The Next Russian Rocket, More Teams to Make the NHL? Possible Trades.

Find out who the next Russian Rocket will be, and more teams to make the post-season?It’s incredible how young teams go from being the top worst to being a tough team to beat.

The Atlanta Thrashers remain unbeaten in their start of the season, something that was considered a long shot some few years ago. With Hartley stepping in as the much better coach, the Thrashers look completely different, and the unfortunate event of Heatley and the loss of Dan Snyder hasn’t stopped this team from playing good and smart hockey.

Though not scoring a goal in last night’s game against the Rangers, Ilya Kovalchuk shows signs of future dominance with his offensive abilities. Signs that deserve to give him the title Russian Rocket.

What I see is a mixed breed of an Alexei Yashin and Pavel Bure. With blazing speed of Pavel Bure, the rocket slap shot of Pavel Bure, the bigger size and strength of Alexei Yashin, the skating abilitites of Alexei Yashin, and the wristers of Alexei Yashin.

Without Heatley, Kovalchuk still performs to his greatest level as coach Bob Hartley uses him as the primary offensive weapon, a Russian Rocket.

In my next section there are a few teams that have surprised me that show signs of possibly making the playoffs.

The first one being the Atlanta Thrashers. They follow Hartley’s strategies, and they perfectly execute them. Pasi Nurminen has completely taken the starting job from Byron Dafoe, and by the way…where is Jani Hurme? Await a trade to happen with Waddel holding a nice valuable goalie.

As of now, the Thrashers could make the playoffs and make things harder for division rivals Forida Panthers and Washington Capitals.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been quite a surprise to this season. They are a fast defensive team, but smart offensively. Need I say that Marc Denis is stellar? Of course not, I praised him in one of my previous article last year. He’ll be an underrated goalie in the next couple of years, but his name will definitely be on top goalie rankings.

A message to Martin Brodeur: “After showing your pathetic level of class when calling J-S Giguere’s performance in last year’s playoffs “average” and after Patrick Roy announced his retirement, you claimed the “best goalie of the NHL title”. Don’t think it will last a life time Marty, younger goalies on teams whose defensive systems don’t make the defensemen and goalies are starting to climb up….

The LA Kings have Jason Allison and Adam Deadmarsh injured, yet they still get wins. Cechmanek has been quite good, but I see the same Cechmanek that allows soft goals that high school goalies make saves on. Though I think the monarchy won’t last in the NHL (has it ever in history?), the Kings are surprising the ones who said they’d be at the bottom of the pit.

Possible trades?

One, Mike Comrie has got to go. He has terminated his stay in Edmonton and there are teams looking to acquire him. Alien-like Bruce Garrioch believes that the Rangers are the front runners. While it may be true, it’s quite obvious that fat Garrioch and his ant-size brain cought that the Rangers would be the front-runners because GM Glen Sather and GM Kevyn Lowe have a good trading relationship, and because Glen Sather drafted Comrie.

It makes no sense to see Comrie going to the Rangers, unless the Rangers play him as a winger. Who would go the other way? You can count on Jamie Lundmark as part of it and maybe Dale Purinton. Detroit could definitely give it a shot, to land the smallish centre, but I am quite clueless as to who would go the other way, Dandelnaut may be part of the deal.

That leads me to think that there is a small chance of a three way deal taking place with the Oilers, Wings, and Capitals. The Capitals have that beautiful lockerroom atmosphere that says “Any veteran that makes over a million is up for sale”. Wow, so positive!

The deal could have the Red Wings acquiring Robert Lang, the Capitals acquiring Mike Comrie, and the Oilers acquiring X amount of value from the other two parties.

One of the nicest pick-ups in the waiver draft was Sheldon Keefe, who is a mix of Matthew Barnaby and Darcy Tucker. Apparently, the Rangers are looking to make a trade, as they also picked up Joel Bouchard. Matthew Barnaby has not played the way he did last season. No, I am not talking about points on the score sheet, I am talking about his style of play…his annoyance, pesty, asking for a beating performance on the ice is absent, and therfore….Barnaby could be on his way out of New York, which would lead to Sheldon Keefe replacing Barnaby, perfect move. Barnaby goes where? Who knows….we shall see.