2/8 Of Teams Season Review
A lot of changes, a lot of surprises, disappointments, and so on and so on. Check out the 2/8 section of this 2001-2002 Season Review. Anaheim Might Ducks
This is where the Ducks should be, and it is not that bad at all. Kariya is starting to score more now, but he only has 6, which is not a good number for a player like Kariya. Cullen has been the Ducks best player. He leads the team with 14 points. The defense is just below average, but Carney has been doing a good job leading the team with a +4. The goaltending is pretty good, but just 4 wins for Giguere. This team was predicted to be down in the pits, but by playing the trap, it helps them win games, destroying Kariya’s season.
Started pretty well, but they are not doing any better, the Thrashers have a weird plan and it is hard to find what this team’s plan is, probably future. Although it is still a future threat, Atlanta cannot go on like this. They must win 20 games this season. Goaltending is bad, defense, is bad, and offense is not working. Besides Kovalchuk’s struggles with the coach, he is leading the team in goals with 8, but who does not get enough attention is Dan Heatly, who leads the team with 13 points. Hordichuk must be Atlanta’s best defenseman, as he leads the team in PIM (38) and +/- (+1). Thrashers cannot say they lost this season already, it is too early, and it is a mistake for the staff to start thinking about next year’s entry draft. It will take time for this team to build, but with the talented youngsters they have, they could be a big threat for the future.
This team slowed down in scoring for a while. Thornton is not playing his best hockey, as he admits it too, but he is putting up a lot of numbers quietly. Lapointe has been playing well, and Guerin is also starting to pick it up. Thornton leads the team in goals, assists, and obviously points. Glen Murray is having a very bad start as a Bruin, and Stumpel is playing his average style. I still think GM O’Connell could have gotten a better deal for Jason Allison, but that is in the past. The defense looks pretty solid, and Dafoe is playing very well. The only problem with this team is their +/- record, Lapointe leads it with just a +4. So the Bruins should definitely make the playoffs, they seem ready to face any opponent. This is where they should be standing exactly.
Should this team have such a record? Noooooo. Sabres cannot drop under .500. The problem with this team is they cannot score. Satan leads the team in goals (8) and points (15), but where is Kozlov and Connolly? This team has to stop being an all-defensive style team. They have 52 GF, but that is just not enough. Biron is playing very well, and Zhitnik is the team’s best defenseman, leading in assists (10). Lindy Ruff has to change strategy, and teach Verada that playing cheap and dirty is not what the team needs…he must start scoring too. I still expect to see the Sabres in the playoffs, only if they make some changes.
The most surprising team in the NHL with the most surprising player in the NHL, Jerome Iginla. Problem is that it’s basically all Iginla. Iginla leads in goals (14) in assists (14), 28 in points, and in +/- (+16). Conroy has been a big player for the Flames, especially without Marc Savard. What will this team be like when Savard comes back? Turek is playing really well, probably the best or second best in the league so far. The Flames lead the NHL with just 35 GA. Can Turek play all those games though? When will Vernor play? Well, things look good as of now but as the season will come to an end next year, a lot of observation will be done on Turek. What is the Achilles ankle of this team? Iginla. If Iginla is injured, what is this team going to do? Probably play to an all-defensive style game and try to have Savard, Conroy, and MacAmmond score. Morris and Kravchuk are playing really well too, and this team is kicking butt. They are just tough to beat. The scariest part of it is, Flames will be dominating for the next few seasons.
One thing I never understood about sources like The Hockey News is how could the Hurricanes not make the playoffs if the team just got better? They are only 3 games above .500, but they are probably the hottest team in the East. The O’Neill, Francis, Kapanen line is just amazing. O’Neill leads in points (22) and goals (13), Francis is leading in assist (17) and Kapanen is leading the team in +/- with a +9. Irbe disturbed that Barrasso is playing too much? I really don’t think he is, even if he made a comment about it to the press. And if so, what’s the big deal? Irbe will remain as the starter for the Canes, and there shouldn’t be any questions or doubts if Barrasso might take the position, because it won’t happen. This gives the Canes a BIG advantage. They will receive Irbe’s best and Barrasso’s best. The Canes will definitely make the playoffs, since they are in the easiest division, a pathetic one. Look for the Canes to end up 3rd, or even 2nd, in the standings…who knows…maybe 1st?
