FanDuel - WFBC

December 11, 2006

NHL 2006-07 Power Ranking Madness: Skydivedad's December Rankings.

posted by justgary to hockey at 07:52 PM - 46 comments

ST. Louis Blues fired Coach Mike Kitchen Monday evening a few hours after this was published. They've replaced him with former King's Coach Andy Murray. "We realize we're a team that's got a long way to go," Blues' president John Davidson said. "We just felt we needed to take a step like this to move forward." Loser's of 7 in a row and in the cellar of the NHL Standings this isn't a surprise. Blues president John Davidson told the Associated Press that Murray received a long-term contract after negotiations in New York on Sunday. So the 2 newest NHL Coaches face off tonight in ST. Louis.

posted by skydivedad at 06:55 AM on December 12

After last night's debacle in Denver, I have to say that your ranking of the Hurricanes may be about 10 places too high. It ain't because of their goaltending either. There seems to be no passion on the ice anymore. Last year, when they were down two goals in a game, we all said, "now we've got those bastards right where we want 'em!," and sure enough, the Canes would come back and win the game. More importantly, if they had a lead going into the final period, they didn't lose. This year, none of that is happening. It's as if they may be staring at their newfound rings while on the ice instead of playing the game.

posted by NoMich at 08:07 AM on December 12

Go Ducks

posted by your-money9388 at 08:07 AM on December 12

Don't tell me about "holding a lead" or "mounting a comeback." Those two concepts are almost Martian to the Leafs, as are "sixty minutes" and "team defense."

posted by garfield at 08:15 AM on December 12

Broduer and Parise carried the Devils while the rest of the team was struggling. Parise is the energizer bunny of the Devils. It's nice to see Elias getting his name on the score sheet on a regular basis as of late. John Oduya is looking good, he's even starting to jump up on the offense, look for him to start getting his name on the scoresheet more often. Saturday's game against the Bruins was great with Chara and Gionta picking up right where they left off, lots of animosity, look for more of the same on Thursday. The big test will be tonight against Buffalo.

posted by MrFrisby at 08:53 AM on December 12

Leafs suck. End of story. They are playing exactly as their roster would indicate they should. We should just all get used to the idea. Canes at least have some talent to speak of. And the Isles are for sure, thus far, the story of the year.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:56 AM on December 12

Thanks, but I don't think that will suffice as "the story" on the Leafs. And I'm not getting used to anything. The defense should come around once we actually have a true top-4 group to play the majority of the game. Or have you overlooked that we have been relying on Gill and White as 3 & 4?

posted by garfield at 09:19 AM on December 12

Isles are not doing bad at all. Who was it that said they could be a darkhorse team this year? When Yashin got injured they pretty much told Kozlov that he was going to be 'the man'. He is thriving in that role, the question is what will happen to him when Yashin returns.

posted by MrFrisby at 09:21 AM on December 12

16. New York Rangers....... (18) Shanny and Jagr an offensive juggernaut enough said, 6-1-3 in the last 10. Martin Straka is the juggernaut!

posted by BullpenPro at 10:21 AM on December 12

Hasn't Kubina been used more often as the 3? The Gill, White pairing has been terrible recently. Well, no one is injured back there that is playing less than 12 minutes. So we insert Smelliaccovo instead of White or Bell - I'm not thinking that's turning the season around. The depth at forward is laughable and this is despite Jeff O'Neill and Stajan actually producing at a half-decent clip and Tucker having a career year. Look at the D and the production coming from Kaberle and McCabe - that's great production. Leafs D produce better than 90% of the league. I mean, at some point, Leaf fans need to accept that this is as good as its going to get with this group. They are performing as their careers have suggested they would. This is what this team should be doing. Bad team D, suspect goaltending and a lack of talent up front. There's nothing in the minors save Justin Pogge and the only guys that anyone would want in a trade are the guys we can't afford to give up... (Steen, Wellwood, Kaberle, Stajan) Except Sundin - who, given his current production might be too expensive to even get an impact guy. I'm not sure what you expected Garf, but I didn't pick this team to make the playoffs. They might, but really - not a good or talented team. It could take years to fix them. They have to hope the cap goes up significantly so they can buy some more players - but they don't seem to be producing front-line guys right now. If I'm JFJ, I have to start thinking about "How can I get John Tavares or Angelo Esposito in a year or two?" Start targeting some young guys and positioning yourself accordingly. And I think they absolutely have to deal Sundin. I'm his biggest fan, but it's time.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:36 AM on December 12

