Mid-Term Grades, Comrie Trade Domino, Few Trades?

Mid-term grades on teams that have completed Game 41.

The Comrie trade to the Ottawa Senators could have a domino effect on the league.

To counter that statement, why could the general managers be nervous to not make as many trades as the media and fans expect? Find out another reason other than the usual “cap” talk.

And before you continue, congrats to Team Canada defeating Team USA in the WJC semi-finals in shootouts. USA had many opportunities to put the game away in OT, but failed to score as they hit a crossbar. Goalie Frazee was outperformed by Carey Price (something tells me Frazee won’t be so good in NHL shootouts). Good luck to Team Canada in the Finals, and Team USA for the Bronze medal. By the way, I hope that a Swiss ref won’t be used in the medal games and in next year’s WJC. Go Canada! Go USA!
So I finally got back from Disney World and Universal to see the fireworks for New Year’s, and by the way, Happy New Year to you all. I believe this has been my 17th, possibly 18th, visit to Disney ever since 1989. To me, that place never gets old. Unfortunately, I got stomach sick and I missed out on my favorite thing to do. What’s my favorite thing to do? Going to EPCOT. I went there, but I didn’t go to Germany for the Oktoberfest restaurant with the great tasting beers. I’m planning to go again in late Februray and I’ll be stopping by Germany, the UK, and Canada in EPCOT. To drink beer, of course. I love EPCOT, great place to hang out for a day and drink and eat and have fun. That’s a good vacation, ain’t it?

Anyway, we’re halfway through the season and not all teams have passed Game 41, but for those who have, here are their grades.

New York Rangers: B-

— In 41 games, the Rangers record stands 20-17-4 and 44 points holding on to the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. Only because they have snapped a long losing streak beating a hard working Washington Capitals team, and a Grade A defensive New Jersey Devils team do the Rangers get a B-. This has been a weird team ever since Game 1. They started out going on a roller coaster, then cruised their way posting a solid 8-2 stretch of some sort, and then just fell hard on the ice losing seven in a row. Why? The new acquisitions in Matt Cullen, Aaron Ward, and Brendan Shanahan appear to do too much of everything and have not yet adapted to the Rangers game plan. Shanny started off extremely well, but he is an aging star and there is no reason to expect the guy to stay on cruise control. Aaron Ward is basically playing with a broken foot and he insists on playing, trying to do too much at both ends of the ice (yes, he sometimes thinks he can be a young Brian Leetch). Matt Cullen had a good season in Carolina, and he thinks he is a very good player. He is a GOOD player. I like his game, but he also tries to do way too much and tries to do everything the right way. That has to come natural, not forced. Henrik Lundqvist has also been quite inconsistent, although as of late he has been a great goalie, especially in last night’s win against Martin Brodeur’s Devils. Jaromir Jagr is definitely not 100% as he appears to have trouble shooting. His shoulder must be acting up again and that causes issues when Jagr is on the ice and is physically limited. Still, the Rangers are a growing team and despite last season’s success, this team is not done making the right changes. They still need a second line center (Doug Weight under the radar) and they still need to just settle down. Still, no excuses for a horrible 7 game losing streak with plays that would make any fan vomit.

Ottawa Senators: C+

–The Sens played 41 games and stand with a 21-18-2 record and 44 points. Why do these guys get a C+ and the Rangers a B-? This is Ottawa. A great roster, powerful offense, and they should be a top 5 NHL team. Well, they are nowhere near that. What’s good about this team? Skill. The skill level of the Sens is driving them through the obstacles. Other than that, this is a team that lacks a reliable defense, goaltending has been fairly good, and coaching doesn’t seem to have an effect other than negative. I don’t think the Senators would be in such a struggle had Jacques Martin stayed. So far, the decision to have fired Martin has not been proven as “the right thing to do”. This looks like the demise of the Ottawa Senators. By the way Muckler, four thumbs up on Martin Gerber; excellent signing.

