- Ok, so our trade deadline passed and we were treated to a genuinely bizzarre specatcle. No, I'm not referring to those pictures of me in leather pants that showed up on twitter, I'm talking about Dan's decision to 'go for it', despite being 50points back of the league leader. In the early days of the millenium I recall the Severed Heads being roughly that far back of the league leading Wolves, and after reviewing the Wolves team in detail, I was convinced I could still catch them. With the addition of a Kovalev here, and a returning from the grave Lemieux there, it actually happened.
So it isn't unprecedented that a team come back from that far down, but Dan was making this calculation with less than a third of the season to go. Fair enough. So far, not actually all that bizzarre.
No, what pushes Dan's Quixotic charge into the realm of 'holy crap he did what?' was his decision to move Uber-prospect Conner McDavid as part of the balls to the wall going for it. Nobody can argue Dan didn't get value for him, as the resulting return from Brian gave Dan enough assets to shop across the league for talent and overload at every position, but...dude, you just dealt Connor McFreaking David. And you weren't in 2nd place when you did it, but 4th!
That right there is an indication of solid titanium testicles. Or incipient mental illness. Or both.
- Among the other surprises this deadline week was Darrell packing it in despite being in 3rd place. Compare/contrast the ulatra-conservative PV with the Great Whites decision making at your leisure.
- Unremarked upon so far is that the team in 2nd place is the Ramapithicines. I confess, I had not considered them a serious contender even two weeks ago, but after thumping the Heads in the standings with a 50pt->30pt drubbing they are now nipping at the heels of the leader. They also made almost no moves to shore up their team for the stretch drive, and seem content riding Jason Spezza as 2nd line C to the end of days. I need a Xanax.
- Naturally one of the first moves the Heads made to shore up their own drive was to aquire the best offensive defenseman in the league, Mark Giordano, from the Edge. A week later, we returned a now permanently injured Giordano to the Edge in a package deal for (among others) Nik Kronwall. It's just that kind of year.
- Interestingly, aquiring McDavid has created a weird situation for Bladerunners. To wit, they already have future FP Nathan Mackinnon on tap to slot in behind Stamkos, but now they have McDavid presumably elbowing MacKinnon out of the way for that job. I don't see the Bladerunners dealing McDavid away, so it likely puts MacKinnon in to play.
- I have to believe we are closing in on the end days of Chara as elite defenseman/FP. Ditto for Marty St Louis as an FP. Nice run for both.
- Check out these rookie seasons;
Nathan MacKinnon 82gp, 24g-39-63pts
Taylor Hall 65gp, 22g-20a-42pts
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 62gp, 18g-34-52pts
Nail Yakupov 48gp, 17g-14a-31pts
Johnny Gaudreau 67gp, 19g-34a-53pts
The first four guys were picked 1st overall, while Johnny G is a 4th round pick of the Feaster regime. If I haven't said this before, I think he's ridiculously good, and will be a key component in the Flames rebuild. If he plays out the last 13 games at the pace he's had since November (remember he had just a couple of points in his first 11 games), he should finish with a rookie total higher than all of them.
- Speaking of the rebuild, As a result of the deadline deals so far, Calgary has 6 picks in the top 90 for the upcoming NHL entry draft (which is supposed to be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory) A mid-range 1st, 3 2nds, and 2 3rds. This is important because it is the teams that find useful NHL players outside the first round that eventually become elite. Anybody can hit on a player in the first (especially with the 1st overall), but oading up in the 2nd and 3rd increases the chances substantially
that the Flames will find low-cost players to add to the roster moving forward.
- A commenter on Lowetide made what I think is an apt comparison with regards to Edmonton's Yakupov, he's Phil Kessel 2.0. Kessel, you may recall, struggled with many of the same issues that Yakupov has, and put up similarily dissapointing results early on. We all know happened next, he was dealt away, and exploded inoffensive performance.
- If you just go by raw scoring (as the FUNHL does), Bob's Murderball team would be the best in the league, followed by the Skywalkers.
- I know we are all going to look at this FUNBA year as being 'flawed', it just is. I'm working on fixing the issues that have cropped up and hope to have things ready for the start of next year.
- Here are my projected FPs (keepers) for each of the FUNBA teams;
The Goodfellas: John Wall-PG Wsh, LaMarcus Aldridge Por, Kevin Durant-SF OKC
The Sharpshooters: James Harden-SG Hou, Andre Drummond-C Det, Ricky Rubio-PG Mil
The Ball-Bearings: Chris Paul-PG LAC, Kyrie Irving-PG Cle, Jabaari Parker-PF Mil
The Chumfeeders: Steph Curry-PG GS, Victor Oladipo-SG Orl, Greg Monroe-C Det
The Murderball: Carmelo Anthony-SF NYK, Blake Griffin-PF LAC, Klay Thompson-SG GS
The Flatlanders: Anthony Davis-C NO, Damien Lilard-PG Por, DeMarcus Cousins-PF SAC
The Pirates: Russell Westbrook-PG OKC, DeAndre Jordan-C LAC, Al Jefferson-C Cha
The Skywalkers: LeBron James-SF Cle, Kevin Love-PF Cle, Andrew Wiggins-SG Mil
- The NBA's MVP race is red-hot right now. Leading contenders include;
Steph Curry: because he's simply the purest shooter the league has seen in a generation, and even when his shot selection is poor (like taking a contested rainbow long 3 with 9 seconds left in the shot clock) is till goes in.
Russell Westbrook: Putting up Magic Johnson-in-his-prime like #s, despite being 8 inches shorter than Magic was. Has been averaging a triple double for the last two weeks.
LeBron: Unfortunately, merely averaging a 27-8-8 while playing elite defensively isn't enough to be automatic MVP this year.
Anthony Davis: Is a total freak. He is statistically destroying all other bigs, and if his team were anywhere near a playoff spot he would win in a landslide.
Chris Paul: The guy never gets a break. Blake Griffin goes down with an injury and Chris Paul turns DeAndre Jordan - a player who can't hit even free throws at better than 45%, into a massive offensive threat. He is the most elite defender in the league - period, and he won't finish higher than 3rd in the voting.