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Everything posted by yave1964

  1. @HockeyJunkie Good to see you back. spending all that money on the very one dimensional Skinner will set your boys back for literally years. The team could have filled three gaping holes every year for the next eight years with that money. Awful signing, i said it then, i will say it five years from now when you are still paying him. The drop off in talent from the top to the bottom is one of the highest and most steepest in the game. True superstars at the top, very little in the middle, lots of lower tier players, too many of them. They may need to move Risto out for a top six center to give Eichel some relief.
  2. The wife and i were in Toronto a decade ago, the Senators were on their way down, Toronto was pretty bad, the two of them played the night before, (I think the Leafs won) it was the only thing on the news for the next day, i mean, THE ONLY THING. A meaningless game between two teams that everyone knew were going nowhere and it was inspected digested rejected infected selected on all three channels that we got at our hotel. I was stunned, i think that was the moment that i realized that Minny may be the State of Hockey, Motown may be Hockeytown but Canada is a different animal. If the Wings play a hard fought game against say, Nashville, that night it might lead in sports but by the next day it is pretty much forgotten. I remember the Emery/Gerber debate beingdiscussed Ad nauseum on television as if it were Trump versus Biden/ In short, in the USA Hockey is sport, in Canada it is life.
  3. Hang in there lady. Agreed, not trying to derail the thread at all, shoulda posted it elsewhere. No logical way to do fnatasy hockey that makes sense. Kind of like real hockey as well truthfully.
  4. Sloppy ugly hockey, i guess it is better than no hockey at all. I guess. Here is a question for all fantasy players, what do we do now? @ruxpin was winning in nahana, i was winning in all star, do we figure out a way to continue through the playoffs or do we just call it? @jammer2 @pilldoc @TropicalFruitGirl26 @hf101 @J0e Th0rnton @Mad Dog @radoran @Pipers and more, i dont know if anyone has any ideas, or if it matters even.
  5. To me: 1) Blackhawks during original six era, they were the two Western teams and kind of by default as Boston/New York and Toronto/Montreal were already taken. 2) The Blues. MAN was that a fun rivalry for a lot of years, it seemed they were down at the same time and up at the same time as well, i HATED Pronger and loved it when Yzerman ripped a slapper past Fuhr in OT from just inside the blueline to finish them off in a playoff series. 3) The Norris AKA the Black and Blue division. It was a time when Calgary/Edmonton dominated and the Norris wasnt vey good so the North Stars, Leafs, Wings, Hawks and Blues would sign every knucle dragger who could barely stand on skates to entertain, yet guys like Yzerman, Federko, Modano and Roenick were brilliant to watch. 4) Love hating the Pens. I respect the Hell out of their talent, i enjoy watching them and secretly dont hate Crosby but love the rivalry. 5) to me however the rivalry, which is up there with the Nordiques/Habs and the Battle of Alberta has to be the Wings V Avalanche, i still hate Claude Lemieux, Roy, Keane, Ricci and so many more, i detest them more than almost any current players. It was two elite teams where no quarter was aksed, none given and from 96 thru 02 whoever got past the other one went on to win the cup 5 times in 7 years. Two hall of fame stacked teams that truly hated each others guts.