Another very surprising team. They lead the league in GF with 65. You have Amonte, Daze, Zhamnov, Calder, Sullivan, and the new kid in town Bell, scoring all the goals. How did this all happen? Everyone expected the Hawks to collapse, and put the blame on GM Smith, but as of now…Smith got saved by the siren. Best of all, Thibault is playing like a top goalie, and the defense is really solid. This team proved that they could bounce back as soon as they had chemistry. The question is, can they keep it up? Sure they can, no one should ask that question. This team should definitely make the playoffs. They have five, almost six, players that can score every game. I doubt Amonte will be traded, unless Smith is dumb enough to, but if he gets a lot in return, then trade Amonte. Watching this team, the Rangers, the Bruins, the Wings, and the Leafs, leaves a question for me “Are the original 6 starting to dominate the NHL again?”
I would love to leave these words for this team’s review. “No comments”. But, I will get bashed if I do that. So, what is wrong with this team? Goaltending is fine, defense is fine, and offense is a joke. Forsberg is the missing hole for this team, but he is not the excuse why they are not scoring. Where are Sakic, Hejduk, Drury, and Tanguay? It is pathetic that this team only has 38 GF, it is a joke. Sakic is the only one scoring (G-7, A-8, P=17). How can a team like Buffalo, which has half the offense the Avs have, have 14 more goals than the Avs? This team needs to smell the coffey and wake up, because I cannot understand how all those players cannot score. There is no need in gelling, finding chemistry. It is basically last post-season’s team. Should they make a trade? They should very soon. Forget the defensemen Lecroix, look for a player that can score so the others will start scoring. If anything, this team has to avoid what the Devils did after 1995, not make the playoffs. I doubt that will happen, but this has got to stop. They need a center for sure, and the thought of maybe making a deal for Nedved is not that bad of an idea now isn’t it? A playmaker, skater, can bring the puck in the zone, can play PK/PP, and should do well if paired with Hejduk. Just a thought obviously. There’s not much else to talk about this team, only the fact that Roy and the defense are the reason why they have those 17 points.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Not one improvement on this team. They can only stick with the defensive style, but definitely make a trade. Denis is ready, he should be ready to be a starter now. Teams are in desperate need of a goalie like Tugnutt. Knutsen, who is Knutsen? Where is Whitney? Not much about this team. It has nothing special and not a bright future as of now.
These guys are starring at their own stars while the game is being played. What are they thinking? They should not even be a .500 team. Like the Rangers did in the past, the same with the Stars. They cannot expect to be a great team when signing a bunch of UFA’s. Audette woke up a bit, Nieuwendyk is probably the best forward for the team, Kamensky…uhhh…does he even play? Lehtinen is scoring points for this team, but this team is not going anywhere. Where is Zubov? And especially, where is Turgeon? They must think of a trade, because if they looked for this team to gel, they should have gelled already. Goaltending has been really good though, and probably the only reason why this team has that .500 record. Maybe by moving one center as a wing might help.
Detroit Red Wings
Wow, what a record. This team worked out by adding players like Robitaille, Hasek, and Hull. Shanahan is having a fabulous season, could be his best ever, and Yzerman’s career will definitely finish nicely as he started as a Red Wing, remained as a Red Wing, and will finish as a Red Wing. Hasek is not playing at his best, but he does make some amazing saves. Datsyuk is a good rookie for the Wings, and this team should reach to the finals. They will have a slump sooner or later, hopefully before the month of April so they start a winning record in the month of April, entering the post season. The scary part of this team is that Shanahan and Federov have been the big time scorers, but if Hull and Robitaille explode, then they will start winning a lot of games with a lot of goals. They are in a good position now, and they should not make any kind of trade yet, leave the team as it is.
A little sloppy when playing home games, but this team is one of the best on the road. Look at this team. They are the youngest team in the NHL, and they are on of the top teams on the NHL. Smyth has 23 points, Carter 12 goals, and Comrie with a very good +11. Salo has been playing just like last season, but the fact that the team still lacks a more than decent back-up goalie will cause Salo to go into a slump, just like last season. The Oilers will definitely make the playoffs, and this time the Stars might not beat them after all. What are the minuses of this team? Reasoner is a big disappointment. I still expect more from this kid, and if he does not play with Comrie, then it is worth giving it a try, my best tip for Reasoner is to drive the net more. Oilers are looking fine, and have a very bright future ahead of them and MacTavish has done a great job.
