Ok, so here we are coming up on WD2, and I still haven't finished the team profiles.
I suck. I know.
So here's a NandN to get you through the crushing disappointment;
- Todd Nelson has the Oilers playing better. Much better. That said, they were unbelievably unlucky and snakebit prior to his arrival, so it could be just the natural order of the universe reasserting itself. All of which means the Oilers might not have as good a shot at McEichel as the fans would have believed. I could see them drafting anywhere from 2 thru 5, depending on the bounces the rest of the way.
- One guy who hasn't improved much is Taylor Hall, who is having a year from hell. I had him on a short list for possible FPs, but this year has me doubt whether that will ever happen.
- Jakub Voracek on the other hand is having his career season before our eyes. Will he outscore Giroux the rest of the way? I doubt it, but stranger things have happened. The best comparable I have for Voracek is that he is playing like a young Marian Hossa, a big strong, scoring winger with excellent defensive abilities. Hall may haved dropped himself off the FP list, but Voracek may well have moved himself on to it.
- Every once in a while Nail Yakupov will take off on a skate where he breezes by several guys effortlessly, or he unleashes hell with a slapshot that stinks of sulfur, but these events are still few and far between. There is an elite player in there, somewhere. I just don't think Edmonton will be the team to bring it out of him though.
- I love me some Dougie Hamilton. With Chara clearly no longer the immovable object at the center of Boston's D, Hamilton has gradually added to his game to the point where you can see he'll be the heir apparent. Chara isn't done. Yet. But you can see the end of his track from here, and with it Boston's window is slamming shut, unless Hamilton can keep it forced open.
- If Edmonton had added; Grabovski, Kulemin, Leddy and Boychuk, (and had signed Derek Roy in the off-season rather than trading for him after wasting Draisaitl's first season), it might be them recieving all the plaudits that Garth Snow is now getting. Garth. Snow. I'm still getting used to him not being the punchline.
- I have to think that Kesler's time as a top 2 line pivot in the FUNHL is rapidly coming to a close. His game is perfect for Anaheim, but his offensive abilities appear to be deserting him.
- By all accounts Mike Ribeiro has had a remarkable turn around in Nashville. He successfully completed a stint in the NHL substance abuse program, and getting clean has helped his offensive stats return to his historic norms. Good story.
- One guy I really liked to have a breakout season was Tyson Barrie. But...not so much. You can blame the team's D corps around him (weak), the loss Varlamov for much of the year, or the moon being in the 7th house of Apollo, but the upshot is Barrie hasn't taken that next step.
- So I was looking over Bob''s roster and I noticed something odd....he hasn't traded his entire defense yet, and he still has more than half his forward roster remaining from the beginning of the year. WHAT IS HAPPENING?? IS THIS EVEN REAL? I suspect that this has more to do with it being a soft trade market than Bob losing his mojo, but still, weird.
- Bob's selection of Noah Hanifin could be excellent, or 'meh'. He's big, exceptionally mobile, and has terrific hockey sense, but he may lack the killer offensive instincts that separate the Erik Karlsson's from the Jay Bouwmeesters. Very curious to see where he lands (Edmonton would probably LOVE him).
- He may not be responsible for all of LAs problems, but Jonathon Quick really isn't helping. Personally I hate Sutter's coaching style, and the Kings are boredom on ice unless Kopitar or Doughty are over the boards, but along with those two, Quick was the capstone, and without him posting an elite save% the Kings are in serious trouble.
- Chris Kunitz has been a nice fit next to Crosby for the last few years, but the veteran winger is nearing the edge of his abilities. No longer a spring chicken, his contract $s may make him expendable moving forward.