Predicting the 2014-2015 NHL Standings

Sports

Season starts in October. Of course these will most likely not be perfect or right. As John Tortorella would say, I am just throwing shit on a wall and hoping it sticks.

Atlantic Division (Eastern Conference)
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Boston Bruins
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Ottawa Senators
7. Florida Panthers
8. Buffalo Sabres

A bit of a bold prediction here. I think the Lightning step up from the previous year. Coach Jon Cooper is a great coach. They have Stamkos coming back for a full year this time (most likely, let’s hope he doesn’t get injured as he’s great to watch). If Ben Bishop performs well and they step up from last year (which I think they will), they could take over the division. The Bruins are still a good team but I just think they will regress eventually. Montreal definitely has a playoff team on paper and with Price in net they are a no brainer. Detroit and Toronto will be interesting. Both are quite evenly matched. Detroit however was faced with huge, huge injuries last season and they have been trending downwards. I think they will battle Toronto for around a seventh-eighth seed spot. The bottom three teams are easy to predict. Buffalo is looking like a lottery team and their fans know it. If Ron Rolston was there for the whole season last year as coach they may have had the worst record for an NHL team since the 1995 lockout. The Florida Panthers made all these high picks and signed a bunch of guys but it’s not good enough to overtake the six teams I have ranked ahead of them. They suck and will continue to suck. Poor Luongo. The Senators have an awful roster on paper and could be a lottery team too. But with Karlsson still there, decent goaltending, and a great coach in Paul MacLean will make them not a lottery team but short of a playoff spot.

Metropolitan Division (Eastern Conference)

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. New York Rangers
3. Philadelphia Flyers
4. New Jersey Devils
5. New York Islanders
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
7. Washington Capitals
8. Carolina Hurricanes

This is actually quite a tough division to predict. When taking a look at things no doubt the Penguins, Rangers, and Flyers are the three best teams in the division. After them you can rotate the bottom five teams. When looking at last year the Devils lost thirteen shootouts. I highly doubt that happens again. Their roster looks quite awful but I think with Cory Schneider in net as the starter and no Brodeur they can be a playoff team or fall just short. Columbus has not impressed me much. I don’t think they repeat what they did last year. They played with a lot of heart and energy in the post season and to get there. I just don’t see it happening again this year. They might make me eat my words, who knows. I believe you could rotate them with the Devils but I’m going with the Devils this year. The Washington Capitals are a team I could see becoming a disaster by hiring Barry Trotz as a coach. He does not fit as a coach for that offensive styled team. He coaches an awful style. I see him lasting not long at all there. He coached some of the most boring hockey I have ever seen when he was in Nashville. As for Carolina, I’m not really sure if they will finish last in the division. I admittedly don’t follow them much to make a solid prediction. But I really don’t see them cracking the top eight in the conference either. They should realistically finish ahead of teams such as the Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres, and maybe Senators but not good enough to get into the postseason.

Central Division (Western Conference)
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Minnesota Wild
4. Dallas Stars
5. Nashville Predators
6. Colorado Avalanche
7. Winnipeg Jets

Ah, the beauty as well as the hard times of being the western conference. Only 14 teams and 8 get to make it into the playoffs. But then most of those 14 teams are actually very good. Especially in the central division. That is going to be a tough division to play in. Perhaps the toughest in the league, tougher than the pacific division was last year. The Blues should remain as the top seed. They have been good in the regular season for years. They dumped Ryan Miller who was not working out for them and got Paul Statsny from Colorado, a solid addition to their team. Look for Tarasenko and Schwartz to be even better this year. The only problem is they have proven they can not win in the post season. That is outside the point. They will make it in as a high seed once again. The Blackhawks and Wild definitely will as well. As for the Dallas Stars, I really like what they are doing. They just added point per game player Jason Spezza to an already great offensive roster. They will be even better me thinks. Nashville has hired Peter Laviolette and left defensive minded loser Barry Trotz stranded in the desert. Great move. Laviolette has won everywhere he’s gone. He could make Nashville an exciting team to watch as well as a playoff team unlike doofus Trotz. He should go talk to John Tortorella in a steam bath about how to ruin a hockey team by playing dump and chase. End rant. The Avalanche were good last year but I just have a feeling they won’t be as good as the five teams I mentioned above them. There was a feeling as if they over achieved last year. They got off to a wickedly hot start and kept it up throughout the season. I just feel if there’s one team that won’t repeat what they did last year it is them. I hope they make me eat my words because they play an exciting brand of hockey and they are easy to root for. I just don’t have high hopes. The Jets as the worst team in this division is a no brainer. I’d be shocked if they get above seventh seed. Their roster lacks the talent the other teams in their division have.

