Western teams confront some tough questions

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Western teams confront some tough questions

                       http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=587310

    Lets shift a bit to the West Side and I don't mean putting in your favorite DVD, watching a very tanned Natalie Wood dance around for three hours...

    "Anaheim Ducks Is Jonas Hiller healthy again?
    Hiller was good enough to make the All-Star Game, but his season basically ended in early February when he came down with an apparent case of vertigo and played just 83 minutes after the break. The Ducks finished fourth in the West despite a revolving door in their crease, then were torched for 22 goals in a six-game loss to Nashville in the opening round of the playoffs."

    Tons of talent on the blueline as well "The Ducks also boast the NHL's top-scoring defenseman, Lubomir Visnovsky, as well as Cam Fowler, who had 10 goals and 40 points as an 18-year-old rookie, and Toni Lydman, whose plus-32 rating was second in the League."

    If Selanne stays for another year with adding a 3rd line Center like Cogliano you've got depth for three lines. I say they will still have thier work cut out in competing with LA and the Sharks.

    Los Angeles Kings Is Mike Richards the missing piece to get the Kings to the next level?

    "GM Dean Lombardi went shopping during the summer and brought in Mike Richards from Philadelphia; along with Anze Kopitar, L.A. now has one of the NHL's best one-two combos in the middle. While the Kings ranked in the League's top 10 in goals-against and penalty killing, they were in the NHL’s bottom third in goals-for and power-play efficiency. Adding two players who have combined for 409 NHL goals could go a long way toward providing that two-way balance."

    Brown, Gagne and Williams will be helped by Richards and Kopitar. Defense and goaltending is there can they dethrone the Sharks ? I say yes!

    St. Louis Blues Will adding a couple of Cup-winners get the Blues back to the playoffs? "With a host of young talent already on hand, management brought in two former New Jersey Devils -- Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner -- who've combined to play more than 2,300 games and own three Stanley Cup rings, to add some veteran leadership. But how much do they have left in the tank as players? It's hard to provide leadership when you're not producing on the ice. Three large parts of the Blues' offense, David Perron, Andy McDonald and T.J. Oshie, missed significant time due to injury, with Perron and McDonald suffering concussions and Oshie going down with a fractured ankle. The Blues certainly could have used Perron, who scored five goals in 10 games before missing the rest of the season, or McDonald, who had 50 points in 58 games."

    My sleeper team out west da Blues. Shattenkirk and Stewart needed a change of scenery trade, they got it, they will shine IMO. Me thinks Pietrangelo's points from the blueline will increase. Age and heath are a concern but that is a concern for most teams.

    Who does everyone have for their sleeper teams out West ?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kelvana33. Show kelvana33's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    Not sure if they are a sleeper team but I like the Kings to come out of the West. Kings vs Caps in the finals with the Caps taking it. I think the Blues are getting a little too much credit right now, I really like what the Sharks did this off season, Canucks will be there but I expect Detroit to fall a bit.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from bochi6. Show bochi6's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    A lot of people seem to be on the Kings jock this year. I am a life long Bruins fan, living in LA, so I see them a lot. I'm not buying the Kings yet. I still dont think they are on the Wings/Canucks/Sharks level. My money in Vegas is on the Sharks to come out of West this year. Caps look great but i think they are still fools gold. Their most skilled players are too soft, excluding AO. Bruins/Penguins come out of East this year, assuming Crosby is healthy. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from shuperman. Show shuperman's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions:
    [QUOTE]Not sure if they are a sleeper team but I like the Kings to come out of the West. Kings vs Caps in the finals with the Caps taking it. I think the Blues are getting a little too much credit right now, I really like what the Sharks did this off season, Canucks will be there but I expect Detroit to fall a bit.
    Posted by kelvana33[/QUOTE]

