Dear Lou Lamoriello, Way back in the day, (we’re talking pre-Fresh Prince of Bel Air days), I was a fan of the New Jersey Devils. There were a few reasons for this. One, Oshawa-native John Maclean was your go-to scorer at the time. Another reason was, well, I was a fan of Christmas, and your team colours happened to match the season. The biggest reason though was that I wanted to be one of those fans who bragged after winning a championship that he’d “been there” through the lean years. In reality, by the time your Devils won the Cup...Click here to read more.
Tagged: season preview
Yesterday, I ranked the Eastern Conference teams in terms of their forwards. Today, I look at the West. A+ Grade Chicago Surprised? Don’t be. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp are a nucleus that can keep this team in contention for years to come. Naturally, with all the off-season moves, depth is a greater issue than it was last year. A- Grade San Jose The best first line in hockey (Patrick Marleau-Joe Thornton-Dany Heatley) can stay together, now that the team has found Joe Pavelski to anchor the second line. Nice grit, but little offensive...Click here to read more.
Say what you want about Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, but the man has his own beliefs and sticks to them. Burke has long suggested you can win a Stanley Cup with the simple forward formula of a skilled top-six and a gritty bottom six. It’s this formula that he’s applying to the Leafs, while foregoing the traditional approach of rebuilding through the draft. We’re entering the third year of Burke’s rebuilding experiment, and a few things are starting to become clear. One, by not rebuilding through the draft, the Leafs have essentially limited their access to the best...Click here to read more.
Yesterday, I looked at the Eastern Conference coaches; today, I look at the bench bosses from the West. A Grade Mike Babcock – Detroit Just the second coach in NHL history to coach Stanley Cup Game 7s for two different teams. He’s the only coach to have won Olympic Gold, a World Championship Gold and a Stanley Cup. B+ Grade Joel Quenneville – Chicago He has never coached a losing season in the NHL, despite coaching for three different teams. The 2010 Cup win is the cherry on top for a career almost destroyed by physical exhaustion. Barry Trotz –...Click here to read more.
“In training camp, most coaches give players binders full of rules,” Wayne Gretzky once said. “Glen [Sather] only had one rule: don’t embarrass the coach.” Gretzky’s anectode is quaint and funny at first blush. The irony, of course, is that Wayne eventually became a binder-guy coach. Not that The Great One had a choice. In the modern NHL, the differences between each team, and in fact between winning and losing, are minute. One reason for this is that the coaching role has blossomed, dominating what happens at every moment on the ice. The introduction of system-play and more sophisticated pre-game...Click here to read more.
I asked some very bad ass lady bloggers from the pacific division to give our blog a preview of how they saw their teams and the pacific division going down this season. It’s an all star lineup for sure and you should add their blogs to your blogroll if you haven’t already. We have… Patty in Dallas from Penalty Killing for (obvs) the Dallas Stars SKeleven from Ducks and Pucks for the Anaheim Ducks Connie from A Queen Among Kings for the LA Kings OnyxStarr from Hip Shot Blog for the Phoenix Coyotes Gray and Minako from Couchtarts for the...Click here to read more.
Continuing with our previews of the divisions, we posed some questions to some of the Northeast Division bloggers – David Oleksy from Die By The Blade (Buffalo Sabres), Chris Topham from Lions In Winter (Montreal Canadiens) and The Wonderful World of Loser Domi (Toronto Maple Leafs). Here are their responses: 1. What was the biggest improvement your team has made for the upcoming season? Die By The Blade: The biggest improvement the Sabres made might be mental as opposed to any specific move. The Sabres noticed that the game has become more physical than it was immediately following the lockout,...Click here to read more.
Last night I sat down with Mike Meyers from Tavares Country, ClockWork Flyers from Clockwork Orange (and Black), Carlos from Speaking of the Devils, Damian from Pens Universe, and Catherine Smith from Cathybytes.com representing the Rangers to break down the Atlantic Division for the upcoming 2009-10 Season. Take a look at what they had to say. Atlantic Division Season PreviewClick here to read more.
Last night, we had the pleasure of chatting with Dirk Hoag from the On The Forecheck blog and he gave us a preview of what to expect from the Nashville Predators and the rest of the Central Division. Following is the transcript: 2009/2010 Season Preview: Central DivisionClick here to read more.