Archive for the ‘Offseason’ Category

Reacting To 0-5-1

Posted: October 19, 2011 by cujorulesdtown9 in Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL, Offseason, Playoffs
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Small note before reading: I wrote this for fun, don’t take it too seriously.

Well here we are, 6 games into this season, and The Columbus Blue Jackets are 0-5-1, officially the worst team in The NHL, the only team to have not won a game thus far. From what I’ve seen online through twitter, facebook, and multiple hockey forums and websites, there seem to be a common 5 reactions to this start among fans:

1. Shock/Confusion:

“Speechless” “What is going on with this team!?” Seem to be the top comments in this area. It is hard to fathom this start, even without James Wisniewski. Surely all of our players would be scoring, and our defense would be good at…well..defense! It is quite a shock to see such a slow start, but when you look at the past three season, it shouldn’t be, in October over the past three years we went 7-3-1, 4-6-0, and 6-5-1.

2. Lets Riot: Yes, ala Vancouver after The Stanley Cup Finals last year, blow stuff up, break things, just all out anarchy in the streets of Ohio. Well with the weakened economy rioting is a bad idea, not to mention you could get arrested (unless you don’t care about that, go for it.) And in the current times, I’d worry more about the loose bears,lions, wolves, and monkeys roaming around doing all the damage for you.

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This weekend, the Kings hosted their third annual Hockey Fest at Staples Center. It sold out to 3,000 fans and was an opportunity to interact with the Kings players and staff.  The organization and fans recognized those who lost their lives in the September 11 terrorist attacks and the players who lost their lives this off season, including those involved in the tragic Yaroslavl Lokomotiv plane crash by observing a moment of silence.

First up on the agenda was the State of the Kings, where fans were able to ask questions to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, Assistant GM Ron Hextall, Head Coach Terry Murray and VP of Hockey Operations Jeff Solomon. Bob Miller, who hosted the panel, got the ball rolling with the question everybody had on their mind: Drew Doughty. Lombardi seemed more interested in whether or not Heidi Androl would be coming back for another season with the broadcast team, which got some laughs out of the crowd. Much to the dismay of many (male) fans, Bob announced that Heidi would not be returning, yet would still be involved in the Kings organization. As for the Drew Doughty situation, Lombardi’s answer was not more revealing than what we already knew. He did, however, sound confident that Doughty would be in Los Angeles for a long time. There were also questions regarding the health and fitness of other players, namely Anze Kopitar and Dustin Penner. Good news on both: Kopitar has been having a successful rehab and Penner is in great shape. Another concern fans wanted addressed was the power play. Off-season additions of Mike Richards and Simon Gagne; shot-mentality and net presence? Dean Lombardi’s recipe for power play success. There was also a question regarding leadership and Terry Murray made one thing certain: Dustin Brown will remain the Captain.

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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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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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This afternoon, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that they had offered Michael Nylander to a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO).  Which, basically means, he’s invited to Flyers training camp for a chance to win a job with the club.  Some fans disagreed with the move, calling it a waste of time.  They explained that Nylander has virtually no chance to make this team as is, and he is coming off of a serious spinal injury that sidelined him for most of last season.  Dissenters also mentioned that a contracted player would have to be moved to fit under the 50 contract limit if Nylander gets a contract after training camp.

The Flyers invited Michael Nylander to training camp on a PTO.

Since 2008, the Flyers have invited Bryan Berard, Blair Betts, Mark Bell, Bill Guerin and now Nylander to camp on PTOs.  However, of the four who have been through camp, only Betts made the team.  The year before his tryout with the Flyers, Berard was invited to training camp by Islanders and earned a one year contract by New York.

So the question remains, are PTOs just a waste of time?  (more…)

Here are some thoughts on some of the potential rule changes being looked at in the NHL Research And Development Camp:

NHL Research And Development Camp (Photo:THN)

 Hybrid Icing: Safety is the main issue that gets addressed here (Remember Kurtis Foster’s injury?), without taking away from the game. Easily something I think that should be implemented in the game.  Although some would argue about the officiating on certain calls, which is the only real argument against it.

No Icing While Shorthanded: If the NHL can find a way to boost scoring, they’ll test it out (Remember the idea of round nets?) Now, I understand the want to score more often, but I don’t really like this idea. You should be able to ice the puck while shorthanded, make the other team actually have to work on the powerplay. The other guy has two or five minutes in the box, that should eb enough of a penalty on his team.

Overtime Changes ( 4 minutes 4 on 4, then 3 minutes of 3 on 3): If this gets rid of the shootout (unless the shootout goes to 5 shooters), im all for it. However, I really do not like the idea of 3 on 3 hockey, it should be 4 on 4 minimum.  Would be interesting to do on a test run basis in the NHL.

No Line Change For Team That Is Offsides: Honestly, I like this idea, if a line can’t come into the zone onsides, they shouldn’t be able to change. Honestly, unless the players on the line have been on the ice a while, but, going offsides is their own fault, is it not? But,like the next rule, it could have an impact on the game negatively.

Faceoff In Own Zone After Offsides Is Called: Now this, I do not like, at all. This would encourage dump and chase hockey, which, just isn’t that good  to watch from a fan standpoint. I don’t see this rule making it very far at all, it will not see the light of day in the NHL.

Eliminate The Trapezoid: Yes, yes, and yes. Getting rid of the trapezoid behind the net has my approval. Goalies should be aloud to play the puck, there is no good reason this rule was ever implemented. Goalies doing a bit more work, I don’t see any defensemen who would have to chase the puck otherwise, that would argue against that. Let the goalies be free from the evil trapezoid!

Goal Line Camera: A brilliant idea I can’t believe they didn’t think of sooner! So many close calls, some right , some wrong . Now, if we can work on defining “kicking motions”, that would be another huge step forward. I would really like to see this implemented in the NHL. But I feel it might not be 100% fool proof depending on the camera’s position if say, the goalie was on top of the puck.

The season ended two months ago, teams are pretty much done making their offseason moves.  There’s nothing new to talk about in the hockey world.  Everyone’s discussed what Jaromir Jagr is going to bring to the Flyers after three years in the KHL or how Brent Burns will help the Sharks powerplay.

So how do we get our hockey fix?

It’s warm during the summer and with longer daytime hours, you can play some puck outside, right?  Maybe in the northern part of the continent, but this summer (for most of us) it’s been hot, humid, and not conducive to outdoor activities.  Nobody wants to play, and those who do, skate for a few minutes and realize it’s too hot.  Goalies refuse to suit up.  When things cool off closer to September, people will come outside and hit the rinks again.  But that still doesn’t help right now.

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