Pulling the Trigger

Everyone knew that the Lightning’s defense would have a hard time keeping up with the rest of the league. After a poor offensive start, the Lightning did a little shake-up by swapping the tougher Shane O’Brien for Lukas Krajicek to get more mobile on defense. It was assumed that Andrej Meszaros, Paul Ranger, and Matt Carle, one of the key pieces in the Dan Boyle deal, would handle the puck-moving duties. However, the three of them have only combined for 9 points and a harmless -1 rating. Meszaros has yet to score this year, and Ranger and Carle both have

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Quick Hit Rumours

– Add a new team into the Mats Sundin sweepstakes: the Ducks. That’s right, the perpetually financially strained team is reportedly making a pitch to Sundin, and with the Ducks so close to the cap they’re going to have to shed salary (again). This time, the casualty may be Chris Kunitz, the former Ducks alternate captain who hasn’t quite lived up to his $3.5m price-tag since signing it. No doubt that the Ducks would prefer to trade Kunitz to an Eastern Conference team, but Brian Burke continues to put himself in situations in which he has absolutely no leverage –

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Philadelphia Flyers

“Back With A Vengeance.” That’s what the Flyers’ official website promised and the Flyers certainly delivered. One year after finish in the league cellar the Flyers came back with a vengeance, advancing to the third round. The team made a complete turnaround from their god-awful season, and the Flyers are going to prove this season that it was no fluke. The Flyers are big, mean, and talented. But their biggest strength? Balance. The Flyers boasted 7 20+ goal scorers last year, which lead the league. They had 3 players with at least 70 points, and 3 more with at least

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Captains

Much ado has been made about the Canucks making Roberto Luongo their captain. The move was very surprising, considering goalies are not allowed to wear the traditional ‘C’ on their jersey and there hasn’t been a goalie captain since Bill Durnan in the 1940s. One of the reasons it became illegal was because of the inefficiency of being both a captain and a goalie. Captains are designated by their respective teams to provide an on-ice voice for the team with the refs, and because the game is so fluid and the refs are constantly moving, it made it very difficult

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Quick Hit News

The Thrashers were interested in Mathieu Schneider, but felt that given the veteran’s price tag and current skill set it was just too expensive. Don Waddell claims that Schneider’s age was not a factor in the decision. Nikolai Khabibulin is looking forward to the start of the season, but admits he was surprised when the Hawks signed Cristobal Huet to a multi-year deal. He also admits that even though he hasn’t been at his best, he didn’t have a “championship calibre” team in front of him either. Not exactly the words management wants to hear, but Khabibulin has to make

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More on Moore

“Vicarious liability.” That’s the technical term for the liability that is imposed on the employer for the conduct of his/her employee, on the grounds that the employer should be held accountable for third party losses. Bruce Dowbiggin at the Calgary Herald argues that the recent turn of events in the Steve Moore case could set a precedent to the NHL’s policy of allowing “extreme violence” in the sport. This trial is extremely significant for the NHL because unlike the Marty McSorley or Dino Ciccarelli case, this is a civil case, not criminal. Marc Crawofrd has vehemently denied any responsibility for

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McBait

Bryan McCabe‘s move to the sunshine state is generating a lot of buzz lately, and the Palm Beach Post has suggested that McCabe’s acquisition is Jacques Martin‘s way of saying “we’re serious about winning” in the hopes that Jay Bouwmeester would bite. I say that’s wishful thinking, Jacques. I say the only way they can get Bouwmeester to stay is if they reach the playoffs and put up a fight in the first round, but the former seems unlikely already. While McCabe is a huge step up over Mike Van Ryn, who is rumoured to be going the other way,

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THN Rankings – East

1 Montreal Canadiens 2 Pittsburgh Penguins 3 Washington Capitals 4 Philadelphia Flyers 5 Ottawa Senators 6 NY Rangers 7 New Jersey Devils 8 Carolina Hurricanes 9 Tampa Bay Lightning 10 Boston Bruins 11 Buffalo Sabres 12 Florida Panthers 13 Atlanta Thrashers 14 Toronto Maple Leafs 15 NY Islanders Again, I’m going to have to disagree with THN over this. If the Pens had managed to keep Ryan Malone and/or Marian Hossa I’d be inclined to agree that they would finish atop their division, but they won’t. When you potentially have Miroslav Satan as your top scoring winger you’re not going

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Atlantic Division Preview

New Jersey Devils Strengths: -Martin Brodeur Weaknesses: -No longer have that anchor on defense. Question Marks: -Can the Devils defensive system work without a stud defenseman? -Can Elias and Gionta regain the chemistry of the past couple years without Gomez? -Can Parise improve on last years break out season. Outlook: The Devils success over the past decade has largely been due to having stellar goaltending and a nearly as stellar defense. But over the past 3 or 4 years they have lost Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski off their defence and the question is, can they be just

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Eastern Conference Team Ratings

Based on the same forumula as the western conference ratings, here are the eastern conference ratings. As usual, if you disagree feel free to post your thoughts and if you can back up your arguement, who knows, maybe you can get me to change my mind. Forwards Defense Goaltending Total Talent Depth Exp. Talent Depth Exp. #1 goalie Depth Exp. Score Ottawa 10 6 7 8 7 7 8 7 6 53.2 Buffalo 8 8 6 7 8 7 8 7 6 52.8 Pittsburgh 10 8 6 8 7 6 7 6 6 52.5 NY Rangers 9 7 8 6

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