Good and Bad Off Season Moves…

Ok, it’s time to get back in hockey mode and start looking to the upcoming season which is less than a month away. But first, let me look at a handful of good and bad off season moves. The Good Ryan Whitney: While Whitney doesn’t get the media attention of his teammate forwards Crosby, Malkin and Staal, he is one of the best young defensemen in the NHL and had an excelleny year last year with 14 goals, 59 points and a +9. The Penguins made a very smart move locking up Whitney for the next 6 years at a

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Eastern Conference first round predictions

When writing up these first round matchups I realized that not one of them features a divisional rivalry. I am too lazy to check but I am not sure that has ever happened before. Anyway, here are my eastern conference predictions. NY Islanders at Buffalo NY Islanders (road) Buffalo (home) Predicted Winner Buffalo (Good) Fair Odds +137 -159 Overall Record 40-30-12 53-22-7 Home/Road Record 18-17-6 28-10-3 Last 10 Games 6-3-1 7-3-0 Past Games 2006/10/26: Buffalo 3 at NY Islanders 0 2007/01/01: NY Islanders 1 at Buffalo 3 2007/01/27: Buffalo 3 at NY Islanders 5 2007/03/30: NY Islanders 4 at Buffalo

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Crosby and making teammates better

One of my least favourite hockey announcers (Pierre McGuire) was on the Team 1200 radio station here in Ottawa this morning like he is every morning. Even though I don’t like him, I often listen to him to see what other rediculous thing he is going to say. Today the discussion turned to Sidney Crosby and McGuire inidicated he thought Crosby was the best player in the NHL because he makes the players around him better. You could certainly argue that Crosby is the most talented player in the NHL, but to claim he makes the players around him better

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Why Crosby doesn't deserve Rookie of the Year

There are a lot of reasons why Crosby should be considered a top rookie of the year candidate. And deservingly so. He is having a very good year. But in my mind there is one thing that he does that should automatically eliminate him from contention and it was seen once again in last nights game against the Atlanta Thrashers. I’m not talking about him losing his cool and taking a retaliation slashing penalty, I’m talking about him taking a diving penalty. In my mind, diving is as unsportsmanlike as you can get almost on par with straight out cheating.

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Devils vs. Penguins

The season started with a bang in New Jersey last night. Sidney Crosby got his first taste of NHL action, the new look Pittsburgh offense made it’s debut, and New Jersey’s new defense was showcased as well. Here’s what I thought of the game: Pittsburgh: This team can put some pressure on the net! The first half of the first period was spent on the Pittsburgh powerplay, and the puck rarely came out of the zone. Mario was his usual patient, all-seeing, brilliant self. Sidney, in his first NHL game, was surprisingly composed and alert. If any other goaltender in

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Five Most Improved Teams

Pittsburgh Penguins: The only direction they could really go was up, but they have gone up by quite a large margin. They haven’t really lost any significant players but have added Sergei Gonchar, Mark Recchi, John Leclair, Zigmund Palffy, Jocelyn Thibault and of course Sidney Crosby. Due to their weak defense I am still not convinced that they are a playoff team, especially if Lemieux can’t play a full season, but they are much improved and will no longer be pushovers. They will be dramatically better and could jump to the 80-90 point range. Atlanta Thrashers: I like what the

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Pittsburgh Penguins

(Also posted at The Devils Advocate) What they lost: The stigma of being a losing team. The only players they lost are Kris Beech, Matt Bradley, Michal Roszival, and J.G. Aubin. Hardly the kind of players who would be considered monumental losses. What they gained: Hope… and a ton of it. The most notable addition to this team is Sidney Crosby. While it remains to be seen just how much of an impact he will have on the ice, it is hard to imagine this kid being a flop. The future of the NHL is a Penguin. Aside from him,

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