Thursday, December 31, 2009
1) Just a quickie note to wish all our readers the very best this New Years! 2010 will amazingly be the fifth calendar year we at FAUXRUMORS have been blogging.
2) We are excited to begin the year where we left off; Providing hard hitting, unique commentary, rumors and rumor evaluation, and of course always with irreverent humor. Thanks to all of you for making this venture so much fun! As always, keep it here for all the latest in 2010 and beyond!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
2) We apologize for the minimal of content on the site recently. We due plan on several posts upcoming from us and FR2. As always, keep it here for all the latest!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Ottawa at Buffalo Sabres (Lock of The Week)
Columbus at Detroit Red Wings
Thursday, December 24, 2009
1) Firstly we here at FAUXRUMORS want to thank each and every one of our many loyal readers. We wouldn't be here without you!
2) During this hockey hiatus, we at the FAUXRUMORS group, along with the entire NHL, will also be taking a 24-48 hour break. We want to wish all of you and yours the best this holiday season! WE will be back, along with the NHL back in action on Saturday when we plan to publish our week 13 picks. Until then we at FAUXRUMORS want to say:
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
1) Well the once heralded start of the Christmas trade freeze came and went with a mere whimper. ( THE NHL XMAS TRADE FREEZE PERIOD IS DECEMBER 19-27.)
2) What was once one of the more active times of year (behind only the spring trade deadline, and entry draft) the holiday trade freeze has become just another arbitrary deadline that comes and goes with little notice by anyone but team' GM's and some hard core fans/bloggers.
3) The inevitable question would be why? Why is it/has it been so quiet the last few years. The answer(s) are simple:
•The salary cap: This is the obvious reason for ALL trade inhibition. Teams can no longer simply make a trade without first thinking of the short AND long term salary cap implications. Although the cap has increased substantially(39 to 56 mil) the past few seasons, teams are learning the system and reluctant to get too close to the max, if possible, to retain flexibility for a deal later in the season. As we have seen, even then the cap (as well as the earlier trade deadline) helps to retard the number and scope of a trade.
•League-wide parity: With so many (almost all right now) teams still technically in it for longer periods, (Thanks to the loser point!) almost all GM's are still thinking of this year and not ready to throw in the towel, per se, after 30 or so games and think re-build. So there are very few 'sellers' of quality. Will that stop the rumor whores and others from telling us a block buster deal is imminent? Probably not, but from all reports we find reliable we don't expect any real big moves to occur before the Olympic break in February!
2) We will be back at this for (hopefully) lucky week 13 when 13 games will be up for grabs in the post Christmas break NHL schedule. Also look for a couple of posts this week before the holiday. One about a recent caps-Avs game and on the holiday trade freeze. As always, keep it here for all the latest
Saturday, December 19, 2009
NY Rangers at Philadelphia: Flyers
Monday, December 14, 2009
2) This is the very reason that many, including us at Fauxrumors have been saying for some time that the Coyotes were a dead-team-walking. A move was inevitable. We concluded that the NHL would be just fine with a relocation as long as they were the ones who decided where the franchise moved. Which is why the NHL so vehemently opposed the Basillie attempt to purchase the team despite having a bid FAR in excess of what any one else was offering. Bettman/the Board wanted to say where the team went. Also, and as curious to us is the fact that in al their press releases the IceEdge group insisted that they would hold several "home games" in a "neutral site". Saskatoon and even Halifax were floated as possibilities. The team would gain a foot hold there and eventually relocate there in a couple of seasons?
Sunday, December 13, 2009
2) We hope to rebound from 2 consecutive sub par weeks next Saturday when another 12 contests will be up for grabs. Additionally FR2 tells us they plan a post on recent developments in Phoenix. As always, keep it here for all the latest!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Philadelphia at New Jersey: Flyers
Boston at NY Islanders: Bruins
Buffalo at NY Rangers: Rangers
Carolina at Ottawa: Senators
Washington at Toronto: Capitals
Montreal at Atlanta: Thrashers
Anaheim at Columbus: Blue Jackets (Lock of The Week)
Florida at Pittsburgh: Penguins
Friday, December 11, 2009
Topic 1:Shanahan Joins NHL- No Surprise!?! In case you missed it, a week or so ago the NHL announced that the former player would assume the position of the NHL’s new vice president of hockey and business development. Well, if you're a regular reader of this blog you certainly are not. We have stated on multiple occasions that Shanny was destined for the NHL front office. We stated a couple of years ago when he was a UFA from Detroit that he'd likely sign with a team close to the NY metro vicinity. Voilà (like the French lingo?) Brendan signed on for the Rangers then the Devils. Keeping a close proximity to his ultimate goal.
