Who’s Over Rated and Under Rated in the NHL (2015-2016)

Ramblings, Sports

I had to make this post.

Reading online postings, news articles, and the “pundits” opinions, I had to compile a list of who is over rated and under rated in the NHL and explain why. So you may ask, who qualifies? Well, players, teams, general managers, and coaches all do. Prepare to be enraged or smile.

Under Rated

I’ll start off with the positives. Who I believe is under rated in the National Hockey League.

The Vancouver Canucks

Reading online forums and opinions from fans, you would think the Vancouver Canucks will be a lottery team next year. The opposite is true, actually.

The year before fans said they would be a lottery team. What has changed? They have gotten rid of the misfits in their organization. Kevin Bieksa (I love him) with all due respect was terrible last year, Zack Kassian sucked, Eddie Lack was not a starter, and Nick Bonino was too inconsistent. Who is coming in for those guys?

Good guy Brandon Prust, good guy Brandon Sutter, top AHL goalie and prospect Jakob Markstrom, and lots of fast young guys.

No, this team will not suck. They will be decent and finish once again in the playoffs. The only logical reason you could say they miss is solely due to the fact you may believe a lot of their division rivals got better. Yes, the Oilers have gotten better and if they keep making the right moves, they will be a playoff team eventually. The Kings and Sharks are the true question mark.

The Minnesota Wild

A good core? Check. A well run organization? Check.

Fans think this team may also miss the playoffs after the Canucks. The furthest thing from the truth. They are a lock.

And they have a nice young core on the backend that includes names such as Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin.

The only question is if Devan Dubnyk holds up. I feel behind that defense he has a chance to.

Coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning

I heard comments from people saying Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the coach sucks.

What?

I would gladly let him coach my Canucks if Willie Desjardins was let go tomorrow. He is a damn good coach.

You take him off the Lightning and tell me how many coaches would get that team into the finals like they did last year. Seriously impressive, and he’s won everywhere he’s gone.

There is no way he sucks as a coach. I’d put him in my top five list of coaches.

Big Jake Virtanen

I have heard from many he is a bust or would be lucky to get in the top twenty this year in the NHL draft.

Wrong. He is the most NHL ready prospect I have seen from the 2014 draft that has yet to play a game.

He ragdolled guys in the AHL. Just because his point totals don’t make you raise your eyes doesn’t mean he is a bust.

He will play in this league and he will be good. Just watch. He will be like Cam Neely. He will be a goal scorer who can hit. He won’t be an elite playmaker but he can play.

Over Rated

Now here comes the boos. Prepare to be annoyed if you are a fan of any of these teams, players, or personnel.

The Buffalo Sabres (Tim Murray, their prospect pool, and shitty moves)

An easy choice quite frankly. And the top choice.

You would think reading forums that the Sabres were going to contend for the stanley cup or win multiple cups within five years.

Wrong.

The move for Ryan O’ Reilly was fucking stupid. Eight million for a guy who gets sixty points and does what else? At the expense of one of their youngest defensemen as well as top prospect Grigorenko?

The owner himself Mr. Terry Pegula said the last two seasons have been the most successful in Sabres history. What!?

And their starting goalie who they gave up a first round pick for Robin Lehner. Wow.

Watching Tim Murray whine about missing the first overall pick was great TV. Jack Eichel must be happy as hell to play for the next Edmonton Oilers organization.

This team is going to be a trainwreck, just watch.

Ted Nolan will be laughing his ass off when they do. He sure should have been fired (in a sarcastic tone I say that).

Tanking is never rewarded in the league, Tim. We should rename him and Terry Pegula to tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

The poor fans think they have a chance at the playoffs next year. Laugh my ass off.

The Winnipeg Jets (And their stupid prospect pool)

You would think reading comments from fans of the NHL that the Jets, just like the Sabres, will be champions in five years due to “the depth of their prospect pool”.

That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

One glance at their prospect pool will show you how that is a bold lie. There is not one player from their “prospect pool” I could say that “I want that guy on my team”.

