THN Rankings – West

The Hockey News’ Rankings in the Yearly Yearbook were released, and for the West they’re as follows: 1 Detroit Red Wings 2 San Jose Sharks 3 Minnesota Wild 4 Dallas Stars 5 Anaheim Ducks 6 Edmonton Oilers 7 Chicago Blackhawks 8 Calgary Flames 9 Nashville Predators 10 Phoenix Coyotes 11 Vancouver Canucks 12 Columbus Blue Jackets 13 Los Angeles Kings 14 Colorado Avalanche 15 St. Louis Blues Detroit at the top is an absolute no-brainer. They won the Cup and somehow got better by adding Marian Hossa. They’ve got Pavel Datsyuk locked up for awhile, and it’s hard to see

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TSN Shortcuts

As Canada’s #1 sports network, and hockey obviously at the forefront, I’m a little disappointed and frustrated at times by their hockey coverage, especially those of their staff writers. They’ve recently coughed up a short article on the Canucks. (The Leafs and Habs have also been covered). You’d think that for a sports network as large as theirs they’d take a little more prudence when writing these things, but they don’t. In the Canucks article, they noted that Jason Jaffray as a potential “youngster” that could be thrust into a scoring role should Mats Sundin not sign, but Jaffray is

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Koules Satisfied, Parrish Likes Vancouver

Despite the fact that the Lightning defense still seems a little suspect, boasting little veteran presence or even a big name, Oren Koules maintains that he is satisfied with his current defensive corps. The Lightning still have to get under the cap enough to ensure that they can accommodate Steven Stamkos‘ cap hit, which would be 3.75 should he reach all performance bonuses. Remember that this upcoming season is the last year of the current CBA agreement, and that there will be no performance cushions. Nashville, as noted in the article, remains a very enticing trading partner, with 13 draft

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Winners and Losers

Here are a few of my thoughts about the trade deadline action. Short Term Winners Pittsburgh Penguins – Adding Hossa, Dupuis and Gill has the potential to make them a really scary team. Think about it. In recent weeks the top line of Malkin, Sykora and Malone have been one of the best lines in the NHL and over the next week or two you will add Crosby and Hossa to fill out a 1A line. Losing Armstrong and Christensen will hurt the third line but with a top 2 lines that good they may not need a third line.

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Northwest Division Preview

Calgary Flames Strengths: -Excellent depth at forward and defense -Top tier goaltending with Kipprusoff -Excellent size and physical play Weaknesses: -No true #1 center -No proven backup goalie if anything happens to Kipprusoff Question Marks: -How will the players get along with new hard-nosed coach Mike Keenan -Can Huselius repeat his stellar season last year which was well beyond the typical Huselius season. Outlook: -The Flames have an excellent mix of skill and toughness, forwards and defense, experience and youth and in my mind should be one of the best teams in the NHL. That didn’t quite work out last

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Western Conference Team Rankings (Updated)

I was going to write up team by team reports, and I may still do that for some teams, but I decided to first post some numerical evaluations of each team in nice and easily readable table format. I have divided each team up into Forwards, Defense and Goaltending and then divided each of those groups into Talent, Depth and Experience/Leadership and ranked each of those nine categories based on a score out of 10. I then summed up all 9 categories to get an overall team score. Below are my results for the western conference. Let me know what

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Second Round Predictions

Time for the second round predictions. Like the first round, the second round features some intriguing matchups and also like the first round, none of those match ups are divisional rivals. NY Rangers at Buffalo NY Rangers (road) Buffalo (home) Predicted Winner Buffalo (Good) Fair Odds +135 -155 Overall Record 42-30-10 53-22-7 Home/Road Record 21-15-5 28-10-3 Last 10 Games 7-2-1 7-3-0 Past Games 2006/10/14: NY Rangers 4 at Buffalo 7 2006/11/05: Buffalo 4 at NY Rangers 3 (OT) 2006/11/26: Buffalo 3 at NY Rangers 2 (OT) 2006/12/01: NY Rangers 3 at Buffalo 4 (SO) My Opinion: Buffalo has been my

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Western conference first round predictions

Here are my first round predictions for the western conference. My eastern conference predictions will come later today. What is interesting about the western conference matchups is that the the home team has won every single game of each of the regular season series except for the final game of the San Jose-Nashville series in which Nashville won the game on the road in a shootout. That might lead you to believe that the home teams should win these series, but I wouldn’t be too eager to jump that that conclusion. For the most part, all the games were close

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Luongo for Bertuzzi

So I got home late last night and checked the sports news to be shocked that Luongo had been traded. The deal is: Luongo and Lukas Krajicek to Vancouver for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld My initial reaction was this trade is a steal for the Canucks. After sleeping on it overnight I think more or less think the same. What Vancouver gets in this deal is two fold. First, they get the high-calibre goalie they have never had. Second, they save some money they despertely needed to in order to try to re-sign the Sedins as well

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Ruined game…

Which of these numbers stands out from the rest? 17 13 6 6 9 12 9 9 13 11 7 22 I even made it easy for you. I put it last. Yes, the number 22 is substantially higher than any of the other numbers listed above. Those numbers above are the total number of power plays in games played on Thursday and Friday and the 22 represents the number of power plays in the Ottawa-Vancouver game. In what was one of the most anticipated games of this NHL season we saw the referees ruin the flow of the game

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