHAT WENT RIGHT Start with Pettersson who is the odds on favorite to win the Calder as the leagues top rookie, a dynamic offensive force. Goalie Markstrom has long been considered a potential solid number one, he finally lived up to his potential this season. Bo Horvat quietly had a monster season of his own with 61 points and established himself as quite possibly the best faceoff man in the game. Brock Boeser overcame a slow start to finish strong with 56 points in 69 games. Edler had a renaissance season and rookie Quinn Hughes looked like the real deal in a handful of games after a late callup. Same with Thatcher Demko who looked really good in net. WHAT WENT WRONG Secondary scoring was a huge problem, Loui Ericsson continues to fall more every year, Virtanen is an absolute bust, guys like Granlund, Goldobin, Schaller, Motte, Baertschi, Pearson and Leivo show why other teams gave up on them and tossed them on the scrap heap. Brandon Sutter had a lost year. Essentially they were a one line team with no talent anywhere else on the forward lines. FREE AGENTS Long time defender Edler is an UFA and a decision has to be made on the final link to the nearly great Canucks team of early in the decade. Nobody else is worth mentioning. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Will Pettersson manage to avoid the sophomore slump? Can they find secondary scoring? Rumor is they may shop Markstrom and hand the reins to Demko, do you do that? They have gaping holes all over the roster but some nice building blocks in place in guys like Demko, Horvat, Pettersson, Hughes and Boeser look like the future of the franchise, the big question is what to do about clearing the mines of sub par so called talent around them and replacing them with at the least average players. Overall they have hope for a better future.
  9. I took Sharks in 7 and think this is going to be a fun series, two different style teams, the Blues get er done with goaltending and just enough scoring, the Sharks send five men into the offensive zone regularly as if they are on a power play even when it is 5 on 5. Whoever makes adjustments the quickest wins, I think the Sharks can play about any style and the Blues will come up just short as they dont have am answer for Karlsson/Burns.
  10. @Puck_Pun Anderson has one more year remaining on his deal, my bet is he starts the year as the starter, gets injured as usual, comes back and is dealt away on or before the deadline to a desperate team. Nilsson really didn't play poorly for the Sens after being pretty bad early for the Canucks. He probably earned another look but this team which manages to constantly screw up cap management every which way from Sunday didn't resign him early and he is an UFA in a very thin free agent crop and will expect to get paid by someone. On the cheap? Sure, I give a flyer on him but if he wants three or four years based off a couple of months of decent but not spectacular goaltending, no. As for coaching I saw Brad Shaw as well as Sheldon Keefe being tossed about. Anyone would be better than old hair helmet Crawford IMHO.
  11. I just dont know where to start. What an insanely bad season. PRESEASON EXPECTATIONS It was expected to be bad, really bad. They didn't disappoint. FINAL RECORD 29-47-6 64 points worst record in the game. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR It would have to be when in spite of having the worst record in Hockey they had three teams pass them up in the draft depriving the Avalanche of Hughes or Kakko. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR It started in the offseason with the Hoffman/Karlsson debacle, they traded Hoffman to the Sharks for nothing only to watch the Sharks trade him for a better package five minutes later to the Panthers. Then they traded Karlsson for a meh package. Then Duchene. Then Dzingel. Oh and who can forget the uber ride where it seemed half the team was mocking the special teams coach in unison. And all year long the worry over the Avalanche getting their first rounder hung over their head as if they were Ned Stark. Oh and they traded Mark Stone when it became painfully obvious that he wanted off the sinking ship. And way back at the beginning of the year goalie Condon gave up a 170 foot goal. WHAT WENT RIGHT Actually, there were some bright spots, Tkachuk was a thorn in other teams sides and looks like a modern skilled power forward, Colin White showed promise, they loaded up on picks and added a solid prospect in Brannstrom in the Stone deal, Chabot looks like a future star and more than adequately replaced Karlsson's office. Tierney and Demelo were both good as part of the return for Karlsson. WHAT WENT WRONG They were hoping to convince one or more of Dzingel, Duchene or Stone to sign to save face and use as veteran influence on a young team, none did and all were moved out. The goaltending was awful, Bobby Ryan and Boedker continue to slip more and more every year. Ceci had a bad year. Zack Smith looks to be in decline. Lots of kids got looks, most were not as impressive the first time around as billed. FREE AGENTS Anders Nisson, Magnus Paajarvi, Brian Gibbons and Tobias Lindberg will not be back. None will be missed. They did a very good job of returning assets for their real free agents. OFFSEASON QUESTIONS First, who is going to be the coach? Marc Crawford was dusted off and thrown out for the end of the season last year and may return but rumors are DJ Smith is the frontrunner. My feeling is they need someone good with kids so someone with a strong AHL background might be a good idea. Duchene is another question mark, rumors are already circulating that Duchene may very well return next season to Ottawa on a long term deal, they have the money to make it happen and to pursue other free agents as well. Other questions are which kids will crack the roster next year. It really isn't that bleak, the Senators have a wealth of grade B plus kids at various positions, goaltending is a mess still and will remain so in all likelihood as Anderson is falling apart and nobody is close to stepping up. So last year was the bottoming out but they should be better next year as there is nowhere to go but up.
  12. RIP to a legend, one of the all timers. Most cup wins of any non Hab. switched positions mid career, did a decent job as the Leaf coach during Our Pal Hal's borderline personality disorder issues.
  13. In other news Pavelski still out, not even travelling with the Sharks to Colorado. Must be faking it to help the league justify screwing Vegas with a non penalty, just like the USA faked the moon landing...…...
  14. @Brewin Flames Larsson and Keith Petruzzelli are considered something of goalie prospects for the Wings which is good, we have had years of Harri Sateri and his ilk playing at the A, Howard and Bernier aren't really the answer, more of a stop gap at this point and it would be nice to develop a nice young cheap tandem for 20-21.I love watching AHL Hockey, looking forward to seeing Larsson in person next year.
  15. With the Boston win It shows once again The cup wont be lifted By a Canadian outfit
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