Seen this team play 4 times, and all four times I could only come up with one comment. B.O.R.I.N.G. Bure Onslaught Results In No Goals. He only has 8 goals. Which is a pretty good number, but for a guy like Bure that number is bad. He has to start scoring. Did his brother make a major difference before? Not at all. Was his brother there last season? No he wasn’t. So what the heck is going on? They play a strong trap, extremely boring to watch, and the offense comes up short. Huselius is a great rookie, probably will be a Calder winner. I do not see how his teammates and coach are upset at Bure for not scoring enough goals. They should blame themselves and the trap. It is a miracle that Huselius has 9 goals too. So what are the other guys doing? Skating around the ice, trying to play the trap and expecting Huselius or Bure to score. This team needs a GM, because this is just not working. Should they trade Bure? Well…unless they cannot find a better playmaker, and a better strategy for Bure, yes they should. Teams like the Avs, Stars, Blues, and maybe even the Islanders, or the Canadiens would try to land Bure. Trade Kidd to at least improve some offense, this team is not going anywhere.
Los Angeles Kings
Monarchy just doesn’t work for this city does it? Now that Schneider is out for 6 weeks, where will this team go? Down the drain. Allison is still trying to get back, probably just finished his “training camp” and starting his pre-season campaign soon. Where is Palffy anyway? He only has 5 goals in his 11 points. I cannot find any solutions for this team, but it has a lot of issues. They better start thinking of another trade or maybe a change in coaching. Deadmarsh is playing well, but he will not keep up with a scoring streak. The rest of the team needs to start showing some more effort.
A good record for a sophomore team. Gaborik is dominating this team in everything (G=8,A=9,P=17) but +/-. He scored a hat trick, and has made a presence in the NHL. He will definitely become a star of the future, who knows, maybe he might make it to the All-Star game. Fernandez is on a slump, not a good sign, but the Wild is still making it hard for the other teams to beat them. The playoffs seem to slowly fade away for this team, but with their great line of Brunette, Dowd, and Gaborik, this team might compete for that spot. Give credit to Lemaire’s sophomore team, they have done a good job, and most shocking, is their number one ranked power-play.
Not enough scorers on this team, Savage is the only one. Defense is not bad, and Theodore is doing a fine job. Injuries are ruining this team every season. They need to get Hackett back, and they must trade for a center. Why would anyone create a rumor of Rucinsky to the Rangers for McCarthy? I am laughing at it every time I see, and if it does happen then anyone can e-mail me and laugh at me. This team just needs a lot more, and since teams expressed interest in Kilger, they might as well trade him. Maybe Kilger for McCarthy? Now that is a whole different story. So anyway, this team is just one game under .500 and it is hard to say whether or not they are playoff bound. As of now, they should play a trap, because they don’t have a Bure type player like the Panthers do. The plus here is Andrei Markov. He scored a point in every of his 5 games and is a +3. It seemed awkward that he did not make the team, this kid has one bright future. Why not give Marcel Hossa a try? Most of all, they need a number one center badly. Andre` Savard has a lot of thinking to do, but look at the bright side. Bulis seems to play well, and once Hackett comes back, they have more flexibility to trade, including Zednik. Koivu might come back around March, and that will change things around for the Habs. Do it for Koivu!
So what should this team do? Get some offense! Their leading goal scorer is Legwand, with ONLY FIVE goals. This team has to score in order to make the playoffs. They should look to make a trade…because they need a scorer. Ronning is playing well, and the defense and goaltending has been pretty decent. There is not much else about this team, except that they are challenging and they can win. Their record is expected to be like that, and they will not end the season with too many games under .500, I can see them finishing the season with 4 to 6 games under .500.