Toronto Maple Leafs: C+

— Toronto is keeping up in the playoff race after completing 41 games and sitting with a 18-17-6 record and 42 points. They don’t have such a great record, but the East has been very competitive this season and the Leafs have faced changes, injuries, and overall hardships that they still manage to get through and remain just above the .500 level. They started the season really well, but a slow down was to be expected. JFJ emphasized on defense in the summer, yet the Leafs D has not been as good as expected, especially when coach Paul Maurice is an expert on defensive plays. Toronto was expected to be out of the playoff picture, and while they can still slip, they managed to keep up and they may make it. Being around 8th is impressive enough. But, they need to fix a lot of areas and need to retain a core of players. JFJ must, however, improve his team as he needs to make a big pitch sooner or later if he thinks his team can make it to the playoffs. Can he pull it off? Hard to say, but he has not convinced me that he is capable of getting the Leafs anywhere. The team looks thin and just not good enough; but, they have exceeded expectations and kudos to Toronto.

Atlanta Thrashers: B+

— It is about time that we see Atlanta play 42 games and show a 24-12-6 record with 54 points. Man, was I wrong about these guys not making the playoffs this season as I doubted their strength at center and on defense, which is okay-not great. Marian Hossa is just dominating as an elite all-round winger, possible the best winger in the NHL. He scores, he passes, he is smart in nearly all areas on the ice. What an awesome player. Now if only Marcel could do the same for the Rangers! I’ll finally give credit to GM Waddell for building a good team and making very good acquisitions that had positive effects on the roster. They slowed down recently, but offense is strong, defense is adequate, and Lehtonen is on the right track as a franchise goalie. Hopefully they won’t fall off the map, but I don’t expect them too. And finally, we will see Kovalchuk in the playoffs. Very good team deserving of a B+ so far.

Carolina Hurricanes: C+

— Forty-two games in and the defending Stanley Cup champs are 21-17-4 and 46 points. The record is okay, so why do they get a C+? These are the Stanley Cup champs and they are nowhere near playing the same as champs. I called on this team’s main weakness; DEFENSE. Last season they were only ranked 19th in defense and did they get any better? No, they got worse on D. Cam Ward has not been the same. It seems as if the magic is lost in Raleigh. Still, there is room for improvements and expect them to happen sometime soon. They appear to be a lock for the playoffs, but there is no reason to feel safe that they are only 5 points ahead of 9th, and Boston and Pittsburgh are a danger to any team just hanging on to the lower seeds by a few points. I expected the Canes to be much better and definitely better than the Thrashers, but they are nowhere close to that.

Florida Panthers: C-

— They have played 42 games and the record is nothing to be proud of, 15-20-7 and 37 points. In reality, they deserve a D, but I am cutting these guys some slack. A lot has happened in South Florida with Keenan, Luongo, the new changes and the injuries. So, in a way I’ll be nice to the Panthers. Martin deserves credit for keeping this team together. Despite the recent loss in Edmonton, they have been playing better as of late and they even though they are 14th in the EC, they are just five points away from 8th seed, and the way the teams in front of them are playing it shouldn’t be such a tough road ahead. They can pull it off, especially if crossing fingers and Todd Bertuzzi comes back playing the rest of the games. Lately the Panthers have been scouting around and as reported, they were showing interest in Edmonton during the game. I am still holding on to the Raffi Torres for Mike Van Ryn idea, but something can happen. Actually, something has to happen. If Martin wants to make the playoffs, he knows he needs a player that either adds spark, or a player that actually makes a difference. If healthy, the Panthers are a pain to play against, especially if Auld and Belfour are playing well. By the way, I must admit that goaltending is not so strong either and I would not rule out the possibility of the Anaheim Ducks, or San Jose Sharks, trading Ilya Bryzgalov, or Toskala/Nabokov, for a package that involves Eddie Belfour. At times, the Panthers seem to get it right and be fit for the playoffs, yet other times they show their weaknesses and have no chance to win.

Anaheim Ducks: A

— The record speaks for itself, 28-8-6 and 62 points, the best in the NHL. Brian Burke is a genius. Who could have ever thought that a GM would manage to acquire two of the NHL best top 5 defensemen? Scotty Neidermeyer and Chris Pronger. That spells Stanley Cup Finals folks. All this team needs to do is make the playoffs with these two defensemen healthy. Teemu Selanee is having a fantastic season and the young talent, the depth, just makes this team amazing. Hey Murray, are you enjoying the Ducks’ success thus far after wussing out? An excellent team, so strong, powerful in all areas. I would have never expected it and that is why these guys get an A, for all the obvious reasons.

