Scott will be here soon!
We are ready to cook!
8 straight wins, are you a believer of my Devils now?
Well Brent you have done a heck of a job, I just want to know who is feedoing the cows back home? I want to make sure they are getting enough feed in Alberta! Now question, it is hard to imagine how your name will not end up on the Jack Adams Trophy. Obviously going to the top of the Atlantic, and being 9-1 in the last ten and still without Martin Brodeur is all very impressive. But what is most impressive is the 157 goals, remarkble given the history of the team and its almost complete devotion to defense. So good luck in the postseason and now the only question is what to do with Mr. Brodeur when he gets back to game action.
With Nik Antropov being on the trading block, would he be a good fit for the Blackhawks?
Well there is no question they would like to add depth down the middle, and Nik Antropov is certainly a servicable player. He is very streaky with point production and can take bad penalties but he is big, 6'6" 230 lbs and handles the puck extremely well and would fit in as a top six forward. It probably will not coast a lot, so yes I could see him fitting in quite nicely with the Blackhawks.
Who you got in the Beanpot?
Ah yes the Beanpot. I will go out on a limb and say BC. I have to say my beanpot knowledge is pretty limited.
Please tell me it is not another Philly goalie controversy! Can't we just get a legit number 1 goalie!?
It has been interesting how just when it loooks like Martin Biron has established himself as "The Guy" all of a sudden Niittymaki gets the nod for a handful of starts in a row. And the Flyers are 5-4-1 in their last ten and fallen of the pace in the Atlantic and sitting in sixth in the East. Controversy is a way of life for goaltenders and coaches in Philly. I still think Biron is the guy, and I do not think Niitymaki has the goods to carry Philadelphioa in the playoffs. And Biron got Philly deep in the playoffs last year. I still think Biron is the guy the Flyers will be counting on.
A month to the trade deadline. Will Sather deal now or go right up to the wire?
Usually some time in January or early February a team gets out of the blocks early. There is something to be said about trying to get your trade shopping early. The other theory is you end up paying less the more the clock ticks. It is clear the Rangers need something. Their defense is ordinary at best and they have no chemistry up front. I would guess Sather makes a move, but your guess is as good as mine as to whether that is now or March 4th. But if the Rangers are thinking of moving past the second round, they better do something.
Does Calgary have the offensive depth for a long playoff run?
A month or six weeks ago I may have said probably not, but this is a team that is coming together. They are not going to blow a team out of the water like a SJ or Detroit can do, but they are very well balanced and get nice production from their blueline in Dion Phaneuf. They are the one team I can see giving Detroit or SJ a run for their money. There is lots to like about where the Calgary Flames are at right now.
Are the CBJ still one player away from being a playoff team? Who do you think they have on their radar, hopefully a 1st or second line center?
You've hit the nail on the head in terms of a wishlist. A front line center would be ideal to play with Rick Nash. Nash has been great along with Steve Mason. Those two are driving the Blue Jackets' playoff hopes. Right now, they do not have enough offense to be a legitimate playoff contender. So yes, I think they will look for help. But there is a thin group of potential players on the market and for a team like Columbus, you must resist the temptation to give up too much to make the playoffs and then get your head handed to you by Detroit or SJ. That is small thinking. It will be interesting to see how much they are willing to give up in order to get the team over the hump.
The Stars look to be playing better and more consistent. Will they be looking to add any blueline depth by the deadline ?
I guess yes, but again, the Stars are a team that have horrific injuries to key players, notably on the blueline with Sergei Zubov likely out for the year. Would they like to add? Yes. But not at any coast. Co-GMs Les Jackson and Brett Hull are going to be very cautious about giving up valuable assets for a rental player. If they can make the playoffs, and I think they will, it will be from within. I think they will make a move, but not a big one. After the Avery Affair, I think the Stars will be very, very conservative going forward.
What do the Canucks have to do to get some wins? Is getting a new coach really necessary? Does that work?
As we saw in Ottawa, firing the coach is almost always the last resort. I do not know if firing Alain Vigneault will help the Canucks fortunes. They have lost eight-straight games and Sundin has had no positive impact, and in fact seems to have disrupted chemnistry and Luongo is struggling to get back on the ice. It will be interesting to see how long Mike Gillis waits before making some type of move. He is in his first year as a GM and Vigneault was not his hire, so there is speculation that a move may happen. This is a team that waited half a year for Sundin and it is not working out at the moment. And with Luongo taking a long time getting back, this is a team that is vulnerable. It is hard to imagine that they will rebound and make the playoffs. Yes, they are one point out, but they are in 11th place and must get over three teams and they have not shown much as far as chemistry.