New Jersey Devils
This team is not playing as good as they should be. Give them credit for their record, and remember that they have fewer games played than any other team in the NHL, which is ridiculous. The have more goals against than goals for. Brodeur has a good 2.66 GAA but a below average .898 Saving %. The most ridiculous story about the Devils is that Brodeur has played every single game. Why even bother having a back-up goalie then? This is a bad sign, because Brodeur will play probably 90% of the season, and it will result in tiredness for Marty. The biggest bargain here is Elias, and Elias will get whatever he wants. He can ask for 10 million dollars and go to arbitration, and probably would get 8.5 million dollars. Still, I disagree with how much money Stevens will receive for the next three seasons, and I also disagree on how much money Brodeur will make as well. I really did not expect goalies to be paid that much money. Anyway, back to the team. So Marty will play too many games. The defense is still solid, but the offense hasn’t been the same as last season. Madden isn’t scoring, Gomez just scored his first goal in 16 games, then Brylin is not scoring, and basically Elias is doing all the scoring. The latest acquisition of Zyuzin does not seem a good one. Goc was getting close to making the team and Boumedienne was a top prospect, along with forward Anton But. Does that seem like a good trade? Not really, and it reminds me of O’Donnell’s trade for Mitchell, who has been very impressive for the Wild this season. White looks better, but youngster Commodore still is not 100% ready for NHL level. What is the major weakness of the Devils? The locker room. Holik is just not putting any positive signs in the locker room. Holik should be traded so the Devils can find someone to replace Mogilny’s spot. Selanne a possibility? Yes, but not quite. Selanne just does not fit well with a defensive minded team. It’s either offense or nothing, so who ever gets Selanne for next season, should definitely hunt for Kariya. If there is one thing the Devils should fear throughout this season, is Brodeur’s chances of getting injured. Thankfully, he is not a high injury prone goalie, so knock on wood, but if he does get injured, then Devils are in a major serious problem here, especially when you’re young back up goaltender has not even played a game, and just faced 4 shots. However, Devils still remain as a top force in the league, especially in the East. Devils have a winning record, but they are doing below average for a team that was in the Finals last season.
New York Islanders
The Islanders are starting to face the challenge of the next level. Their fire cooled down a bit, but they still remain a tough team to beat. Yashin is playing well, Parrish was a big surprise as he leads the team with 13 goals and 21 points. Peca is showing everything he’s got. One suggestion to Milbury though, trade Czerkawski who only has 3 goals. This guy just needs a change of scenery, and he is able to put up numbers, like 80 points. The defense and Osgood are doing extremely well, allowing just 38 goals. This team will have to face more challenges as the season passes by, but so far they have been the best in the East, can they keep it up? I think the Isle’s will keep it up if they can beat the tough teams, but just now the tough teams started to play tough and gel. Rumors about DiPietro being traded? It is unsure whether or not Mad Mike will trade the cocky youngster, but I would doubt it. He should keep DiPietro because by the time Snow is done, DiPietro steps in and learns from Osgood, as he ages. No ups or downs for this team, they’re on a steady course as of now.
New York Rangers
Now, they are one of the hottest team in the East. How? Don’t ask it just happened. The mistake Coach Low has been doing last season and beginning of this season is the poor strategy he put for the Rangers defense. I heard someone complain how are Rangers fans all the sudden liking the guy. Well, look at it this way, if Low used this committed to defense strategy last season, the Rangers could have made the playoffs. Since Low hates the trap, he put in a special kind of defensive strategy, a very strong “man to man” strategy with a touch of the trap. Obviously, if a team allows 40 shots, it is not playing a trap. The main objective for the defense is to prevent odd-man rushes which they failed to do against the Flyers but succeeded against other teams, to clear loose rebounds which they have been successful at. To clear the puck, which they’ve not done a very good job at, to “take your man out of the play” which has been very successful, and to force the opposition to shoot from the sides/angles and they have been successful at it. It is not a hard task for the defensemen, it is a simple strategy, but it works. Now to the offense, the Fleury, Lindros, York line is probably one of the hottest line in the NHL. Lindros: G:9, A:9, P: 18, +12, Fleury: G:8, A:11, P:19, +12, and York: G:8, A:7, P:15, +10. That combines a total of 49 points with a +34. Dvorak is off to a slow start, but most likely just eating away his scoring chances. Messier’s objective is not to score goals, but to be a part of the team, stand up for his teammates, and to make the plays, and he is taking it seriously. The defense has been amazing this season so far because not one defenseman has a +/- rating with a minus. Part of that are Richter’s big time saves, and the offense successful work. Goaltending is really strong this season. As I said to my dear hockey fans, Richter is known to make big come backs from major injuries, he is a hard worker and just does not give up. I keep forgetting that he had two major knee surgeries, one on each knee. Blackburn has been surprising too. First of all, who expected him to make the team? Second, who expected him to be this good already at NHL level? Give this kid a lot of credit, he is part of the reason why Richter is doing this well. Unfortunately, this team could lose its winning streak against the Penguins on Saturday. Low’s younger brother lost his battle against brain cancer, my condolences to Head Coach Ron Low. Another note, Rangers must improve their special teams, they are crucial and they could cost them a lot of games.