The Av's lost some key players this year. Even though they are low in the standings they are in reality only 4 points out. Sakic can't carry the team all year though. They just don't seem to gel. They almost seem like they are playing individually instead of as a team. This will end, but I don't think soon enough. Add to the fact the goalie problems, I really have nothing good to say to defend my favorite team. Come playoffs I'm pretty sure they will be driving the zamboni.

posted by Psycho at 10:51 AM on December 12

So does anyone like the teams they'd normally be rooting* for? I mean, I don't either, but aside from Ducks fans (and okay, Sabres fans), no one I've seen seems terribly thrilled with where they're at right now.

posted by chicobangs at 10:59 AM on December 12

Kubina will improve...alot. Paired with either Bell or Carlo, this will vastly improve the back end, puck movement wise, as well improving defensive coverage. True, the Leafs' D are putting up points, but they can improve on not allowing goals, and this is where I think Kubina's increased ice time and improved performance will make a difference. I agree the forwards corps is thin. But it was doing the job not too long ago. And if they can get a lead, then they should be able to keep it. Besides, team D is taught. It is not reliant on 'skill' or 'talent'. I picked them to make it, but it was always a risky call. JFJ can't and won't aim low to rebuild. He explicitedly stated rebuilding, ala Pittsburgh, is not a possibility in Toronto. And I don't think a new GM of the Leafs would give a different answer. Of course, I agree, that is the only truly constructive course of action, but half-assed in either direction is what we're going to get.

posted by garfield at 11:02 AM on December 12

Just some quick updates to add. Jordan Leopold was seen on crutches as he headed in to the x-ray room at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche said that Leopold did injure his groin. This is bad news as he may have re-injured his sports hernia which kept him out of action for the first two months of the season. This is a quit blow to the Aves. Tomas Vokoun has suffered a slight delay in his return to the ice. According to the Tennessean:"Vokoun was to begin skating in order to work on his conditioning as he recovers from a broken thumb that required surgery to repair. However, he will not hit the ice until later in the week, which will further delay his rehabilitation. While Vokoun was optimistic of a quick return, it is more likely to be consistent with the original six-week timeline. He will likely be back in the lineup around the dawn of the new year." Mats Sundin has only two goals in seven games since returning from his elbow injury. Toronto Star:"It is no coincidence that the Leafs have gone 0-7-1 with their captain slumping. Sundin needs to step up his game, " Ya Think! Ales Hemsky is hopeful for a return to the Oilers lineup before Christmas day. Edmunton Sun:"Hemsky has been sidelined with a shoulder/collarbone injury since the end of November. However, he skated in full equipment on Tuesday for the first time since the injury. " Potentially Great News for the Oilers. They need this guy, one of the most underated players in the game in my book. Eric Lindros and Brenden Morrow are expected to return to the Stars' lineup on Tuesday against the Blue Jackets. I repeat Who won the Lindros Pool? Does this minor absence count? (Bruised Foot) I appreciate all the great comments in this thread, it makes the work I put into the Power Ranking Madness more than worthwhile. Thanks a Ton Gang and keep the comments coming........

