Archive for August, 2011

As a part of Crimespree Hockey’s 2011-2012 season preview, all 30 teams will be previewed, and today, Cujo looks at The Anaheim Ducks.

Review of 2010-2011: 47–30–5, 99 Points, 4th In Western Conference, Lost In Western Conference Quarter-Finals 4-2 Vs. Nashville

Key additions via free agency: Mark Bell, Matt Smaby, Jeff Deslauriers, Brian McGratton, Jean-Francois Jacques

Key additions via trade: Mathieu Carle, Kurtis Foster, Andrew Cogliano

Key Losses: Teemu Selanne? , Ray Emery, Brad Winchester, Jarkko Ruutu, Andreas Lilja, Josh Green, Kyle Chipchura, Mark Mitera, Andy Sutton

Offense:

The big question this offseason is Teemu Selanne, will he come back? Without him, The Ducks would be losing a 80 point player. By the sounds of recent reports, Selanne will be back in Anaheim this year. I think this year will be the year we see some 3rd and 4th line changes. Some will stay, like George Parros (who is usually good for a moustache and 4-5 points a year), but we could see a few switchups on those two lines, there are a few players who need to show a little more on the ice. Easily the strongest position Anaheim holds is at center. with a top 3 of Getzlaf, Koivu, and the newly acquired Cogliano, they should be quite dangerous in the faceoff dot.  Lines 3 and 4 are what make me nervous about Anaheim, they need some guys with a little more experience, other than Brandon McMillan and George Parros (who pretty much have given spots), the lines aren’t really that good. Palmieri, Belesky, and Bonino need to show up and prove they are NHL worthy, or they could see more AHL time than NHL time.

Defense: (more…)

Jagr’s Heel Turn

Posted: August 31, 2011 by JoeyD in NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Yesterday Broad Street Hockey posted quite a few juicy quotes from a Czech interview with Jaromir Jagr sure to rile up some Penguins fans. All in all I wasn’t too ticked off with anything Jagr said although there was many logic fails that I wish to address regardless of how language translations may lose intended meanings.

 “It just doesn’t make sense to me. I didn’t expect their fans to see it like this. For two reasons. First of all, I didn’t expect them to want me to sign in Pittsburgh so much to begin with, because the last eight years in the NHL, they booed at me whenever I went there. And those same fans suddenly wanted me to return. It’s a bit strange. It was a huge surprise to me.”

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In this roundtable, Realdeal, Cujo and Joey discuss many topics on the NHL’s offseason.

RD: So who did the best this offseason?

Cujo: I would say the CBJ but that would be very homerish of me.

Joey: I like what CBJ did, Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski fit two points of weakness.

Cujo: They got the #1 center they have always wanted, that was the biggest piece it has taken 11 years to get.

RD: They also got the top pair d-man they desperately needed.

Cujo: But you cannot rule out what LA has done this offseason.

RD: They got that #2 center that they needed, even if they gave up the best prospect in hockey.

Joey: Washington had a solid offseason. Beyond just additions but the picks they got for Seymon Varlamov were huge.

RD: I really like Washington’s moves; they got some sandpaper.

Cujo: And Tomas Vokoun cannot forget him, a solid net minder.

Joey: Yeah when I heard Vokoun signed in Washington I hung my head and said ‘oh crap’.

RD: I think people are sleeping on the effect Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer will bring.

Joey: I really think Brouwer was a good pick up, I am a little on the fence on Ward just wondering if he is riding off a playoff showing.

RD: He’s overpaid but he’ll be a solid 2nd/3rd line producer.

Joey: Speaking of overpaid is Brooks Laich worth all that money? I think time will tell on that one.

Cujo: You’ve got to pay for potential, but he nearly had his 3rd straight 50 point season. He missed it by 2 points.

RD: Is he going to get much better? I think 50-55 points is what we’re looking at.

RD: So who’s a team whose moves were puzzling or needed to do more? I’m kind of curious to see how San Jose’s plan works out.

Cujo: I think San Jose thinks they have most of the pieces they need to make a big run at the Cup.

Joey: Buffalo giving 10 years to Christian Ehrhoff, someone who has never played a game in Buffalo?

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My iPod Meets the NHL

Posted: August 26, 2011 by Realdeal in Hockey Fun
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A song from my Ipod for every NHL team. Think you have a better song? Leave it in the comments.

“I’ll Wait” by Van Halen
Still waiting on Selanne…still waiting…
“Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh
When you’re the defending champs, Life is very good.
“Money” by Pink Floyd
New owner Terry Pegula is pulling out his cash and throwing it at players like Ville Leino & Christian Ehrhoff.
“Burning Down the House” by the Talking Heads
The Flames are going nowhere with their current core, and maybe it’s time to burn it down.
“Call Me the Breeze” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Carolina’s a decent team, but they aren’t quite Hurricane status at this point.
“No Excuses” by Alice in Chains
Shouldn’t be any reason why the Blackhawks aren’t back in the Cup contender mix.
“Mountain Song” by Jane’s Addiction
Last year, the Avs found out that it’s a tough climb up the mountain, but an easier slope down. (more…)

I Understand, I Just Don’t Agree

Posted: August 24, 2011 by JoeyD in NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review wrote a piece about a tough season for Matt Cooke of the Penguins that went far beyond just his play on the ice.  Cooke’s wife Michelle had a potentially life-threatening situation shortly after the Winter Classic coupled with egregious mistakes on the ice that lead to multiple suspensions made for quite the difficult year to date for the Penguins right winger.

Thus far, the litany of comments in response to the article have been expectantly mixed with both the pro and con opinions coming as no surprise.  In regards to the types of comments that are more negative or those with a general malaise; I understand, I just don’t agree.

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More tidbits from around the NHL and the world of hockey:

Chris Drury (Photo: Getty Images)

– Chris Drury, unable to find a new team, called it a career on Friday. Drury played 892 games in 12 NHL seasons with 4 teams (Colorado, Calgary, Buffalo, New York). He finished with 615 career points (255 goals, 360 assists) He also played internationally in 3 Olympics, 3 IIHF championship tournaments, and 1 World Cup Of Hockey. He earned 2 silver medals in the Olympics, and one bronze in IIHF competition.

– The once highly touted Fabian Brunnström has earned a tryout with The Detroit Redwings. It will be interesting to see if he can finally show some of what was expected when he came to the NHL, or if this will be his last stop.

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Last season, 18 year old Jeff Skinner joined some elite company.  He became the fourth 18 year old to win the Calder trophy as NHL’s Rookie of the Year, scoring 32 goals and 63 points.  He became the youngest winner since Tom Barrasso in 1983-84.  Many 18 year olds have played in the NHL, but only eleven have scored 60 points in one season.  Of those eleven, nine played in the 1980s, when scoring was up.  The only one who’s done it outside of that decade besides Skinner, is Sidney Crosby.  Ironically, Skinner replaced Crosby in the All Star Game this past season.  Of the ten players ahead of Skinner on that list, all ten had productive seasons their second year.  Even the “bust” Jimmy Carson had two great years before tailing off.

Now Jeff Skinner is not going to produce Crosby numbers (120 points, Art Ross winner in his second year). Crosby posted over 100 points his rookie year to Skinner’s 63. Skinner played with Eric Staal most of last year on the Hurricanes’ top line.  But Skinner played 16:43 per game, which was only seventh most on his team.  That will surely increase this season, especially with the departure of Erik Cole.  He’ll most likely be called on for more power play minutes (played 3:10 per game last year).  More time will equal more scoring chances, which should increase his point total.

Some point to his slump in February as hitting the rookie wall.   (more…)