Stock Up, Stock Down. NHL Teams and Their DirectionShareThis
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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!