Calgary Flames Fan Tries to Troll Jim Benning, Fails in the Process

Ramblings, Sports

Basically in the above link, some attention whore on Twitter with the username “fake_steinberg” tried to act funny and troll general manager Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks. Apparently he is a Calgary Flames fan.

Little does he know that Jim Benning had a great offseason and the whiny, annoying Canucks fans on HFboards.com do not reflect the Canucks fanbase.

Canucks losses this offseason:

-Kevin Bieksa
-Eddie Lack
-Zack Kassian
-Shawn Matthias
-Brad Richardson
-Nick Bonino
-Adam Clendening

The only guys on that list I miss are Clendening (who has yet to put in a full NHL season), Brad Richardson (who was injured for half the year), and Eddie Lack (who has yet to play a full NHL season as a starting goalie).

Who is going to replace these guys:

-Brandon Sutter aka Flat Stanley
-Jakob Markstrom (made a mockery of the AHL last season and has more potential than Eddie Lack has ever had)
-Brandon Prust (one of the best fourth liners in the league, great locker room guy)
-Matt Bartkowski (can’t get any worse than Bieksa and may do well in Willie Desjardins system)
-Sven Baertschi (question mark if this guy puts it together or not)

Basically, a lot of ifs. But I’m confident in the moves.

Who did the Calgary Flames get?

An over rated defenseman who was hated in Boston named Dougie Hamilton and a third liner in Michael Frolik.

Wow, teams are sure shaking in their boots in the pacific division. Especially after you overachieved last year. Bob Hartley also sure has a long shelf life everywhere he’s been (not really).

So I’m sure Jim Benning thanks you for the flowers. The only funnier joke would be an Oilers fan doing the same. That would almost be as funny as the fan of the franchise who overachieved last year and will finish below the Canucks (once again, like the last ten years, that is funny).

I did chuckle at a response that said how Benning sent bigger flowers back and a third round pick. That was witty and accurate.

So long story short?

Fans of teams who haven’t done anything should mind their own damn business.

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I’m Tired of the Whiny Vancouver Canuck Fans

Ramblings, Sports

Let me pay a homage to the most stupid Canuck fan comments this offseason after the season came to an unfortunate end in April in a playoff series against division rival Calgary Flames.

Credit to HFBoards.com for the idiocy.

A topic on the worst GM-coach duos of all time yielded this response from a Canucks fan:

benning – desjardins is going to look pretty all-time awful in two years, if it doesn’t already.i mean, did you guys see desjardins undermine his team against calgary last spring like he was trying to lose?

Do I need to say more? Yes, this was copy and pasted. It makes me shake my head we have fans of this nature supporting the Vancouver Canucks.

A topic on how Benning forced the Canucks into “premature rebuilding” (which is a fair enough claim, but it gave this Notra “dumbass” like response):
As of last year, the Canucks were Cup contenders. Their playoff run sucked but at least they did make the playoffs. Now they definitely will be out of contention and it’s all because of Benning, IMO.
Now the Canucks were cup contenders before the evil Jim Benning came in. I’ve seen it all now. No sir, they finished sixth last in the league under Tortorella and Gillis’ direction. Nice try at spinning things, though.
On the same topic listed right above, another Gillis defender posted this gem:
That is how we know Benning botched it and is worse, much much much worse than Gillis (thus far of course. Perhaps we’re all wrong or he figures things out). Gillis had the team poised to begin the turn around in the summer of 2014. Any new GM would have loved walking into that situation. Well any new GM that could talk about things other than meat and potatoes, scrums, culture, and high end intangibles.
Ah yes, the team was freaking great coming off sixth last and trending downwards. Where do “fans” come up with this stuff?
Gillis only looked bad because of the owners influence.If Gillis had his way we would have started the rebuild in 2013. The Luongo/Schneider debacle is way overblown.
When did Gillis become Mother Theresa? I heard fans yelling “fire Gillis” at the end of 2013-2014 season. They were right. It was time for him to go. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, Gillis lover.
Kevin Bieksa clearly lost faith in this team and new management. Just a year ago he said he’d go down with to ship.
Now Kevin Bieksa is apparently against the cause. He hates the Canucks just like these fans hate Jim Benning. He has agreed with the “smart ones”. When did opinion become fact like this? Maybe he agreed to be traded because it was the right thing to do? He was the worst defenseman last year on ice, and it wasn’t even close. No amount of advanced statistics could say otherwise.
I’m sad he’s gone but I’m glad he’s out of this mickey mouse organization. I always thought the criticism of Bieksa was unfair. Yes he had holes in his game and struggled after that sliced tendon injury but that guy was the most warrior heart and soul player I’ve ever seen on the Canucks. The guy bleed Canucks blue and was one of the very few homegrown players to develop into a top NHL player in my time watching the Canucks (since about ’01) which is both sad and beautiful. I hope the Ducks win next year not only for Bieksa but because that is such an unbelievably well managed team. Their scouting, cap management and blend of youth and experience is reminiscent of the Red Wings. They’re going to be an elite team for years with how that team has been built.

It’s clear he wants to be on a winner and doesn’t think much of this management group.

Guess what this “loyal fan” has as a username? “FacepalmBenning”.
It doesn’t get better than that.
What’s the conclusion in all of this?
Canucks fans, as a person living in Vancouver who has once been a season ticket holder, annoy me and make me sick. Most pessimistic group and media I have ever seen. Every year they whine for someone to get fired or axed and every season with no cup is a failure.
No one predicted this team to finish as well as they did last year. Fans were generally happy about that until the Calgary series. Then it becomes a game of how Desjardins and Benning all of the sudden suck at their jobs.
I’m so tired of it. We deserve a team on par with the late 2000s era Edmonton Oilers. Seeing as how a fifth place finish in the west is absolutely awful and grounds for the general manager being fired. Along with his offseason moves that HAVE YET TO PLAY A SINGLE GAME IN A CANUCKS UNIFORM.
These posters should have their Canuck fan titles stripped. It’s annoying and embarrassing.