After a slow start, to a decent come back, then poor set back, and now one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Alfredsson is having a great season so far scoring 20 points. Hossa had an atomic explosion at the game against the Capitals, and Bonk is starting to score points too. This team is finally getting a long. Once again, the Sens have a top goalie tandem in the NHL, last time with Rhodes and Tugnutt, this time with Lalime and Hurme. Best thing to do is to let these two young goalies fight the starting position, because no one will get it, unless one starts to slump. The defense has been great, and Redden is showing he is a true top 10 NHL defenseman. With the help of Tiny Chara, the defense is really doing a good job. The Sens are no where near being worse than last season, but they still need a top center. Who should they part with? Well, I favor Swedes a lot, since I have Swedish blood, so if I were any GM, I would take Arvedson in a flash, especially for PK purposes. Havlat is doing one heck of a job and the sophomore jinx did not hit him. Great things are happening for this team now, and they should keep to improve, however, they cannot afford to lose Alfredsson from injuries, he must play at least 75 games this season, they need him badly now that Yashin is gone. Good luck to the Senators.
One of my favorite things about this site is the people it has visiting and writing. TradeMan, Puckboy, and I are pretty much “running” it, but the quality all comes from the HTR members and its anonymous visitors. What I learned recently for the most part, are the Flyers. The more I read from Flyers fans here, the more knowledge I took, and the more respect for the team itself. So, Flyers record, not great, not good, but just average, much like the Devils record, only 3 games above .500. The Flyers needed to gel with the new players they had, and that is understandable, but even before that game against the Rangers, the Flyers should have been the team above the Rangers. They have a better coach, a better strategy, and high quality players. You look at the Flyers numbers they’re good. LeClair 9 goals, Roenick 18 points, and Gagne a +9. You look at this and you think this team is doing one heck of a job. So why are they only three games above .500 and why don’t they look too good when I see them? The Caps game was a joke, it could not get any easier than that, but the Flyers BADLY needed that win to boost up the players. Now, you should see Primeau, Roenick, Gagne, and possibly Hlavac with Dopita, start scoring goals and quickly compete for the number one spot. That is the way I am seeing it at least. Obviously, if the team loses next two games against the Devils, well then you have to start questioning lots of places. If the Flyers lose both games, they give up their spot to the Devils, if they lose one and tie one, then they still lose to the Devils. So, they must win-win or win-tie or a tie-tie is acceptable too, we’re talking about playing against the Devils here, not an easy task, but they could be beaten. So, the defense is strong, very strong since Johnsson came in, and I told you Flyers fans that Kim would be the best player out of that deal, and not…it was not a steal because Sather was using Johnsson many times as trade bait with other teams. Dopita is really starting to show some good signs, but there should not be any reason why the Flyers were not playing well without Dopita, who just played one game before his injury. Goaltending was superb, and it is painful for me to see goalies go down like that, especially one like Boucher. I am a big fan of goalies, so Boucher was my favorite Flyer player, as is Brodeur as a Devil, Cujo as a Leaf, Luongo, and many others. Cechmanek never convinced me. So, that is why I never wanted to rank him as top 10 goalies in the league, for just playing one season, same with Hedberg. Now, Cechmank has a lot of pressure on his back, but this could turn out positive. Cechmanek came in last season why? Boucher just didn’t cut it. Cechmanek comes in this season why? Same idea, different reason though. Get my point? So, the Flyers should build their way up, but they must put an end to the “slow start”.