Pacific Division (Western Conference)

1. Anaheim Ducks
2. San Jose Sharks
3. Los Angeles Kings
4. Vancouver Canucks
5. Calgary Flames
6. Arizona Coyotes
7. Edmonton Oilers

I said in a previous post on here of my most bold predictions for the year that the Canucks will make the playoffs. Of course I am sticking to that. I say they get in as a seventh or eighth seed. They will surprise people. The Kings are historically or lately not a dominant team in the season but they could care less. They’ve won two cups in three years, once as an eighth seed the other as a sixth seed. The Sharks were good in the regular season last year and have not really downgraded or anything like that. I think they could be in the same position they were in last year. They are a good team in the regular season but chokers in the post season. That’s again outside the point. They will make it to the playoffs. The Ducks are president trophy favourites this year and I think they will realistically win it. Getzlaf and Perry are still there and Boudreau is the right coach for this team…in the regular season that is. Not the playoffs where he’s never done anything. They also added Kesler and Clayton Stoner. They will be a good team in the season no question about it. Perhaps one of the most shocking picks one would see here is that I have Calgary ranked higher than Arizona. Arizona is well managed and coached but they do not have much talent at all to be a playoff team. I like what Calgary is doing. Hartley is a great coach and has them busting their asses off every game. This is coming from someone that hates Calgary as a whole. I think they will be rivals with Vancouver this season and both battling each other for that final playoff spot perhaps or a low seeded spot. The Oilers will never improve as long as Kevin Lowe is there, don’t think otherwise. Until he’s gone and out, they will continue to suck. A poorly managed organization from top to bottom.

To summarize the post season should look like:

Atlantic:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning .vs. 4. Detroit Red Wings/Toronto Maple Leafs/New York Islanders (dark horse pick)
2. Boston Bruins .vs. 3. Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan:
1. Pittsburgh Penguins .vs. 4. New Jersey Devils
2. New York Rangers .vs .3. Philadelphia Flyers

Central:
1. St. Louis Blues .vs. 4. Dallas Stars
2. Chicago Blackhawks .vs. 3. Minnesota Wild

Pacific:
1. Anaheim Ducks .vs. 4. Vancouver Canucks/Nashville Predators (dark horse picks)
2. San Jose Sharks .vs. 3. Los Angeles Kings

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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.

Dwight King Interferes with Lundqvist (Updated)

Sports

Wow.

In game 2 of the Kings-Rangers Stanley Cup final game, the Rangers were up 4-2 when Matt Greene of the Los Angeles Kings made it 4-3 with a shot near the blue line.

However, Dwight King blatantly interfered and fell on top of Lundqvist. No call of course and the goal counted.

Even Pierre McGuire thought it was bs.

Of course the game is tied 4-4 now and the Kings will probably take a 2-0 series lead.

Just another blown call by the awesome referees in the NHL these playoffs.

Don Mattingly Admits the Dodgers Suck

Ramblings, Sports

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Poor choice of words for a headline, but according to LA Times Don Mattingly claimed after another Dodgers loss that:

“Basically, we’re sh**ty,” Mattingly said. “We’re just not that good . . . Home, away, whatever. I don’t know what that has to do with it . . . I really think you should talk to [the players]. I’m tired of answering the questions, honestly.”

The truth hurts. I’m hardly much of a baseball fan but the Dodgers are my favourite team and have been for a while. Never have I seen a franchise spend so much money on their roster only to get “shit” in return.

You would think last year they should have won the world series quite easily with their roster on paper and the way they performed. Instead they shit the bed against the Cardinals.

This year they are on the same track, they might not even make the postseason (they probably won’t, actually).

Whichever sole person has the most money invested into the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise should be disgusted and ashamed. How do you put in 200 million dollars each year on the roster alone and get crap in return? I wish I could do that and sleep well at night.

The Los Angeles Kings probably pay 1/10th of that for their roster yet Los Angeles natives could care less about that franchise. Yeah, that franchise that has been to the stanley cup finals twice in three years as well as the conference final the other year.

/endrant

The Stanley Cup Final Begins Today…

Sports

LA-Kings-v-New-York-Rangers-2014-Stanley-Cup-Final-NHL-Wallpaper-400x250

In two minutes the Rangers and Los Angeles Kings will play game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Two teams that have gone on inspiring runs. Two teams playing great hockey.

I still say the Kings win this one whether it goes deep or not. If Jonathan Quick is in the zone (which he wasn’t the last three series) expect the Kings to win this one rather fast.

Should be a great series. Cheers.

Was Jeff Carter’s Stick Above the Crossbar?

Sports

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Watching this live, I remember thinking the stick might be a bit too high and that the goal should be disallowed.

I saw forum posts which provided evidence that the stick may have in fact been too high. Keep in mind, this was a big goal that sort of turned the tide and gave the Kings some motivation.

To conclude: inconclusive. If the goal was disallowed I still think the Kings would have eventually come back to force an overtime. It’s just how they have played these playoffs.