Posts Tagged ‘Hockey’

Who Scores First?

Posted: October 6, 2011 by Crimespree Hockey in Hockey Fun
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There are three games tonight to open the 2011-12 NHL season, two at 7:00 (Philly @ Boston, Montreal @ Toronto) and the nightcap features Pittsburgh traveling to Vancouver for a 10:00 (Eastern) game.

Is Nathan Horton the NHL's first goal scorer of the 2011-12 season?

For a little fun, we’re going to pick who scores the first 2011-12 NHL goal.

The slight majority of us like the defending Cup champions to put the first goal on the board. Nicole picks Patrice Bergeron, while Gabbi took Brad Marchand. Bre is going with Eastern Conferference Final game 7 hero Nathan Horton.

Sticking with the same game, the Flyers picks are for former players of favorite teams. Former LA King Wayne Simmonds was Michelle’s choice, while Joey thinks Flyer new winger (and former Penguin) Jaromir Jagr will score 6:15 into the new season.

Dan and Rob figure that the Bruins banner raising ceremony will cut into game time and that the Maple Leafs-Canadiens game will have the first goal. Dan went with Canadiens newcomer Erik Cole, while Rob took Toronto’s top center Mikhail Grabovski.

Who is your pick?

Based on what I’ve seen in the preseason, here are some key thoughts for the team heading into the NHL regular season.

5. Keep That Puck Out! : Steve Mason has looked like the Mason of old this preseason, making many key saves, not looking uncomfortable or rattled at all. It should be interesting to see how he does with the retooled team in front of him, when it starts to count.  Curtis Sanford is in the backup role for a undetermined amount of time with Mark Dekanich’s preseason injury.  After 2 full seasons in the AHL, has it affected his NHL abilities at all? Im doubtful that it has, but the question has crossed my mind. He should prove a good backup until Dekanich can get back to game form, whenever that is.

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All around the NHL, teams will have to make decisions on their rosters before Wednesday’s deadline.  In particular, the transformed Flyers are going to have to make some tough roster choices.

Right now there are 15 locks for spots (8 forwards, 5 defensemen, 2 goalies) on the current team ( Briere, Giroux, Hartnell, Jagr, Simmonds, Talbot, van Riemsdyk, Voracek, Carle, Coburn, Meszaros, Pronger, Timonen, Bobrovsky, Bryzgalov).  Blair Betts is a pretty safe bet. This leaves 6 or 7 spots open with about $7.7 million cap space.

Does first round pick Sean Couturier make the Flyers?

There are six forwards fighting for four jobs.  Two veterans, Andreas Nodl and Jody Shelley, along with four rookies, Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Zac Rinaldo and Brayden Schenn.  Shelley counts towards the cap while he serves his five game suspension, and could possibly be relegated to the 13th forward once his punishment is up.  Schenn has been hampered by an upper body injury, which may have opened the door for first round pick Couturier.  If he’s sent to the Phantoms, Schenn will get a chance to heal up and will get plenty of ice time to continue his development. Couturier has impressed enough to be considered among the final cuts, and it sounds like he will make the opening night roster.  Whether he’s on the roster for nine games, or the entire season remains to be seen.  If he plays 10 games, the first year of Couturier’s contract is used up and if he plays 11 games, his contract counts against the organization’s 50 (the Flyers are at the max).  So it’s possible he will be on the roster for the first nine games and sent back to junior.   (more…)

Fantasy Hockey: Team Themes

Posted: October 1, 2011 by Realdeal in Fantasy Hockey, Hockey Fun
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Jarome Iginla, a good fantasy hockey draft pick in 2001 or 2011.

This is the time of year that we put our hockey guide studying (or lack thereof) to good use. Fantasy hockey drafts have kicked off and people are mulling over their rosters (until they fall to last place in November and give up).

Sometimes, people like to have fun with a draft, whether it be a less serious league, or a chance to make a funny team. Last year, I was in a league with a guy whose team was entirely made up of New Jersey Devils. That wasn’t his plan, but he started with Parise, Kovalchuk and Brodeur. Then it spiraled into the full Devils roster. Needless to say, it didn’t work out well, as the Devils struggled for most of the season.

Our friends at Flyers Goal Scored By started talking on twitter about a real-life Flyers lineup with Jaromir Jagr and Chris Pronger in it.  From that, I got a random idea about fantasy drafting a bunch of older guys, a team that would resemble the 2000 All Stars. I put it to use in a Yahoo mock draft, to see how such a team would look like.
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CSH Predictions: Standings

Posted: October 1, 2011 by Crimespree Hockey in Season Preview
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Through the previews over the last month the five of us did, we made predictions of where each team would finish. Here are the complete standings from all 30 previews.  (more…)

Review of 2010-2011: 48-23-11, 107 Points, 1st In Eastern Conference, Lost Eastern Conference Semi-finals 4-0 Vs Tampa Bay

Additions via free agency: Jeff Halpern, Joel Ward, Roman Hamrlik, Ryan Potulny, Chris Bourque, Tomas Vokoun, Danny Richmond, Christian Hanson

Additions via trade: Taylor Stefishen, Troy Brouwer, Danick Paquette

Subtractions: Michael Nylander, Boyd Gordon, Matt Bradley, Steve Pinizzotto, Jason Arnott, Brian Willsie, Tyler Sloan, Scott Hannan, Semyon Varlamov, Eric Fehr

Offense: The Capitals have had 2 straight years of playoff disappointment, so naturally, they made a few moves to “patch the holes” in their team this offseason. The Capitals brought in Troy Brouwer, who could very hell go past the 50 point mark this season with his balanced offensive skill set and powerplay abilities. Also coming in through free agency is Joel Ward, who brings a gritty but offensive style that should work great for 3rd line duty. The top line for The Capitals should be deadly once again, and do not expect Ovechkin to disappoint this year on the goal totals, he should be back to his 50 goal ways again this year. The biggest area for The Capitals to improve this year will be the powerplay, they were ranked 15th last year in The NHL.