Los Angeles Kings: D

— True, not much was//is expected from this team, although I had some thoughts that it could have competed more. Yet, 41 games an a 14-22-5 record with 33, 14th in the West and 9 points out pretty much wraps up the season for LA; out of the playoffs. Any hopes? You’d have to be really dreaming if you think these guys could pass the Avalanche, Oilers, and the rising Blackhawks (GO HAWKS!). The Kings have the worst defense in the league, not enough depth anywhere on the roster and they will just have to depend on their youth to get them into playoff action in a couple of years, the earliest. This team is just not going anywhere and they don’t have much trade value as a team entering the sellers market.

The Ottawa Senators acquired Mike Comrie from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchanged for Alexei Kaigorodov, a prospect that appears not to have such a great personality. Talk about a team giving up on the season already (Yotes). Comrie was having a fine season and he has been traded for a player that will not have an effect on the team this season. Why trade so early though? Sure, GM Michael Barnett is not the brightest GM in town, but logic says that keeping a player of Comrie’s talent closer to the deadline would raise more interest and when there is more interest there is more value. Unless Alexei Kaigorodov can become just as good (possible), then it will be a good trade, but I would have played it differently. GM John Muckler missed the chance to claim Petr Nedved. His team is not performing as expected, quite an underachieving team, it’s facing some injuries now, and it is obvious that it will struggle. Why not wait for Muckler to sweat more and let him up the bid? Comrie should have been traded for Kaigorodov and a 3rd rounder, or even a 2nd rounder. But, Barnett may not have good negotiating skills (after all, he made that great trade to get Chris Gratton. Pffft, who is this Daniel Briere anyway?). Yet, there could be something else in the works. Maybe the Coyotes made this deal to clear up some space and acquire another kind of player? Maybe, and who knows? I guess time will tell as if that is the case, then something should happen sooner.

Now, will this trade, with a significant name in Comrie, have a domino effect around the league? How about the East!? The Senators get Mike Comrie, who could do very well in Ottawa, and that should have certain general manager have a big red exclamation point right above their heads. This trade can make a difference to Carolina, the Rangers, the Maple Leafs (especially the Leafs), Boston, Islanders, and possibly Pittsburgh. So, with the Sens making such a trade that should make a pretty significant improvement if all goes well (could turn out to be a Tyler Arnason deal), then shouldn’t the above listed teams start making moves? I’d say most likely, but let’s stay conservative and say possibly.

The Hurricanes don’t have much to trade away after dealing Grade A, top level talent Johnson to LA, trading their 1st rounder for Doug Weight, and more for Mark Recchi. It’s tough to say what kind of trade the Hurricanes need, but I would not be surprised if they seek a defenseman or a goalie.

The New York Rangers could have inquired of Mike Comrie, especially since he was a Sather pick. Yet oddly enough, the Rangers could not match an offer of a questionable prospect for a 2nd line scorer? Well, two reasons that may have prevented the Rangers from acquiring Comrie. 1) Renney and Slats feel that Comrie would bring the wrong attitude to the team. 2) As history proved to show, Michael Barnett has always demanded too much from the Rangers. It was also reported by MSGNetwork that the Rangers submitted a claim for Petr Nedved. This definitely shows that the Rangers are in the hunt for an offensive center. I thought a two-way defensive center, with a good attitude, could have been in Sather’s plan, someone like Dave Scatchard, but apparently he wants a scorer and I couldn’t agree more. I think he should go for Jason Allison and it could happen. But, as far as trading goes, as I mentioned a few times in previous columns, the Rangers would be keeping an eye on Doug Weight, quite possibly even Craig Conroy. But, I think Doug Weight is a great and better scenario for the Rangers. He is an excellent playmaker and he would take a lot of “weight” off of Jagr and Nylander as the current playmakers of the team. What else? He would hit the headlines perfectly as he was an original Ranger. He should be able to fit in very well with Shanahan. And what did Doug Weight, Aaron Ward, and Matt Cullen do last year? They all shared the Stanley Cup and he could put their mind at ease as well. Expect the Rangers to make a trade soon, unless they start forming a convincing and solid winning pattern. (Personal Opinion: Dump Kaspar’s salary and add both Tkachuk/Guerin and Weight).

The Toronto Maple Leafs may also be going after Doug Weight, maybe even Keith Tkachuk, or Ladislav Nagy, or Billy Guerin. Toronto must act quickly if JFJ really believes this team can make the playoffs. If he knows he won’t get fired if they miss the playoffs, then there is no reason for him to act now. But if his job is on the line, then I expect Toronto to act quickly as well, like the Rangers.

