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Stock Up, Stock Down. NHL Teams and Their Direction

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This Wednesday, my dear ‘ol Dad is headed down to Phoenix for a busy schedule of rest, exercise and some beverages outside the grips of Canadian winter (apparently it’s actually been cold in Kelowna so far this year, which is pretty rare).  Also, he’s here to spend some time with Breezy and I, for we’re but a week from my birthday and a few from Christmas. (I was born on 12/12 at 12:12 according to Dad, hence why I wore #12).

Our favourite little pub here is a Boston bar, but they’ve commited to putting an Islanders jersey on the wall if he brings one (and he is), soooo if you’re in Phoenix and see an Isles jersey on the wall of a Bahhston bar, you’re probably very near my house.

Anyway, looking forward to it.  I might do a FlipVid interview with him (and Clark at Christmas) for Puck Daddy too, I’ll keep ya posted.

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I submitted my Power Rankings today – I won’t run them since they don’t get much of a response, but it’s worth noting that Ryan Miller has snuck back into the Vezina running (#5 on my list) with back to back shutouts, Crosby has far-and-away taken over the MVP lead, and my top d-men list is starting to look like every other season (save for Byfuglien).

As far as teams go, we’re starting to see some of the balancing out we expected to see from teams that were over and under-achieving.  Here’s a few squads that I think that are going to head in slightly different directions….

Stock Up

The New Jersey Devils team just isn’t that bad to be this low in the standings.  I saw no conceivable way I could rank them higher than 29th as of today, and for a team that some people thought might win the cup, that just seems impossible.

Ssssscores

They will not finish the year at 29th.  If they were a stock, I’d say buy in right before Parise’s return.  They’ll get better.

The San Jose Sharks are sitting at 12th in the Western Conference right now (albeit with a game or two at hand), and I had them ranked 16th in the NHL.  As most of you are aware, they’re slightly better than this.

I don’t love their team, and I don’t think they’re much of a major player this year.  But the reality is, they’re better than average, they’re probably a win-one-round playoff team, and they’re currently sitting way below that.  Expect them to get better.

Honorable mention:

Chicago is without Hossa, and now without Kane for 4-6 weeks.  They’re dealing with the reality that Corey Crawford is their starting goalie in the same way they let Niemi take the reins from Huet – reluctantly, sadly – but it’s going to happen, inevitably.

They might bum around the fringe as a playoff eight seed most of the year, but I see them getting healthy and finding their stride late much in the same way Detroit did last season, becoming the always dreaded “five seed that’s far, far better than a five seed,” making the four seeded Yotes (it could be them again) want to slash their wrists.

Stock Down

I’m writing this about a week or so late to get my two-cents in on Columbus, since their five-game losing streak is already upon us.  I’m not saying they’re a bad team, but when that roster is 14-5 or whatever they were, you have to expect a little tug back to reality.  I think they probably tease the playoffs as an eight/nine seed, and right now, they’re around the six/seven/eight spot with games in hand (in hand, at hand?).

Either way, I don’t see them climbing the standings all that much, so I’d pull your money out a week ago.  Oh, you can’t do that?  Kay, now.

The Price is....oh nevermind.

As for Montreal, take it easssyyy there, big shooters.  17-8, first in your division?  I don’t think so.

Boston is a far better team, and Carey Price literally cannot play any better.  If he even comes close to keeping this up I think he’s the Vezina favourite.  So, that said, the only direction to go is down.

And last, Dallas.  They’re a team with great goaltending, talented young players and enough on their roster if they stay healthy to have a hell of a season.

But second in the Western Conference (behind only Detroit) with a 16-8 record is biting off more than they can chew.  Let the regression to the mean begin, that division is just too tough.

I think they’re probably a six/seven seed, meaning they’ve got to hit a pretty good skid sometime in the near future.

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‘Tis a new week – my birthday week (I know, I know, those don’t exist)!  Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season – we’re already well-decorated at the Bourne abode!

Comments

7 Responses to “Stock Up, Stock Down. NHL Teams and Their Direction”
  1. Dude says:

    Bourney,

    I’m commenting on this article about the Le Brun article because Who really cares about him or basketball anyway? How bout an article about why rec league guys always play down. As captain of a C league team it’s pissing me off to get smoked by A league players. What does “A” stand for anywho?

  2. Dave K says:

    Happy Birthday week.

    Re Stock up- I bet my Wings cousin that my Blackhawks would do better than them in the regular season (it was an arbitrary bet), with the loser having to do a picture up with the loser wearing the winner’s jersey in his home city. I need to remember to stop gambling, and I suck at doing art. I wonder if Crayons are on sale.

  3. Derek says:

    I think you are on the money with the Stock Up/Stock Down’s here. Something to think about with Dallas: look at their schedule and the teams they have beaten. I see maybe four good wins they have. They had a creampuff schedule to open the year with the Isles and Devils and have wins over the Panthers, Sabres, Ducks, Senators, Hurricanes and Wild.

    I think the Blue Jackets will be a playoff team this year. Huselius(3rd on the team in scoring last year with 63 points) played the first 7 games of the year and has been out since. Although they need better defense/goaltending.

    The Habs fans gotta calm down a little. Getting just a bit too excited over the team so far. Someone tell me, how are they that much better than last years team? Isn’t it basically the same group, but with Auld for Halak and a full season of Subban(who was a healthy scratch the last two games)?

    Also, you mentioned Byfuglien in your top defenseman’s ranking. I hate to do this, as I think its pretty lame, but I wrote something for The Home of Hockey Blog, breaking down Byfuglien’s game against the Pens the other day, and how it illustrates how poor is is defensively, and how the Pens matched Crosby/Malkin against him, while Ramsay tried to get him out against the third/fourth lines. Anyway, here it is if you wanna read it http://thehomeofhockey.blogspot.com/2010/12/why-dustin-byfuglien-shouldnt-be-norris.html

  4. Deirdre says:

    Aww, I liked reading your rankings – I didn’t often comment since if I did it would have been a “ooh yeah, or hmm hadn’t thought of that” instead of actual commentary, but this is good too :-)

    Boy I hope you’re wrong about the Devils. I’ve so enjoyed watching Brodeur flounder (though I think Hedberg is better than that.)

    Watched Leafs-Caps & Sharks-Detroit last night. Talk about some surprising hockey!

    I don’t know what McLellan said during that one time out, and then in the locker room during the 1st break but WOW was San Jose a different team in the 2nd/3rd. Watching the 1st you got to see Detroit just schooling the teal. 40-60 foot passes right through 2-3 players with no effort whatsoever. It was very pretty hockey.
    Of course I was happy the Sharks got their act together, but did feel badly for Howard toward the end there.

    and I’m guessing the Caps are doing wind sprints today – a lot of wind sprints. Boudreau even warned them prior to the game that this was gonna happen. Still they settled on their laurels coming into the 3rd, and then never managed to pry themselves out of those lawn chairs.

    Cool about your Dad and the Jersey :-)

  5. Rob says:

    Love the Boston love in this post.

  6. SDC says:

    Kelowna has been abnormally cold. Good for backyard rinks and pond hockey, but that’s about it.

    Why oh why did Chicago really think Turco was going to be anything but awful for them? Good move by Dallas moving him, but that Chicago summer fire-sale that shipped Niemi out really wasn’t that well thought out.

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