Doesn’t that record surprise you? Above .500? I just realized that because I am writing on them now. This team has just turned out to be so unpopular all the sudden, hasn’t it? I don’t know much about this team, so I will base this on what the stats show. Is Claude Lemieux really helping this team? Yes he actually is! He is leading the team in points with 11. Not bad for Claude eh? I can only remember one thing that angered me about the Yotes. Last season, Daniel Briere had a hot streak going on, and as soon as that streak stopped, he was sent back down to the minors. What were they thinking? Look at what this uncommon player has done, score 9 goals for the Yotes. Handzus is making a difference on the team, and Nagy is not doing a whole lot, but quietly he adds some points here and there. Is there anything interesting about this team? Not really. Here is another fact that Leafs fans will smirk at, Berezin only has 2 goals. Defense seems to be pretty solid, especially after losing Lumme and Carney, and goaltending has been average, but the young Robert Esche seems nothing more than a back-up for the rest of his career.
I just get impatient with this team. It is a continuous inconsistency for this team. Ups and downs every week. The only reason why they won a game against the Devils and tied one against the Isle’s, Alexei Kovalev. Two hat tricks in two straight games. He is an amazing player, he could be a dominating player, he could be the best player in the NHL if he wanted to, but he is the typical Russian who wants to be good when he feels like it. The old Russians were warriors and some still are, like Larionov and Ulanov. Anyway, Lemieux is not doing the best…and I did make a prediction, but it was a lucky one. Penguins will stay inconsistent throughout the season, and they will make the playoffs for sure, but they won’t be doing any long term winning streaks. Goalies are weak and inconsistent as well, but the defense has been very responsible, sometimes. You can’t make any predictions to this team, they must get Straka back. They will not trade Kasper unless it is an emergency, but so far I cannot make any predictions, not until I see the whole team on the line-up and play 5 games.
San Jose Sharks
A good record, yet they also have not played their best hockey. Selanne is getting a ridiculous 16 minutes a game, and he has the right to complain about that. It was not a good trade, Selanne needs an all offensive team, and soon someone should grab him. Damphousse is having a great season as he leads the team in goals (10) and points (17). Where is Nolan? Marleau? A weird team, but it is hard to beat it. They play a very rough style and they are really good at hooking and holding the opponents. So far Graves has not done much, but he is trying. I feel like I am sinning here, but it was a steal for Sather to get young Samuelsson from the Graves trade. Jillson is a good defenseman and has a very bright future. Both Nabokov and Kiprusoff have been really good. Right now, they just lead a very weak division. Nolan has to start scoring some goals though, and if the Sharks want to keep Selanne, then they must find a playmaker. Sharks are starting to get hot however, so watch them become a top team on the West again.
Same scenario as the Sharks, good record but not much, more was expected. Pronger is not doing much at all, and MacInnis is doing a lot actually. The offense is good, but Demitra is the only player who is leading in goals and points, along with Tkachuk. Weight is scoring a point a game, yet there is something missing about this team. It just does not seem to…be an exciting team. Maybe because of Pronger and the fact that they have two average goalies, I don’t know. I shall see more about this team, but at least they picked it up, and they are 4 games above .500. Goaltending can still become an issue, if they had Richter…this team will be either tying with the Wings or just be one point behind. So, expect this team to show a nice offer to Richter next summer, or even Cujo. This team has to start winning games, and Pronger must start something to give this team a big boost to make it become a top team of the West.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ok, here is the scenario. Lecavalier and coach Tortorella are not getting along, in fact they are arguing about something almost every game. Lecavalier only has 5 points, and he probably wants out of Tampa. What should Tampa Bay do? Give me your thoughts, I think I heard enough on the Rangers, Flyers, and Lindros for this week. I think Tampa should trade Vinny. He denies he wants out, but you can tell he wants out, and his talent is in a way getting wasted on that team. Modin is not scoring, but Richards is doing his job. To whom should the Lightning deal Lecavalier. The only way the Habs will get Lecavalier, is by a three way deal that will satisfy the 3rd team involved, a big satisfaction. I head Montreal, Vancouver, and TB, or Montreal, NYR, and TB, but whatever. If Sather wants to make a 3 way deal, he will only do it to get more than what he gave up, and he won’t easily let Lecavalier go by quickly, because he wants Vinny. I don’t know how the 3rd team can be satisfied with Habs and TB. It will have to be something big, without UFA like Savage or even Brisebois. As of now, I know that Sather would be willing to give up Nedved and Malhotra for Lecavalier. Which seems a lot considering Lecavalier has done zero this season. Would not be a bad idea though to have Lecavalier play with a winger like Dvorak. So, we have to wait and see what happens there. Martin St.Louis is leading the team with just 6 goals, and Richards leading the team in points (12). Low scoring, and this team is in desperate need of scoring. There is much to improve on this team.
