Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday NHL Thoughts - 10/26/06 Edition

Hey all...

I went online to check out the results of our hockey pool this morning, only to find out, not surprisingly, that I am still dead last in the standings. What is surprising to me is that my players are not doing that bad. Most teams have played about 1/10 of their season so far, and I am sitting at 145 points. If my players continue scoring at the same pace, I will finish the year with 1450 points, which would've easily won last year's pool. Meanwhile, if you look at Mat's team, his players have scored 186 points in 173 games, a rate of 1.07 points/game. Considering we all have 5 defensemen on the roster, that is pretty amazing.

Now, I know that as the season goes on, injuries will happen, and some players' performance will fall off a little. Mat will not win the pool with 1860 points, that much is sure. But I think that what we are seeing this year is simply a much better draft than we had last year. I believe all of our picks are quite better than last year's. Except, of course, for The Dick, who, even if he wins the whole thing, can never get any credit whatsoever for his successes.

Now, let's get to my best and worst "value picks" at this juncture of the season. I really, really like the Nylander pick on The Dick's team. As The Dick's 12th foward, Nylander has 13 points in 9 games. But, again, The Dick cannot get any credit, so he can shove Nylander 'where the sun don't shine'. Instead, you have to look at Mat's pick of Chris Drury. Drury, as of this writing, has 14 points in 9 games, which is excellent. Now, factor in this: Drury was Mat's 14th foward, and only 5 players were picked after him. That's what we call an excellent value pick.

As for my worst pick, I was really tempted by 2 really awful picks and, unable to decide, I settled on calling it a tie. The 2 picks? First, there's Guillaume Latendresse, whom Sweet LP thought might explode and score 30 goals in his first season. Well, he currently has no points at all, so let's just hope he saves face and gets 20 points. Not much better was getting Doug Weight as my 9th foward. Weight currently has 2 points and is sitting comfortably in my "red" and is kicking back.

Random Thoughts from around the NHL:
  • Bobby Clarke quit his job as the Flyers' GM this last Sunday and, subsequently, Ken Hitchcock got axed as the coach. Whether he quit or not, Clarke's days as a Flyer were numbered. He botched a series of transactions the last 2 years and that has seriously hurt the team. Granted, winning the Peter Forsberg lottery was a good move, but breaking the bank for Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje was not very bright. Also, his trade of Michael Handzus for Kyle Calder does not look so good right now either. With Primeau now retired and Handzus in Chicago, Philadelphia is now very thin at center, an area that was once a strength. Meanwhile, the big contracts given to Rathje and Hatcher prevented Clarke from keeping Kim Johnsson in the fold. With Eric Desjardins retired as well, the defense is now full of holes. But the reality remains that the Flyers are a team loaded with talent. From Forsberg to Simon Gagne, not to mention Joni Pitkanen, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Mike Knuble, this team has enough tools to somehow fix the problem. Don't get me wrong, they're not good enough to win the Cup and making the playoffs will be tough, but they are much better than their ranking indicates.
  • The Sabres just keep on winning. On Monday night, they easily handled the Canadiens. People are talking about how the Sabres are the best example of a team built for the "New NHL". I think this is somewhat true. Yes, they are a teambuilt around speed. They have 2 very good goaltenders, just like the Ducks and Sharks, and a deep defense corps. But I think what sets the Sabres apart this year is their hussle. They play hard. They don't take shifts off. The Canadiens are also a team built on speed, but they looked slow Monday night because they just didn't skate as hard. In the "New NHL", just like in the old one, you win with heart. And the Sabres are the team that has the most heart in the league.
  • Speaking of Montreal, Bob Gainey's job is not the easiest the evaluate in the last couple of years. Actually, it seems like it's been very hot and cold. I mean, first, he starts by giving a ton of money to Jose Theodore. Meanwhile, he trades his backup goaltender, Mathieu Garon, to the Kings in exchange of a more experienced but less promising backup, Cristobal Huet (if you remember, at the time, Garon was challenging Theodore for the starting spot, so Gainey shipped him to ease his #1 goalie's mind). Fast foward to the trading deadline; Cristobal Huet is playing like one of the best goaltenders in the league, and Theo is hurt. So Gainey takes his huge salary and dumps it on the Avalanche, and in return gets the new backup to Huet, David Aebischer. Then, this summer, Gainey gave over 3 million/year to Huet. And now, Huet can't seem to be able to stop a beach ball, and Aebischer seems to have the inside track on the starting spot. Bad move, good move, bad move, good move. A little uneven if you ask me, and it doesn't stop there. This summer, Gainey made 2 moves on the same day. First, he signed Sergei Samsonov as a free agent. Then, he traded for Mike Johnson of the Coyotes. So, while Johnson has really lived up to expectations (and maybe even exceeded them), scoring 3 goals and 6 points in 8 games to go along with a nice +3 rating, Samsonov has been a true disapointment, failing to add anything to the Canadiens second line. Samsonov will play on the fourth line tonight agains the Bruins. Indeed, very uneven preformance by Gainey.
  • A little word on the San Jose Sharks: they're awesome! So far, they are 7-3. Evgeni Nabokov is 2-3, but both his wins were shutouts. Vesa Toskala, on the other hand, is 5-0. What's amazing is that San Jose is playing this well and getting all these wins while their first line is dormant. Joe Thornton has only 10 points in 10 games, which is much below his usual production, and he has yet to score a goal. Jonathan Cheechoo has only 5 goals, and 3 of them came in 1 game. Mark Bell has missed 3 games, and he only totals 4 points right now. But the Sharks are deep. Patrick Marleau has picked up some of the slack. Miran Michalek is playing really well. Steve Bernier is banging bodies and putting scores up on the board. And Matt Carle, a rookie, anchors a very good defense. Make no mistake, the Sharks just might be the best team in the West.
See you tomorrow for my NFL picks.