  6. Thank you for the correction! Any way you look at it, he was rotten this year, lol.
  7. Skipping ahead slightly, i will save the Wild/Flyers for near the end as whatever needs written about those two teams is pretty well covered by a ton of posters in here already. Therefor next on the list are the Preds. PRESEASON OUTLOOK Among the elite in the West for years, cracks have appeared in the foundation by way of slippage among the forwards and an aging goalie. The offseason saw the trade of Subban to free up the money to add duchene. Hopes were the talented trio Ekholm/Ellis/Josi would still perform admirably on the back end, Duchene along with a bounce back year from Forsberg would help keep them in the running for the cup. FINAL RECORD 35-26-8 5th in the Central,8th in the Western conference. If the playoffs had started they would have had a first round matchup against the St. louis Blues. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR The end of the year saw the Predators peaking, Saros had taken over in net for Rinne as the full time starter, they had won six of nine (the only loss a game started by Rinne) with Saros finishing the season with back to back shutouts in a home and home against the Stars. They appeared all but certain to be a playoff team and although potentially a low seed certain to be n the conversation. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR They muddled their way through the first third of the year, from Halloween thru November 21st they lost 8 of 9 including six in a row culminating in Rinne getting smashed by Vancouver. They looked out of sync and slow. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Arvidsson was brilliant at home with 11 goals but only a meager 4 on the road. Jared Tinordi had a very strange stat, 32 PIMs on the road, but only one minor penalty for the year at home. WHAT WENT RIGHT Roman Josi was brilliant, leading his team in total points with 65, nearly a point a game. Forsberg while not exactly killing it led the team in goals scored. Duchene was a mixed bag, not quite living up to the contract but not bad either, among the best faceoff men in the league with decent offensive numbers. Ryan Ellis was at nearly a point a game pace like his fellow blueliner Josi but he missed a chunk of time. Bonino was arguably the most underrated 3C in all of hockey. Jarnkrok was solid, Ekholm was near brilliant on the back end. Secondary scoring was a non issue, Grimaldi, Turris, Sissons, Watson, all played bottom six minutes and contributed admirably chipping in on the offense. Craig Smith overcame a glacially slow start to finish second on the team in goals scored. Saros took over as the starting goalie, outperforming Rinne giving up nearly half a goal less per game and cementing himself as the teams starter. WHAT WENT WRONG Rinne clearly has slipped, giving up a career worst goals against average and losing his starting job. Johansen was average on his best days, and awful on his worst, appearing indifferent much of the year. Arvidsson was ineffective, then hurt and then innefective again. In spite of leading all Predator forwards in ice time, Granlund managed only a paltry 17 goals and was 12th on the team in scoring. Yannick Weber and Hamhuis as a bottom pair were pretty bad, both look to be done. FREE AGENTS Steady as she goes Craig Smith is an UFA who they would like back, Markus Granlund will likely need a change of scenery to get his career going after going off the rails after coming over a few years ago from the Wild. Hamhuis almost certainly will retire, Weber likely wont be back. OFFSEASON QUESTIONS Pretty much the exact same ones as last year. The offense was short, forward scoring was pretty bad and a need for top six scoring is essential. They have one more year on the contract of Rinne, will they have him back or look to find a home for him to clear cap space to find offense? They appear to be in a bit of decline but still could be relevant if things break right.
  8. PRESEASON OUTLOOK Pretty high. After barely missing the postseason the year before, Kessel came over for the underperforming Galchenyuk. Soderberg a solid middle six jack of all trades was also added to an anemic offense, hopes were high for a playoff appearance. FINAL RECORD 33-30-8 11TH in the West HIGH POINT OF THE SEASON on the night of December 16th the Coyotes made arguably the biggest trade of their existence, giving up draft picks and prospects for Taylor Hall. Two nights later in his first game as a 'Yote, late in the third in a game against the Sharks Hall stole a puck and set up OEL out front who scored to win the game, running the record to 20-12-4. They looked like not only a playoff team but a legit Western conference contender. LOW POINT OF THE SEASON Same date, December 16th. The trade for hall cost them three prospects and a first and third. After the electrifying win a few nights later, they won a few, lost a few more finally falling out of contention. The worst is Hall is an unrestricted free agent at years end and will likely walk or command a cap breaking deal to stay. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Sticking with Hall, he scored goals in nine games for the Coyotes, they went 3-6 in those games. WHAT WENT RIGHT Nick Schmaltz justified his trade from the Hawks the year before by leading the team in scoring. Canor Garland led the team in goals. Soderberg was very solid. Goligoski and OEL provided a very solid one two punch from the back end. Dvorak bounced back nicely after missing most of the year before. Chychrum finally blossomed on the back end both defensively and on the power play. Lawson Crouse had a fine season in the middle six. The tandem in net, Raanta and Keumper battled injuries but both were near brilliant when healthy. WHAT WENT WRONG Kessel was pretty much a flop, he did lead the team in power play points but that was it. Keller was awful for long stretches although eh came on late. Stepan clearly lost a step and dropped all the way from the top line to the third. Veterans Grabner and Richardson are clearly in the twlight of mediocre careers. Christian Fischer didnt live up to the year before. Barrett Hayton was given every chance to take a top six center role and was clearly not ready. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS How long does GM Chayka have before he gets the axe? Every year they seem to end up the same, a few points out of a playoff spot with offense being the culprit. Now, what does Taylor Hall do? Resigning him severely limits the team, letting him walk after such high payment to get him will almost certainly start the grumbling. Can Kessel and Stepan bounce back? Without both of them doing so the offense will again be anemic. What the Hell happened to Keller? Will he bounce back? Can they role again with essentially two damn good starting goalies? It has worked for several years as both are brittle when one is hurt the other is usually healthy but how long until discontent from one of them settles in if both are healthy and one has to sit for long stretches? Honestly, they look like a team in transition, a new GM came aboard, brought them up to mediocrity and they seem to have peaked there.