posted by skydivedad at 11:26 AM on December 12

This just in: Jason Arnott may return to the lineup on Tuesday. " Arnott practiced with the team for the first time on Monday and will be re-evaluated after today's morning skate. Coach Barry Trotz said that the decision to play will be left up to Arnott himself. The big center has said that Thursday's tilt against the Senators will be a more likely return date." Source: The Nashville Tennessean 12:16PM EST

posted by skydivedad at 11:43 AM on December 12

JFJ can't and won't aim low to rebuild. He explicitedly stated rebuilding, ala Pittsburgh, is not a possibility in Toronto. And I don't think a new GM of the Leafs would give a different answer. Unfortunately, you're absolutely right. The thing is - and this is where these guys are wrong - I can handle a bunch of kids with serious potential fucking up for a season or two. I don't know how much more of this half-assed mediocrity I can handle. I'd like to see a Leaf squad that can boast of having some really good talent. Management has stated that the fan base won't put up with missing the playoffs in order to secure draft picks; but we will put up with missing the playoffs in order to give Darcy Tucker a four year $20m deal with a no trade clause? They're not making sense. They don't have a plan. They have excuses. My advice - stop worrying about the market and how it will react and start worrying about putting the franchise in a competitive position for a long time to come. If I had to pick which team was going to win a Cup first out of The Leafs and Pittburgh - I'm going with Pittsburgh. There's a team that bit the bullet, lost a shitload of money and missed the playoffs for three/four years and now they're positioned to compete for years.... Just not in Pittsburgh.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:44 PM on December 12

I'd like to see the Rangers trade Kevin Weekes for defensive help and promote Al Montoya or one of their other young goalies, who'd play about as much behind Lundqvist, who would be getting all of the (fingers crossed) playoff starts anyway.

posted by ajaffe at 12:54 PM on December 12

Who won the Lindros Pool? Does this minor absence count? (Bruised Foot) From what I understood, the pool was about how many total games he will play this season, so since there is a good chance he will return (unless he gets taken out by a teammate in practice, or those pesky waffles) the pool is not over yet.

posted by MrFrisby at 01:18 PM on December 12

I would think that if any market could handle some rebuilding it would be Toronto, who will turn up in droves regardless of what sad sacks of skating shite are put before them. And these days, rebuilding can be more of a two or three year process than a five or seven year one. Firesale off the veterans for picks, free up some cap room, sign some speedy UFAs in the off-season, then trial-by-fire the rookies. Which is what Vancouver needs to do. Look for Canucks to lose Naslund and Morrison at the deadline when the cost to their new teams is only a million or so. With Bieksa and Krajicek, and seemingly Edler, the Canucks have three new-NHL d-men from nowheresville, and that doesn't include Bourdon in the wings. With Mitchell to clean up the garbage and Luongo, and the twins giving great value, then the Canucks could be a year away form being an excellent team again if they can free up some salary room. Less is more with the cap. Speaking of, Naslund would look good with Sundin. If only the Leaves had some prospects.

posted by rumple at 01:32 PM on December 12

Watch out for the PENS baby. NO RESPECT

posted by Debo270 at 01:34 PM on December 12

So does anyone like the teams they'd normally be rooting* for? Well, the Habs are looking good. The only pressing issue is the second line, which really needs a center, as skydivedad said. I'm not sure we have many bargaining chips to give away, though. Aebischer for Fedorov? Could Gainey pull something like this? I'd like to see Fedorov between Kovalev and Samsonov.

posted by qbert72 at 03:17 PM on December 12

Here's the Lindros over/under thread. I believe skydivedad, chicobangs and goddam have already busted, thanks Big E's 26 games played so far.

posted by qbert72 at 03:25 PM on December 12

Good stuff SDD. Who was it that said they [The Islanders] could be a darkhorse team this year? Showoff. no one I've seen seems terribly thrilled with where they're at right now. Thrilled the Blues are around.

posted by SummersEve at 03:39 PM on December 12

Dear Lou Lamoriello, I hear you need to clear some cap space before Matvichuk can return to the lineup. I propose you trade Colin White (aka Bat Boy) for a bag of pucks. He clearly does not know how to defend a 2 on 1. He single handedly lost the Buffalo game by himself, failing to stop the pass across not once, but twice even. Thanks, MrF

posted by MrFrisby at 07:57 AM on December 13

As usual, sdd, great stuff. I love this stuff! I just want to throw my two cents in on a couple of things: 30. St. Louis Blues Legace is not helping his case. He wanted to be the number one goalie, and he's got it, so he needs to act like it. He definately needs a strong D in front of him, and the Blues don't have that right now.

