First up…I want to thank all of you who drop by to read my musings and pontifications.
And a special shout out to Lowetide who helped kick start the blog by including it on his blog roll.
Most traffic now is coming from Google which, as we all know, is a good thing and hopefully it will continue.
1) James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail (one of the smartest hockey writers on the planet) had a thought provoking piece up this morning dealing with the hot start of the Calgary Flames. I encourage you to read the entire article but bear in mind that Mirtle misses the fact that the Flames have been missing 3 of their top 4 centres for much of the season. They may have more sustain than Mirtle believes when those players return from injury. We’ll see.
2) Mirtle, in the same piece, looks at which teams have improved their possession metrics most this season. Top of the list is the Minnesota Wild, a team I told you earlier (and repeatedly) to keep an eye on. He also notes the Edmonton Oilers are among the teams that have improved the most so far this season although their numbers have only improved from dreadful to mediocre. And, of course, the Oilers are about to embark on the Baatan Death March through the Western Conference…those numbers are likely to evaporate in a cloud of ineptitude very soon.
3) Speaking of the Oilers, another round of stupid in Oilerville today with painful Oilers Nation poster “Zarny” once again proclaiming that Taylor Hall is the best LW in hockey and a shoo in for the next Olympic team. Well, that’s pretty much horseshit and here’s why.
LW PPG 2014/15
Nick Foligno 1.12
Rick Nash 1.11
Jaden Schwartz 1.06
Zack Parise 1.00
Henrik Zetterberg 1.00
Chris Kunitz 1.00
Taylor Hall 0.92
Now, 7th isn’t bad and Hall is a dynamic player but he’s not a complete player and Jamie Benn (injury?), who is in an awful slump, will eat his lunch sometime soon.
4) Pat Burns is now in the HHOF. Why couldn’t the suits in charge have done this while the man was on his deathbed. Fucking suits!
5) ESPN has just named Dallas Eakins as the worst coach in the NHL. There is a great deal of evidence to support that notion but Bruce McCurdy, writing in the Edmonton Journal, ignores the evidence and attacks the messenger.
6) Another team to keep a close eye on is the Florida Panthers. They’re top 10 in GA/G and are starting to get some scoring.Their 5V5 FA is right up there with the elite teams (+1.19) . With a boost in PP production, the Cats could do some damage. Now, if only someone in South Florida cared.
7) It seems likely that the “top 3” teams in the draft lottery are going to be the Buffalo Sabres, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Edmonton Oilers. Do you think the league allows the Oilers to win the lottery given their past history? Just asking.
8) The Tampa Bay Lightning are the latest team to join the NHL elite while the Bruins fade. Boston’s decline is mostly due to cap mismanagement and the injury to Chara but the Lightning are absolutely loaded with talent and prospects. Nice work Stevie Y.
9) You have to feel for the Columbus Blue Jackets. They are a hardworking team that has been absolutely devastated by early season injuries, At one point, their entire 1st line and 2 top 4D were out and the on ice results were predictable. The good news is that the Jackets play in the sad sack Metropolitan division and are only 5 points out of 3rd spot with a game in hand. I’d wager they make it.