Little Nik Ehlers who the Canucks passed on for a reason will be walloped when he reaches the big leagues. After that they have a slew of AHL players and fourth line players.

Congrats guys, you are well on your way to a few eighth seeds and first round exits for the next five years.

I love the fans of this team and I’m also a fan of the team, but seriously, a prospect pool full of depth doesn’t make a team a contender for the next ten years.

The Calgary Flames Offseason Moves (and somwhat…their potential)

I didn’t want to throw gasoline on the Flames and say their whole organization is over rated. I just find the moves they made this offseason…over rated.

Dougie Hamilton, Frolik from the Jets. Okay. Frolik will be an elite third liner. But claiming Dougie Hamilton is the answer to pushing them over the top could not be further from the truth.

Bruins fans hated this guy. He was a turnover machine last year. He is what this topic is about. He’s not a future Norris winner. He is average. A second pairing defenseman at best.

I also think Gaudreau and Monahan will not repeat the success they had last year. But that’s just me. Sam Bennett is coming in, though?

I can’t act bitter about this team since they owned my Canucks in the playoffs this last season. But there is something about them I can’t put my finger on. I really do see them as another Colorado. A lot of young talent that peaked one year and regressed the next. No way do they get as many come from behind wins as they did this last year.

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Predicting the 2015-2016 NFL Season

Sports

Preseason is just around the corner for the National Football League.

It’s that time of year to go ahead and make predictions. I will be wrong on a few things. I didn’t go through every teams schedule or single game to make these predictions. These are just based on how I feel the teams will do based on their additions over the offseason, their last season, or strength of schedule.

The teams with the toughest schedules this year are:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 147-107-2, .579
2. Cincinnati Bengals: 144-112, .563
3. San Francisco 49ers: 143-112-1, .561
4. Seattle Seahawks: 142-112-2, .559
5. Arizona Cardinals:142-113-1, .557

It’s not a shock three teams in the NFC west are in the top five, with the St. Louis Rams coming in at six.

So here we go.

AFC East Predictions

1. New England Patriots 12-4
2. Miami Dolphins 9-7
3. Buffalo Bills 8-8
4. New York Jets 5-11

Pretty obvious in my opinion. The Jets and Bills simply don’t have a quarterback. Credit to them for the moves they made elsewhere. I think both teams may have solid defenses as they both have the right personnel and offseason additions to vouch for that. But still, no quarterback, means not many wins. The Patriots (no brainer) and Dolphins both have quarterbacks who can win them games.

AFC North Predictions

1. Baltimore Ravens 11-5
2. Cincinnati Bengals 11-5
3. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
4. Cleveland Browns 6-10

The Browns could be even worse than I realize. Josh McCown flat out sucks. That is their quarterback? Their defense and coaching are the only positive things about that whole organization. The Steelers, Bengals, and Ravens are miles ahead of them in the regular season and in terms of how well run each organization is. I think all three of them have a good chance to make the postseason. Meanwhile in Cleveland…yeah, no comment.

AFC South Predictions

1. Indianapolis Colts 13-3
2. Houston Texans 11-5
3. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11
4. Tennessee Titans 2-14

There’s simply no hope for the Titans. I feel they may have the worst roster in the league. Nothing to note on defense, nothing really on offense except young Marcus Mariota. He’s being put into a position to fail as far as I’m concerned. Meanwhile Jacksonville is cursed and mourning the loss of first round draft pick Dante Fowler. Blake Bortles should have a much better year than he did last year though. As for the Texans and Colts, they will keep feasting on the unfortunate two below them. The Texans upgraded at their brutal quarterback position while the Colts upgraded their offense and made a few defensive additions.

AFC West Predictions

1. Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
2. Denver Broncos 8-8
3. San Diego Chargers 8-8
4. Oakland Raiders 6-10

This is where I see things getting interesting in the league next year. I feel the Broncos will regress based on what we saw from them to end the year last year as well as their disastrous offseason this year. Such moves from them included the hiring of Gary Kubiak and Ryan Clady getting injured once again. Who will protect Peyton now?