    I think all Cali teams are good. 
    1. I think SJ has their best team yet.  Defense was always a big issue and they now have a quality back end which is comparible to any team in the West. 
    2. I think the Ducks are primed for another run.  Best line in hockey and now they have some depth.  Hillier and depth on the back end will be the difference of making the playoffs or making a solid run.
    3. Kings are much improved up front.   Richards and Brown will be the hardest pair in the league to play against.  The "HEADS UP" line will scare a lot of the top players in the league.
    4. Van is solid, but added nothing and lost on the backend.  If Nolan is their saving grace they are in deep trouble.  The Bruins purchased the Blackhawks blueprint and did exactly what the Hawks did to them for a few yrs running.
    5. Hawks will be good again, problem is I don't think their backend is very deep once you get past the big 2. 
    6. Detroit- I will never, ever write them off or say they are in a downward spiral.  Why?  B/C they have too much talent and my man crush on Datsyuk is off the chart.  Best pure player in hockey.  I know I will get bashed.  But until Crosby comes back there is no one in the league I would want more.  Especially playoff time.  They also will spend and take risks.  They know Lidstrom doesnt have many yrs left.  They will load up this year at some point. 
    7. Nashville- Best coach in hockey, not enough goals.

    Man I cant wait for hockey
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from bogie6. Show bogie6's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    I thought this was to be a "Western" assessment, and the first few are allready crowning the CAPS in the east. Whoa !!! do you CAPITAL fans think Vocoun is the saviour? The Caps need a lot more than a good goalie. No comment on the Western clubs as I just don't have enough to go on. Always thought big Joe would lead SJ, and he seems to have Couture and good defense, but it has not happened.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from OatesCam. Show OatesCam's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    The Blues are an excellent, excellent team.  They fell apart when TJ Oshie went down, but until that point they looked nearly as good as the Bruins in my eye.  They made an outstanding trade with Colorado.  If TJ is healthy, I would not be surprised to see them skyrocket to the top of the standings, I honestly think they are that good.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from islamorada. Show islamorada's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    Sandog, the Blues are the sleeper team, sort of like the Kings last year, youth mixed with solid vets.  Halak is solid in net, yet outside of Jackman, the defense is in the making.  I do like the mixture up front though especially with Stewart (stolen from Colorado).  The Kings are an enigma.  I think Richards with Kopitar will be a force.  I am still hesitant to claim Dougherty then next coming of Lidstrom. Defense is a question mark in my mind. Vancouver will fall from grace imo.  A real solid team that was exposed during the Cup.  A boat without a keel if you will, especially with Kessler a question mark at the beginning of the season.  Anaheim has rebuilt themselves from their Cup year, solid young team.  Certainly the best line in hockey, solid defense, and ahhh goaltending another mystery.  The Sharks are always a front running team with Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski and the new flash Couture.  I am not convinced the defensive pairings will be solid enough to make up what I believe is deficiency in net. San Jose is the team to beat though.  All speculation nonetheless.  
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from asmaha. Show asmaha's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    I think it's the year for the usual suspects to slip a little in the playoffs.

    Can't say any of this is based on pure speculation, though. LA and St. Louis rosters look good as people mentioned, but a lot of the teams out West look good.

    (1) San Jose
    (2) LA
    (3) Vancouver
    (4) Detroit
    (5) Nashville
    (6) St. Louis
    (7) Calgary
    (8) Anaheim

    San Jose, LA, Vancouver, and Nashville make the final 4. San Jose beats LA to make the finals.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49thparallel. Show 49thparallel's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions:
    [QUOTE]I think it's the year for the usual suspects to slip a little in the playoffs. Can't say any of this is based on pure speculation, though. LA and St. Louis rosters look good as people mentioned, but a lot of the teams out West look good. (1) San Jose (2) LA (3) Vancouver (4) Detroit (5) Nashville (6) St. Louis (7) Calgary (8) Anaheim San Jose, LA, Vancouver, and Nashville make the final 4. San Jose beats LA to make the finals.
    Posted by asmaha[/QUOTE]
    and not vs. the Caps
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxFanInIL. Show SoxFanInIL's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    Shupe, Im will you, Id take Datsyuk first all day.  I do not know of a player who can take over a game at both ends of the ice night after night like Pavel. He is extraordinary to watch.

