Topic Author
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 2:12 am

With NHL training camps scheduled to open up in the next few weeks, what are you thoughts on the upcoming season? What does this season hold for you favorite team? Perhaps the biggest question in the league is the future of the Buffalo Sabres. With the NHL having taken control of the team from John Rigas (of Aldelphia infamy), they are going to run the team until a buyer can be found. Several buyers have been rumored, but will the team stay in Buffalo after this season? Paul Allen has been said to be the leading candidate to buy the team, and more than likely moving them to Portland, Oregon. Allen has tried unsuccessfully to buy a team over the last few years. The smart money is on this being the Sabres' swansong in Buffalo.
The Mario Comeback Tour will come to an end as well, because there's no way he can continue to play (even if he doesn't to back to back road games) and keep the team in Pittsburgh. He needs to focus on one thing, either be the owner or be a player, not both. As for my favorite team, the Atlanta Thrashers, this is a critical year. Curt Frasier has been on the hot seat since November of last season, and his future as coach hinges on the first month of the season. With some of the off-season acquisitions and draft-day deals, Atlanta has added strength in areas that strength was needed. Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley need to avoid the sophomore slump and maintain their performance levels they had during the last season. Goaltending is another place where the team has some stability. Milan Hlincka kept the team in some games until the defense allowed them to blow a lead. With Pasi Nurminin and Frederick Cassivi as backups, any injury in this position will not hurt the team. The defense has been strengthened, and with several defensive standouts from the minors being strong contenders to make the squad this season, the team looks like they could be ready to start making playoff runs. The one thing that has plaqued the team throughout its' short history is injuries. They have been among the most injured teams in the league. If they can keep the injuries to a minimum, they may actually be fighting for a playoff spot this season. Hopefully this season they won't trade their Captain away like they had in the previous seasons. Jeff Odgers is perhaps the best suited player they've had as Captain yet. I mean Chicken Parm, Ray Ferraro was a good on ice leader, but The Sheriff (Odgers) can lead as well as protect the stars of the club, he's a great brawler, and won't backdown from a fight. I predict the will finish the season a few points out of the final playoff spot, but will finish a tad above .500.
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 3:02 am

I'm glad to see the NHL season is coming soon. With the possible job actions at MLB coming, and the joke that is the N.O. Saints, I'm hanging my sports hat on (golf first) the NHL. My favorite team, the team I grew up with and attended many games at the old "Fabulous Forum" then the "Great Western Forum" is the Los Angeles Kings. I'll get back to them.

As for what I see this year, the Red Wings will not repeat. I had them winning last year from start to finish, just because of their depth. They could roll four lines consistently, and had one of the two top goaltenders in the NHL. I still think that whoever wins the West will win the Stanley Cup, no team in the East has improved themselves enough to make a solid run. My top eight in the West would be: 1) Colorado, 2) San Jose, 3) Dallas, 4) Detroit, , 5) St. Louis, 6) Edmonton, 7) Kings, 8) Anaheim. Out of the East, I'd probably start with 1) Philly, 2) Ottawa, 3) Toronto, 4) Islanders, 5) Boston, 6) New Jersey, 7) Carolina, 8) Montreal. I'll go with the Sharks and Flyers in the finals, and the Sharks win in 6.

As for the Kings, I believe their season rests in two places: first of all, a top-notch year from Felix Potvin, secondly, consistent scoring from the Allison/Palffy/Smolinski/Deadmarsh group. They also can't afford to give up leads in the third period, as they have sometimes done in recent years.

As for your Thrashers, they're definitely getting better. I don't see them making the playoffs, and hopefully (forget which it was who got injured late last year) Kovalchuk and Heatley can continue to improve. Their defense is likely suspect, as is the case with most new and fairly new teams.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
Posts: 425
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 3:45 am

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 3:41 am

The Isles will come back even better than last season, on December 6, we'll play the Leafs at home and it won't be pretty, Peca will rejoin the team sometime in January and have an amazing comeback, we'll once again make the playoffs, and hopefully make it past the 1st round.