  9. PRESEASON OUTLOOK Pretty decent, still a viable core of Kane/Toews/Keith/seabrook/Crawford, new flair from gustafsson/Strome/Debrincat, then shoring the net up with Lehner, adding Maatta to the blueline and Nylander/Kubalik to the forwards. Hopes were high for a return to relevance. FINAL RECORD 32-30-8 12th in the West. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR When the Hawks beat the 'Yotes on February first they had overcome a horrendous start to the year and climbed into the conversation with a record of 25-21-6 They had won 6 of their previous 7 with Lehner/Crawford pushing each other nicely. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR Two come to mind. First, their high hopes were dashed with a rotten start, losing 9 of their first 12. Most importantly, after spending most of the year climbing out of the hole dug by the early futility, after that overtime win on February first, they then lost their next five and nine of twelve to sink out of the conversation. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Toews was used and abused in the dot like no other center in the game, he literally took as many faceoffs as the next three centers, Strome, Kampf and Carpenter combined the only such overused workhorse that i could find. I get wanting your top pivot to take as many draws as possible but his totals were off the charts. Debrincat had an off year but his scoring was vital, the Hawks went 12-2-2 when he tucked one in compared to 20-28-6 when he was held off the scoresheet. WHAT WENT RIGHT Kane was his usual hall of game caliber stud, Toews was one of the best two way forwards in the game. Kubalik came out of nowhere to score 30 goals. Saad provided nice secondary scoring with 21. Kirby Dach didnt embarrass himself playing 3rd line minutes as a kid. Boqvist was solid on the back end in his first year. Debrincat led the team with 10 PPG. Strome and Nylander werent great but werent bad either. Both Crawford and Lehner had their moments. Lehner and Gustafsson were moved out for extra picks at the deadline. WHAT WENT WRONG Defense was awful, Gustafsson had a careeryear the season before and was awful before being dealt at the deadlne. Seabrook is a contract hanging over their heads who can no longer play. Keith was meh. De Haan contributed zilch. For many, 18 goals is a good solid year, for Debrincat it was a huge dropoff. So that is the problem with this club they had a lot of guys like Debrincat, Lehner, Strome, Keith who werent exactly bad but not exactly good either. Too many passengers not enough drivers. Kane and Toews cannot do it all. FREE AGENTS Only Crawford matters as the Hawks are finally out from under his deal. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Do you keep Coach Jeremy Colliton? The Hawks clearly underperformed. The Hawks desperately need speed and skill on the back end and Holtby is likely their top priority among free agents to fill up the net. a 2C who can play in all situations is important too. Kane is still a Hockey God but they need to surround him with more skill.
  10. Gonna continue with the series, end of season reviews. There is still a very real possibility that the league will resume with a 24 team postseason, if so the Habs will be the last team in. I am going to continue with this series, if a lower rung team wins the cup (if there is one) i will do an adjustment. PRESEASON OUTLOOK kind of a mixed bag. The Habs missed the playoffs by a point the year before, the hopes were that with a better backup goalie (Niemi almost certainly cost Montreal a playoff spot the year before with dreadful play when called on in the second half) another year under the belt for Kotkaniemi and a few kid blueliners that they would and should compete for a bottom rung playoff spot. FINAL RECORD 31-31-8 5th place in the Division which doesnt sound bad unless you take time to realize the Atlantic Division had 4 of the worst 8 teams in the game. Easily the most bottom heavy division in the game. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR When Montreal defeated the Flames 4-3 on December 18th they had won five of their previous six including games against very good Flames/canucks/Penguins teams. They sat at 17-12-8 and looked as if they were going to be in competition for a playoff spot. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR Then they went out and lost eight in a row, including losses to the Dreadful Wings, they fell a couple of games under .500 and from then on they stayed a few games above or below .500 from that point on, never a serious competitor and never a really bad team. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR They were the first team in the past three years to finish under .500 at home and over .500 on the road. They played a lot of tight games as testified to by their 21 games that went to overtime, second most in the league behind Columbus. WHAT WENT RIGHT Danault has turned into a hell of a player, great faceoff guy plays in all situations and had 47 points. At plus 18 on a mediocre team playing big minutes he is a very underrated two way player. Tatar who was partial payment for Pacioretty had a career year leading the team in most all offensive categories. Domi started slow but came on strong. Gallagher missed 13 games but led the team in goals. Nick Suzuki, also pmt for Pacioretty is the real deal, playing 2C minutes and leading the team in power play scoring. Petry and Weber continued to be a dynamic one/two punch on the back end. Chiarot was a solid contributor on the back end as well. Lehkonen, Armia and Cousins were all solid providing secondary scoring. Carey Price was unspectacular but still very solid. WHAT WENT WRONG Former New Jersey netminder Kincaid was brought in to shore up the backup goalie position and bombed miserably. Drouin was awful then hurt and then awful again. Paul Byron clearly either lost a step or was playing most of the year with a leg injury. Kotkaniemi was dreadful and then sent to the AHL. FREE AGENTS None of note. Next year is their big year as Gallagher, Tatar, Petry and Danault all are UFAs after the 20-21 season and all are critical if the team is going to succeed. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Starts with the 20-21 free agent class of Danault, Gallagher, Tatar and Petry. The cupboards are not bare but they are certainly low, they can ill afford to lose any of them let alone all of them if they are going to remain in the mix. Price and Weber are aging, the Habs may gear up for one run next year and then blow it up if it doesnt work out. Time is not running out on Kotkaniemi but the clock is certainly ticking. A middling team with a chance to move up because of brilliant goaltending or to slip down as they age. I dont like their future, i dont like it at all but i think 20-21 might be slightly better before they fall apart.
