On 2nd thought….

Yes, its only been a little more then the week since the NHL started up but it is still a decent time to examine a few teams and players who are either playing above or below expectations and whether or not these trends will continue. First Ill take a look at a few players and teams who arent looking too hot right now. (feel free to list your own or destroy mine)

NIKOLAI KHABIBULIN- He just looks totally out of it with his new team. He hasnt made one good start yet and every game he has played he has been shaky. Will the trend continue? The hawks are a team they rely on the Bulin Wall to be at his best each and every night and without that quality goaltending this team is going to be lost. He is off to a slow start but he has played in this league too long to fad away so quickly. Look for him and the hawks to play some stronger hockey soon.

CALGARY FLAMES- Its amazing to see how quickly people have started to dump on the Stanley Cup favourites only one week into the season. Personally I think the flames are somewhere in between the team they are playing like now and the team they were playing like last year. This team is definitly missing a guy like Regehr right now due to the fact that guys like Leopold are needing to play way more minutes are arent really used to it. Kipper has gotten off to a slow start as had the flames PK which many experts thought would be their strong suit. The flames have to adjust to the new NHL or they will be left in the dust and I predict that this team will be able to rebound and play some better hockey down the road. If the flames can stop taking 12 pentalties a game and can get their pentatly killing in check this team wont be looking too bad because scoring goals hasnt been a problem with the limited time they have been able to play 5 on 5.

PITTSBURGH- I think we all knew this team was going to let in a lot of goals but this many? This team can score there is no doubt about that but without a healthy Thibault how is this team going to be able to keep the puck out? Fleury played well in the first game he played this year but how long can he last facing 40 shots a game? I predicted the Pens to make the playoffs this year but upon further review I can see a team like the Panthers or sadly the Devils getting passed them and making it.

PHOENIX- This team has tonnes of talent with Nagy, Mara, Hull, Doan, Nedved, Comrie, Morris, Joseph, etc. But where has it gotten them so far? Brett Hull is playing horrible and gets less and less ice time each game and isnt playing in key situations and this isnt good news for a team that could use a little veteran poise to help a guy like Wayne Gretzky out. Doan and Nagy btoh arent playing up to expectations and Cujo is hurt. Without Cujo playing this team which had a outside shot at making the playoffs has little to none now.

On to the teams and players who came out guns a blazing to start the season who werent really expected to.

ERIC STAAL- This guy is made for the new NHL and yes his production will most likely taper off at some point but its only his 2nd year in the league. By himself this guy has takin a horrible team like the hurricanes and lead them in scoring. He wont be able to keep this pace up but look for the former Peterborough Pete to score at 70 points this year on a horrible Canes team.

MONTREAL-As much as it pays me to say this being a leaf fan I think the habs have what it takes to keep this pace up throughout the year. They arent a spectacular defensive team but having a coach like Julien helps keep them in check and having a bunch of speedy guys on their team has helped them score a bunch of goals in the “new” NHL. Kovalev hasnt even scored yet and this team has looked just great on offense. The only problem I can is come playoff time can these fast, young horses keep their legs moving when they face a team like Ottawa or Philly. Of all the players on this team Jose Theodore has gotta step up. Domi’s goal and Steen’s goal were shots he SHOULD have stopped no problem and Chara’s goal wasnt that great either. Yes the guy makes some incredible saves but he lets in too many soft ones and if this team is going to make the next step and become contenders then hes gotta stop having poor games against teams like the leafs and sens who the habs will see a lot of this year.

NEW JERSEY- People either had this team falling off the map or staying on top. I was one of the people who had them falling off the map due to no Elias for the first month of the season and more emphasis on skill. This team seems to be on its way to proving me wrong again this year. Guys like Parise, Gomez, Gionta, etc. have proved they will be able to get the job done on offense and once they get Elias back and up to speed this team could be a team nobody wants to play once again. With all the talk I say about their fowards this team still revolves around one guy that I should have never underestimated in the first place. Marty B is looking spectacular so far this team and he will have to if this team wants to be a player.

THE THRASHERS OFFENSE- Yes they got shutout by the Habs but it wasnt to a lack of trying. Danis was great in the game. People are making a big deal about the offense and for the right reasons. they scored plenty of goals without Kovalchuk and one has to think it will only continue with Kovalchuk in the line up. On the flip side losing Dunham and Lehthonen arent good news for a team who has a questionable defense.

NASHVILLE- I thought they were gonna make the playoffs but they come flying out of the gate and look like they may be good enough to be division champs, but no so fast. The defense is still a little suspect and will eventually be great with guys like Suter, Hamhuis, and Zidlicky but until then this young group will have to rely heavily on Tomas Vokoun. This team cant keep up this pace but make the playoffs no problem.

I realize I may have missed a few good early season stories but these are the ones that stood out most to me. Feel free to add on your own early season dissapointments or surprises. The season is still young but I think it would be useful to hear what everybody is thinking thus far.