The Chiefs are just getting better and better as far as I’m concerned. And the Chargers are the average Chargers. I do feel the Raiders will improve on their disastrous year last year. All that young talent and new coaching staff should tack on a few wins for them. In three years, look out, they may not be the laughing stock of the league anymore.

NFC East Predictions

1. Philadelphia Eagles 12-4
2. Dallas Cowboys 11-5
3. New York Giants 5-11
4. Washington Redskins 4-12

The Redskins are years away from being solid team. I give them props for hiring McLoughlan as new general manager. He has won every where he’s gone and if given the time, he will turn them into a winner. It simply won’t happen in one year. Bob Griffin is probably going to stay stinking up the joint.

Then there’s the Giants who haven’t done anything to note in the regular season in a while and it appears there may not be much time left for Tom Coughlin. The Cowboys and Eagles are simply the two better teams. Whoever wins the division will be a toss up between them. I went bold and chose the Eagles but if quarterback Sam Bradford goes down, Dallas may easily win it.

NFC North Predictions

1. Green Bay Packers 13-3
2. Detroit Lions 10-6
3. Minnesota Vikings 9-7
4. Chicago Bears 4-12

The Bears…nothing positive to note there but a new coaching staff. But how many coaches can Jay Cutler go through before he starts winning games for the Bears? Their defense looks atrocious as well on paper.

Meanwhile the Vikings, Lions, and Packers all either stayed the same or improved. The Vikings did not bad for a team with a new coach last season. The Lions and Packers stayed the same or made minor additions to pick up where they left off from last year.

NFC South Predictions

1. Carolina Panthers 9-7
2. Atlanta Falcons 8-8
3. New Orleans Saints 7-9
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-10

Not sure how this division is going to exactly go. Don’t even be shocked if the Buccaneers manage to win it. Who knows how their offense will be with Jameis Winston at the helm or their defense with a season under their belt with new coach Lovie Smith.

NFC West Predictions

1. Seattle Seahawks 12-4
2. St. Louis Rams 10-6
3. Arizona Cardinals 10-6
4. San Francisco 49ers 4-12

Tough to predict this division as well. I think one thing is obvious: the Seahawks are the favourites to win the super bowl again this year and the 49ers have regressed.

It becomes a game of rotating the Rams or Cardinals. Jeff Fisher’s job is on the line this year. If they can’t improve from their 8-8 or 7-9 seasons, he could be gone. The talent is there, there is no excuse. The Cardinals meanwhile are a good team. It will be interesting to see how things end up between the two.

NFL Week One Thoughts and Maybe Slight Overreactions

Ramblings, Sports

So Sunday football is pretty much done. We have seen a majority of the teams play. With the exception of four that play tomorrow. The Cardinals .vs. Chargers (two evenly matched teams) and Lions .vs. Giants (another set of two possibly evenly matched teams).

After seeing a lot of these teams, I have a lot of thoughts…and maybe slight overreactions.

1. The Seahawks Have a Chance to Repeat

A no brainer here. They looked dominant against the Packers at home once again. Should be interesting to see how they do as the season progresses. They haven’t won at San Francisco in years, you can almost chalk that one up as a loss. They have to play Denver at home, who are tough in the regular season and in general. And they have to go play in Carolina, which I think could be a loss. Last years opening game in Carolina was very, very close. If this team gets in as a top seed, they could have a good chance to repeat. But there are a few teams in the NFC that they must be worried about.

2. The 49ers Are Still a Great Team

Many people thought this could be the year they regress, myself included. I saw them as a 10-6 team. They still look very good and sharp on defense. Tony Romo couldn’t get anything going. Their run game is still at the top of the league and they still can control the clock well. I hate to admit it but they will be battling Seattle for control of the division or as a top seed in the NFC. They still have a top five defense and guys such as Aldon Smith will eventually come back. There are a few tough games on their schedule but they look like they could be around 12-4 like they were last year.