    I like SJs defense addition, but Ill never give a Jumbo Joe team any chance of winning until after they have carried that big silver thing around the ice.  Joe is the title-killer.

    I see a lot of the Blues here, go to a few games a year.  They are pretty good, and I expect them to make the playoffs, but Im not buying into anything more just yet.  They miss Brewer and the coaching is not good in my opinion.  Ownership problems, too.

    I dont think Chicago's "muscle" additions make them any better.

    I think Vancouver comes out of the West again.  Probably against Pittsburgh or Washington.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    St. Louis is a wreck.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49-North. Show 49-North's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    It's one thing to build a team, by bringing in players who you think can make your team better.

    It's quite another to see how those players mesh to form a team, and whether or not they can develop the chemistry to succeed in the face of adversity, and win tough games when they really count.

    I like LA, they look like they've built themselves a solid team, but can they win?  I've never seen that team respond when the chips are down, and until they can make it at least to a Conference Final, I won't be convinced that they have the right stuff.

    Same with the Sharks -- every year, they look good on paper, and every year, they disappoint in the playoffs.

    The Wings?  Great players, but do they have enough defensive depth?  The Canucks/Sharks series last season exposed Ian White as a slow and prone to mistakes when pressurized, so how is going to help Detroit's blueline?

    The Canucks will start slow, without Kesler & Raymond, but as the roster gets to full strength, they'll be among the top 3 seeds again.  Not expecting a President's Trophy again, but I think all Canuck fans realize that's not the real prize anyways.

    I'm expecting a dogfight for the home playoff spots in the West.  And there might be one or two surprises in the 5-8 slots.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from TryToBearIt. Show TryToBearIt's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    Hard to pick a sleeper from the West b/c the drop-off from real good (SJ/LA/Det/Chicago/Van) to pretty lousy (Col./CBJ/Calg.) is so steep.

    If you had to name a sleeper i'd say the Blues, but I think depending on two guys who can spin tales from the olden times before NJ was better known for producing idiot reality show bimbos than Stanley Cups is a stretch that won't reach.

    I have a buddy who's a life-long Flyers fan who sez he'll waste no tears on Richards' departure, altho' I'd move mountains to get Kopitar and the Kings in theory have a very balanced team w/good scoring, top notch goaltending and more firepower up front. I see an LA/SJ conf. Final w.the Sharks finally living up top the hype and Jumbo Joe getting all the naysayers off his back, scoring or setting up the game 7 winner.

    Return of Joe v. the team that traded him in the 2012 Finals?

    Doubtful. I love our Boys, but it is so ridiculously hard to repeat in today's game. I'll go w/Bruins v. Sharks in Final, w/ Bruins in 6, just out of sheer newfound B-lief, but my old more cynical self says Sharks v. Sabres*, Sharks in 6.

