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Yesterday I wrote that scoring is up 25% over the first hundred games. Today, I will examine the reasons why. I looked at shots per game, shooting percentage, penalties per game and powerplay efficiency. Each is up. However, not surprisingly it is penalties per game that seems to be having the greatest effect on the game. Amazingly, even strength goals per game are up only 3% this year.
The current 24 man roster of the New Jersey Devils has a collective salary of $43,579,929, more than $4.5 million over the $39 million salary-cap. Now, I fully understand that we are merely in the beginning stages of capology, and that there is much learning to be done by us fans about how it works. So how exactly is it that the Devils continue to bounce along playing in NHL games, seemingly unpunished? What is going on?
The 2005-06 season is now 100 games old and the initial results are positive. The multiple initiatives to increase scoring are working. At this point, teams are combining to score 6.4 goals per game, up from 5.1 goals in 03 and 5.3 goals in 02. This is a 25% increase over the 2003 seaosn. However this is still down from the 24 team early 90’s 7.5 goals per game.
The Fourth Period is reporting that Phoenix Coyotes centers Jeff Taffe and Krys Kolanos are on the trading block. At least one player will have to be moved to make room for Petr Nedved who may return midweek. Both players would have to clear waivers to return to the minors.
The St. Petersberg Times reported this morning that the Bolts are looking at Avalanche defenseman Bob Boughner. Lightning coach John Tortorella is impressed with Rookie Timo Helbling but covets a more experienced blueliner. Boughner, in his tenth season, is apparently being shopped by Colorado. However, his $950,000 salary may be too high for Tampa to fit under the cap.
For those of you who may or may not know, OLN has decided to blackout all of their NHL games to Cablevision customers unless Cablevision agrees to put OLN in their basic cable package. Not only is this ridiculous considering what fans have suffered through over the past 18 months, but it doesn’t look like a resolution is anywhere near happening.
The New NHL Season…
When I was 12 I had a huge argument with my brother over this kickass secret lighty-uppy (a technical term) ring that came in our box of FrankenBerry (which only turns the milk pink and not Strawberryish… those bastards!!!) which eventually led me to write a letter to General Mills about putting 2 prizes in each cereal box for families with kids. Thinking back on that moment has reminded me of 3 things….
The 2005-06 season will be very interesting, and after seeing a few games, here’s what I think we’ll be looking at in March at the deadline
Phoenixcoyotes.com is reporting that they have aquired Geoff Sanderson and Tim Jackman from Columbus for Mike Rupp, Cale Hulse, and Jason Chimera.
SI.com is reporting Ilya Kovalchuk is close to re-signing with the Atlanta Thrashers. On Thursday, Kovalchuk released a statement saying that he had not yet been contacted by Atlanta management and that he was flying back to Russia on Sunday. Since then negotiations have accelerated, and Kovalchuk could make his season debut as early as Wednesday night when the Thrashers host the Montreal Canadiens.
The Vancouver Canucks have traded Fedor Fedorov to the New York Rangers in exchange for Josef Balej and a 5th round draft pick in 2006.