2) Many are saying this is "Payola"
http://canuckscorner.com/tombenjamin/?p=1398 for Shanny's role in circumventing Bob Goodenow and getting a CBA done in 2004/2005. From what we have heard it didn't hurt, but even before that Shanahan was on Bettman's radar. It was their 'relationship' prior to the last Bettman lockout that enabled the two to help bridge the divide between players and management, and for better or worse (you be the judge which) get the salary cap the league wanted, and the game back. Time will tell if he's qualified or not for this very new position that apparently is more on the business side, but business degree or not Brendan always came off as one of the brighter players in the game. WE could see him eventually moving up within the ranks and perhaps in a decade or so assume the commissioners role.
3) Topic 2: The Faux Jinx continues. It seems whenever we make a post/comment/take a stand the situation suddenly turns around. The most recent instances were two blog pieces we did concerning Sidney Crosby not being 'The Next One. http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2009/11/not-next-great-one.html and one about Peter Laviolette taking over in Philly http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2009/12/stevens-canned-laviolette-hired-good.html. In the former post Sid the Kid went on a tear following the post. While we stick with our conclusions we found it humorous he got hot right after that. In Philly the revers has been true. In his first week Laviolette has only won once in 4 tries as the Flyers fall further back in the Eastern Conference standings. There have been rumours of club house instability with captain Richards and new super star Chris Pronger butting heads somewhat. If this team is to succeed, and we maintain they have the talent to do so (despite ray Emery sucking/getting hurt), it will more require Lavy to get "the room' in order and cohesive, than ti implement a new style of play. Stay tuned.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
2) As for the actual carnage, we went an abysmal 5-9 to bring our 10 week total to a still respectable 80-52, or a .6.6 winning %. It wasn't al bad as we extended our winning ways with our Lock of The Week. Bringing that stat to 8-2 on the season. We will be back at it for week 11 next Saturday when 12 games will be played.
As always keep it here for all the latest!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
2) As for the decision, we're actually in agreement with Paul Holmgren/the Flyer management. Stevens clearly was not the right coach for this team. Yes, as many have reported/said Stevens is one of the brightest young hockey minds in the game, and we would be shocked if he's not back coaching another NHL team before next season commences, but after an initial elevation of the team from the dregs 3 seasons ago, the Flyers never propelled themselves to that 'next level. Yes, and we would agree with those who say the biggest problem the Flyers have (and have had forever since Bernie parent retired) is between the pipes, but if anyone has seen the Flyers play this season there clearly was something lacking. A fire if you will. This team SHOULD be among the elite in the East, if not the NHL, not fighting for their lives for a 8th spot.
3) As for the decision to replace Stevens with Peter Laviolette, we again are in firm agreement with the choice. In fact we'd venture to say this is as important to their potential success this season as the Pronger addition in the off season. In 'Lavy' the Flyers have a coach that has won. A guy who is every bit as emotional as his team SHOULD be. We think this is a match that is a perfect fit and we'd be shocked if the Flyers don't proceed to over take the rest of the conference and be fighting the Pittsburghs and Capitals for supremacy in the East. Yes, Ray Emory/goaltending remains a problem/issue, and as we projected in our preseason predictions would be their eventual downfall in the post season, it should NOT prevent this team from winning at least 75% of their regular season games from here to April.
Vancouver at Carolina: Canucks
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
2) The thing about the top 8 that struck us the most was the fact that there are 3 SE Division teams there and only two Atlantic division team currently in playoff position. We felt before the season that the Atlantic was the best division in the East. Regular readers may recall how we lambasted the SE division in late October, http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2009/10/south-least-division.html No shocker that the Washington Capitals are in the top 8, but surprisingly, the team we believed had the best chance of joining them the Carolina Hurricanes are the conferences worst team!
