Why Do We Fall?

Why the Jets may need to lose the battle to win the war

If patience is a virtue, we’d all be wise to become a lot more virtuous, right now. I don’t want to harp on the following point, but need to make one thing clear: the Jets are…not a good team. To put it very kindly, they are “below average” defensively. They’ve demonstrated a tremendous ability to combine awful give-a-ways with lapses in defensive coverage, serving up prime scoring chances on an all-too-regular basis. Offensively they’re not much better. The team has struggled to create good scoring chances, and has had trouble finishing the few opportunities that have come their way. And while the goaltending hasn’t been the cause of their malaise, it hasn’t done them many favours either. (Though Pavelec was fantastic in Thursday’s third period against Chicago.) So where will this team finish? Continue reading

These Things Take Time: Jets Long-Term Outlook

John Wooden - arguably the most successful coach of all-time

Claude Noel’s pre-game interview on Sunday was music to my ears. He avoided most of the hockey euphemisms about his team needing to “play 60 minutes”, “get in on the fore-check”, “get pucks to the net”, and all the other nonsense that coaches routinely toss out to the media, which spares them the effort of forming unique thoughts. Instead, he said very simply, that his team’s success did not depend on wins and losses, but rather on the quality of their play. It was a subtle comment, but it really stuck with me because it was reminiscent of John Wooden – the legendary college basketball coach known for his immaculate record and infinite wisdom. Continue reading

The NHL-30 (October)

My version of Scott Cullen’s TSN “Power Rankings”. I was inspired to do this after disagreeing intensely with some of his picks (Washington 6th, Buffalo 7th, Minnesota 27th). Like Cullen’s item, it isn’t meant to indicate the top team in the standings, but rather the team(s) I feel are most equipped to make a serious playoff run. (Although the two will naturally tend to overlap). Here’s the first installment of what will become a monthly item. Continue reading

Can We Play in YOUR Division?

The Florida Panthers last post-season appearance was shortly after Y2K. Yeah.

?

There was a time when the South-East division was the weakest in the league. Florida and Atlanta were laughing stocks, Tampa Bay had some rough stretches, while Carolina and Washington were the best of a bad lot. Then Washington took a big step forward, and started cleaning up in the standings, finishing 4th in the league in ’08-’09, first overall in ’09-’10 and 2nd overall last season. But despite a series of impressive regular season performances, post-season success proved elusive.

The Vancouver Canucks were thoroughly dominant during the 2010-2011 regular season. They scored the most goals in the league (262) and also allowed the fewest (185) for a staggering +77 goal differential, capturing the President’s Trophy as the league’s top regular-season team. Unlike Washington, they made a strong playoff run, coming one game away from winning the Stanley Cup. But they also came inches away from losing to 8th place Chicago in the first round (Patrick Sharp nearly converted on the powerplay, mere minutes into OT of game 7), and struggled at times against a far less talented Nashville team. The finals loss to Boston can be blamed in large part on injuries, but what happened in the first two rounds? Continue reading

What Line Does So-and-So Play On?

***UPDATED OCTOBER 14***

Complete NHL line-ups updated on a weekly basis

 

Confirmed Line-Up’s

Winnipeg

(LW-C-RW)

Ladd-Little-Wheeler

MacLean-Burmistrov-Antropov

Kane-Scheifele-Wellwood

Glass-Slater-Thorburn

IR: Fehr Continue reading

Fantasy Hockey Rankings: Defencemen

Buffalo's franchise defenceman Tyler Myers

Before reading this, you should take at least a passing glance at my main fantasy hockey article since many  of the factors which apply to a forward’s fantasy ranking also apply to defencemen. Continue reading

Fantasy Hockey Preview: Goaltenders

Main article on Fantasy Hockey can be viewed here

Here’s a link to another relevant article on NHL goalies

New York Rangers goalie Henrik "GQ" Lundqvist

A quick run through of the primary factors that determine a goalie’s value Continue reading

Jets Roster Update: Opening Night Line-up

Forwards

There are 11 forwards who had NHL jobs locked up from the beginning: Ladd, Little, Wheeler, Kane, Burmistrov, Antropov, Slater, Thorburn, Glass, Wellwood, and Fehr. With Fehr on IR, the Jets were looking for 3 players to fill out their forward group.

The only other forwards who remain in camp are Cormier, Bodie, Maxwell, Pesonen, Gregoire, McArdle and Gagnon (both hurt), and of course, Mark Scheifele. Tim Stapleton played last night, but was placed on waivers today, meaning he’ll be playing with the Ice Caps in St. John’s. That tells me one thing: Mark Scheifele just made the team. Continue reading

Thoughts on Jets Camp

Future Jet (D) Paul Postma

Next Wednesday (Oct. 5) is the deadline for all teams to submit their *23-man rosters to the NHL, and at present, there are 36 players remaining in camp. The list includes 3 goalies, 10 defencemen, and 20 active forwards (three are currently injured). That means there will probably be about two more rounds of cuts, with a few big decisions probably coming down to the last day. Here’s a quick synopsis of where we are. Continue reading

2012 Fantasy Hockey Preview (Forwards)

Best Fantasy Defencemen

Best Fantasy Goalies

Projected League-Wide Forward Lines

Fantasy sports are a wonderful thing. Not only do they create an electronic world which affords us a small sense of control over our favourite athletes, but they also allow us to mock, harass, and ridicule our friends and colleagues when our fantasy roster overwhelms the competition. Fantasy hockey is the main reason I’m a big hockey fan now. I got into it 8 years ago knowing little-to-nothing, but gradually began researching players and teams more and more extensively. I’ve noticed a few things over that time, and I’m going to share those observations here. I hope they are of use to you. If anything needs clarification, or if you simply disagree with a particular statement, please leave a comment. Chances are we’ll all come to a greater understanding through constructive disagreement, though senseless name calling may ultimately prevail. Continue reading