Archive for September, 2010

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

Magnus Paajarvi(-Svensson)

Posted in Hockey Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by davepoleck

Magnus Paajarvi (it seems he has dropped the Svensson from his jersey) put on a pretty good show for the TSN audience last night, netting a hat trick and adding one assists on Cogliano’s powerplay goal. The clip is of the first goal he scored and show how skilled and dynamic he can be. Remember, unlike Hall and Eberle, Paajarvi has been playing against men in the SEL for the past three season, since the age of 16.

Coming into camp, he was considered third on the depth chart in terms of who would make the team behind those two other rookies. Even before this little burst of energy last night I would have kept all three around. The Oilers don’t have much going for them this year so why not let all three show their stuff with the big club. Even if he is sent down after camp, it’s only a matter of time before Ales Hemsky goes out with an injury.

TSN 30 Teams In 30 Days

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by davepoleck

TSN’s 30 Teams In 30 Days by Scott Cullen has just hit a new low for me in announcing the Buffalo Sabres as number 9 on their pre season power rankings scale. Behind them are teams like Boston (10), Philadelphia (11), Pittsburgh (13) and Nashville (19). For starters, I think Philly and Boston will take their respective divisions with relative ease this year. The Sabres rode Ryan Miller for an entire season last year and you can’t expect him to have that good of a season again. While rookie Tyler Ennis will help, they once again did nothing to address their scoring needs. Offensive leader, Thomas Vanek, has seen his scoring go from 43-36-40-28 last season. I suspect that the Sabres will be one of those teams fighting for the 6th, 7th and 8th playoff spots along with the usual culprits of Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Tampa, Carolina and New York. If I had to guess how the top 8 would look it would be like this:

8. Phoenix
7. LA
6. NJ
5. San Jose
4. Chicago
3. Detroit
2. Vancouver
1. Washington

I will be doing my regular season and playoff predictions in the next few days.

Franzen OK

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2010 by davepoleck

Pweph! When I saw that the first line of the game notes last night was not about the Wings getting smoked 5-1 against Pittsburgh, I knew something was up. Franzen suffered a charlie horse when he was hit by Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik. Last season, Franzen missed 55 games with a torn ACL after being kneed in the third game of the season.

Thankfully it looks like he will just need some rest to help ease the pain and should be back in the lineup soon. The Wings play tomorrow against Chicago, but will probably be starting a different set of forwards, including the line of Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom and the defensive pairings of Lidstrom-Kronwal and Rafalski-Stuart.

There are no highlights of that game so I chose the last good memory of the Wings from the 2009-10 playoffs.

Datsyukian Duchene

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2010 by davepoleck

There is a little bit of Pavel Datsyuk in Matt Duchene, shown here pulling off probably the best Datsyukian Deke known to mankind in the Av’s intra-squad game earlier this week.