Western teams confront some tough questions
posted at 8/28/2011 11:17 AM EDT
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 ?