Dwarf out.

11 Comments:

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Nick the Dick said...

Hey Dwarfif, can you just stop bitching about my choices!!! You told me that you just went down the standings from last year.... where is the selection then !?!?!? So I should have just sent you an email between 2 glasses of Tsarine champagne to pick my players from that list and my choices would have been legitimate !?!?!? So chillax, you have all the season to get even deeper in the pool !!!

 
At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Sweet LP said...

nick the dick: suck on yourself!

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger Veillotron said...

Dwarf,

Feedback on your post:

1)I agree with you, the Sharks are a very good team and they will go far.

2)I might be wrong, but I think that although the Sabres are going really strong at the moment, they are overrated: it will be hard to keep such a high level of intensity during the whole year and that at one point they will fall back

3)One of the worst pool picks so far (and I hate to say it) is CuJo. This guy is doing jackshit at the moment. Also, I made the mistake to assume Toskala would be no1 for the whole year… this 2-goalies situation in SJ is gonna hurt me good…

4)Don’t playa-hate Nick. You didn’t playa-hate Patrick last year, so don’t act like a sore looser because you are at the bottom of the pool. Don’t worry, I will not stay where I am for long, I am missing my spot...

5) Gainey is doing a good job. He’s not Nostradamus and so he can’t predict the future and he doesn’t have a beard. But I think that with the information he had at the time, he often took the right decision. His only bad move has been to get rid of Riberio, who was going to be the Conn Smythe winner this year.

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Veillotron said...

Other news of the weekend:

1) Popz and Momz were in London and we went to Cambridge and nice restaurants and it was very nice.

2) Chelsea won 2-0 against Sheffield United, with Lampard scoring the first goal from a free kick. Ballack, Dwarf's favorite football player, scored the second from a header (on a pass from Lampard)

3) This Saturday, we went to eat at Nobo Berkerley Square (very nice restaurant). At the other end of the restaurant were eating on a table Frank Lampard, Ballack and Shevchenko, along with their girlfriends and wifes. It was Michelle who saw them first. Well, I went over, and offered them a round of drinks (I offered wine, but apparently these clowns don't drink wine. So I offered them a beer, and they were really happy.). Dwarf, Ballack was the nicest person out of the 6.

 
At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Sweet LP said...

I officially bought my little kingdom in Rimouski.

I will soon become a small town folk voting for the calisse de PQ and perdre my anglais...

WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I DONE?!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous huy said...

ca veut tu dire que ta maison a ville st-laurent est a vendre Louis?

 
At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Sweet_LP said...

Huy, on mettra bientôt la maison en vente. Si t'es intéressé, dis-le moi.

 
At 6:33 AM, Blogger Veillotron said...

Good job, Sweetness! Ti va etre maintenant calle "le Roy de Rimouski"... Question: est-ce que Roy Dupuis origine de Rimouski? Et Macha Grenon?

Big house, apparently - aussi gross que celle de Vendome... Selon papa et maman, elle est tres jolie... Et tu vas pouvoir pecher la baleine bien relax dans ton backyard.. Faut juste pas manquer ses examens, maintenant ;-)

 
At 6:39 AM, Blogger Veillotron said...

Les Boyz, hier une ecoeurante game de football: Chelsea vs Barcelone.
The Clash of the Titans. At the Nou Camp (le stade de Barca, @ 99k spectators). It was an amazing game, and Lampard scored an amazing goal. Just beautiful, you look at the replays and you still wonder how he managed to do it...
Dick & Dwarf, make sure you see the highlights...

En passant, le pool est assez tight en ce moment - seulement 6 points separent la 3eme de la derniere place... C'est du good stuff.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Veillotron said...

hey, it's been a while since I have insulted somebody on this blog...
and the Dick has been getting too much abuse (although some of it is always deserved...)

...so Sweetness: "Fuck you!"

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger Veillotron said...

Bon... did I kill the party?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home