FUNHL News and Notes

Bob had suggested he was jonesing for a new N+N, so I am breaking down and delivering one best I can.

- The Pens/Bruins series was depressing on a whole lot of levels;

A. Malkin played OUT OF HIS F*%&NG MIND in games 3 and 4 and simply wasn't able to beat Rask (or Chara's hand). In game 4 alone he attempted now fewer than 21 shots. Dude definitely earned his big pay day.

B. Where the hell was Crosby? Seriously, how is he not hurt and in the hospital after being so invisible?

C. Despite his streak of 30 goal seasons, Flames fans with advanced stats knowledge have been declaring Iginla 'washed up' for a couple of years now (actually, they would declare 'he can't play the hard minutes and isn't moving the needle in the right direction anymore). Despite his reasonable points per game in the playoffs, it was pretty clear Iggy was skating in sand for the Pens all through the playoffs. He may not be 'done' as a player, but he is a shadow of the guy who used to single-handedly win Calgary games. I'll be surprised if he is re-signed by the Pens. Also, all the fans who thought we didn't get enough for our fading hall of famer can suck it.

D. The Bruins (and Kings) both have been playing the kind of beat-em-up/lock-it-down 1-2-2 trap hockey that kills braincells and fan interest alike. Mercifully, the Blackhawks took care of half the problem. Now, hopefully, they can take care of the other half.

E. I really hate Brad Marchand. He's the spitting clone of Pat Verbeek. Wish he was a Flame.

- The addition of Robyn Regehr was IMO a terrible move for the Kings. He's too slow to positively affect play anymore. He'll get primo ice-time from Sutter, derailing the team moving forward. The WOWY stat (with or without you) that tracks how players do when on the ice together showed pretty definitively that Regehr was dragging down Doughty's game something fierce.

- Quick's play was off the charts. Ditto Doughty, who also had to drag Regehr's corpse around the ice.

- Common wisdom is that you build a team around productive center-ice men. Common wisdom says that some 30 years ago the Red Wings selected Steve Yzerman, and the dynasty was born. The truth is that with the first decade or so of Yzerman the Wings didn't get anywhere. Yzerman or no, the Red Wings weren't a dominant team until Nik Lidstrom arrived. LA has Doughty. The Bruins have Chara. The Hawks have Keith and Seabrook. The Av's will take (and come to love) Seth Jones.

- I had been comparing Jonathon Drouin's game to guys like Ray Whitney and Pat Kane, but I read that at least one scout compared his game favourably to Denis Savard. He'll be the top prospect pick in our draft.

- So Patrick Roy is both the coach and Assistant VP of Hockey Operations next to Joe Sakic who is VP Hockey Operations/President (or something). Yeah I don't see how that could ever be a problem.

- Got into a heated internet argument (is there any other kind?) after I posted on Flames Nation that Oiler fans should shut up and stop proposing that pick #7 + Gagner will get them to move up, or land a high caliber center like Sean Couturier. The argument got me looking closely at Gagner's advanced stats - which are beyond terrible. The guy is the poster-child for not looking at just the offence a player produces, as he 'bleeds possession' at a fantastic rate, can't play against top players, loses draws at an atrocious pace for a center, and his 'WOWY' stats show that he drags anyone down he plays with. The other item worth mentioning was that after I made my case against Gagner being worth anything at all, a poster indicated he agreed with my arguments and then added that 'Gagner sucks a trunkful of dongs'. Needless to say, I laughed out loud and spit coffee on my iPad. Moving forward, any I player I don't like will suck a trunkful of dongs (SATOD).

- The one guy I can see falling out of the top ten despite all the scouts being in love with him is Valeri Nichushkin. Everybody is in a panic still about his birth certificate, and he was underwhelming at the combine. Hey, at least he attended (I'm looking at you Drouin, MacKinnon, Jones). A hulking Russian power winger with blazing speed, high end stickhandling and a bomb for a shot? He gets picked in our top 5.