159 Responses to On 2nd thought….

  1. bernie1parent says:

    didnt notice that it said preseason. alright, let me restate my previous post. they shouldnt of beat the flyers because the flyers just didnt play in the 3rd period, they got lucky in that game that the flyers didnt know quite how to play with a lead with these new rule changes, the lost to montreal in OT 4-3, NJ in OT 3-2, Washington in regulation 3-2 and then beat NJ 4-1, ATL 5-1, FLA 4-0 and then lost their last 2 games to the isles 3-2 (SO) and 5-4 regulation. Let me see, they played 3 good offensive teams, one great goalie. The good teams are the flyers, montreal and Atlanta. Like i said before, if you put 2 goals up against Florida, you’ll win. Then you lost 2 to the isles, who suck, and split with NJ, who sucks (brodeur cant stop shit this year). Then they lost to washington, come on, washington. The only thing they got is ovechkin. Dont get to hyped up about this team, they still dont have a goalie, and other then jagr, not many people on that team can put the puck in on a regular basis. By the end of the month, the flyers will probably be in first place, if not close because all the other teams are lacking something. Rangers, goalie and other proven talent Pitt-goalie

    Isles-they just suck Devils-offense and brodeur is playing like shit. so when the rangers drop back with Pitt, dont go crying about it, because you know they’ll blow it. Just like all other NY teams. And as for the flyers, the only games we lost, were because we didnt come to play in the third period (and some shitty refs gainst toronto, but oh well, they all suck). We dont play you until january, so you might as well get in your shots about beating us now, because by then, you’ll be dead last (if not pitt)

  2. bernie1parent says:

    cause you know anything. in the basement means last place, and if you would pay attention to the standings, you would see that they have 6 pts compared to pitts 4, therefore were not in the basement, and as for being second to last in the divison, we’ve played 5 games compared to NYR 9, NYI 7, NJ 7, and Pitts 7. so by the time we make up those games, we shall be in first and if you still think that the rangers are playing better then the flyers, you should kill yourself. And you think they have a better lineup then the flyers, lmao. KILL YOURSELF. What quality players does NYR have other then Jagr. you know most of these guys that they have will die off. come on, ruchinsky, he wont tally a goal every other game. The only guy on their team that will be able to put the puck in the net on a somewhat consistent basis will be jagr. You should check out all the guys that we have that can put the puck in the net. Our young guns will start to develop, we will get Sami Kap back and then everyone is screwed. The only team im really worried about is Ottawa. You should be worried about everyteam in the NHL with your lineup.

  3. FlyersFanForever says:

    It’s really a shame that you can’t pay attention to history. Your team hasn’t been good for years and this year is no different. These new rules aren’t your meal ticket and your prospects, if you can call them that, aren’t any good. It’s all about Jagr. Sure, you guys are having your run but it’s over. The Rangers are a flash in the pan and the flame just started burning with the Islanders utter domination of you losers. Expect the L column to start filling up b/c I think Jagr’s vagina is about to tighten up, and when that happens it’s all over. Correction, it is over. The Flyers have nothing to fear from any of the teams in the Atlantic except maybe NJ so pull your head out of your ass s*****bag. You’ll disappear soon enough just like all of the pens fans that were on this site a few months ago.

  4. FlyersFanForever says:

    You’ll be eating all of your words in the end so anything you say is just BS. Actually, you’ll be chowin down your ABC’s by the end of the month. Hope your hungry pal! On the lighter side of things, isn’t it just good, plain, old fashioned fun to bust on the pens. This whole arguing thing over the Flyers and Rangers is great. I can actually feel my blood boiling. I can’t wait till philly and NYR play again, what a rush.

  5. FlyersFanForever says:

    Crosby needs to be removed from this list and so do all of the Leafs you have mentioned. If Ovechkin doesn’t win rookie of the year and Crosby does, we’ll know that Gary Buttman has the fix in.

  6. FlyersFanForever says:

    Another Rangers loss tonight. Just one of many more to come. So much for your “better lineup”. I can’t wait for the next Philly/NYR game so we can destroy you.

  7. GlenSather says:

    No goalie? we have the best young goalie in the league in Lundquist. Philly has no goalie. YOur goaltending sucks thats why Jagr abused you in the third period. Face it the Flyers are overrated and are being shown up by a younger more hungry Ranger team. I think it’s time the Flyers resumed their position from the early to middle 90’s when they sucked ass, and were bottom feeders.

  8. rojoke says:

    I think one of the overlooked parts of the Habs so far this season has been their penalty killing. Almost everyone in the media has said that Montreal was a team built for the new rules. They had speed, skill players and snipers. But there were many nights when their inability to kill penalties not only cost them points in the standings, but it cost them wins. They could have easily finished 6th in the conference in 03-04 if their PK had been better. It was in the low 80% range that season, but it’s up in the high 80s so far. If Jose finds his A-game, they could really flourish. They have yet to really win a game, hold a lead into the third or win by two or three goals. Every game so far has been very tight, very hard fought, which is a good asset to develop for the playoffs. But they have to start putting other teams away early and not letting them stay in games if they really want to be a serious Cup contender.

  9. GlenSather says:

    YOu Flyer fans are too retarded to see that the Rangers are a good team this year. There is parody among the teams and no team in the East is way better than the other. I think the Flyers need to fear the Rangers the Devils and the Islanders. Pittsburgh is a mess and I think that team is doomed. The Rangers played like 6 games this week and it showed in the Buffalo game. Look for them to come out strong this thursday against the Islanders. AS for philly your goalies are do-do and your prospects are over hyped. Mike Richards looks good but the other cat Carter has one assist. Ahl Phantoms for him. Mike Knuble is your top right wing right now lololol. You guys have balls talking shit about the Rangers.

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