With the big win at the Shark Tank, do you think the Blackhawks can join the Sharks and Red Wings in the elite echelon of the Western Conference? Or are they still a year or two away from being able to beat those teams in a 7 game series?
Great question. Not just that one win in SJ, but this current road trip, eight games away, is going to say a lot oabout the team. A lot of people were surprised a year ago when they hung around the playoff mix. They are much better this year, and there are building bloacks to becoming a winning franchise, and I think this roadtrip is a good benchmark as far as their character. I think, barring a collapse, they will open the playoffs at home, and I think they match up well with whoever they face. But I do not think they could be Detroit or SJ. But they have nice goaltending depth and a lot of young players who are learning quickly about winning in the NHL. Maybe a a year from now we are talking about this team as we do SJ or Boston, a team ready to seriosuly push for a title. I do not think they are as far away from that as some think.
40 points - 15 which are goals in 38 games this year. Just how impressive is Mike Green.
What's not to like about Mike Green? He is the kind of player that come playoff time has the ability to change the tempo of a game or series. A lot of attention is on Alex Ovechkin and with good reason. But part of the reason Washington is so interesting and dangerous is their transition game, and Green is the catalyst that helps set the forwards free, and his ability to join the attack and then get back and defend is rare. I am sure he will be invited to team Canada's camp and I will be interested to see if he finds his way unto the team. Winning a Cup between now and then would go a long way in padding the resume.
Scott, are we to make anything of the Red Wings recent five-game skid?
Yes, I think it signals some real problems. Most os the problems are related to injury, I think. They are without Brad Stuart, Henrik Zetterberg has missed time, Tomas Holstrom as an injury issue. So they are banged up. As dynamic as they are on offense, the highest scoring team in the West, they are not as good defensively. They have given up 32 more goals than SJ. That's a lot. I am sure Ken Holland will be trying to address these issues as time ticks away to the deadline. But the Red Wings know how to win and will likely finish with the second seed in the West. So big picture, the skid is not worthy of panic just yet.
Scott, I really thought Edmonton was going to be a serious contender for the Northwest title this year. What happened to them?
You and me both, brother. I picked them to win the division and they are all over the place. They get pounded 10-2 by Buffalo, beat Minnesota and then lose to Nashville. There are rumors that the players may or may not be tuning out the coach. But this is a young team. MacTavish though is still the guy who got them to a Cup final. It is a team, on paper, that should be more dynamic on offense and with top veteran defensemen they should be much better in their own zone. They are the kind of team, though, that if they get in the playoffs, they could surprise. Of course, you cannot surprise if you do not get in. And that is a very real possibility for this inconsistent Oilers team.
I love Zubov but honestly I think these nagging injuries might be the end of him or diminish his role. Might be time for a new puck moving D stud. Bouwmeester(i know I'm dreaming) or another young guy in the mix?
Yes, there are a few other GMs who would all find room for Bouwmeester on their roster. But that would take a big time commitment in assets and dollars. In Dallas, it has been a hard year for Matt Niskanen, who played so well last year with Zubov, now with Sydor he has played better of late. As with Zubov, it will be interesting to see what he does in the offseason since he can become a UFA. But he has played a very limited amount of games, 56 in the last two years. So he may play for less than market vlaue in Dallas and act as a mentor to Niskanen and other young defenders. If not, they could chase Bouwmeester, along with 20 other teams.
marion gaborik is a(n)_____ next season.
Injury prone, over paid forward?
Injury prone, over paid forward?
But where will he end up? Vancouver is a possible spot. And it would not be a huge surprise to see the Kings take a run at him. All things of course being predicated on him returning to health. Regardless of where he ends up, he remains a high-risk, potentially high-reward type player.
Does Washington have all the tools it needs to make a deep playoff run? Are they... complete?
On lots of nights they do look complete and those are the nights Jose Theodore looks like the Jose Theodore of old. On the nights they look less complete, those are the nights Theodore struggles. Golatending questions will dog the Caps until they advance deep in the playoffs. Do they have the goaltedning depth to compete with the Devils or Boston? I do not know. It is a great unknown for the Caps heading into the postseason. Outside of the inconsistency of the goaltending, they have so much to like.
Kovalchuk a Penguin?
Probably not. He would look grat next to Crosby and Malkin, but he does not look like the right fit. But I think it is inevitable that he will leave Atlanta. It is going to be interesting to see where he ends up and what he can accomplish on a team with good players around him.
Better mustache: George Parros or Tom Selleck?
Tough one. I have to go with Parros and that is not just because he may assault me if I go with Selleck. I always wondered about Selleck always out on the helicopters and sports cars. It all seemed very Hollywood to me. Anyone who can mix it up on the ice the way Parros does and keep the lip covering in such stellar shape gets my vote.
Thanks for taking the time and we will do it again next week!