So, what do you think of your team(s)?

Discussion in 'Hockey Talk' started by m_peroni, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. m_peroni

    m_peroni
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    Just wonder what you guys think of your teams of interest. Are you satisfied with the off-season moves? Skeptical? Expected better? Unexpected such improvements made? Any errors you saw?

    Season is just around the corner. Let's get this board alive!!!!!
     
  2. rikster

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    The Canucks have brought a boat load of new players into camp, and the flavour of the day is big and mean...

    Even their draft picks had size and grit which is a change from Gillis first drafts where speed and finess was the flavour of the drafts......

    The 4th line will be a much more physical group ..

    I think Sturm will be an improvement over Raymond who I think will be moved once he is healthy and I'm curious to see if Owen Nolan can make the team...

    All eyes will be on Hodgson as he has had a full offseason to train at Gary Roberts facility and with Kesler not being ready to start the season he gets a real opportunity to play top 6 minutes...

    I think a fun team to watch this year will be the Oilers and their young guns...

    Take care...
     
  3. Clint27

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    On paper...

    ....the Leafs look like they should be better, but as it has been written, the Leafs will go as Reimer goes. I think its too much to ask of a young 'tender, but he seems to have the right attitude.
    Kadri looks like he'll make the team, he really adds an offensive flair that the Leafs have lacked.
    Personally, I think they'll continue their Jekyll and Hyde show...look like cup contenders for a few games, then look like the Marlies for even more.
     
  4. m_peroni

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    I disagree with you on Sturm. I think the guy is nothing more than a dependable 2-way forward on the third and fourth lines. Forget his 20 goal potential, i think. Not sure how he is an upgrade over a young Raymond able to score 20+ goals.

    I am excited about Cody. He has an excellent opportunity.

    Oilers will be intriguing, but how can you develop a team with plenty of inexperienced players? It is a lot of work. I think we can expect the Oilers to once again draft first, which i will find ridiculous...
     
  5. m_peroni

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    For the Rangers, i can't say that i am not satisfied. While i was very anti-Richards throughout last season, i also realized the major necessity of a first line center, especially when you have a 40 goal scorer on the wing. Dubinsky found his better game on LW, and the Rangers could not go into a new season laying the responsibility on Anisimov, Stepan, Boyle to play top three centers and rotate them to find chemistry and ride the hot streaks.

    Richards is an elite playmaker, shoots a lot of pucks, a difference maker on the PP, and he has the experience. Can't say no to addressing your necessities when the answers are available to you.

    Mike Rupp takes the place of Derek Boogard (RIP). He is a big man, very big, that can skate, pop a couple of goals from time to time, and do a lot of mean, dirty work.

    Getting Tim Erixon makes the Rangers D a lot more exciting. With Staal most likely not starting the season, the Rangers are very deep on D for present and future, although expect the Rangers to possibly sign a vet d-man to bring some experience to the youngest defense in the NHL. Nonetheless, the Rangers D is as exciting as when they had a young Leetch, Zubov, and Karpostev playing nearly 20 years ago.

    For the time being, you worry about the youth of the defense. But for the future, you are looking at:

    Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, Sauer, Del Zotto, Eminger, and the guys knocking on the door for the next couple of seasons in Valentenko, Kundratek, the beast that is McIlrath.

    I also like the fact that the Rangers kept Ruslan Fedotenko.

    For the Rangers to have a strong finish, though, the right things need to happen.

    1) Health. You have some injury proneness concerns with guys like Richards, Gaborik, Staal, and Callahan.

    2) Wolski is actually an important piece. He is a coin toss, and he has the best opportunity of his career to play with elite players in Richards and Gaborik. If he seizes the moment, Wolski will be able to put up between 50 to 60 points.

    3) Defense has to be solid. The youth with the D is a concern, but they handled themselves quite well last season. Still, this is a new chapter and the Rangers do not have much room for error with their cap space.

    =========================================

    The Panthers made frequent headlines this past summer, and while the spending was quite crazy, the need to do so was necessary. A new owner, a new GM, a new coach, a new team. The splash has to be made when you are missing the playoffs for ten years.

    Dale Tallon has an amazing eye for talent, and he knows how to take over a poorly organized team and bring it to a respectful level again. I believe he did the right thing here in South Florida. He wanted to give the team credibility. Bringing in Brian Campbell took guts and the trade was very fair. The majority of Hawks fans have had a lot of good things to say about him.

    Bringing back a fan favorite in Jovanovski was also a big hit. Since i did not expect the Panthers to spend big in the free agent market, i actually had Jovo as a big priority for the Panthers to sign. Despite his age, fans still wore his jersey over the past years. He brings a voice, and a physical edge on the ice that make a difference. He played years in Phoenix and experienced the building of a hockey club that managed to make the playoffs.

    Fleischmann is a big gamble due to some health concerns, but it's a concern that can be controlled and monitored by doctors and not worry too much about. Fleischmann has an opportunity to shine in South Florida, and become a solid point producer.