  11. To me: A player has a right to be an ass. Period. The team has the right, if said player crosses a line, terminating said contract and telling him they no longer want his services. See Avery, Kordic, Mike Richards, and many, many more who are bought out and sent on their way. Look, the contract is still being honored, he is getting paid for the remainder of this year (if there is one) but the Capitals have decided that his idiocy is enough to where they no longer want him back. Another team might, Mike Ribiero is about as bad a human as ever played the game according to many sources, but he kept getting invited back by one team after another because he could flat out play. The moment he lost a step and a mile an hour off his previously crisp passes the offers dried up. Leipsic is a 4th liner who went 34 games this year without a goal would have likely had a difficult time getting a contract anyway, now if lets say, the Jackets are looking to add bottom six forwards to compete for a job and it comes down to Leipsic or a similar player who doesnt have his baggage for the same contract, who would you expect them to sign? I guess if there is a rub that is it. Two standards DO exist in sports, star players have one set of rules, borderline NHLers another, but the borderline players know this and have to live by them. Wuld i have wanted Leipsic previous to this? Probably not, 5 teams by the age of 25 already puts a cloud over his head, this is probably the tipping point and should be. If he wants a career going forward it will probably be in Europe and i am totally fine with that.
  12. PRESEASON OUTLOOK The year before the Sabres started hotter than anyone then finished colder than anyone missing the playoffs by a mile. Skinner was resigned, the hope was that another year of more or less the same crew growing up together would be enough to get them into the playoff hunt. FINAL RECORD 30-31-8 6th in Division. Here is the deal. The league is rumored to be considering a 24 team playoff for this summer, the Sabres being the Sabres faded badly down the stretch, if they do indeed have 24 of the 31 teams make the playoffs as rumored, the Sabres will be just on the outside looking in. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR They started hot as Hell again, winning October 25th 3-0 against the Wings to tun their record to 9-2-1 The offense led by Eichel was clicking, the tendem in net of Ullmark and Hutton already had 3 shutouts in the first 12 games. People were buying in. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR From then on, they turned back into the 2018-19 Sabres again. They lost 9 of their next 10 and spent the season with their wheels stuck in the mud for the rest of the year. They did manage to climb to 29-25 -8 in late February which would have gotten them to the playoffs under the proposed system but being the Sabres they then lost their next six games to fall behind Montreal and slip out of contention. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Only five teams won more games at home than the Sabres but only two teams won less than the Sabres on the road. This happens sometimes with young teams as they learn to win. This was best represented by Eichel who had 49 points at home but a very average 29 on the road. Reinhart had 14 goals at home and only 8 away. WHAT WENT RIGHT Eichel had 78 points in 68 games becoming a beast, Reinhart proved to be a top six winger. Rookie Olofsson had 20 goals, long stretched of scoring by long stretches of being a non factor but lots of promise. Ristolainen had a fantastic bounce back year. Dahlin had a great year and looks like he is going to dominate for years. Montour was a solid contributor on the back end, Ullmark was pretty damn good in net. WHAT WENT WRONG Start with Skinner who was wretched following a 40 goal season and a long term extention with the worst year of his career. Middle six wingers were a gaping hole as well, Vesey, Sheary, Larsson and Okposo were dreadful most of the year. Mittlestadt has bust written all over him. Frolik and Simmonds came aboard to shore up the middle six and were bad. Asplund is a bust. Hutton is at best a 20 game a year backup goalie disguised as a time share quasi starter and being overused was overexposed. The defense was very top heavy, the bottom six produced very little in the way of offense. FREE AGENTS Simmonds, Girgensons, Vesey, Sobotka, Wilson, and Frolik are all UFA and none are expected back, none will be missed much. OFFSEASON QUESTIONS Can they find a 2C to slot in behind Eichel to take the pressure off? Cozins should make the team this year and will be given every opportunity. Can Mittlestadt turn it around? Is Ullmark for real? Can they find any real middle six wingers? with the established Dahlin do you trade Risto to fill holes elsewhere? This team is very top heavy, Eichel, Dahlin, Risto, Reinhart, Olofsson all can play, but beyond them there is almost literally nothing. Skinner has to be better (he cannot possibly be worse) and true skill players have to be found to go with the short list of ones they already have.
