Archive for September, 2010

New Look Lightning

Posted in Hockey Blogs with tags , , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by davepoleck

Part of the reason I picked the Lightning to finish 7th in the East is the addition of Guy Boucher behind the bench.  Boucher has succeeded at every level that he has coached at. As an assistant coach for Rimouski of the Q, they won the President Cup and went the Memorial Cup. He became head coach of Drummondville in 2006, and led them to their best season and to the Memorial Cup in 2008-09. Last season with the Bulldogs, Boucher won the coach of the year and took Hamilton to 115 points, their highest in franchise history. Unlike with the Dogs last year where a lot of talented players were playing in Montreal, the Tampa Bay Lightning have three of the best in the game in Stamkos, Lecavalier and St. Louis.

Now on a personal note, he looks like  a bad guy from an older action movie. I don’t if it’s the scar on his face or just his face in general; but I can’t think of it and it’s driving me nuts. $1000 to whoever names it.

SI’s Greatest Players By Jersey Number

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by davepoleck

Sports Illustrated has released their Greatest NHL Players by Jersey Numbers done by Allan Muir. I have a CBC book on this and I’m pretty sure it’s done by Greg Millen, but there are a bunch of holes because the Leafs didn’t have players at a bunch of numbers.

There are some pretty tough calls throughout the list especially  #19, and some bad choices like choosing Jason Allison over Ray Whitney at #41, but no question in mind does Datsyuk belong at #13 over Mats Sundin.

But hey at least this proves SI pays some attention right?

Eastern Conference Predictions

Posted in Hockey Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by davepoleck

Im going to start my predictions for the 2010-11 season with how I think the Eastern Conference will unfold. The East has been in a post-lockout slump, with the skill level and goaltending barely even comparing to the West, but that doesn’t mean things won’t be competitive for those final few spots once again: Continue reading

Roberts Doing It Again

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by davepoleck

I would love to be able to train with Gary Roberts, although I would probably die.

James Duthie has a very insightful article up on TSN talking about this past summer’s training session with Gary Roberts that included NHL players like Steven Stamkos, Steve Downie, Michael Del Zotto, James Neal and Stephen Weiss. Another attendee was 7th overall pick of Carolina, Jeff Skinner. Because of his fantastic training camp, Skinner has jumped ahead of winger Drayson Bowman on their depth chart and could make the team. If reports are true about Jussi Jokinen playing third line centre, Skinner could get a shot playing with Eric Staal.

One For The Ages

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by davepoleck

I hate Greg Millen so much. Why would Beauchemin “fill in” Alexei Kovalev. The guy is clearly out of his element, having only fought three times in his career (vs Dave Gagner, Alex Hicks and Darcey Tucker…I love, so Beauchemin did the right thing, gave him a few shots and let him off easy. Good for Mike Fisher sticking up for Karlsson and going after tough guy Rosehill.

Dobber Norris Division Draft

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on September 29, 2010 by davepoleck

Well, I finally got into the Dobber Entry League in the Norris Divison. This is a three tiered pool in which you basically have to win your pool in order to move up to the next tier. Tier One is made up of one pool with various writers from the website. Tier Two has two pools while Tier Three is four different pools. The bottom two teams of Tier One drop are replaced by the two winners of the Tier Two pools; the bottom two teams in the two Tier two pools are replaced by the four winners of the pools in Tier Three! You are given the privelege of sticking around next year if you finish second in Tier Three, but any lower than that and you’re out!!

Here is a look at my team from the huge 25 player, 16 team draft that we had last night:

Continue reading

Gionta Named Captain

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on September 29, 2010 by davepoleck

…..didn’t they have to?

If they didn’t name him captain, there would be an absolute media feast on their dressing room. This is Montreal, afterall. He is their 28th captain in team history and only second that is US born.

Another Datsyukian Deke

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2010 by davepoleck

I guess people are now taking note that Pavel Datsyuk knows how to deke. The video is of Claude Giroux in the shootout against the Leafs last night and he pulls the a very similar move to the classic that Datsyuk has used only a few times.

Giguere looked absolutely awful in the shootout, although it shouldn’t have even happened because the Leafs scored in the overtime period but the play was ruled no goal and the puck was dropped before any further review. I love how Greg Millen was so adamant about the Leafs holding up play to review the goal; relax, it’s pre-season. I hate Greg Millen and his biased ways.

Nonetheless, nothing beats the original….

Filatov vs Umberger

Posted in Hockey Blogs with tags , , , , , , , on September 25, 2010 by davepoleck

I think the success of Nikita Filatov this season depends on where RJ Umberger is placed in the lineup. For the past few seasons in Columbus, Umberger has been getting top six minutes alongside Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius. Filatov on the other hand, struggled last season to even crack the lineup most nights, and headed back to mother Russia to play in the KHL.

Umberger recorded a career high of 55 points last season while playing in all situations for the Jackets. The key here is that he can play in all situations; Umberger is just as effective playing on the third line shut down role as he is playing top six minutes. While Filatov has stressed that he has improved his defensive game, he will clearly be most successful playing an offensive role. In their second preseason game, Filatov was on a line with two other first round picks, Derrick Brassard and Jakub Voracek. I expect a huge year from Voracek and if Brassard can even come close to his production from two years ago, then this would be a pretty dynamic second line.

Click ahead to see some of the sick moves that Filatov has: Continue reading

NHL Coach Landscape

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by davepoleck

After a two year period where all hell has broken loose on the NHL coaching landscape, it looks as if a lot of teams are going to be sticking with their current bench boss for at least a few years.

Of the 30 NHL head coaches, 23 of them are new as of 2008! Paul Maurice, Peter DeBoer and Scott Gordon were all hired in 2008 and could be in for long seasons with their teams, but they were brought in for the rebuild and I can’t see teams letting them go when they’re right in the middle of it. Maurice might not make it to the end with the Canes, but that will be to take a head office job with the team and give the reigns to Ron Francis.

Of the longer tenured coaches, Lindy Ruff (1997) and Barry Trotz (1998) are pretty much untouchable until either team takes a big drop in the standings. But both Buffalo and Nashville are in good shape going into 2010-11 and should at least compete for a playoff spot, maybe even their division. I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a small market and have the GM backing you. Four of the mid-range guys, Babcock (2005), Boudreau (2007), Vigneault (2006) and Julien (2007) are all pretty damn safe as well.

This brings me down to three candidates that I think can be fired this year: Continue reading