Monday, November 30, 2009
- Larry Brooks- NY Post
- Kevin Dupont - Boston Globe
- Bruce Garrioch - Ottawa Sun
- Dave Molinari - Pittsburgh Post gazette
- Steve Simmons- Toronto Sun
- James Mirtle- Toronto Globe
- Adrian Dater- Denver Post
2) The story this past week that got our interest was Larry Brooks' story concerning the shoot out. Or as we like to call the 'demonstration' that takes place AFTER the real game. We have been on record from the start against the silly way of determining the outcome of games. WE felt back when it was first instituted (after the last Bettman lockout) that based upon seeing the shoot out in minor league games that it was an anti climatic exercise after a good hockey game. Brooks apparently has not only come to that conclusion but gone a step further in saying that the silly way of deciding games is ruining the NHL. He mentions stats that show that the number of games going to the extra- extra session has been steadily climbing. Its risen to what it is now: An astounding 18% of ALL games are decided by this method!! Not hockey, but by a skills competition that has much to do with actual hockey as a home run contest does with a baseball game
3) It seems coaches (trying to keep the regulation losses to a minimum) have understandably instituted a conservative approach that has resulted in an amazing 27% of ALL games going to OT (where most end up in the SO). As most, including us, surmised years ago, coaches will adapt to the rules and in an attempt to keep their jobs try what means they can employ to minimize the damage, thus defensive first schemes that result in fewer and fewer games decided in 60 minutes. Not only are teams playing for regulation draws to get the guaranteed point, they do it more often late in the season, when playoff positions are on the line! So get ready, its gonna get worse! So in essence, when games are supposed to get more competitive, they actually get less competitive. Teams naturally do what the system encourages them to do: play for the guaranteed point, then take their chances during the brief overtime period that follows the real game.
4) So, what to do now? We can't see the NHL changing the shoot out. Its here to stay folks. In fact as we wrote 2 1/2 years ago don't be shocked to see it start to seep into consideration in the post season! http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2007/04/ot-nonsense.html In our opinion the number one flaw is that a victory in regulation is considered the same as a victory in overtime or shootout. That needs to change. Incentive to win in 60 minutes needs to be reclaimed. We'd prefer a 2 point system. You win in regulation you get 2, you win in the OT/SO, you get 1. You lose, you get ZERO regardless. That way no incentive to play for a 'tie' , and no gain for losing. Of course critics abound for that way of thinking so we'd be OK (although not enamoured) with the 3 point system. In that a regulation win would be elevated to a 3 point gain, and a OT/SO win 2 points. The loser point would remain unfortunately. At least that method incentivizes a team to win in regulation and the loser of an OT game comes away with something. One thing is clear, the current system is broken!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
2) We will be back at the picks next Saturday when a whopping 14 games will be played. Also we are preparing a post about new Jersey. We should have it out later this week. As always keep it here for all the latest!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
1) Its week 9. So we figured we'd have (in spirit only) Rick Tochett make the picks for this week. So far this season we at fauxrumors are an impressive 66-39 for a .629 winning %.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
2) A short work week upcoming for the folks, but not for us at Fauxrumors. FR2 says they have a post about Sidney Crosby. We're promised it should be out by Tuesday. As always, keep it here for all the latest!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
1) With nearly all teams having now played 20% of their schedules we decided to project the finals standings. Obviously there is plenty of time for teams outside of the playoffs to get back in, but some trends are clearly becoming evident. This is NOT a Prediction!! We merely are projecting an 82 game season point total based upon each teams current point total/games played.
2) First in the East:
- New Jersey- 119
- Washington- 117
- Buffalo- 114
- Philadelphia- 114
- Pittsburgh- 104
- Atlanta- 100
- Ottawa- 99
- Tampa Bay-99
- NY Rangers- 90
- NY Islanders-90
- Boston- 86
- Montreal- 78
- Florida- 78
- Carolina- 51
- Toronto- 49
3) Next the West:
- Chicago- 115
- San Jose- 114
- Colorado- 108
- Calgary- 107
- Columbus- 107
- Los Angeles- 100
- Detroit- 99
- Dallas- 94
- Nashville- 94
- Phoenix- 93
- Vancouver- 86
- Edmonton- 78
- St. Louis- 78
- Anaheim- 70
- Minnesota- 62
4) To reiterate, these are PROJECTIONS NOT PREDICTIONS! With a relatively small sample size a few (more or less) games played can alter the point totals significantly. That said there are a few interesting developments thus far. Who expected teams like Colorado, NY Islanders, LA, Phoenix, Ottawa, or Tampa to be in the playoff race this season? Who could have seen Carolina, Boston and Anaheim be so low in the standings? Yes, plenty of time for 'water to find its level' but sometimes these trends do continue throughout the season.