  13. He also made fun of the legs on McDavid's girlfriend. The guy is a complete tool.
  14. Brendan Leipsic may be the happiest guy in the game that there is no Hockey right now. He had a series of messages from Instagram come out a few days ago, i am not gonna get into the ones ripping women one way and another, they are out there to be read if you are so inclined, Enough to say that the Capitals once it came to light had no choice but to cut him on the spot. He also called linemates Nick Down and Garnet Hathaway losers. And ripped on former teammate Jake Virtanen. Coke was mentioned. Leipsic of course apologised, saying his friends instagram was hacked, blah, blah blah. Sabre AHL non prospect Jake Rodewalk was also in the thread. And this with Tanner Pearsons wife. What a tool. Leipsic has went through five teams in a short career not even counting the Predators who drafted hima nd traded him. All by 25 years old. Last year he managed 3 goals in 61 games including a stretch where he had a 34 game goalless draught. Odds are he will have to go to Europe when/if Hockey resumes.
  15. DEVILS PRESEASON OUTLOOK They overachieved two years ago, then underachieved in 2018-19, they added Subban in a big trade, signed Simmonds, added Gusev from the Knights and added the first pick in the draft in Jack Hughes,. With Taylor Hall healthy hopes were the Devils could contend for a playoff spot in a rugged division. FINAL RECORD 28-29-12 68 points last in the Metro HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR The offseason was the high point, adding Subban, Hughes, Gusev and Simmonds. Nothing after that really compared. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR So, the team added a bunch of solid pieces and then.... it all went to hell very fast. They lost their first six and nine of their first eleven. They righted it a bit but then from November 30th thru December 13th they lost seven in a row to slip to 9-17-5. A preseason of promise turned into a nightmare. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Taylor Hall scored six goals for the Devils in those games the team lost five times. Palmieri, the teams leading scorer was oh for seven in the shootout. WHAT WENT RIGHT Palmieri led the team in goals and in total points having a fine season. Gusev was disinterested in playing defense but proved a capable setup man leading the team in assists. Hall, Simmonds, Greene and Coleman were all moved out as they added picks for a rebuild. Hischier showed some promise finally. Bratt contributed 16 goals, Zacha showed promise of finally establishing himself. Severson was fine on the back end, Vatanen when healthy looked good. MacKenzie Blackwood had some growing pains but earned the confidence of his team and the beleif is he is the teams number one going forward. WHAT WENT WRONG Hall was very ordinary prompting his trade. Subban had a dreadful year. Hughes had an awful rookie year. Cory Schneider continues too sink lower even spending time at the AHL level. Mcleod was recalled and looked completely overwhelmed at the NHL level. simmonds is done and was put out of the teams hair at the deadline. Too many vets didnt earn their pay. FREE AGENTS None. a few AHL bodies that is about it.Palmieri and Gusev will noth need paid as they are free agents at the end of the coming year. They traded all potential free agents before the deadline and go into this draft with 3 first rounders. OFFSEASON QUESTIONS They went for it in a big way before this season with Subban, Simmonds, Hughes and Gusev and it ended badly, The question is, do they try again this year or do they go with a full on youth movement? Is Blackwood the answer in net? Can subban rebound?
  16. I have said all along that it is ridiculous to think of reopening the season. Just dont see a reason for it and our thoughts are in alignment. I love the game, but damn, a 24 team playoff, best of 3 series, all for the sake of crowning a champ. I have to admit that i will watch if/when it comes back, i miss sports so much that if competitive dwarf tossing were on the ocho i would probably tune in. I even watched a few innings of Korean Baseball a few days ago for Christ sake. So out of desperation for entertainment, yeah, i will tune in but the truth is cancelling the season would have been the best call.
  17. The Nhl is supposedly giving serious thought to starting back up in June-ish with a 24 team playoff schedule, The bottom seven clubs in the league would not restart the year but would be eliminated. I read a couple of places where The first round would be a best of three. The problem, okay, ONE of the problems with this format is 24 is not divisible to one, 24 teams, then 12, 6 3,..... clearly that doesnt work. Two places i read in the fan comments that the league is possibly looking to give 1-8 a first round bye with 9-24 playing the best of three with eight winners moving on to set the field of 16. Not a good idea IMHO as the losers would have a clear advantage over the winners as they would have real games under their belt before the following series while the top eight would have three/four months of sitting idle. Bettman is determined to crown a champion. I cringe at the thought of how badly this could work out but any Hockey is better than no Hockey, i guess.
