Tagged: Nashville Predators

Out of Town Notebook: A Modest Proposal for NHL Realignment

Out of Town Notebook: A Modest Proposal for NHL Realignment

Dear Gary (aka Bettman-in-da-house, aka Mr. Commish, aka Saviour-of-Winnipeg), Not to go all Peaches and Herb (or Jeremy Roenick), but “realignment and it feels so good!” NHL realignment is the hot talk around the league right now, and I know reviews are mixed concerning your latest plan to re-shape the NHL. Personally, I like what you’ve reportedly done: The first round of the playoffs features divisional play (1 vs 4, 2 vs 3). After the first round, the remaining teams are seeded 1-4, with 1 playing 4, 2 vs 3, etc. Now, the Penguins and Flyers hate this proposal, because...

Out of Town Notebook: Better or Worse Than Their Record

Out of Town Notebook: Better or Worse Than Their Record

[Every weekend, Canucks Hockey Blog goes out of town as Tom Wakefield (@tomwakefield88) posts his thoughts on what’s happening around the NHL.] If the 2011-12 season was the Pacific Ocean, we’ve barely dipped our toe into the cold waters. Nonetheless, there’s been almost a month of NHL hockey, and it’s not too early to start evaluating what’s happening around the league. Here now are a handful of teams better than, or worse than, their record-to-date. Significantly Worse Than Their Record (aka the Ron Washington is a Lousy Coach Division) Toronto: The Leafs enter Friday with a 6-2-1 record and a...

Out of Town Notebook: The Fourth Line, Turmoil in Columbus, Struggles in Ottawa and Other Thoughts

Out of Town Notebook: The Fourth Line, Turmoil in Columbus, Struggles in Ottawa and Other Thoughts

[Every weekend, Canucks Hockey Blog goes out of town as Tom Wakefield posts his thoughts on what’s happening around the NHL.] If you live in a wooden house, and you have someone obsessed with fire over to visit, you don’t give them matches.    If you’re a party planner hosting a VIP party you aren’t inviting the guy who streaks naked when he drinks. If you own a bank, and a known bank robber applies to work as a teller, you don’t give him the job. These are all (terrible) metaphors for why the NHL, in the next round of collective...

Out-of-Town Notebook: 2011/2012 Season Predictions and Prognostications

Out-of-Town Notebook: 2011/2012 Season Predictions and Prognostications

After more than a month of review, analysis, and rankings, it’s time to predict what will actually happen in the upcoming NHL season. If you take all things into consideration, one thing becomes abundantly clear – parity. No team is very strong at each position (coach, goalie, defence, forward), and most teams are only a shade better or worse than another. It looks like all the same teams that made the playoffs last year have a good chance of making it again this year. As we’ve discussed though, it’s rare that there’s so little change in the standings from year-to-year. Injuries...

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Goalies

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Goalies

Yesterday it was the Eastern Conference goalies. Today, the Western Conference as we wrap up our positional previews. A+ Grade Nashville Last Year (B-) A stellar playoff performance proved Pekka Rinne is more than just a product of an elite defensive team. He’s the Conference’s best goaltender right now. If injured, Anders Lindback is a more-than-capable replacement. A- Grade Anaheim Last Year (B) Vertigo derailed what was shaping up to be a Vezina-worthy season for Jonas Hiller. Symptom-free, he’s an elite goaltender. Dan Ellis is an okay backup in the short-term, but any injury to Hiller and the Ducks are...

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Forwards (and Ashton Kutcher’s Two and a Half Men Debut)

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Forwards (and Ashton Kutcher’s Two and a Half Men Debut)

What do Michael Ryder and Ashton Kutcher have in common? Both have previously enjoyed success in supporting roles, and now both are being asked to replace bigger stars that left town after difficult contract negotiations. It’s doubtful either will make anyone forget who they’re replacing anytime soon. Last Monday, more than 27 million viewers tuned in to see how Two and a Half Men would replace Charlie Sheen with Ashton Kutcher. For those that missed it but wondered how it went, allow me to summarize: blandly juvenile. Granted, juvenile jokes and innuendo are a big reason why Two and a...

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Bluelines

Season Preview: Ranking the Western Conference Bluelines

The other day, we looked at the Eastern Conference bluelines. Today, let’s look at the Western Conference defence rankings. A Grade Chicago Last Year (A+) A slip in the ratings heading into 2011-12, as neither Duncan Keith nor Brent Seabrook were quite as good last year as they were the season before. Meanwhile, Nick Hjalmarsson also disappointed. However, Nick Leddy looks like a future top-4 stalwart, and there’s some veteran depth now with the signings of Steve Montador, Sean O’Donnell and Sami Lepisto. Los Angeles Last Year (A-) This is assuming Drew Doughty signs. Otherwise they drop a grade. Doughty...

Season Preview: The Impact of Coaching Changes Part 2 and Ranking the Western Conference Coaches

Season Preview: The Impact of Coaching Changes Part 2 and Ranking the Western Conference Coaches

As discussed in yesterday’s post, changing a coach at mid-season, rather than in the off-season, seems to have a greater positive impact on team performance. Examining all the coaching moves since the start of the 2005-06 season reveals some other interesting tidbits: Only four coaches hired at mid-season led their teams to a worse performance than the coach they replaced: 2009-10 Philadelphia: Peter Laviolette (.535) replaced John Stevens (.540). One could argue these are almost equal results. 2008-09 Tampa Bay: Rick Tocchet (.397 winning percentage) replaced Barry Melrose (.438). Funny how Melrose was ridiculed for his performance returning to the...

Tom’s Round 3 Preview and Predictions

Tom’s Round 3 Preview and Predictions

Eastern Conference Final Boston (2) vs Tampa Bay (5) Season Series: Boston (3-1) What we learned in Round 2 Boston: There is offense to be found in the Bruin attack. It’s name is David Krejci. Also, that Boston remains an incredibly difficult opponent to generate offense against. Tim Thomas is lurking in the Conn Smyth Trophy weeds. Tampa Bay: That the team’s 1-3-1 style has effectively neutralized their greatest weakness – a lack of defensive mobility. This Lightning team is playing as well as Montreal defensively right now, but they have the game-breakers the Habs lack to take advantage offensively....

WSF Game 6: Canucks 2 Predators 1

WSF Game 6: Canucks 2 Predators 1

At one point of tonight’s telecast, Glenn Healy commented that it was “Kesler Night in Canada”. It’s hard to think where the Canucks would be had Ryan Kesler not found his scoring touch. Freed from the responsibility of going against last year’s Conn Smythe trophy winner, Jonathan Toews, Kes busted out in a big way and scored or assisted on 11 of the Canucks’ 14 goals this series. As it stands, both coaches, Barry Trotz and Alain Vigneault, agree that he was the difference maker in this series. First, Trotz: “I said to him when I went by out there:...

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