3. Denver Has an Elite Defense This Year

Two years ago they had a very good defense and last year their defense flat out sucked. This year they have a good, clutch defense that can keep teams from scoring points. Their offense doesn’t look as crazy good as it did last year. I think they are once again the top team in the AFC and the team to beat there. Who will be their competition come postseason time? I’m not sure, but let’s not forget the Ravens were able to take them out two years ago. Any team can come in and take them out.

4. Atlanta and New Orleans are Two Evenly Matched Teams

I made the mistake saying Atlanta would be a terrible team this year. They look around the same level the Saints do. I predict both to be around 10-6 teams who are good on offense and not bad on defense. The Saints could have played much better on defense today.

5. Carolina Still Controls the NFC South

They picked up where they left off last year. They dominated Tampa Bay with their scrub second string quarterback Derek Anderson. Their defense is savage and physical as fuck. Cam Newton might not be the best player on this team; Luke Kuechly may be. I think the regression talk was exaggerated. They will win the NFC South division again in my eyes. Their defense can absolutely beat Atlanta and New Orleans at home and maybe on the road too.

6. Minnesota is a Good Team This Year

I was completely wrong about them. No way do they finish 2-14. They played great today and could be the team to give the Packers competition for the NFC north crown. I think the Lions and Bears are mediocre teams. The Vikings, if they play like they did today, can absolutely take out the Bears and Lions in the NFC North.

7. Houston Has a Top Ten Defense

They strangled Washington and looked strong on defense. They allowed just one touchdown. I am not so sure they will finish 4-12, they looked fine. They could be the best team in the AFC south along with the Colts.

8. Washington is the Worst Team in the League

I’m sorry but they looked like it today. RG3 has been figured out and I think by midseason we will see Cousins come in to play. Their defense is still awful and their quarterback is not a guy who was as dominant as he was when he first came in the league. I think they are the worst team after what I saw this week along with maybe the Cleveland Browns.

9. The Patriots Decade of Dominance May Be Nearing an End

I haven’t seen them play this poorly in a regular season game in years. Usually if they are down by a few points they are able to come back and make the game competitive. Brady and Belicheck just flat out gave up today when they were down. Miami beat them up in the trenches, on both sides of the ball. I think the game against the Vikings next week will be very interesting. For one, we will see if the Vikings are for real. And two, if the Patriots are bad this season. I saw a Patriots team that looked really poor today. They are a different animal at home but we will see…

The Seahawks Picked Up Where They Left Off

Sports

NFL season started on Thursday and the world champion Seattle Seahawks faced off against the Green Bay Packers live from Century Link.

The champions did not disappoint. Many have thought they could be the first team in a while to repeat as NFL champions this year.

I’m a Seahawks fan myself and have been for a while. Do I think they can repeat? I will say, I don’t know. I don’t want to be arrogant and say it’s given to them off the bat. Many things can happen in a season. Russell Wilson can go down. Percy Harvin probably will go down. There are also other teams in the league who are damn good. The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos control the AFC with the Indianpolis Colts rising as possible contenders this year. The New Orleans Saints made some fantastic draft moves this year and picked up Jairus Byrd. They will be better than last year, where they finished 11-5. The Carolina Panthers are also a question mark. They finished 12-4 and could either be just as good or come back down to earth.

Point being, the Seahawks played good. I wouldn’t say great. I’ve seen them play much better myself. The super bowl game against the Broncos is an example. But Percy Harvin showed how he elevates their offense. He stretches the field and is quick as hell. What a talent he is. And Marshawn Lynch is still just as good as he is last year. Even though the Packers defense is a joke, let’s not kid ourselves.

To me the real disappointment was Aaron Rodgers. I have respect for him and can see he is easily a top three quarterback in the league. But man did he not look like it yesterday.

It was 3rd and 4 or so and he could have easily ran it for a first down but chucked it out of bounds. That showed he was either mentally weak and not willing to take a hit, he was not making good decisions, or whatever the case may be. He did not look as sharp as he usually does. The Seahawks were good on the run. Their tackling could have been better. I’ve seen them play better defense. Rodgers looked mediocre.