Yet, why would the general managers, especially the ones in the EC, not make any trades until the last week for trades? I called them wimps before and I’ll stick to that. Pish posh the cap talk. It’s the STANDINGS! Look at these standing, folks! Look at ’em! The Panthers are 14th yet just 5 points out? Theoretically speaking, the team that is definitely not making the playoffs is Philadelphia. Just one team!? We are 41 games into the season and just one team is most likely certain to not make the playoffs. Just one. In the West you can expect the LA Kings, St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes, and Columbus Blue Jackets to not make it. That is a bunch of teams. In the East it is only one. It would be extremely difficult for a GM to trade with a team that stands within the same conference. It’s just not going to happen and I’ll be shocked if it does. Expect East to West, and vice versa, trades to occur. The GMs could be very reluctant to pull a deal right now. So at this point, if other GMs are acting pathetic and requesting too much in return for inquired players, then the heck with them and sign a guy like Jason Allison. What’s it going to hurt? The Hawks signed Bondra and he’s been pretty good thus far. The Coyotes signed Perreault and he has done well for them. What is stopping any team in need of Allison from signing him? His contract request? BS! Try to find a 2nd line center that won’t cost $2M against the cap.

Expect Allison to sign this month and if not, then the team to lose out on trades at the deadline will most likely sign him. But geee, it might just be a bit too late for Allison to really have an effect on a team for 20 games.

So, that could be a reason as to why there are not enough trades happening; the standings are too close to call for some GMs and they will wait it out as much as they can without panicking. But hey, I wouldn’t bet on it as I am sure these GMs will panic once they see that being a lock for the playoffs won’t be a sure thing until game 78 to game 82.

Thank you all for reading and Happy New Year,

Micki Peroni

Vice-Administrator


37 Responses to Mid-Term Grades, Comrie Trade Domino, Few Trades?

  1. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    I sincerely think that the Ottawa acquisition will lead to the Leafs acquiring a center, probably Craig Conroy, in typical Yankees-Red Sox, Simpsons-Flanders, Borat-….that guy fashion.

  2. NjDEVSFN says:

    hey mik

    you saying Frazee wont be good at NHL shootouts because they lost today….or because hes a Devils prospect? hahaha

    happy new year even though you won last night

  3. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Frazee was amazing, Toews was just, just as amazing.

  4. neilios says:

    I guess there's one team outta the hunt for Morrison's services now I guess the front runner for him is the Blue Jackets.I would love to see that trade happen if Darren Dreger is right about the players coming back to the Canucks.The players mentioned in the possible deal where as.

    To Canucks-Carter and Brule
    To Jackets-Morrison,Edler,goalie prospect Schnieder,and 2nd rounder

    Would love to see this deal happen have Carter back with the Sedins and hometown boy Brule who is a similar type player like Moe but with way more upside who would be on the 2nd line with Nassy and Pyatt,but there are also 3 other teams that want Morrison too.

  5. wingerxxx says:

    Another very nice article.  Although I'd give the Thrashers an A, but that's just me.  Either way, what a season they have had. 

    The Rangers need a center badly.  I thought that I was the only one thinking about Weight and maybe Allison coming to New York.  Although I'd much rather have Weight, I don't think that Allison would be a bad idea either.  Down low on the power play, he is Shaq in the paint.  It wouldn't take a huge offer to acquire Weight, although I'm sure a lot of teams will be very interested in his services.  The time is probably a little too soon for Immonen to make much of an impact.  And at this point, it wouldn't take much at all to bring Allison on board.  Although I am concerned about his conditioning, having missed a large part of the season.

    I would definitely rather have Bill Guerin than Tkachuk, if the choice was there.  I still think that Tkachuk is a very good winger, but he just does not have a proven playoff pedigree.  Guerin has at least tasted Stanley Cup success. 

    What can we say, its all about Prongermayer in Anaheim.  It's pretty amazing watching two such high caliber defensemen play on one team.  I still think that Pronger's injury hurts a lot, but hey…they've still got Niedermayer.  Hopefully Prongs will be back soon.  It would actually be nice to see a player of his caliber win a Cup.

  6. mikster says:

    That would be a good acquisition for the Leafs, but the Leafs would be better off with a stronger winger.

  7. BlueNBurgundy1933 says:

    Not trying to suck up or anything, that's not my style, but that's what a post should look like. Good Stuff. By any chance do you plan on giving grades to the other teams such as my team, the Avalanche once they play 41 games respectively? I've been coming to this site for a few years, I wrote a few articles a few years back but only recently started up again, that's the best I've seen so far. Hope to see more.