5) Finally our (admittedly silly to mention) quarter pole Trophy winners.
- Hart/Pearson: Anze Kopitar
- Vezina: Ryan Miller
- Norris: Chris Pronger
- Adams: Joe Sacco
- Calder: John Tavares
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
2) Following that episode TGO's greed was clearly on display when he threatened to be a no show at the annual Hall Of Fame Awards Ceremony. This despite having several former team mates and assumed friends being enshrined. As it seems is the case, its all about him and his ego/wallet being massaged. tgo=greedy-one. Apparently, as described in that post, Wayne was furious over the NHL's handling of his portion of Coyotes after the NHL purchase of the Coyotes was made official. TGO did finally show up to the awards ceremony in Toronto last Monday. We were initially happy to read that apparently Wayne was willing to put his self interests behind the importance of his friends big days. However over the weekend we were given some amazing information that dashed this.
3) Our source didn't even want their gender revealed, let alone where they are from/what their position within the league, etc is. Suffice to say they are with in the circle of folks who would know. By the way we were the one's approached/called. We didn't initiate the contact. Yes, we have talked with/received information from this source before, but to be clear we didn't initiate the call. Anyway enough of the cloak and dagger. The source tells us that Wayne didn't show up last week out of the goodness of his heart or because he was willing to put aside his differences with the league. The source tells Fauxrumors that TGO was bought off! Yes, you read that right. The NHL paid off Gretzky for his continued 'good will' as the source put it. They didn't want the black eye of the games greatest player being estranged, etc.
4) Now the NHL didn't give Gretzky a big cheque, etc but instead chose a more surreptitious route. Apparently the NHL gave Wayne and his agent a huge bone when they agreed that the NHL Network will begin to simulcast a late-afternoon show out of Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant in Toronto. Not only will that generate a huge, free exposure(free advertisement) for his restaurant, but more importantly the league will pay for the privilege via rent in excess of $8 million!! Yes, they are going to pay through the nose to do a show they could have done for pennies in their own studio! As with the abandoning the Coyotes story, it seems no bloggers/reporters are willing to state the obvious. Most are probably either not comfortable attacking TGO, or are worried their access might be restricted by a league all too happy to be petty with regard to folks who write negative stories about them. As a blogger who receive NOTHING in ad revenue (nor will we!), nor has any official ties to the NHL or its member teams we are free to write the facts, and not worry about any consequences.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
2) We of course will be back at this next Saturday the 21st when 13 games are on the NHL docket. Later this week look for our 'Quarter Pole' post where we project the final standing based upon the first 25% of the season(yes its already almost 25% over!) Also we have some new/interesting info on the Gretzky-NHL situation you won't want to miss. As always, keep it here for all the latest!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
1) San Jose: After winning just three of their first seven games, San Jose has now won eight of its past 10, and Patrick Marleau is playing great hockey. For any other team this position would be a source of pride and a confidence builder. Not so in the Silicon valley where the Sharks are a perennial choker in the post season after posting strong regular seasons. So we are not going to get excited(and neither should they) about a good start.
2) Colorado: Very few, including us, figured we'd be placing the Av's anywhere near the top of the heap at any point during this NHL season, but thanks in large part to amazing goaltending from Anderson the boys from Denver find themselves tied for the Western Conference top spot. With recent losses we demoted them from the top spot, but many may have to reassess where they think they will end up as it would be difficult to imagine they will be anything less than a playoff contender
3) New Jersey: Another team that (as usual) we under estimated. Even a poor home record (3-4) can't keep them below the #3 spot. A impressive 8-0 away from The Rock says a lot about the Gum Chewers (Lemaire) squad. They are riding an impressive 8-2-0 streak in their last 10 games, which includes five straight wins. Their PP has help carry the day recently. Imagine how much better they might be if they start to win at home and with the return of Patrick Elias?
4) Calgary: Despite Olli Jokinen not contributing like many thought he would the Flame are still in the top 5 in goals/game. Jerome Iginla is playing as well as he ever has. Their PP with DION Phaneuf and Jay Bouwmeester on the points is running at a near 25% clip Add to that the goaltending of Miikka Kiprusoff and you can see why many may need to place the Flames (if they haven't already) as a serious Cup Threat!