    The Panthers managed to add solid players that play with an edge, that can skate, and can score a decent amount of goals. No, there aren't any stars, but it's a group to keep an eye on due to depth and their resiliency in character. Upshall, Kopecky, Versteeg and Bradley.....solid players that bring a tough edge as well. Goc is one of the leagues best defensive centers. These guys join a pretty good young core of players. Booth is looking to rebound after playing a full season last hockeylastic year. Weiss now has more talent to play with. The defense gained two very good experienced D-men. Joining these D-men could be Gudbranson as well.

    Jon Huberdeau is making his own case as well playing very well thus far.

    This is a new team, about 10 to 12 new players. A new coach, who although remains a question mark, he has a strong hockey sense. A new jersey that goes back to the roots of this team.

    While i do not expect the Panthers to make the playoffs this season, due to the fact that chemistry will take a while to form, i also would not rule it out completely. Surprises happen every year. But what i do expect is a fresh feeling towards this team. It is going to grow this year and next year could be more dangerous depending on how far Huberdeau develops his game and transitions it at the NHL level. Goaltending is a question mark, but Theodore provides a perfect gap filler for the time being to let Markstrom develop.

    I am satisfied with both the Rangers and Panthers this season.
     
  6. MLF

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    Re: On paper...

    I'm pleased the Leafs kept their number 1 pick this year because it looks like another top 10.
     
  7. rikster

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    Kadri

    This kid seems to be overly cocky, which is all fine and dandy, but to be cocky while not yet being able to secure a spot on a non playoff team makes me cringe at the thought of having to deal with his agent on his next contract negotiations should he put up some decent numbers between now and then...

    Take care...
     
  8. m_peroni

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    Re: Kadri

    I said this guy was pretty much a bust after his first training camp.
     
  9. Sir Rodney

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    Canucks Have Taken A Step Backwards If Anything

    I don't know if I share Rikster's views on the Canucks. The loss of Erhoff isn't as critical a factor as many would have you believe. I really feel Buffalo over paid for his offense. The defensive liabilities tend to be overlooked, particularly for that huge a cap hit. If they suffer another key injury on the blue line in their current top four, then I don't see Gillis having any option other than making a trade for a more reliable defender. Ballard has shown that he is capable of playing in the five spot but not in the top four.

    So many of the predictions as to where the Canucks will finish are based on some key assumptions, the most important of which is Kesler's ability to return to form. That isn't given by any means. Malhotra has shown that he is close to pre-injury form which is great but until Kesler and Raymond demonstrate they can get up to speed, they are definitely weaker on the second line. Sturm at his best, possibly but he doesn't stand out as being there now.

    I like Hodgson but if he's our second line centre, we are in trouble. He works but he has to be able to finish either 5 on 5 or on the second power play unit.

    All summer the expectation that Gillis would make a key trade for a second line winger went by the way side. The aging veteran experience wasn't successful last year and as this year's invitees get cut, it make you wonder why he bothered. Nolan gone, Fedoruk gone, Duco and Mancari put of waivers. The only one still around is Ebbett who, of all the ironies, is being considered as an alternative to Hodgson.

    If the Canucks have anything going for them, it's playoff experience. That could be huge. Player for player, they are definitely weaker than last year. The kids they have in the system have shown they aren't that far away. Jensen, in particular, showed he has a definite future in the NHL. They aren't the answer now but a year or two from now,...

    I am concerned that some of the other key Western Conference teams have made more significant changes than the Canucks. In particular, LA, Chicago and San Jose are stronger where I feel the Canucks have basically stood pat and that isn't going to be good enough.
     
  10. m_peroni

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    Re: Canucks Have Taken A Step Backwards If Anything

    I disagree on Ehrhoff. I understand the defensive liabilities, but he still scored 50 points. He also ranked 4th on the team in shots on goal. No one will be able to make up those numbers. At least, not on the current roster.

    Buffalo may have overpaid him, but so what? They got an excellent offensive d-man that they severely lacked.

    Vancouver did not replace him at all.

    The second line guy is still a mystery. But, you also do not want to clog the top six either. It is an 82 game sked. I think Kesler will be out for about two months or so? Once he comes back, before mid-season, then i would think the top two lines have:

    Sedin
    Sedin
    Kesler
    Burrows
    Samuelsson
    Raymond

    I think you get at least, at the very very very least, 120 goals from that group. So, it's still not that bad.

    And, who knows if Gillis worked on trades and the other teams asked for too much? Annnnnnnnnd.......it does not mean that he still won't acquire one throughout the season. All is possible.

    Canucks still have a good team. I think they may not finish as high as they did last season, but sometimes not finishing in first place can be a good thing.
     
  11. Sir Rodney

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    Re: Canucks Have Taken A Step Backwards If Anything

    The Canucks were better with Erhoff than without him which is part of why I feel they aren't as good. Edler is expected to fill part of that void but until Connauton is NHL ready, they don't have any other offensively gifted defender to take up the rest of the slack.