  8. mikster says:

    Hehe, of course because he is a Devils prospect! Last Devils goalie prospect to be a good NHL goalie was Dunham! I feel bad for Frazee, he will only be a back up or a minor leaguer for 5 years or so 😉

    Thanks, it was a good game last night and Brodeur was stellar.

    Happy New Year to you too buddy.

  9. mikster says:

    No chance for that trade. It would be unwise for the Blue Jacks to trade Brule and it would be unwise for the Canucks to trade so much for a limited winger and one really good young player. Canucks need to keep their prospects.

  10. mikster says:

    Thanks for the compliment.

    The thing about giving Atlanta an A is that it would put them as a perfect team like Anaheim and Buffalo. They aren’t there yet.

    I’d like to get Weight too, and even if there are a good number of teams interested, i think Weight also has his word on which team to play for and if he sees he’ll fit in better in NY with his short-term teammates in Cullen and Ward, then he’ll make it easier to acquire him. I don’t think St. Louis would hand him to the Oilers (anything is possible though if they also include Brewer), or the Flames (i think he doesn’t fit their style). The Blue Jacks may have a good chance.

    The other thing that worries me is JD as he’d know what to get from the Rangers, unless he kinda cuts Slats some slack.

    Guerin over Tkachuk? Hmmm, interesting. Guerin scored the more goals, but he doesn’t play as physical as he used to. Tkahcuk is still nasty on the ice; although, i think you may be right and i’ll agree with you. Guerin was very close to signing with the Rangers (yet instead Holik signed) and yet Tkachuk made it pretty clear he wants to stay in St. Louis. So i guess you’d want to get the player that would be more willing to play for you.

  11. mikster says:

    Naaa, giving a compliment is not sucking up. I appreciate it as it gives me more reason to keep writing.

    Yes, i will be grading the other teams but i have yet to decide if i will just update this article or post a different one. Depends what we have on the front page and i think i’ll wait after tomorrow night to decide.

    Hope to see good articles from you submitted and i’ll keep an eye out on your submitted work.

  12. I_hate_LA says:

    Thanks for the compliments, maybe you should become a Ducks fan. It would be an honor. LETS GODUCKS!!! I still believe!!!

  13. I_hate_LA says:

    I absolutely concur with you. I hope you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR as well! My new year's resolutions would be for the Ducks to get healthy again (pray) and for me to do well in school (pray).

  14. muckies says:

    Mikster, Eat Shit for you Sens comments,

    you have no diea what you are talking about, you just hate the Sens, you've never said anything good about them in your life. Get some objectivity, have you even watched an Ottawa game this year??  And you don't even have the imagination to come up with anything, you think the Sens have more skill then Carolina, Tampa, Calgary, Edmonton – get off it.

    And coaching has nothing to do with this team,  look at what Murray has done for Alfie's career, he was a top 5 MVP finalsit, look what he's done for Fisher, Emery, Meszaros, look how far Spezza and Heatley have come the last 2 season, Chris Kelly, Anton Volchenkov, LOOK AT CHRIS NEIL SINCE MURRAY HAS ARRIVED, he's a completly different player.

    Get with the comments program

    Muckler missed his chance to get Nedved, DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW THE WAIVER WIRE WORKS??

    Do some reasearch or don't comment at all. The Sens have been one of the hardest working team in hockey for the last 10 years, you think things get given to you in the NHL,  you just throw your hockey sticks onto the ice and you accumulate 100 points and are tops in scoring every year and one of the lowest Goals Against.

    LET'S GO COMRIE, LET'S GO SENS.

  15. mikster says:

    I’ll pray for you to do well in school, but not for the Ducks 😉 Unless they will be destined to play the Devils in the Finals, then i’d pray for them to be healthy and do santeria on Brodeur!

    As for schooling, stay calm and never hesitate. There is always a way out of scholastic problems and an open opportunity to do something right. I am not a great student (B, B- average) but i always tried to do well even if i slacked at times i would recuperate and show effort. It payed off.

    Good luck and have a blessed new year.

  16. mikster says:

    Please refrain from making such comments with unnecessary foul language. I’ll let this one slip, but one more and it will be dealt with.