  18. Anaheim next on the list PRESEASON EXPECTATIONS Expected to finish lower third of the conference, a slight chance at making the playoffs if everything in the World broke right. FINAL RECORD 29-33-9 6TH IN Division, well out of a playoff spot. In spite of the fifth worst record in Hockey,they won the battle of California. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR They started hot, winning three in a row to begin the season and six of their first eight, they gave up only 14 goals in the span with Gibson and a tight defense they looked to be slightly ahead of the rebuilding curve. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR From there they stumbled along, winning a few losing a few, slipping below .500 but remaining in the hunt in a weak division until December 29th when they lost 2-1 in overtime to the Flyers. From there they lost seven of eight and never were really relevant again. Dallas Eakins was rumored to be on the way out before the virus shut down the game. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Cam Fowler was the clubs lucky talisman, he scored nine goals and the team went 8-0-1 in the games in which he found the back of the net. Another strange stat, they scored five or more goals six times, usually a sure sign of a blowout but four of the six went to overtime showing the Ducks offense came in games in which the defense forgot to show up. WHAT WENT RIGHT Henrique was solid leading the team with 26 goals and in points, Silferberg added 21 tucks. Fowler and Lindholm were a very solid and underrated duo on the back end. Steel, Terry, Jones, Comtois and Larssen were all given a chance to sink or swim and while none were exactly breakout performers they all had their moments showing the youth is ready to perform now. Ryan Miller (9-6-4) was a very capable backup. Derek Grant was a solid bottom six contributor. Getzlaf wasnt horrible. WHAT WENT WRONG : Gibson was bad, no other way to put it. Overused with a soft defense in front of him, he seems worn down and haggard. Rackell seems to have lost his game entirely, after two consecutie seasons in the mid thirties for goals he has slipped to 18 and then 15. Same with Ondrej Kase who looked like a solid power forward a few years ago, still young he is a shadow of his self with 7 goals and injury prone. Nick Ritchie went from top line potential to barely justifying fourth line duties. Josh Manson took a big step back on the back end. Injuries were a real concern with this club, a lot of times teams blame injuries and i am not saying the Ducks are a playoff contender with great health but they had ten players who could and should be classified as full time starters miss at least ten games. FREE AGENTS none of any significance. Del Zotto and Irwin from the back end wont be back, Ryan Miller really was not bad in a limited role and might still have a job. Nobody else is worth mentioning. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS: To me, Gibson is the biggie, who is the real Gibby, the one who looked like the best goalie in hockey for half a year or the one who ranked in the bottom third of the league among starting goalies this year? The Ducks go nowhere unless he gets it together. After that, a trio of young snipers who all have watched their careers derail, Rackell, Kase and Ritchie MUST get it together this year or be be passed by hungry young talented forwards fighting for power play time and offensive zone time. These three if they can combine for 70 goals compared to the anemic 30 from this past year could be enough to get the Ducks into the conversation. They have their own first and the Bruins as well. Obviously they are hoping to move up from 5th and hope that if the season resumes the Bruins bow out in the first round to give them a better selection. The kids didnt embarrass but the young veterans all took a step back. They must find a true number one center as well but that can be said about half the teams in the league.