- Feaster has earned a reputation for thinking outside the box (Jankowski, Cervenka), and he may have an opportunity to pull another brazen move off. If Feaster could get permission from Edwards to set a large amount of money on fire, he could conceivably make a deal with the Islanders that brings in DiPietro and prospect Ryan Strome for say a 3rd rnd pick. Then he uses the compliance buy out and burns about $24m of Edwards money without affecting his cap space moving forward. If Feaster is really bold, he then gets Tampa to send him Lecavalier and the #3 overall pick for some future pick, and torches another $25M or thereabouts freeing Lecavalier up to re-sign with the Bolts and finish his career in Tampa. So, if you are Murray Edwards (a billionaire) would you agree to jump start the Flames rebuild at the cost of $50M or so if it brought in Strome and Barkov and didn't cost us anything significant in players, prospects or cap space, AND left alone our 3 first round picks? Damn straight I would.

- Just finished watching 'A Good Day to Die Hard' (which is what, Die Hard 5? 6?). It SATOD.

- If you haven't read it yet, Elliitte Friedman's column on Jagr and his workout regime is enlightening. For years pundits crapped on Jagr for his work ethic and coach killing. Now we find out that Jagr has been leading the work out fanatics by example, and among other things has midnight weight lifting sessions. His speed is only half what it used to be, but he's still impossible to contain on the half-wall. If he keeps it up, he could be the next Chelios. Also, he has the sweetest playoff beard ever (Mutton Chops!)

- Jonathon Toews won the Selke. Good. Guy is a freaking beast.

- Huberdeau, Saad, and Gallagher are the league's Calder nominees. Should have been Yakupov, Conacher and Brodin.

- PK Subban gets the Norris. Also Good. He gets a ton of crap from the media (I'm especially looking at you PJ Stock), and I think it's cool he gets to stick it to his critics.

- Another fantastic rumour going around is Buffalo looking to make massive changes to their team, and that they are considering the following deal;

---> Calgary: Myers-D, Vanek, a 2nd
---> Buffalo: Backlund-C, Cammalleri, the 22nd overall 1st rnd pick (StLouis)

I have to say, I like this deal, it brings in a better/younger but more expensive sniper in Vanek, a 23 year old 6'7" monster with increidble upside in Myers (albeit one that has declined every year since his rookie season for a very good 2 way center in Backlund (about to get a raise), and does so at the cost of about 15 spots in the draft. What I don't get is why Buffalo can't do better elsewhere.

The other rumour is that they offered up Miller, Myers, Grigerenko and 2nd rnd picks for the 1st overall - which I just don't see as being appealing to Colorado. They already have a big investment in Varlamov, and he's been pretty good for them. Myers would be an attractive piece, but without a high end pick coming back I can't see them being too tempted.

- If the Blackhawks win the cup (please!) I fully expect that Vince Vaughn's head will explode with joy and spray centre ice with brain matter.

- One player I am really looking forward to seeing get drafted is smurf Nic Petan. Possible he will be there when the Flames use the Pitt 1st.

- That's it, I'm out. Try not SATOD.

1 comment:

Red Five said...

Sorry to disagree, but so far the Cup Final has been anything but boring. These two teams can wind things up tighter than *(insert own slightly NSFW descriptor here) or let 'r rip trading goals like punches between heavyweight champs standing toe to toe round after round without either giving way. Looking forward to at least two more games!

Keep calm and Bergeron!

With Mackinnon and Jones already under FuNHL contract, Drouin is a most likely first overall in our PrD, but is there any consensus after that?

Rumour has it the Flames want to trade their 3 first rounders to COL for the first overall (to take Jones?). Not likely to happen, not sure I'd want it to either. Something about eggs and baskets...

Pitt signs Malkin for a decade, and brings back Bylsma. NYR hires Vigneault after firing Torts, and Van is rumoured to be completing the swap by picking Torts up?? Roy joins the list of great players who people think can make great coaches? (At least NYR didn't go with Mess...) Things that make you go WTF? Or maybe things that SATOD?