    I have only been criticizing the Sens ever since Muckler took over, but not always. I placed them, in my predictions, as first in the EC and always hoped for a Sens and Nucks Finals a few years ago. The Senators were one of my favorite teams when they had Hossa, Chara, Havlat, Arvedsson, and so on.

    I have watched a good number of Sens games and attended a game here when they played the Panthers.

    So far, the only think Murray has done is nothing for the Sens and in his second season with the Sens he is watching his team going through struggles that they haven’t faced in a while.

    I know why Muckler missed Nedved, the Oilers had a higher waiver position. If you were smart enough to read on then you would have seen that i mentioned MSGNetwork reporting of six teams claiming for Nedved, and the Rangers were one of them too. So, i know how it works.

    I think you need to eat more seafood. In that segment, i was actually criticizing the Yotes and said that Muckler pulled a very good deal.

    I never said that the Sens were not hard working.

    I think the Sens are weaker defensively. They were second in defense last season and this year they are 15th. I said that Murray has no effect on the team as they are struggling this season and the playoffs are not a sure lock like they have been in the past. Murray may have done a good job with Spezza and Meszaros. Martin did a great job with Alfie, Havlat, Chara, Redden, Hossa, Fischer, Schaefer, Todd White, Bonk, Phillips….

    He got them in the 3rd round of the playoffs too. You really think that Murray will be able to do that this season?

    Good luck!

  17. iginla012 says:

    calm down, guy!

  18. 92-93 says:

    leafs dont need a centre even with the Peca injury. they need a top 2-line winger like Nagy or someone else.

  19. 92-93 says:

    quite the overreaction with the 'Eat Shit' comment… but what else can we say from a guy who says something like "The Sens have been one of the hardest working team in hockey for the last 10 years" ….

    LOL!!!! 

  20. JannettyTheRocker says:

    What's happening to you 92-93??? You've put your thesaurus away, and are talking like a normal human being. No more 'big words' in your posts, what's happening to you???

    The Sens have been one of the most hard-working teams in the NHL, over the last decade, and there's no debating that. Unlike the Leafs, the Sens have had to build their team through smart drafting and trades, and haven't had the luxury of picking up those 'over-aged, worthless, veterans', like the Leaf's have.

    Rather than making fun of Muckies, maybe you should focus on finding a real hockey team to cheer for, and finding yourself a new dictionary, because without the 'big words' in your posts, you're really letting the rest of us down. We all need a good laugh now and then.

    GO OILERS GO!!!

  21. 92-93 says:

    i dunno. me got dumber over da past few weeks and dats fine i guess.

    (drools)

    those luxuries that you mentioned are dinosaur terms JTR. they dont exist anymore. the leafs are still a very hard working team, they just have zero skill outside Sundin, Kaberle, and Wellwood. everyone else has some skill, lots of grit and determination but not much else or is going through jinxes.

    the Sens are a harder working team then they were before … but they were so lackadasical before that a slight improvement doesn't mean that they can claim to be very hard working nowadays. maybe that will change and they pick up the slack DURING the playoffs. but i doubt it.

  22. beckfan05 says:

    I doubt Aaron Ward has Brian Leetch on his mind when playing. Especially since he's going to turn 34 on the 17th.

  23. I_hate_LA says:

    Thanks, keep blogging, I really like your insights. God bless you and have a happy new year as well.

  24. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Nagy sucks.

    This is JFJ, what he should do, and what he will do are entirely different things.

  25. mikster says:

    I beyond disagree with you on Nagy. He would be the ideal winger for the Leafs. Good skater, excellent on ice vision and can score if he has a linemate that can feed him the puck. In Phoenix, he is the only one feeding the puck.

    He’d be excellent in Toronto.

  26. mikster says:

    No you didn’t get that.

    Sometimes Ward pinches in and it’s not like he is an offensive d-man, so why does he bother pinching in when Tyutin is obviously better in skills? Who does he think he is, a 27 year old Leetch?

    Get the sarcasm?

  27. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    He should not aquire a center. Sundin, Wellwood, Stajan, Pohl. allcenters, not to  mention Kilger, O'neill, and Steen are natural centers playing the wing.

  28. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    Hate to break it to you, but Mikster was bang on. This team has 2 talented goaltenders, 6 strong defencemen (offensively skilled), and p front Spezza, Heatley, and Alfredsson and now Comrie. The Sens are one of the most talented teams in the league.