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Welcome to Wayne’s World

Posted: September 28, 2011 by Crimespree Hockey in Philadelphia Flyers, Trade
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This guest post was written by John Russo, of the blog Team to Beat.

A wrecking ball, a playmaker, a game changer.

When I think of the Flyers newly acquired winger Wayne Simmonds, I keep repeating those phrases in my head.

As soon as I read that Mike Richards was being shopped, my heart sank. There goes a guy who provides a spark offensively and defensively who can also tally 30 goals. But after reading the return, “… for C Brayden Schenn, LW Wayne Simmonds, 3rd round pick…,” I nearly fell out of my chair. Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers not only managed to pry away a top prospect from the Kings for Richards but also Wayne Simmonds? This city is going to fall in love with him!

Okay, enough of the ecstatic recount of my obvious fandom towards Simmonds. Though Schenn, Ilya Bryzgalov (signed) and Jakub Voracek (acquired from Columbus for Jeff Carter) are three of the most glittery moves made this off season by the Flyers, the biggest impact player may come from the guy now wearing the #17 jersey.

I swear for 60 minutes in the Flyers first preseason game that Simmonds never left the ice. All I heard and saw was Simmonds flying around the ice, hitting people and trying to make things happen. By playing on the third line, Simmonds can give the Flyers 15 hard minutes a game as well as play on the penalty kill. His defense is the best aspect of his game and that will give head coach Peter Laviolette even more reasons to keep Simmonds out on the ice.

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Review of 2010-2011: 38-33-11 , 87 Points, 11th In Western Conference, Missed Playoffs

Additions via free agency: Brian Elliot, Kent Huskins, Brett Sterling, Scott Nichol, Jamie Langenbrunner, Jason Arnott, Jonathan Cheechoo, Danny Syvret

Additions via trade: Evgeny Grachev

Subtractions: Chris Porter, Nathan Oystrick, Dean Arsene, Tyson Strachan, Cam Janssen, Ty Conklin

Offense: The St.Louis Blues are looking to mix youngsters with NHL veterans this year.  Some veterans brought in via free agency were names like Jason Arnott, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Scott Nichol. Arnott brings a balanced offensive game, along with some powerplay skill, that still has a 30-40 point potential. Langenbrunner brings his passing ability, while not very good on the defensive side, he should be pretty useful as long as he has a shooter to set up on his line. Nichol is purely for depth, not much of an offensive upside, can get a few points, but still a hard worker who can win a faceoff or two. Add those together with the likes of Mcdonald, Steen,Stewart, Berglund (all 50 point getters last season) along with Oshie, Sobotka,  and you have the makings of quite an offensive threat, given the right line combinations.

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Review of 2010-2011: 47-23-12, 106 Points, 2nd In Eastern Conference, Lost In Eastern Conference Semifinals  4-0 vs. Boston

Additions Via Free Agency: Jaromir Jagr, Andreas Lilja, Maxime Talbot, Jason Bacashihua

Additions Via Trade: Ilya Bryzgalov, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn

Subtractions:Nick Boynton, Sean O’Donnell, Brian Boucher, Ville Leino, Dan Carcillo, Danny Syvret, Matt Clackson, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, John-Michael Liles, Darroll Powe, Kris Versteeg

Jaromir Jagr (Photo: Getty Images)

Offense: A season of change in Philly is well underway. Cornerstones Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were both dealt, and coming in on the offensive side from those trades are Wayne Simmonds,Brayden Schenn, and Jakub Voracek. Schenn, a highly touted prospect, is hoping to show his abilities in his first full pro season in the NHL. (He only played 9 games over 2 seasons in LA) Wayne Simmonds brings his multi purpose offensive ability to the Flyers, he can shoot, and he can pass.  He’ll look to get another 30-40 point season this year. Jakub Voracek, a high flying right winger formerly of The Columbus Blue Jackets, has the ability to put up 50-60 points this year if he gets put with the right linemates.  Through free agency The Flyers picked up Jaromir Jagr, a former NHLer who still has some gas in the tank, and the drive to try to win one more Cup. While the years have gotten to Jagr’s speed, he still has the hands that made him famous, he can still pass with precision, and make deking look like child’s play.  He’ll look to add some punch to The Flyers 19th ranked powerplay, which should see improvement this year. The Flyers also added Maxime Talbot who will strengthen the 3rd or 4th line, not to mention, a mouth to replace Dan Carcillo’s.

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Review of 2010-2011: 42-29-11, 95 Points, 9th In Western Conference, Missed Playoffs

Key additions via free agency: Adam Pardy, Radek Dvorak, Vernon Fiddler, Michael Ryder, Sheldon Souray, Eric Godard

Key additions via trade: None

Key losses: Brandon Segal, Karlis Skrastins, Brian Sutherby, Brad Richards, Jamie Langenbrunner, Jason Williams, Jeff Woywitka

Michael Ryder (Photo:AP)

Offense: Dallas easily lost its biggest piece this offseason in Brad Richards. While it does hurt, Dallas has the offensive tools to move forward.  And with new additions such as Radek Dvorak, Vernon Fiddler and Michael Ryder, they should be able to make up the points they miss without Richards.  Michael Ryder also brings his powerplay skill to the Stars powerplay that ranked 14th in the NHL.  If Eriksson, Morrow, and Ribiero put up seasons similar to last, you might not even notice Brad Richards missing.  They should be rolling with a solid offensive threat constantly on the ice, even in the 4th line Dowell and Burish are threats to score for Dallas.

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