5) Washington: Their fans might say their record is deceptive. However one can't overlook that they have the fewest regulation losses in the NHL. Jose Theodore seems to have regained his form and is carrying the team. They displayed their impressive depth against Florida last week when they scored 7 times without their 3 best offensive players: Ovechkin, Green and Semin. (Or perhaps the Panthers really suck?) They need to tighten up their PK to advance to the next level, but so far so good in the Nation's capital
6) Los Angeles: Anze Kopitar appears poised to become the player the Kings anticipated he would be. Right now he is a top the player point standings, and along with veteran Ryan Smyth is helping to carry the Kings. Drew Doughty is playing like a 10 year vet back on the defense. Now if they could learn how to kill a penalty or two and get more reliable goaltending from Quick we might have something here. All in all they are an exciting team to watch, and having a competitive team in the 2nd largest TV market is a good thing for the game.
7) Pittsburgh: The defending champs despite the loss of superstar Geno Malkin, Max Talbot, Sergei Gonchar,and Tyler Kennedy as well as Crosby not putting up big numbers (yet) still have the best record in the East! The rest of the conference better take notice also of the play of defensemen Alex Goligoski . The 24 yr old Michigan native has been a revelation on both sides of the ice. M-A Fleury has generally been solid in goal. Scary to think what they can/will do once healthy?!
8) Vancouver: After starting out the season looking awful they have turned things around rapidly in the past few weeks, going 7-3 in their last 10. If they can figure out how to win away from GM Place, they will compete for the West title. The Forsberg rumours persist. They might benefit from him, but he also could be Sundin's replacement (no help). Mean while Andrew Raycroft appears to have regained his Calder talent, helping carry the team in the absence of injured Roberto Luongo. A 936 save %, really Andy? Another team that could be formidable once healthy.
9) Philadelphia: If all games were decided solely upon special teams the Flyers would be a top the NHL. With The best power play and one of the leagues best PK units they are tough 5-4 or 4-5. That said they have been a tad inconsistent overall. Newcomers Chris Pronger and Ray Emery have contributed to the Flyer recent success, (6-3-1 in their last 10) Quietly(for Emery) he has put up good numbers. Pronger is helping to bolster one of the east's strongest defensive units. They will need players other than Carter and Richards to step up the offense a tad to be considered among the elite.
10) Chicago: In the preseason many, including us believed the Hawks were ready to become an elite team. Unfortunately off season pricey addition Marion Hossa has yet to play, and captain Jon Towes has misses most of the season with an injury. So the Hawks are having trouble scoring. Not what we expected. To make matters worse Huet in goal has only been ordinary. We wouldn't dig their graves just yet. Once healthy this team should be among the best out West and we expect they will turn things in that direction before all is said and done.
11) New York Rangers: Much like last season got off to a very hot start. Also like last year once that rush of adrenaline was gone the Blue Shirts have come back to Earth, going a very poor 3-6-1 in their last 10. Marion Gaborik has been every bit as good as the Rangers expected when they signed to Slovak to a big contract. As always though its not been his production but his brittleness that concerns us. Thus far he has missed only 2 games. If he can play 70+ a 50 goal season is possible. Also, are the Rangers in the Forsberg mix/ A good idea? Can Michael Del Zotto 1 year removed from the senior prom play a whole season as the team's PP QB?
12) Phoenix: Even playing near .500 is no small feat for the Yotes this time of year. In recent past seasons under Gretzky the desert dogs usually started off slowly only to find themselves too far out of it by the time they tuned things around in January. Ilya Bryzgalov started off the season on fire carrying the team. He has come back to reality somewhat recently, but still has solid numbers. Vets Shane Doan and Ed Jovanovski have been behind the offense which is a change from previous seasons when the Yotes relied heavily on a youth laden club. For this reason we think they will stay near .500 (or even better) throughout the season barring major injuries. Now will anyone show up to watch them?
13) Columbus: Despite a sophomore slump by goalie Steve Mason the Jackets remain right in the playoff mix out West. They will need him to regain his game for the team to stay in contention. Rick Nash is earning every penny of his new lucrative long term deal. On his way to a 50 goal campaign. If they can get regular contributions from other sources like Huselius and Chimera, etc as well as the aforementioned better goaltending they will stay right there.