29. Philadelphia Flyers I wonder what the chemistry, if there is any, is like in the locker room? I say they should all pitch in and buy Forsberg a bionic foot. That seems to be the only way he'll get back on the ice.

21. Pittsburg Penguins ...lack of depth and D has this squad treading water. I love this team! If they can pick up a couple of decent D men somewhere (Philly? No way!) this team could be a nice Cinderella Story.

20. Toronto Maple Leafs No disrespect intended, but Mats Sundin looks absolutely terrible. Please, just let him sit so he can get healthy! He does not look comfortable on the ice right now, and it's affecting the team. If this doesn't happen, and soon, look for the Leafs to be sellers.

16. New York Rangers Shanny and Jagr an offensive juggernaut... Curse you, Brendan Shanahan! Actually I don't need to say that. Watch him shut down when it matters the most, the Playoffs.

14. Minnesota Wild Gaborik is a bust. Spoiled meat. He can't stay healthy and this team depends too much on him. It's time to break that mindset and move on.

7. Detroit Red Wings The best thing that Babcock could have done was put the Eurotwins (Datsyuk and Zetterberg) back together on the same line. These two creative geniuses feed off of each other, and it is starting to show. Oh, and sdd, it's Lidstrom, not Linstrom. He called me up and asked me to talk to you about that. Honest!

3. San Jose Sharks Something's got to give here with the netminder situation. Maybe a trade with Florida (Nabokov for Auld and a draft pick or two?) could do the trick.

posted by wingnut4life at 07:59 AM on December 13

I agree that Sundin isn't himself. He isn't winning face-offs or shooting with authority at the moment. But with Antropov out with a boo-boo, I can't condone shelving him until he is better. Nabby isn't going anywhere, unless it is to a team of his choice. He is getting equal time, and wants to win a Cup. Why is it that no one seems to want to acknowledge the fact he has a no-trade claluse? This reminds me of the Sabres goalie "controversy" of last year, which Ruff considered to be a team strength. I'd guess Wilson has the same opinion. As does Carlyle.

posted by garfield at 10:28 AM on December 13

Oh, and sdd, it's Lidstrom, not Linstrom. He called me up and asked me to talk to you about that. Honest! Oh man! I knew you'd catch that. See, when you submit a column thingy you can't go back to correct typo's and such, it just sort of disappears, not that that's an excuse, you can preview before submission but no editing after submission. (Pony Please) I went over this column several times (like always) and used my Google Toolbar spell checker (it doesn't do names) it would only do the 1st 100 it found so basically 1/4 of the column it wouldn't. It counts every name, team name and other terms it doesn't recognize towards the 100. I found some more typo's after it was published of course and by Bride pointed a few more. All I can do is ask you guys to give an old man a little slack. I'm trying, I really am. I told my wife you'd catch that because she did and sure enough.... you Red Wing Fans, well your just right on the ball with this stuff.... All this is said half in jest and half out of embarassment.....I'll figure it out later. Now for something really important! Peter Bondra scored a PP Goal his 1st night with the Blackhawks! This squad is surely going to move up in the Power Rankings!

posted by skydivedad at 12:46 PM on December 13

Yeah, I told Lidstrom about the deal with submitting the column thing, and he understood. As for Chicago, that was St. Louis they played against. I'm looking forward to tomorrow when we crush your pathetic 'Hawks into the ice! Moo hoo haw haw!

posted by wingnut4life at 02:10 PM on December 13

Oh yeah - me too!

posted by skydivemom at 03:37 PM on December 13

Hopefully they don't leave a smear on the ice.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:30 PM on December 13

