Monthly Archives: September 2010

Jackets Seek Success

Its pretty simple what the Columbus Blue Jackets have to do: Make the playoffs, win a playoff round and bring back some confidence into the team from the fans. Its much easier said than done as the team is marginally different from the squad that finished 4th last overall.

Much needs to go right for the Jackets if there is any hope for the playoffs. The offence needs to be better, they need to desperately improve the PP, they need to find a blueliner who can develop into an offensive star and they need much more stable goaltending.

They’ve added a bit more leadership, and with a new, 1st time NHL coach, that should help in the transition. While there may be a learning curve, the transition to immediate success must happen quickly. If not, there may be a significant loss of faith in the franchise.

Islanders Rebuild Slow And Steady

Things are progressing slowly for the New York Islanders. Their attempts to build a new building have continuously stalled. There is no telling if and/or when this will happen. It is a pressing need of the organization as the old Nassau needs a major upgrade. Thus, the cloud of potential relocation hangs over the organization, a sad reality for this franchise with a good history.

Things are at least moving forward with the team as they continue to ac*****ulate good young talent. While probably not quite ready to be the next Penguins, Caps or Hawks juggernaut, they are moving into the right direction and keeping their youth, a nice change from the past. It will be another big development year for the team and while there are growing pains off the ice, hopefully it will be not so painful on it.

Stars Changing Their Stripes

The Dallas Stars are no longer a franchise capable of competing financially with the other big market teams. Ownership issues have forced the team to be very frugal when it comes to spending and in turn has seen them jettison several long time veterans to save cash.

The initial results were not great as the team missed the playoffs. This season may prove to be difficult as well. But, there is plenty of talent here still and some good young players to build around. Its been an adjustment to the new philosophy and to the team’s new style of play. Its not out of the way to assume things could come together here and the team could string together enough success to get back to the playoffs.

Still no movement on the Sheldon Souray front, but it’s not for lack of trying.

“We’re still trying to see if there’s some situation that would make sense from a trade standpoint,” said GM Steve Tambellini. “We still just want to see if there was time to not just make a trade, but do something that helps the Oilers.”

Fate Of Habs Falls On Price

The Montreal Canadiens surprised everyone last year with their appearance in the Eastern Conference Final. After a staggering finish to the regular season, the team ended up upsetting the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins before falling to the Philadelphia Flyers.

It was absolute hysteria in Montreal as the little team that could came oh so close to adding it’s 25th cup. It was not meant to be however as it appeared the team ran out of gas.

Much of the credit to the successful upsets belong to goaltender Jaroslav Halak. The playoff hero stole the show and two series away from two Eastern giants. It was a memorable display of goaltending and left him in Montreal lore.

Playoffs Needed To Keep Franchise Alive

The goal seems so simple: Win their first ever playoff game. But it has not been an easy task for the Atlanta Thrashers. They in fact have only appeared in one playoff overall and really getting back there would be a feat in itself.

But the goals are higher in Atlanta this year. The team needs fans and the best way to do that is to have some success. A playoff appearance, a win, that is a sign of progress and gives the organization some hope.

2010-11 ULTIMATE POOL PREVIEW!

Ladies and Gents, here’s the 2010-11 ULTIMATE POOL PREVIEW, available for FREE!

Kadri running out of chances to impress Leaf brass

Nazem Kadri might have three or four more games in which to demonstrate his NHL readiness.

If he gets them, he’d better use them wisely.

Expectations are high for Kadri to crack the Leafs lineup, but those expectations have dimmed slightly the past three days, even though he fired a shootout goal in a 3-2 win over Philadelphia at the John Labatt Centre Thursday night.

Kings Looking to Continue Ascent to Success

After six straight years of no playoff hockey, the LA Kings made it back last season. That was a mild surprise due to their youth and relative inexperience. This season, the Kings should surprise no one. Many of their young players started to emerge as key talents and most of them have nowhere to go but up.

The key issue will be how they handle the expectations. It may not be enough this time to just get back to the playoffs. The franchise has won one playoff round since their cup final appearance in 1993. But the team did not make too many improvements to last year’s roster, striking out on a few of the big names. Whether they have enough to move forward remains to be seen.

Finally Stability In Tampa

Its a new beginning for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The franchise, armed with a new, rich owner and a respected former player running the hockey department, is set to prove hockey can survive and thrive in the southern US.

The addition of Jeffrey Vinik, a billionaire owner, and Steve Yzerman, a hall of famer who is now a 1st time GM, gives the Lightning the most stability and respect is has probably ever had in the history of the team.

After a few years of struggle, pathetically run by inadequate ownership, the team now looks ahead to a very promising future. Immediate success remains to be seen, but for now, the franchise is certainly moving in the right direction.

The Northeast Stigma

A recent comment about who deserves to be considered the true ‘rivalry’ of the Habs got me thinking about why any team from the Northeast merits hatred. This division is a collection of sad sack teams completely incapable of sustaining a contender let alone a champion.

The last time a franchise that now resides in the Northeast has won the cup was 1993. Montreal winning the title while in the Adams division. Ottawa and Buffalo being the only teams to make a finals appearence since then, both were embarrassed. The Northeast has never produced a champion.

The Most Improbable Thing That Could Happen This Season

Seeing as it’s preseason and the news isn’t exactly flying in, I’ve decided to post something that could be fun. Think of the most improbable thing that could happen for your favorite team or any other team during the 2010-2011 season. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Panthers Have Hope

The team with the longest current playoff drought may find their misery to continue this season. But, there is something to be a bit optimistic about in Florida and for the Panthers. Sure, teams in other sports have garnered all the attention, but something good is happening with the Cats and eventually the drought will be long forgotten.

There is plenty of work left for new GM Dale Tallon, but he has already put a major stamp on the team with his first few moves and its really a brand new beginning for the Panthers.

While the playoffs are a bit of a must, progress will be the most important accomplishment and all signs point to the Panthers moving forward, not backwards.


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