Of course the Packers could bounce back next game. I still think they are the best team in the AFC north. It will be interesting to see the Bears against them this year. The Packers offensive line and defense need massive improvements and overhauls. Too injury riddled and not as effective as they both once were.

I think the Seahawks have a chance to get in as a high seed into the playoffs this year and possibly repeat what they did. They have to be scared of the Saints or 49ers getting in as higher seeds. Having to play the Saints at the superdome in the playoffs is a guaranteed loss. They are a different team at home. I also checked their schedule and honestly, they might be able to win at least thirteen of their games if they are better than last year.

Should be interesting to see how this season plays out.

PK Subban Signs Insane Contract

Sports

Subban2

After going through arbitration and all that jazz it looks like PK Subban signed an eight year deal with the Canadiens worth 9 million a year average.

That’s insane. Is he worth that much? I know Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews signed similar huge contracts but they have the rings and clutch postseason performances to deserve that level of pay.

PK definitely is good and has won a Norris trophy. He’s a huge part of the Canadiens as well as Carey Price. Is he worth that much? I just don’t know about that. I would have offered him somewhere around 6.5-7 a year, but then again I’m no general manager.

I guess the Habs fans can’t complain.

People Need To Stop Saying Messi Has No One On Argentina

Ramblings, Sports

soccer-team-of-argentina-8

Over and over I keep reading people saying how Lionel Messi has no one to play with on Argentina.

My thoughts? Shut up.

He does so.

His defense is playing lights out at this world cup and on paper is one of the best in the world. Zabaleta and Mascherano are both the best in the world at what they play in.

Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero are both no slouches in the midfield either. Again, they are both one of the best in the world at their respective positions.

Lavezzi and Higuain are both very good when they are on their game.

Like Samuel L Jackson said in Snakes on a Plane, “I’ve had it with people saying Messi has no one to play with internationally!”

He does. Enough, stop it. If he doesn’t win the world cup this year it will be a bust just like Germany with their stacked roster.

Saying Messi has no one to play with is an insult to Cristiano Ronaldo who has to play with scrubs on team Portugal outside of Pepe and a past his prime Nani in the midfield. How they even gave Spain a tough match in the 2010 world cup and 2012 euro cup is beyond me.

Drew Doughty Becoming Overrated?

Sports

Doughty-Drew-Kings

Hear me out for a second before you get all upset.

Drew Doughty is absolutely a top five defense man in the National Hockey League. He absolutely is a valuable part of the Kings back end and also a huge part of their offensive attack.

He absolutely has a history of performing well in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Had Jonathan Quick not won the Conn Smythe in 2012 one would think you would have to give it to either Drew Doughty or maybe Dustin Brown (he played surprisingly well that postseason too).

He is playing lights out once again this post season. So are Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik, Justin Williams, and Jeff Carter. When those four are on there is no stopping the Kings from scoring multiple goals.

But lately, people such as Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun have been calling Drew Doughty the best player in the NHL. Yes, I am sadly not joking. The number one best player in the league. He concluded his article with saying Doughty is the best player in hockey.

Calling him a top ten player in the league may be a stretch as there are a handful of good players in the league. Even considering him the best on his team may be questionable. Anze Kopitar appears to look that part sometimes and has been nominated for the Frank J. Selke trophy this season.

Saying he is the best in the league is purely laughable. Nicklas Lidstrom who has won more Norris trophies than I can count on one hand and a top five defense man of all time never was hands down the best player in the league. He even has twice as many rings as Doughty has, even if Doughty were to win the Stanley Cup this year.

Drew Doughty is great but let’s not get ahead of ourselves calling him the best player in the league just because he is the flavour of the month. If we were sent back in time to the 1995 Stanley Cup playoffs would we be calling Claude Lemieux the best forward in the league?

Absolutely not.

We can make a case for Doughty being the best d-man in the league right now with Shea Weber and Duncan Keith near him but we can’t make a convincing case for him being the undisputed best in the league.