Nabby isn't going anywhere, unless it is to a team of his choice. He is getting equal time, and wants to win a Cup. Why is it that no one seems to want to acknowledge the fact he has a no-trade claluse? This reminds me of the Sabres goalie "controversy" of last year, which Ruff considered to be a team strength. I'd guess Wilson has the same opinion. Just to keep the conversation going, I still think that the Sharks are in position to make a Cup run and they know it. As the trade deadline approaches, it makes sense for them to deal from their position of strength: goaltending (remeber, they have Schaefer in the minors, who I think they're comfortable bringing in as the back-up to whomever). That and, the closer the deadline gets, the less Nabby (or Tossy) costs against the cap - so more teams can jump in. Plus, there are probably a few teams that would want to upgrade and show their fans that improvement is coming: Philly, St. Louis, Columbus, Tampa Bay... They need to make moves. And while Nabby says he's happy in San Jose - I firmly believe that every goalie worth their salt wants to be the number one. He was that, and now finds himself splitting duties. I bet he waives a no trade for the chance (mostly because there will be a choice of locations). If he doesn't because he likes the beach, or wants to stay on the West Coast or whatever, I would suggest he's not number 1 material. And the same goes for Toskala. And I bet Ron Wilson, while happy having both, would find that mentality troubling.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:43 PM on December 13

I'll be your huckleberry...Still not buying the two goalie system, eh? Or three in the case of the Sabres last year. So who did Buffalo move at the deadline? Mika "#3" Noronen. Not a proven asset for an insertable player. But that Regier doesn't know what he is doing. And injuries never decide play off series. Right Sabres fans?! Neither does Burke for that matter. And he has 1 and 1a in Jiggy and Breezy. Remeber this past summer when Ilya took stupid juice and said he was the starter? Like Burke is going to let $4m/yr man sit on the bench when he has "playing for a new contract" potential? I'd say it has Jiggy playing pretty well. but that is besides the point. Breezy is around, and very well rested, for the playoffs which he tore up last year with three consecutive shut outs. And who shit the bed and was replaced by J.S. And what about Wilson who signed Nabby to $5m/yr with a no-trade clause, even as Toskala was emerging? (Though no one really talks about Vesa crapping out in four straight.) Last year was Nabby's first off year, after four solid seasons averaging over sixty starts. Nabby is 31, and for goalies that is just when they ripen. I'd argue Toskala is the more likely to move, simply because his contract is easier to move. But neither will move. Because they are insurance policies. All of them. These teams are peaking in their respective cycles, and not one of them wants to rue a lost chance at Stanley because of some over zealous crease crasher tweaking a groin in game three of the conference semis. No doubt there are suitors for quality goal-tenders. But no one is going to give up the future for a goalie to play behind mediocre skaters. And of course every goalie wants to be 'the guy'. And every forward wants to be on the ice in all key situations. That's why there is competition for those chances. A coach may halt competition as soon as it fits his needs, like riding the hot goalie as soon as the games count. But to dismiss the value of that competitive situation would be a fault of a coach or GM in my eyes. You saw what starting Aubin did to Raycroft's game. I think this is just a study of the idea that complacency breeds mediocrity. Believe me, I should know that better than most. And insurance. Can't forget insurance.

posted by garfield at 07:06 PM on December 13

From what I have read, Nabby and Toskala seem happy with the situation. I don't think either of them are going anywhere until one or the other becomes a free agent and somebody waves a fat paycheck in their face. They are the strongest tandem of goalies I have ever seen. They are literally playing every other game so it's not like either one is sitting on the bench stewing about it. They are both the number one goalie. If anybody should be salty about it, it's Toskala who is doing the same amount of work for 1/3 the pay. And what exactly do the Sharks need that they are willing to give up their goalie injury insurance for?