14) Dallas: Much like Phoenix the Stars have played at or near .500 for much of the season. Better than we expected. Marc Crawford's group is producing goals: 3.18 per game, eighth in the NHL. James Neal is picking up where he left off in his rookie season, already with nine goals, but the main reason for the tepid success is the resurgence of Brad Richards and the strong play in net of Marty Turco. If they could somehow get decent PP/PK units they may actually compete for the playoffs.
15) Buffalo: Started off strongly, but have played inconsistently since the opening two weeks. The good news: The team has allowed the fewest goals in the NHL. Ryan Miller looks like an All star with an incredible 1.89 GA and .936 save %. The bad news: the team is having trouble scoring and their special teams have been anything but special. Injury prone forward Tim Connolly leads them in scoring. Not a good sign in our opinion. What happened to Vanek and Pominvile? If they are to compete in the East the Sabres will have to regain their balanced attack.
16) Detroit: We can't recall the Wings being anywhere but in the top 5 in any recent Power Rankings. They have 'earned' this position with a mediocre start to the season. Even a recent 'surge, going 5-2-3 has them only in 3rd place in the 'Norris' Division. As we expected goaltending has been an issue. Its not that Osgood has been bad (Backup Howard has been!), but with decreased scoring the Wings' margin for error is now minuscule compared with previous seasons. Despite this we expect them to rebound to some degree and compete for the division before all is said and done.
17) Montreal: They have yet to put together any meaningful win streak. Thankfully they have also avoided any prolonged losing skid. However the biggest red flag might be the fact that through 17 games the Habs have eight wins, and only one of them has come in regulation!! Their special teams have been anything but special, among the worst in both categories, where once they thrived in that department. The pressure is on everyone. from underachieving Scott Gomez(2 goals) to Carey price and his 894 save % to GM Bob Gainey for assembling this squad.
18) NY Islanders: Didn't think we'd see the Isles beyond the bottom 25 at any point. To their and Scott Gordon's credit they have been the hardest working team we've observed this season. Good thing as they have the weakest overall lineup. Have a very solid home record despite few fans showing up. They have but 1 win away from Uniondale. John Tavares has been what was expected. Decent numbers for a teen who is surrounded by a weak lineup. Biron/Rooson have given them enough to be competitive nightly
19) Tampa Bay: Haven't lost in regulation at home in 7. Too bad they have only 2 wins in 8 tries away from The Bay. Steve Stamkos and a sophomore slump? Apparently not as the 19 yr old has 12 goals already. Is that a misprint that Ryan Malone has 10 goals? Meanwhile reports out of TB say captain Vinny Lecavalier and his 2 goals and -4 is playing like he's regretting not being traded last summer. Biggest problem though is in goal where the expected #1 goalie Mike Smith has played below mediocre.
20) Boston: Wow, how bad have the Bruins been? Playing .500 through 16 games and with that talent has to make their fans uneasy. Their PP has been invisible thus far. Top add insult to this they are already without Marc Savard and Milan Lucic, but now forward David Krejci is out with swine flu!?! What was supposed to be their strong, point, deep balanced scoring, has yet to materialize. We can't blame their goaltending as its been reliable, but not enough to steal too many games thus far. We'd expect that once healthy the B's will surge back into the race.
21) Edmonton: The Oil have been decent/solid at Rexall Place, but a dreadful 2-5 away from home. Edmonton started strong, winning six of its first nine games, but has done a complete 180 the past two weeks losing five of six. Dustin Penner has been a bit of a revelation after being in the dog house much of last season, playing well, leading the team in goals and points (10-21). Nikolai Khabibulin hasn't been the problem, but neither has he been able to be the difference on most nights
22) Ottawa: Actually this is just about where we'd have placed the Sens in a preseason Power rankings. Not on the bottom, but not in the top 20 either. They largely have been a .500 team both at and away from Kanata. This despite Jason Spezza finally scoring his first of the season in Ottawa's 3-2 win against Tampa Bay last week. Jonathan Cheechoo is still looking for his first! Also pascal LeClaire after a decent start hasn't looked like the answer in goal for the Sens.