    Interesting with your choices for the top two lines. You are probably right but I can't see many of the 120 goals coming from the second line. Kesler had a career year last year and will have difficulty matching that output after his surgery. Samuelsson is definitely slowing a bit and Raymond may never be as fast as he was (fast but with very little finish). Noticeably absent from your list is Hodgson. If ever there was a need for him to live up to his potential, this Fall would be it. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Malhotra filling in for Kesler, Lapierre moving up to the third line and Ebbett centering the fourth. That's not what I see as a formula for success but it's more likely than Hodgson centering the second, in my opinion. A healthy Sturm might well prove to be an upgrade on Raymond which is the one potential plus in terms of any changes made over the Summer. The rest of the second line situation is patch work at best.

    Your point on needing a viable trading partner is well taking and if that's the reason Gillis hasn't made a move, good on him. The reason for my concern though is based on the window of opportunity concept. The Canucks goal is to win the Cup rather than coming up short in Game 7. They have tried to sell the idea that no major changes were necessary and if that proves to be the case, I will happily wear the label of being a bandwagon jumper.

    Notice we haven't even touched on goal tending? Hmmmmmm!!!
     
  12. rikster

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    Re: Canucks Have Taken A Step Backwards If Anything

    Hi guys, a few of my thoughts...

    I thought Raymond was playing himself off the roster last season and neither him nor Samuelson had very good years playing on the second line ....

    Raymond had just 15 goals and 39 points while Samuelson was a tad better with 18 goals and 50 points...

    So, not big numbers for this years second line to exceed...

    Thinking back to Raymonds time in Vancouver and the play of Hodgson this pre season, I would take Hodgson over Raymond on the line, even as a winger when Kesler gets back....

    I assume that when Kesler does return, Hodgson moves down a line and centres it wtih Maholtra sliding to the wing....

    From what I've seen, Sturm is a smarter, maybe a better way to say it is a more experienced player than Raymond is, so I expect more finish than what Raymond gave...

    Ehrhoff is a very good player and will be missed, but the Nucks are deep enough on the backend that they can't use him as an excuse should they struggle on the powerplay....

    I agree with those that say all of the try outs the Nucks handed out was simply a way to dress the required 8 NHL players for the too many pre season games....

    Too bad Bitz needed more surgery, I was looking forward to seeing him in a Nucks uniform, but for now I think this 4th line is an improvement on last seasons....

    Take care...
     
  13. m_peroni

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    Re: Canucks Have Taken A Step Backwards If Anything

    I really like Edler, but i do not see him scoring 50 points. If so, God bless Vancouver for having such an amazing talent in this guy.

    I still think all of those players will average about 20 goals. Hodgson is a question mark thus far. He has the tools, but let's see them work and show results. He is given a golden opportunity.

    Sturm may still be able to get 20 goals, but it is not a certainty either. Come to think of it, i think he will get his chances playing with the Sedins and that may click so well too. He must be healthy and playing very well, though. Otherwise, i think this guy is on a decline to being a 3rd....4th liner.

    As for the trading idea.....this year's window of opportunity in the free agent market was not worthy for a team like the Canucks. You don't want them to spend that much money on Fleischmann, or other solid 2nd line players that are getting paid like good first line players. Vancouver has the trading chips, the most valuable one being Schneider.

    I'd be patient with the Nucks. They are VERY close to being Cup winners. There is very little room for error and you don't want the GM getting players that prove to be mistakes.

    Let's see what this team can do when Raymond fully rebounds as well as Kesler. For the time being, though, it will take some time to perform consistently.
     
  14. m_peroni

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    Re: Canucks Have Taken A Step Backwards If Anything

    I disagree on Raymond. He had 39 points in 70 games. He is growing as a player, developing and will be hitting his prime years soon. He scored 25 goals and 53 points in 09-10. I think he will repeat 20 goals.

    Samuelsson is getting older, but he also scored 30 goals in 09-10. I think he can score 20 goals again this season.

    Hodgson has not proven anything yet, but he has his chance with Kesler out of the line up for a while.

    Not sure why you would move Malhotra on the wing when he is one of the best face off centers in the league.

    As for Bitz....i was excited to see him play for the Panthers, but his injury destroyed his career. The guy had good NHL potential being a 3rd...4th liner. Gritty, hard working, passionate.... what a shame.
     
  15. rikster

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    Re: Canucks Have Taken A Step Backwards If Anything

    Raymond is too soft and spends a lot of time speeding around the ice accomplishing very little...

    I like him best as a penalty killer and if he was stronger I think he would be an ideal third line, energy player...

    Regarding moving Maholtra to the wing, he can take face-offs much like Iginla often does in Calgary...

    Last night as an example on the empty netter Hodgson and Maholtra were on the ice together with Maholtra taking and winning the face off...

    Take care...
     
  16. m_peroni

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    Re: Canucks Have Taken A Step Backwards If Anything

    Accomplishing 20+ goals in your career and 15 goals in 70 games is not accomplishing very little. The guy has a set of skills. He proved that he can score, let him rebound.

    Taking 420 face offs is not often. Often is like double that amount, at least. Malhotra has always been a natural center. He is an excellent two-way defensive center. No reason to remove him of that position just to make room for a rookie.
     

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