posted by MrFrisby at 07:25 PM on December 13

Well, to be fair, it would not surprise me if neither of them goes because of circumstances of the market - not necessarily because that's what's ideal for the San Jose Sharks. Because dealing one to improve your team is the better move. Because, you're not alternating goalies in the playoffs. You're going to go with one until he craps out or gets hurt. And you have a pretty interesting insurance (there's that word) option in Schaefer. I think Buffalo didn't deal Biron because they didn't want to. I think it was more of a case where Miller was injured part way through the season, and he was a rookie - and we all know how the playoffs can be a different animal, so I think the situations vis a vis Buffalo's past and the Sharks are sufficiently different. (Not to mention the fact where Buffalo had a clear number one last year to boot. And Biron isn't even close to the cailbre of goalie either Tossy or Nabby is.) But, there just isn't a market for goalies right now. And now that we're one year past the lockout, I think you'll see more action. I mean, everyone was a little gunshy last year. Teams didn't really know what to expect over the course of a season - from the influx of new players, to the debate over how long the rules interpretations would last, to life under the cap for the first time - it was a little more touch and go. So - in summary: The Sharks should move one of them, and likely actually want to (despite what has been publically said). There is more of a chance of this happening closer to the deadline. There is more of a chance of more deals happening this year.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:28 PM on December 13

Way to expose my false analogy. Bastardo! And I'm going to leave the talent evaulations to chico when it comes to goalies, so I can't respond to the Biron vs. Nabby or Tossy. Though I do remember Biron winning 12 straight when Miller hurt his finger in practice. And Biron is like Nabby in that he held down the fort for a few years, then was supplanted by an upstart; Tossy wasn't a rookie, but his starting experience was very limited. Not that Marty had any playoff expierence himself, but I see what you are getting at. Schaefer is definitely the wild card in all of this. If he progresses to the point where management feels he can be this year's Cam Ward, presto chango, somebody gets moved for a veteran defenseman who can generate shots on the powerplay, because you know, that PP unit is a sad bunch. But, in comparison to the Ducks, D scoring is a big weakness. So, maybe the Sharks need to make a move to challenge the Ducks in the West. But will only do it if Nolan is ready. Ok, I'm with you on the 'should move one' and 'closer to the deadline' and I hope 'more deals' will be happening.

posted by garfield at 08:43 AM on December 14

Tossy? Breezy? Do we really have to do this? I couldn't agree less with garfield, here. In the new NHL, goalies have become a commodity. Last year alone, three journeymen turned into #1 goalies: Tim Thomas, Cristobal Huet and Vesa Toskala. You could argue that Kiprusoff started this trend. (Can you imagine the situation in SJ if they had kept him too?). This year the candidates are popping up: Johan Holmqvist, Fredrik Norrena. I think the smart approach to managing goalies is the spaghetti approach: throw a lot of them on the wall, and see what sticks. Ride them a year or two, until their contracts are up. Then trade them for the best D you're offered. San Jose needs a #1 defenseman, and they'd be foolish not to trade one of their goalies for him. And i know you guys all have a big crush on Ryan Miller, but I bet the Sabres would pretty much be where they are now if they had played Biron as the #1. They'll just outscore you, no matter what. By the way, where are the Sabres fans on SpoFi?

posted by qbert72 at 11:41 AM on December 14

I'm unclear on what you couldn't agree less with?

posted by garfield at 11:53 AM on December 14

That you need two solid goalies to challenge one another. I say: "Bring on the the chumps!"

posted by qbert72 at 12:59 PM on December 14

I just think that there are a shitload of good goalies these days. You're often good to go with most of them (unless their names rhyme with "Atrick Lalime or "Artin Gerber"). I think it'll be hard to pry a genuine number 1 defenceman out of any team for a goalie. But a really good goalie can make a huge difference. But you could potentially get a Tkachuk or Brewer out of St. Louis. That's not bad. And I also think it's easier for bad teams to start in net and work there way out. And where are the Sabres fans? They should be crowing. (Not sure why you don't think Miller is a difference maker, q - he's a fantastic goalie. Totally the real deal as far as I can tell.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:05 PM on December 14