Toronto Maple Leafs
I really did not realize the Leafs had this kind of record, which is excellent. So much about their defense, yet it is stronger this season than the offense is. Sundin is leading the team in goals (8) and points (9), and believe it or not, Tucker is leading the team with 10 assists. Where is Moginly? This guy started so well and all the sudden disappeared. He needs to be on a faster line like the one he was on last season. Cujo has been the best so far, and where would this team be without him? Renberg adds some assists once in a while and Reichel is a very quiet player. This team has a good record, but more was expect out of these players. Obviously, what is more important, players’ goals or team’s wins? I doubt the Leafs will keep it up, since they struggled somewhat in their last 3 games, but they will remain in the top 3 of the East, unless the Senators get hot and start winning more games.
Doesn’t that look better than a week or two ago? Yes! The Canucks are starting to pick up their game, and it was a matter of time. Cassels injury did affect this team, so look for it to be better when he comes back. Linden and Skudra should somewhat help the team. Take this in consideration though Burke, get a goalie. Cloutier and Skudra are not playoff goalies, so if Burke wants to get Tugnutt by the deadline, then he can keep this, but if he will not, then he must get Kidd, who by the way just had a shut out vs. the Sabres. Morrison, a former Devil, is playing his best season ever, while Naslund is on a good pace for goals (9). Cloutier has all of the Canucks’ wins (9), and he is getting better and better each game, but I insist that his biggest season will be when he is 28 years old. This team is starting to come together, and it should make the playoffs, although, they are in a very tough division. Good luck, for the Nucks.
I would really want to say “No Comments” for this team because they deserve it. Unfortunately, there is nothing positive that I can say about this team. Here you have the most pathetic team of the season. No excuses for that record, just none…zero “Oh but Jagr was out”. Yeah….and? What is that suppose to tell me? That this is the same team of last season and they cannot win? Even when Jagr is playing? I know Jagr has to come back from that injury, but it does not mean that the same players of last season cannot score or play defense. A pathetic 16 goals against in just two games. Now, ok…explain this to me. You lose 11-5, your next game is against a team that plays the night before, against a tough team, very emotional game, they lose, they are tired, and you don’t score a goal on them? And, you let them score 5 goals on you? Not only would I be firing Ron Wilson, but I would start thinking about GM McPhee too. This team is extremely expensive now that Jagr is on it. If this team fails to get into the playoffs this season, and it certainly seems like it, guess what? A waste of 10 million dollars. Trade Oates, trade Zubrus, trade whomever but just make a trade. They need defensemen? That is pathetic! How could a team that it has been known for its tough defensive style and good goalie need defensemen? What happened to the defensemen of last season? Just because Jonsson is injured the defense stinks? Something is wrong here, very wrong. It’s not anymore the start of the season, the start already ended, we’re in the beginning of long mid-season here. Caps don’t need to gel, they gelled last season why not this season? Here is the only positive comment I just came up with. If Jagr heals quickly by the next three games and he starts scoring, then there is a sign of positives, but if Jagr does not score as much after he is healed, then this team is just going down the drain. So, there is no “if’s” or “maybe’s” for this team. It is either very soon, or just never.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as you enjoyed the first one. A lot of changes with these teams happened since the 1/8 Article. Comments are always welcomed, good ones or bad ones, I accept both without getting offended, I am just so used to it now, thanks to the Flyers fans I argued with and my rival Devils fan MantaRay. I must admit though, the nicest and most polite fan of the site is titans. This member will give you the nicest comment ever, hehe. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.
p.s. Who would like the idea of Trvia Questions on HTR? If yes, then mention it in your comments please, thank you.