    * And there is my real dark horse team. Buff. will be better; pikced up some nice pieces, still have some strong talent up front, Myers will have a hot season and they still have a Top 3 goalie in Miller.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from islamorada. Show islamorada's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    Detriot is a wreck!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from dezaruchi. Show dezaruchi's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions:
    [QUOTE]Hard to pick a sleeper from the West b/c the drop-off from real good (SJ/LA/Det/Chicago/Van) to pretty lousy (Col./CBJ/Calg.) is so steep. If you had to name a sleeper i'd say the Blues, but I think depending on two guys who can spin tales from the olden times before NJ was better known for producing idiot reality show bimbos than Stanley Cups is a stretch that won't reach. I have a buddy who's a life-long Flyers fan who sez he'll waste no tears on Richards' departure, altho' I'd move mountains to get Kopitar and the Kings in theory have a very balanced team w/good scoring, top notch goaltending and more firepower up front. I see an LA/SJ conf. Final w.the Sharks finally living up top the hype and Jumbo Joe getting all the naysayers off his back, scoring or setting up the game 7 winner. Return of Joe v. the team that traded him in the 2012 Finals? Doubtful. I love our Boys, but it is so ridiculously hard to repeat in today's game. I'll go w/Bruins v. Sharks in Final, w/ Bruins in 6, just out of sheer newfound B-lief, but my old more cynical self says Sharks v. Sabres*, Sharks in 6. * And there is my real dark horse team. Buff. will be better; pikced up some nice pieces, still have some strong talent up front, Myers will have a hot season and they still have a Top 3 goalie in Miller.
    Posted by TryToBearIt[/QUOTE]
    TTBI, I too have many pals who are Flyers fans who all say the same thing about Richards. "Don't let the door hit you on the way out Mike". I don't know a Flyers fan that felt he was a good captain. I personally think trading him makes Philly stronger in the long run. I guess we'll see.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Chowdahkid-. Show Chowdahkid-'s posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions : I think all Cali teams are good.  1. I think SJ has their best team yet.  Defense was always a big issue and they now have a quality back end which is comparible to any team in the West.  2. I think the Ducks are primed for another run.  Best line in hockey and now they have some depth.  Hillier and depth on the back end will be the difference of making the playoffs or making a solid run. 3. Kings are much improved up front.   Richards and Brown will be the hardest pair in the league to play against.  The "HEADS UP" line will scare a lot of the top players in the league. 4. Van is solid, but added nothing and lost on the backend.  If Nolan is their saving grace they are in deep trouble.  The Bruins purchased the Blackhawks blueprint and did exactly what the Hawks did to them for a few yrs running. 5. Hawks will be good again, problem is I don't think their backend is very deep once you get past the big 2.  6. Detroit- I will never, ever write them off or say they are in a downward spiral.  Why?  B/C they have too much talent and my man crush on Datsyuk is off the chart.  Best pure player in hockey.  I know I will get bashed.  But until Crosby comes back there is no one in the league I would want more.  Especially playoff time.  They also will spend and take risks.  They know Lidstrom doesnt have many yrs left.  They will load up this year at some point.  7. Nashville- Best coach in hockey, not enough goals. Man I cant wait for hockey
    Posted by shuperman[/QUOTE]

    I like everything you posted here except for ^^^^^^. Like Ricky used to say " Lucy, you have some 'splaining' to do ".
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions:[QUOTE]Detriot is a wreck! Posted by islamorada[/QUOTE]

    Suter, Gill, Souray, Kubina, Wideman, Liles and Oduya is who Holland has to choose from in the summer of 2012 unless he gives up one of his prized forwards for Ryan, Nashville will not make it easy. Red Wings may not be a full train wreck now but they will once Lindstrom is gone.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    I agree with Sandog that St Louis could be a sleeper team in the west, as they are loaded at forward and the addition of Arnott and Langenbruner might help shape some of the younger guys into more consistent players (Perron, Oshie, Bergland).

    But on the other hand, they don't seem to have a proven number one goalie in place and they have gotten weaker on defense.  Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk seem to be budding stars as offensive d-men, but the Blues gave up Eric Johnson and Eric Brewer and don't seem to have a very good core of defenders.  Shoddy defense and unproven goaltending would be too many problems to succeed in the east, but in the west they might be able to win a fair amount of games with three forward lines that can score consistently.