Just my opinion, at least.


P.S. I'll ask any of the Pepsi Ice Girls ( to go to the junior prom with me, and one (or more) of them will say yes.  Smile I can dream, can't I?!
Stretch 8
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 4:00 am

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 4:43 am

Don't count the Wings out just yet, even with losing Bowman and Hasek. This will still be an experienced, well-run, and rich team accustomed to winning big (can you say "Yankees"?). Yzerman will come back in midseason after knee surgery, and inspire the team at a time they will probably need it. Face it: Detroit is and remains the gold standard of the league.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
Posts: 555
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:32 am

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 4:57 am

Tom in NO--I agree with Philadelphia vs San Jose, but it's going to be Philadelphia winning it in overtime, Game 7, by a score of 3-2...

Posts: 1456
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 3:24 am

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 5:03 am

We need Bill Guerin back!

Posts: 18919
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RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 6:51 am

For the record, the NHL is set to have problems as well, just like baseball after this season. Both sides want more money, but the problem is....there really is no extra money. Sports anaylsts are saying this could make the baseball work problems seem like a game of Candy Land.
Posts: 1358
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2002 11:39 am

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 7:39 am

The Hurricanes, as of now, have every single member of last year's team back except Marty Gelinas, who went to Calgary and can be replaced by someone in the farm system, and Sami Kapanen and David Tanabe, free agents that are expected to sign. Tanabe either signs or doesn't play anywhere (some loophole in contract???) and Kapanen has stated he likes the area and wants to come back.
This leads me to believe my beloved Hurricanes can be the sleeper again. If they play the same game they did last year, with the same players, and the same outstanding goaltending from Irbe, they can do what they did last year. Many will say last year was a fluke. Watch out!
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RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 9:14 am

Can't wait for the season to start.....


Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 10:35 am

I'm a little bummed that the Blackhawks lost Amonte but I think the remaining players will eventually step it up this year after a brief gelling time. I'm counting on Sullivan and Daze in particular. Will this be Thibault's year?
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
Posts: 2809
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 11:29 pm

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 10:42 am

The Canadiens will win this season. 25 Stanley Cups are just not enough.
fuddle duddle
Posts: 945
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2000 1:45 pm

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 12:47 pm

Well Guy's, (with special condolenses to Ren41) I'm sorry to have to tell you all this but due to what the local Dallas team has done here in the offseason you can pretty much rest assured that your upcoming season can be considered a write off. Along with newly added Jason Arnott and Pierre Turgeon the even newer Bill Guerin and Scott Young this team will be a force to be dealt with. Bill Guerin easily makes up for the loss of Brett Hull which was a major reason for the lack of offence last season. Even if the season was to start tomorrow it still can't start too soon.
Stretch 8
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 4:00 am

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 8:59 pm

San Jose? Dallas? Raleigh? Nashville? Good grief! Only championships by one of "The Original Six" count for anything anymore. Relocated and expansion teams have turned the NHL into a diluted circus.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:22 pm

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Tue Aug 13, 2002 10:26 pm

Watch out for my New York Rangers!!!!!!!!

With the addition of Holik and Kasparitis they are going to make the playoffs and as we all know once you are in anything can happen. Boston is going to have a hard time playing as well as last year and so is New Jersey especially since they've lost Holik. Montreal is also a big question mark.

As for you Philly up in the playoffs with a proven goaltender then we'll talk. Roman Czeckmanek aint taking you to the promise land!

Drop the puck.....

Posts: 619
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2000 3:29 pm

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Wed Aug 14, 2002 3:28 am

Edmonton Oliers this year baby!

Hopefully Tommy Salo will out do himself this year.

Yes, get that puck on the ice!

Posts: 3484
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 11:43 am

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Wed Aug 14, 2002 3:43 am

The WINGS will win the cup again. They have the best team, coaching, and organization out there. I dont think SJ will make it past the second round.

 Big grin  Big grin
Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:22 pm

RE: NHL Thoughts..........

Wed Aug 14, 2002 4:24 am

Question is.....

Is Stevie Y comin back?????


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