Archive for the ‘Season Preview’ Category

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…)

2011-12 Preview: Winnipeg Jets

Posted: September 30, 2011 by goaliesgetmorebetches in Season Preview, Winnipeg Jets
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Jets' Goalie Ondrej Pavelec

Last season:34-36-12 80 pts, 4th Southeast, 12th Eastern Conference

Additions:Aaron Gagnon, Tanner Glass, Kendal Mcardal, Eric Fehr, Randy Jones, Derek Meech

Losses: Anthony Stewart, Radek Dvorak, Eric Boulton

Offense: Not much change on offense for the Jets, who have a dependable leader up front in Andrew Ladd. Winnipeg hopes that Brian Little can regain his scoring touch and that Blake Wheeler returns to 20 goal form. Exciting young Evander Kane is also on the verge of breaking the 20 goal threshold and this may be the season he does it. The most dramatic change that could occur up front would be moving Dustin Byfuglien back to forward, where he enjoyed great success during Chicago’s Cup run two seasons ago. Veteran Kazakhstan-born Nik Antropov will also chip in offensively. Also, look for the continued development of second year player Alexander Burmistrov, a kid with a ton of skill and potential.

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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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Last season: 37-34-11, 85 points, 4th in Northeast, missed playoffs.

Key Additions: C Tim Connolly, C Phillippe Dupuis, D Cody Franson, D John-Michael Liles, C Matt Lombardi

Key Losses: C Tim Brent, G Jean-Sebastian Giguere, C Christian Hanson, D Brett Lebda

Offense: The Leafs top line consists of Phil Kessel (32 goals, career high 64 points), Joffrey Lupul, who scored 9 goals in 28 games after being traded to Toronto last season and newcomer Tim Connolly. The injury concerns surround Connolly, but he’s been relatively healthy the past two seasons. The second unit may even be better than the first. Mikhail Grabovski (29-29-58) centers 30 goal scorer Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur, who posted career highs in goals (21) and points (62).  Youngsters Nazim Kadri and Matt Frattin will battle for playing time.  Tyler Bozak (15 goals) and Colby Armstrong (8 goals) will solidify the third line.  If Matt Lombardi is healthy, it’ll help the depth.

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Lightning Goalie Dwayne Roloson

Last season: 46-23-11 103 pts, 2nd Southeast, 5th Eastern Conference

Additions: Matieu Garon, Bruno Gervais, Matt Gilroy, Tom Pyatt, Alexandre Picard, Richard Petiot, Michel Oulette, Trevor Smith

Losses: Simon Gagne, Sean Bergenheim, Mike Smith, Randy Jones, Mike Lundin, Matt Smaby, Mathieu Roy, Marc Pouliot

Offense: Tampa Bay possesses one of the most gifted scorers in the entire National Hockey League in youngster Steven Stamkos, who has already scored 119 goals in his first 3 seasons. Stamkos figures to be a 50+ goal threat and among the NHL’s leaders in goal scoring for the next decade. It doesn’t stop there, as the Lightning also have Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier as scoring threats up front. Veteran Ryan Malone is also there, as is resident hothead Steve Downie, whom the Lightning rely on for offense even if he’s too much of a loose cannon to be relied upon. The guy with the most to prove is probably Teddy Purcell, a castoff from the Los Angeles organization who had a decent year and a good playoff for Tampa in 2010-11. Tampa’s top 6 is solid, while their bottom 6 might be a bit thin. Still with the talent in the top two lines, I expect the Lighning to score in buckets once again.

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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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Last season: 49-25-8, 106 points, 4th East, lost in the first round to Tampa Bay (4-3).

Additions: LW Steve MacIntyre, D Alex Picard, RW Steve Sullivan, D Boris Valabik, RW Jason Williams

Losses: LW Chris Conner, RW Eric Godard, LW Mike Rupp, C Max Talbot

Offense:  Obviously Sidney Crosby is the go-to guy on the Penguins, but with his status uncertain for the season, it means other players will have to pick up the slack.  Crosby was having a great year before he was derailed, scoring 32 goals and 66 points in 41 games.  Evgeni Malkin missed 39 games last year, including 29 games (plus playoffs) with an ACL tear.  While he was in the lineup, Malkin was still effective, netting 15 goals and 37 points.  The Pens will need him to be healthy this season in order to compete in the tough Eastern Conference.  Jordan Staal missed the first half of the season, but was the team’s #1 centerman down the stretch.  His shutdown play helped ease the losses of Crosby & Malkin.  Chris Kunitz finally produced (23 goals) what Pittsburgh wanted when they acquired him from Anaheim two seasons ago.  Last year’s acquisition James Neal only scored one goal as a Penguin, but had 22 total, including his time with Dallas.  Tyler Kennedy used his increased ice time to score 21 goals.  Steve Sullivan could prove to be a solid addition, provided he stays healthy he can still score 20 goals.  Rookie Mark Letestu started off hot, scoring 7 goals and 17 points in his first 38 games, but only finished 14-13-27 in 64 games.

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