    They will be fun to watch, whether they succeed or implode.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions:
    [QUOTE]Sandog, the Blues are the sleeper team, sort of like the Kings last year, youth mixed with solid vets.  Halak is solid in net, yet outside of Jackman, the defense is in the making.  I do like the mixture up front though especially with Stewart (stolen from Colorado).  Posted by islamorada[/QUOTE]

    I have heard so many negative things about Stewart, that I am no longer impressed by his goal totals.  You seem to get a wildly different effort from him every night, and for such a big, tough, power-forward type, he seems too lazy to hit, forecheck, or fight on most occasions.  I recall watching teams taking runs at Duchene and David Joes last year while Stewart coasted back to the bench without concern.


    After the trade last year Adam Foote said that the Avs couldn't get Stewart out of the locker room soon enough.  Shattenkirk is a talented, but one-dimensional defensemen.  That one dimension is not playing good defense.  Colorado has made some shockingly poor moves in the past year (Varlamov trade), but getting Eric Johnson along with Duncan Siemens (pick) from the Blues was not one of the mistakes.  They came out better off on that deal.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from dezaruchi. Show dezaruchi's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions : I have heard so many negative things about Stewart, that I am no longer impressed by his goal totals.  You seem to get a wildly different effort from him every night, and for such a big, tough, power-forward type, he seems too lazy to hit, forecheck, or fight on most occasions.  I recall watching teams taking runs at Duchene and David Joes last year while Stewart coasted back to the bench without concern. After the trade last year Adam Foote said that the Avs couldn't get Stewart out of the locker room soon enough.  Shattenkirk is a talented, but one-dimensional defensemen.  That one dimension is not playing good defense.  Colorado has made some shockingly poor moves in the past year (Varlamov trade), but getting Eric Johnson along with Duncan Siemens (pick) from the Blues was not one of the mistakes.  They came out better off on that deal.
    Posted by Fletcher1[/QUOTE]
    I agree Fletch. I also love Johnson's attitude when he stated that he wants to make the Blues sorry they ever dealt him. I bet he'll do it too.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from OatesCam. Show OatesCam's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    One thing I find funny about season predictions is they almost always look like the previous year's standings, minus some allowance for a big singing or trade.  That never happens.  Some team will unexpectedly fall, and some team will surprise with success.  The Blues are a good sleeper pick because people, in general, aren't expecting them to do well.  I think they will do great if Oshie and Perron are healthy and they come together well as a team.  I think they have excellent coaching and goaltending.  As I said before, they were at the top of the standings at the point of the Oshie injury, mostly through excellent defensive play.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions : I agree Fletch. I also love Johnson's attitude when he stated that he wants to make the Blues sorry they ever dealt him. I bet he'll do it too.
    Posted by dezaruchi[/QUOTE]

    Yes, a good point.  The man seems motivated.  I just read an article about how he changed his whole offseason training routine this year to get in better shape, and how he hopes to be a team leader in Colorado.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxFanInIL. Show SoxFanInIL's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Western teams confront some tough questions : TTBI, I too have many pals who are Flyers fans who all say the same thing about Richards. "Don't let the door hit you on the way out Mike". I don't know a Flyers fan that felt he was a good captain. I personally think trading him makes Philly stronger in the long run. I guess we'll see.
    Posted by dezaruchi[/QUOTE]

    Its interesting tha Richards and Company were good enough to come back from a 0-3 defecit and end up in the Stanley Cup Final, and a year later most of their failure comes from horrific goaltending and the Flyer fans are piling on Richards.

    Still, I think the Flyers overpaid so much for Bryzgalov they will curse that deal.  He was giving up goals in his last 2 playoff series from everywhere in the building.  I'm not buying the "it was Detroit" BS, those goals were embarassing to watch.  And THIS guy is supposed to lead them in the playoffs?  Color me betting on Flyer Failure.

    I'd like to see the Kings in the Finals, but only if they wear their original jerseys, home and away, instead of those LA gang-member graffitti jobs.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: Western teams confront some tough questions

    I think the Flyers will struggle in the beginning a bit with the new personnel but eventually will start to score with a puck possession game. Allot of Bryzgalov's success will depend on Pronger's TOI.
     

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