Ah. q, I didn't mean to suggest such a need. Yes, competition is good to keep them sharp, and its benefits are evident throughout the league, but more than anything else, the top teams are retaining two starters, just in case. Even Atlanta picked up Moose who once started for the Pens. And your Habs traded starter for starter, even though Huet was emerging. Tons of good goalies. You're right about the goalie-out thing. But nobody is giving up a franchise quality skater for a really good tender. A mediocre/average (i.e. very good) tender for a servicable defender and a pick makes more sense as a corner stone.

posted by garfield at 03:01 PM on December 14

Here is Wilson with his thoughts on the Sharks. "We don't have to do anything (about trading either Vesa Toskala or Evgeni Nabokov) because you remember what Carolina did with Cam Ward last year. But it's a good chip to have in case you need something at the deadline, and we'll spend it if we have to." The best guess, ultimately, is that San Jose does need that defenseman, and that there will be one significant injury between now and the deadline, and that either Toskala or Nabokov will take command of the goaltending job. I swear I just found this article

posted by garfield at 05:38 PM on December 14

Not sure why you don't think Miller is a difference maker, q - he's a fantastic goalie. Maybe so. What I'm saying is that the goalie era is over. The Sabres wouldn't need a fantastic goalie. A "not crappy" goalie would do. Just as Gigučre, Toskala, Huet and the gang do for their respective teams. And the playoffs are a crapshoot anyways, where you can only hope your goalie doesn't lose it. (Even Roy and Brodeur had their playoffs moments.) the top teams are retaining two starters, just in case And I'm saying this is not smart. You don't need two experienced starters. You don't even need one. Just look at last year's Cup winners. They made a journeyman their #1 guy, then dumped him come playoffs time for a rookie. You need to trade away those proven goalies while some GMs still think they're worth anything. And I agree with Weedy that not a lot of them would trade their #1 D guy for Nabokov right now. The tide is already turning.

posted by qbert72 at 10:54 PM on December 14

You don't need two experienced starters. You don't even need one. Just look at last year's Cup winners. C'mon, q. That's a bunch of b.s. You don't even need one if you have a good D in front of him. If you don't have a good D, you need a good goalie to stand on his head every night. A perfect example would be what is happening to Legace down in St. Louis. I love the guy, but he is showing flaws without a good D in front of him.

posted by wingnut4life at 09:40 AM on December 15

You don't need two experienced starters. You don't even need one. Just look at last year's Cup winners. I wouldn't exactly call Cam Ward a smart bet. Sure, it worked out, but c'mon. Out of nowhere rookies do win Cups, but managing a team in the hopes that you have that lump of coal lodged in your ass that becomes a diamond after sixteen wins is not what I would call prudent. And look at last year's Cup loser. Roli goes down, and Jussi just can't win it for them. I'd say that is the more important lesson to be learned. I've made the case here before that goal tending is losing its prime importance, but this shift is a step down, not a complete re-working.

posted by garfield at 02:02 PM on December 16

Roli goes down, and Jussi just can't win it for them. I'd say that is the more important lesson to be learned. The way I saw it was more: "Roli goes down, and supposedly useless Jussi inexplicably manages to get the Oilers to game 7." Also note that Roloson is a career backup, who got the Oilers to the Cup. Whereas a Luongo still hasn't smelled the playoffs, and a Turco has yet to win anything in them. No superstar goalie "standing on his head" can make up for a poor team. Whereas any number of average goalies can get hot at the right time and bring a good team to the Cup. Lest we forget, there is a salary cap in effect. Goalies results have been wildly inconsistent in the last 5 years, and my feeling is that GMs will wise up to this, and realise that it's not worth investing that much in this kind of risky proposition. In any case, that's the way I'd play it.

posted by qbert72 at 03:40 PM on December 16

Jussi was pretty useless during the regular season behind a formidable Oilers squad, but I digress. He did actually play decent in relief. No superstar goalie "standing on his head" can make up for a poor team. Whereas any number of average goalies can get hot at the right time and bring a good team to the Cup. I couldn't agree more with this. And you're probably right and GMs may wisen up...I'm just evangelizing what the good GMs seem to be doing right now.

posted by garfield at 08:10 AM on December 18

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