  19. And now... the Kings PRESEASON EXPECTATIONS: Not much. The Kings have fallen on hard times after a couple of Cups over the last decade. A combination of signing veterans to long term deals and watching them get old,, poor drafting and a couple of bad trades along the way has left the Kings on a serious downswing and not much if anything was expected. FINAL RECORD 29-35-6 64 points. Second worst record in the West. Hey, at least they were a point better than the rival Sharks. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR The Kings lost early, they lost often, never getting above .500 never getting close. They were pretty lousy all year. THEN late in the year they caught fire, winning the final seven games outscoring their opponents by a total of 22-9. A lot of times when a team finishes strong it gives them momentum for the following year. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR From the first of the year thru a loss to the Rangers by a score of 4-1 the Kings lost a lot, the team lost 13 out of 15 the offense was non existent during the stretch as they scored more than 3 goals only once in the 15 game stretch. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR the offense was inept, they had twenty games with 1 or less goals including shut out five times. So here is the thing, 15 goals in 20 games or 0.75 per in the games the team failed to launhc but in the other 50 they scored 163 or 3.16 per game which would have ranked them fifth in the game if they could have just maintained that average all year. They went 1-19 in the games in which they forgot to score and were 28-16-6 when they scored 2 or more. WHAT WENT RIGHT Kopitar was a man among boys leading the team in nearly all offensive categories and was plus six on a team among the worst in goal differential, and among the best in the game in faceoffs. Iafello had a solid season establishing himself as a top six winger.Doughty was pretty damn good, Hutton came over on the cheap and was a solid blueliner. Gabe Vilardi had 7 points including 3 goals in his first ten games down the stretch and showed he is here to stay. Blake Lizotte showed promise as a middle six center.Overall the goaltending was solid, Quick overcame a slow start to have decent numbers, Campbell was a solid backup and rookie Cal Peterson went 5-3 with a 2.65 goals against better than either of the two vets. Sean Walker was very solid on the back end moving the puck and 4th on the team in shifts. WHAT WENT WRONG Adrian Kempe cannot quite be labelled a bust but he looks more like a mediocre 3rd liner than anything else. Kovalchuk was a disaster and a distraction then had a hell of a run with the Canadiens after the Kings gave up on him. Nobody else on the team did much of anything, too much was expected from too few and young vets such as Kempe and Amadio and Matt Roy didnt step up. FREE AGENTS Long time Trevor Lewis is moving on, They will attempt to resign Ben hutton. None of the other free agents are worth mentioning. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Really, they seem to be turning it around a bit, Peterson, Vilardi, lizotte and Iafello all established themselves. More kids are on the way this year in Durzi, Bjornfot, Kaliyev and Clague are all looking to make the team this year and push for regular ice time. They still owe too much for too long to Doughty, Kopitar, Brown, Quick and Carter but the kids look promising and the future looks decently bright. They also have eight picks in the first four rounds so more help is on the way. WHAT WENT WRONG Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter continue to slip off the cracker, neither is aging well. WHAT WENT RIGHT
  20. OFFSEASON OUTLOOK The Sharks made the playoffs The Sharks have been among the class of the West, having made the postseason in 14 of the 15 previous seasons. The year before they made the conference finals before bowing out in six games to eventual cup winning Blues. There seemed to be little doubt that they would continue their winning ways and again be among the best in the West challenging again for a cup. FINAL RECORD 29-36-5 63 points last in their dvision worst record in the West, this was not a fluke, they had a -44 goal differential 3rd worst in the league. The skaters got old, the goaltending was awful. HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR October to put it kindly was not a good month, they sat at 4-10-1 on November 2nd after losing that night to the Canucks. From that point they righted the ship, they went on a tear, winning six straight and 13 of their next 15 to get to 15-12-1 looking like a true western conference contender. LOW POINT OF THE YEAR Then they started losing, they lost their next six which ended with them firing head coach Deboer and bring in Bob Boughner, things got worse. They won the first game under Boughner and then the wheels came completely off, they kind of sort of hung around near .500 before slidning hard late to finish with the worst record in the west. WHAT WENT RIGHT Evander Kane continued to build his legend as a true power forward leading the league again in penalty minutes to go with his team leading 26 goals. Hertl was having a solid year and was a top faceoff guy with a 55.8 pct. before an injury cost him over 20 games. Meier overcame a slow start to end up with 22 goals. Burns/Karlsson both had down (for them) years but scored at a decent clip. WHAT WENT WRONG Hertl and Couture were expected to lead the team into the next decade, they missed a combined 40 games. Labanc signed a one year sweetheart deal to allow cap space to add Marleau, he was pretty bad, a measly 14 goals while leading the team t minus 33. Marleau and Thornton look close to done, at least.Vlasic has clearly lost a step. Karlsson and Burns, two blueliners much more interested in jumping up into the play seem to have both lost half a step and have a hard time with the transition game when other teams use their speed to force the puck back the other way, they look tentative. lots of kids such as Simek, Gambrell, Ferraro, Suomela, Kellman, True, Gregor Heed, Middleton Radill and Berggman got double digit appearances in games and none, absolutely none of the above really impressed. In other words, veteran skaters slowed down, the defense aged and the kids didnt step up. The worst is the Senators have their first rounder as partial payment for Karlsson. But for all of that the worst was the arson squad in net, Jones and Dell were awful, actually Dell was ok for a backup but had to play too much due to the ineptitude of Jones and was exposed. Dell playing the second games of back to backs is a usable commodity but he had to play too much because Jones continued his regression. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR When Evander Kane scored the Sharks were 13-5-2. In the games in which he did not they went 16-31-3. As Kane goes, so go the Sharks. FREE AGENTS Thornton and Dell are the two biggest names, 4th line P/K guy Melker Karlsson is an UFA as well.If Jumbo wants another year he will get it, Dell and Karlsson will likely be repalced. Sadly, Jones is not among the free agents, he has a very regrettable four years at just under six million a year remaining on his deal. OFFSEASON QUESTIONS This club is one year removed from pushing the Blues in the conference finals, the hope is a healthy Couture and Hertl will bring the offense back and that a couple of solid defensive minded partners will get Burns/Karlsson back to their havoc reeking selves. And with Dell an UFA and Jones more or less untradeable they have to figure out a way to add a 2B who can take over for long stretches when Jones checks out. Truthfully unless a good chunk of the kids listed above (17 total goals in a combined 389 games for the 11 rookies with double digit games)transition to the NHL they are in a rough patch. They need the kids now and more than ever to steop up.