    "The Sens have been one of the hardest working team in hockey for the last 10 years" really? well one common commodity of every team that knocks the sens out of the playoffs is they all out work you.

  29. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    "The Sens have been one of the most hard-working teams in the NHL" not in the playoffs and certainly not this year.

    "maybe you should focus on finding a real hockey team to cheer for"
    hmmm, both the Leafs and Oilers are a game above 500. The oilers are also at the bottom of they're conference too.

  30. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    sorry, meant division

  31. Aetherial says:

    ROFL! Beautiful!

    Brule is not going to Vancouver for that bag of expensive garbage.

  32. Aetherial says:

    Wow Muckies… I just can't agree.

    The Sens are NOT known for their hard work. They were more known for it under Martin though.

    The improved players were due to improve. I would say in some ways Spezza took a step backwards under Murray.

    The Sens have a wealth of talent and have underperformed badly; period. Accept it. Yes, they have had injuries; but so have plenty of other teams *cough*leafs*cough*.

  33. beckfan05 says:

    Because at certian times certian plays develop that require Ward to pinch. If the puck comes to his side of the ice at the half boards he is required to pinch at that moment with no one on him to keep the play alive in the offensive zone.

    Its not as if he's trying to carry the puck through the neutral zone with a breakaway in mind.

  34. 92-93 says:

    Muckies has this thing where he is trying to make his team a 'sleeper' team or a 'darkhorse' or a 'underdog' and he has no business doing that.

    the Sens were underachieving BIG TIME up until this point and no good can come of it other than experience with dealing with adversity (which they should already have plenty of).

    The Sens are turning it around now but one wonders how mucks can see his team in such terms when his team has Alfie, heatley, Spezza, Redden, and Emery.

  35. mikster says:

    Yeah, but he does a bad job doing it. He is a stay at home defenseman and shouldn’t pinch in for offense. He should pinch to keep the puck in the zone (that’s fine with me), but he tries to do too much and causes too many turnovers.

    Not that i am criticizing the guy in a negative way. I like him and it’s normal to see certain free agents play badly, but with effort, in their first year with a new team they signed with. It happened to Kaspar too, but ever since…Kasapr’s been our better d-man. Ward will be solid next season as he should be settled by then.

  36. muckies says:

    This is what I don't understnad about people saying the Sens don't work hard,  Chara goes to Bosotn and everybody talks about how hard he works, Hossa to Atlanta and everybody talks about how hard he works, Alfie who is considerd one of the hardest workers in the league, Fisher, Neil, Phillips, Volchenkov are all tough as nails and everybody in the league loves thier work effort, Redden who is an all-star and a Team Canada player,  Ray Emery who has improved 100% in only 1 NHl season and could be an All-Star, players like Kelly, McGratton, Scahffer and Meszaros are solid NHlers and repspected for their work,  Heatley a Calder winner and 50 goals scorer but everybody says Ottawa doesn't work hard, Why Is That???? 

    I don't get it, have you ever seen more than 2 games in a row where the Sens have been "Outworked", they don't have a good playoff record, but neither does Toronto, Philly, Nashville or great pre-lockout  teams like Vancouver, St. Louis but everybofy says the Sens don't work hard, why is that????

  37. 92-93 says:

    mucks, i hate to say it but you do have a point.

    the Sens are a much harder working bunch then they were before the lockout. the players you named are hard working guys – although i am never really sold on Alfie.

    the only way they can shed that reputation is if they stop being outworked by lesser teams and they go deep in the playoffs on a more regular basis. its not really fair though because i dont think the lack of grit is the only reason for that … i seriously think that there is a very fragile psychology around this team based on past results … and the media and the fans in the city reflect that fragile mentality BIG time.

    the Sens do need to be under the radar IMO, the problem is the cannot be because they are just too talented.

    but like i said, despite their good record against the leafs this year … this Sens team has been outworked by the leafs in pretty much every game they played – even in the blowouts. the problem is the leafs have to work hard for each and every goal they get – the Sens just have to sit back and wait for Toronto to make a mistake (and they make many despite their effort).

    this is really evident when you look at last year's Leaf team – who was outskilled AND outworked because of Quinn and the vets. now with Maurice behind the bench that doesnt happen. the leafs are harder to play against but dont have the skill the Sens have. until they outwork the lesser teams – like the leafs and caps etc. – I dont think the Sens will go far in the playoffs – in the regular season sure but not the playoffs.

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