23) Atlanta: The Thrash have thus far survived the injury to super star Ilya Kovulchuk, playing at or near .500 since he went down. They actually have one of the better road records in the East (5-2-1), but have won but 2 in 6 tries at home. Bright spot has been Rich Peverley who has a team-best 17 points in 14 games. Meanwhile 22 yr old Czech Ondrej Pavelec is getting the lions share of work with the (annual) injury to Kari Lehtonen
24) Nashville: Might this finally be the end of the line for Barry Trotz? The Preds have an anemic attack that starts with an incredibly bad PP unit performing at 12%! Not that their PK unit is much better at 77%. When a defensemen is your biggest goal getter (Shea Weber-5) you know there's a problem. Ellis and Rinne have played adequately, but without much support they haven't been enough to keep the Preds in the playoff race.
25) Anaheim: The second best team in Southern California? That's the reality the Ducks find themselves in as the Kings are surging and they are sagging. Ominously they have 10 games at the Pond and won a mere 4 of them. J-S Guigere has clearly been demoted as the back up as Hiller has played the lions share of games and looking solid. (Trade bait?) Unfortunately the offense has been top heavy. Ryan Geztlaf has one goal! The big guy does have a ton of helpers, but they can't rely solely on Selanne-9, and Perry-11 to be the only goal scores. Might Carlyle be the fall guy?
26) St. Louis: One of the bigger dissapointments so far. They've been competative on the road, but have won but twice in 8 tries at home. They have one of the worst attacks in the NHL. When 45 year old Keith Tkachuk is your leading scorer with 9 points you know there is trouble. Unlike previous seasons when injuries could be blamed, this time they are relatively healthy. A change behind the bench, as much as JD would like to stick with Murray seems inevitable.
27) Minnesota: Thats no typo folks, the Wild are 1-8 on the road. Coupled with an anemic attack and not as tight a defense as in the past has placed them at or near the bottom of the Western Conference. The team has not transitioned well from Lemaire's close checking system to new coach Todd Richards more agressive system. So far its been a failure.
28) Florida: How bad have they been? They recently gave up 7 goals to Washington despite that team missing its 3 top offensive weapons! We wonder how they'd be doing if they'd retained Craig Anderson. Bet they are too as Scott Clemmenson has looked like the career AHL-er he was before last season! Horton and Weiss have never blossomed into the players the Panthers thought when they were drafted. Their 'make or break' season so far looks broken!
29) Toronto:Few expected the Leafs to compete much this season, but few figured they'd be among the bottom feeders either. They have more recently started to turn the corner with a 3-3-4 record in their last 10. Another team who's leading scorer is a defender, Kaberle-18. The return from injury of Phil Kessel will help the offense, but in goal things are unsettled as no one has played well and injuries have hampered both goalies the leafs were counting on before the season. The Leaf Nation will not be happy if they are a lottery pick team as that pick is owned by the rival Bruins!
30) Carolina: As FR outlined just last week things are bad in Raleigh. storm-warnings. Since that post things haven't improved as the Canes literally haven't won a game in weeks! Its almost at the point that the season is a lost cause. A far cry from what we anticipated for them.as they were four wins from playing for the Stanley Cup just six months ago! From an invisable offense, a PP going at a 12.5% clip and after initally playing well Cam Ward has been mediocre at best which has sped the skid even further. Rumours are that former cane star, and now hall of Famer Ron Francis might replace Paul Maurice before long
Sunday, November 8, 2009
2) We will be back for week 7 next Saturday the 14th when a dozen games will be contested. In addition we're told that FR2 will be publishing their Power rankings this week. As always keep it here for all the latest!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
2) We will be back at this again next Saturday when a whopping 13 games will be in play. Also FR2 promised that they should have the blog's 2009-2010 inaugural Power rankings out sometime later this week. They tell us they plan to post their Power rankings about 4-5 times this season, or about every 15-20 games. Also we are formulating/finishing up posts on the Quebec City issue and also one about Carolina. A always, keep it here for all the latest!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Edmonton at Boston: Bruins
Carolina at Philadelphia: Flyers
Atlanta at Ottawa : Senators
New Jersey at Tampa Bay : Devils-Who else could we pick today? ; )
Toronto at Montreal : Habitants
Buffalo at NY Islanders : Sabres
Minnesota at Pittsburgh : Penguins ( Lock Of The Week)
Florida at St. Louis: Blues
Dallas at Nashville: Stars
Anaheim at Phoenix Coyote
Detroit at Calgary: Flame