  21. Thank you for the kind words. Hope that you and yours are doing well. As for the Sens... Truthfully i think they are one of the best bad teams in Hockey. Detroit is still a mess, the three California clubs are all on a downhill slide and havent really hit rock bottom yet, the Sabres have gotten slightly better but seem rudderless. The Senators seem to have a plan, if they get two picks right at the top of the draft among their 9 picks in the top 80 or so the turnaround could come much sooner than later.
  22. The second team on the list, second worst record in Hockey, the Senators PRESEASON OUTLOOK Wow were they glad to move on from the fiasco that was 201-19, the prolonged Karlsson ordeal, the Hoffman situation and trade, players in an uber mocking an assistant coach, worry that their first rounder that they had traded to the Sharks would be the first pick in the draft. So much more. Not much was expected, the team was hoping to just have a nice quiet season as the kids developed. FINAL RECORD 25-34-12 62 Points, 7th in division, 2nd worst record in Hockey HIGH POINT OF THE SEASON The team started slow but then went on a decent run, from November 7th thru November 22nd the Sens went 7-1-1 to claw their way back to .500 LOW POINT OF THE SEASON They hung around near .500 until Christmas when the wheels fell off, beginning December 29th they lost 9 straight, then after stopping the bleeding by winning 2 of 3 they then lost 6 more in a row, pushing them down towards the bottom of the standings from which they never came close to recovering. STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR When they beat the Canadiens 2-1 on November 20th it was their 5th road win of the season (they were 5-7-1 on the road at that point). After that they simply stopped winning on the road for the rest of the season, going 2-14=5 from then on away from the friendly confines. They only won a single road game all year after December 4th. WHAT WENT RIGHT Brady Tkachuk developed nicely as one of the games up and coming power wingers. Reclamation projects Conner Brown and Anthony Duclair had fine seasons. Chabot was a minute munching defender who was a solid offensive blueliner. Pageau had a breakout year before being traded.to the Islanders for their third first round pick this year. Tierney and Ennis were decent middle six wingers.The Sharks were awful and the Sens own their first pick and it is conceivable they may end up with the first two picks in the draft. Boroweicki had 7 goals and was among the leaders in the league in total hits. WHAT WENT WRONG Start in net, Craig Anderson simply cannot play anymore and nobody else in net pushed him, the trio they played in goal were all dreadful. Colin White was supposed to be the first line center and failed miserably. The blueline was not only bad at keeping pucks out of the net they provided very little on offense, other than Boroweicki and Chabot, the rest of the defense COMBINED had only 3 measly goals. Brannstrom especially was a dissapointment having zero goals and 3 assists and two trips to the minors. promising kids Batherson, Formenton, Brown, Chlapik, Brannstrom, Beaudin , Lajoie and Norris all got ice time, none really impressed. FREE AGENTS Boroweicki is the big one they cannot afford to lose but he will command a decent salary and term. Others such as Boedker, anderson and Hainsey wont be invited back. OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS First off, did they overrate the kids or do they just need a bit more seasoning? My opinion is the Senators are in decent shape with a bunch of B level prospects. The big question mark is, how will they draft? The Sens are sitting with a ridiculous 3 first rounders, 4 second rounders and 2 in the third round as well. On top of that they already have 3 second rounders for next year as well. Gotta find some goaltending and some real defenders but they seem to be on a decent path.
  23. Gillies is someone who seldom gets mentioned anymore but was part of a HOFER line and the definition of rugged. Imho he belongs in the conversation.
  24. He couldnt even beat out his own teammate Joe S. for first team and ended up bouncing around in later years. Peak years? Sure as good as it got, but no staying power.
  25. I had to look it up, member since January of 2012, wow how time flies. I appreciate the sentiment Doc, love doing the reviews, i have been holding off waiting to see if their is going to be a season or not, looking bleaker every day.

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