Despite the current situation with the National Hockey League Yahoo! sports published their predictions for the upcoming season, which spawned this conversation. The italics are from the guys who used to run the sports blog with me. I’ll remind you that we use the word “run” loosely. They ran their mouths off but never posted anything, ha!
These labor talks are ridiculous – is there even gonna be a season? meanwhile my team just keeps writing bad contracts pulling my hair out down in Philly….
no season yet, the league counter-proposed last night, I didn’t get an opportunity to read much about it other than it happened. It’s probably not much of a giveback from them unfortunately.
I disagree with the Pens being the surmised favorite in the East. The supposition is that by getting Crosby back they’re automatically contenders, but Crosby even if you assume the concussions are behind him hasn’t played a full season in several years, flashes of quick brilliance between injuries and sustained success with legs for a full season are two different things. Facing heavier hitting teams now then the last time they made a cup run just makes them more vulnerable. Plus when Crosby comes back everyone else seems to lay off the gas. Geono’s best numbers are without Crosby, same with Niel, who’s breakout season probably won’t be matched this year. Just because Flury has a big name backup doesn’t take the question mark out of goal and that blue line is good, but not great, it doesn’t have the puck moving prowess it had when they won the cup and isn’t as adept at shutdown as say the Rangers or Bruins are.
To me, the Rangers were a lucky bounce away from winning last year and only seem to keep improving. Even losing Gaborik for a month or so early in the season shouldn’t hurt their scoring numbers and they’ve got one of the finest back ends in the league capped by the best stopper in the East, if not the league. They are committed to solid two-way hockey and Torts has more than enough gumption to turn on the gas and score when necessary and smart enough to instill zone responsibility, if they have a weakness its that incessent puck blocking takes a physical toll, two seasons ago injuries from it were pretty devistating. There’s just a much a chance they stay completely healthy as Crosby if that’s the concern. I’m inclined to say the Caps are probably rated right at #3, but I’m not saying that’s a lock. Addition by subtraction with the loss of Semin in some ways, a creative and very deap blue line, a secure top five for a chance (with some flexibility on how you use the next four guys) plus a good forth line of grinders, and two young goalies who have shown some magic and come from a good system for goalie development. Tampa is nominally improved from what should alreayd have been a solid product, the Cats overachieved last year but still have their core intact to build upon even though I think in the short term they regress as a gowning pain and Carolina finally showed some tenacity in rebuilding which means any of them could challenge the Caps in the SE (it might be the first year three come from it with a weaker NE div). Beantown is probably the team in the NE, the wild card up there is the Canadians who are like a real-life where’s waldo in the Stanley Cup family right now, they’re due, they’ve got potential, they got pee in their gatorade jug sometimes.
the LD can speak more on the west, but I felt like the Blues overachieved, they’re growing, they’ll probably “surprise” a lot of people again this year during the regular season, but I can’t help but feel like handing them the President’s Trophy before the puck drops is a little presumptious considering how the west is usually won. I also think, unfortunately, the Canucks are overrated at this point, there’s bound to be some transitional problems as that team seeks to refind it’s identity, thankfully, they play in the shittiest division since the original SE one was formed and have for several years, so they won’t completely look like a collapsed lung.
Pee in thier Gatorade. Mr. Mouse you have a way with words sometimes. You know my take on this is I’m not saying much of anything in the run up to the season because I am so disappointed with the current situation.
All that though, you might be correct about the Blues in some ways but I would not put it past them to repeat either, there’s more to that team than what is on paper. There’s a lot of softness in Canada right now overall which is thoroughly disappointing because you’d like to see those teams do better. The rest of the rankings seem about right to me considering we won’t know what the effects will be of the lockout – who comes back out of shape, who is injured in Europe or the minors, what other transactions occur the moment the season happens, the net effect of a shortened season on the schedule and a whole lot of other stuff.
Your cynicism is gonna land you pee in your Gatorade if you don’t take it easy.
I agree, there’s too many unknowns and what looks good on paper for a full 82 game season translates considerably different in a 40 game version of it. Even still, seeing what I see I probably wouldn’t change much on the list other than the usual suspects like devaluing the overly popular Penns pick.
both, mouse, both sign bad contracts. it makes my head hurt. maybe my teams could use a little of that pee. it’ll shock them out of suckatude.