Canadian Shake-ups, NHL ObservationsShareThis
Whether you love or hate Brian Burke, you have to, at the very least, admire how seriously he takes winning. The man wants to win. Like, right now.
There are simply too many players involved in the Toronto/Calgary deals to congratulate a winner. But Burke knows one thing – players that are good-but-not-great are easy to come by. You need the difference-makers to win, and Phaneuf is definitely one of those.
Toronto had nothing to build around when Burke got there, and the guy seems to be aware that nobody has ever won anything “by commitee” (the current codeword for “trying to win without talent”). The Penguins win around Crosby/Malkin, the Red Wings win around Datsyuk/Zetterberg, so Burke is building around guys like Kessel/Phaneuf/Komisarek. Not quite on the same level, but better than the cores of a few other teams (Havlat/….Kobasew?).
At least Toronto fans will have a few A- players (okay, B+) to cheer for while finishing out the year — for them, it’s been far too many winter months of cheering for a team of C+ guys without a Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour or Wendell Clark. (By the way, how insufferable will Toronto fans be if Burke manages to transform them into good…. which I suspect he will. It’ll be like mixing crappy Flames fans with obnoxious Yankee fans. Plus, about 55,000 people already have one foot on a bandwagon that would immediately collapse under the weight all the new “diehards”.)
By the way, worth mentioning – I think Matt Stajan is a really talented guy. The Flames did well by themselves in picking up a quality depth scorer. In fact, I think both teams made a smart move.
I think DiPietro looks too bad on too many plays, too often right now. I know he’s got rust to shake off; the guy hasn’t played goal in forever, but it looks worse than that.
I’m just really nervous about that big contract. His numbers are fine, that’s not what stresses me. I’m saying he just isn’t technically sound these days. He doesn’t look balanced, his angles are suspect, he isn’t getting his pads flat post-to-post in the butterfly, and just doesn’t look like the old Ricky.
Here’s to hopin’.
Is Matt Duchene gonna be last years Steven Stamkos? Just kill it the second half of the year and be a legit NHL stud by next year? I say yes.
If you’re the GM for Washington, don’t you go Brian Burke trying get a goalie for your team? You can’t expect your guys to put up football numbers every night in playoffs, and those stupid, weak goals are just so disheartening.
Of all the stacked teams, San Jose really has the best total package right now (even though I like Chicago and Washington’s forwards better. San Jose might have the best line in the NHL, but aren’t the best one through 12). Nabokov is legit.
Happy February – it’s Superbowl week! Your reward is an insider report on how TV news reports get made.