Ned Yost is a Troll: How the Kansas City Royals Became Baseball’s Most Hated Team

Ramblings, Sports

Watching the highlights for the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals game was painful.

High pitches from pitcher Edinson Volquez of the Royals to new additions Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson.

The umpire Jim Wolf expressed poor judgment in not taking control of the situation and disciplining Volquez.

On top of that, when Donaldson rightfully complained, Volquez begins taunting him from the dugout and after the game he goes on about how he’s a baby.

When pitcher Sanchez on the Blue Jays returned the favour in the later innings, he got tossed. The Royals then act all tough and leave the dugout. There’s king rat Edinson Volquez trying to put on a front in the middle of this scrum like he’s the toughest guy ever.

To add insult to injury manager Ned Yost put on a troll face and made a spiel that would make most politicians grin. He said Jim Wolf was amazing and the Blue Jays players leap into the inside too much which is why the high pitches occurred.

Come on man. I thought about calling him an asshole but could see he didn’t believe he crap he was spewing. He’s a troll.

The Royals have done this crap time and time again this year. They are trying to act like the toughest team in all of baseball. It doesn’t work that way.

Enjoy the exit from the postseason this year you classless baboons.

Predicting the 2015-2016 NHL Standings and Playoffs

Sports

Well another decent season for the National Hockey League was put into the history books.

If you read my post last year, I called most of the right dark horses. I said the Canucks will make the playoffs as a wild card. They didn’t even need to be a wild card they had such a successful year. I also said the Predators would make it in but as a wild card. They soared through the rankings in the regular season last year.

Of course it is somewhat of a crap shoot but it is fun. The standings next year no doubt will not emulate last years NHL standings; there will be some teams who I feel will get in once again and others who will go down a bit. Fanbases will be happy when I stroke their team, some will be upset when I speak what I feel is the truth.

Atlantic Division Predictions

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

So your first reaction is probably: “what kind of shit are you smoking that made you rank the Toronto Maple Leafs so high?”

I call it…the fallacy of Mike Babcock.

This is where the Maple Leafs will have a coach that is so good he will make them at least competitive no matter how bad they look on paper. In turn, this will piss off Toronto fans when they may barely miss the playoffs; they as fans will want a lottery pick. I really have this exact feeling. I may be dead wrong, but I call it the “Babcock effect”. Count me as one of the fans who feels a decent coach can turn a team around no matter how bad they look on paper.

So with that said you probably notice the Canadiens low after a decent season last year. Yeah, I believe they are trending downwards. I admittedly don’t follow them often but only hear from fans how bad of a job Michelle Therrien is doing. Carey Price is the force behind that team and I simply don’t believe a team can keep up in the ranks with their goalie playing their heart out. Just look at the New York Rangers with Tortorella. They kept trending downwards even though Lundqvist played his ass off.

The Sabres, yeah, they suck. I am not a believer in Tim Murray at all. Dan Bylsma is a wild card but I truly feel with the losing culture they had in place last year, it’s going to backfire. They are going to become the next Edmonton Oilers. Let’s not forget the idiotic trade and signing of Ryan O’ Reilly. Their two decent prospects in Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov for him? Tim Murray is going to ruin this team.

I feel the Panthers are going up. A nice young core, some decent depth, and a decent coach. Keep an eye on this team. Dale Tallon did a fine job in Chicago before putting them in cap hell. But hey, I’d prefer the cup if it means my team goes in cap hell for a few years after.

And the Lightning, yeah, no brainer. Called them in first last year. Look for them to be a threat once again this year.

One team I am honestly not sure of is the Boston Bruins. I feel Lucic was the identity of that team and I’m banking on Don Sweeney looking like a fool this offseason. Not sure if Julien is being tuned out by the roster either.

Detroit will be an interesting team to watch. I feel like Blashill will just pick up where Babcock left off. Holland will also continue his brilliance as general manager. I can’t see Detroit falling anytime soon.

Metropolitan Division Predictions

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

This is an interesting division. More interesting than the rest.

I truly feel the Rangers reign of dominance may come to an end. I’m familiar with Vigneault. He usually has a few good years until teams start to tune him out just like the Vancouver Canucks did.

I can’t help but think the Penguins were doing well with coach Mike Johnston until they got decimated with injuries. And with the addition of Phil Kessel, I see them playing lights out on offense while Johnston keeps them playing decent on defense. His system had Marc Andre-Fleury looking great. I just can’t see Pittsburgh trending downwards and feel last year was an anomaly.

The Capitals will be up there for sure. I’m not sure if they will rank as high as second but they will be a playoff team. And when they get in, they will be dangerous with game seven legend Justin Williams. I love that pickup. Barry has them playing good hockey. I was wrong about him as a coach. He has done a solid job in Washington.

The Blue Jackets and Islanders could rotate. I feel the Islanders may be slightly ahead. But both teams both have solid, young talent. Like I said, don’t be shocked if one or the other gets in as a bottom seed.

The Devils, not a bad team. But also not great on the forward side of things. I am not sure how their new coach from Wilkes-Barre will do either.

The Flyers I feel may trend a bit down but be good in the future. Their defense core is still the worst in the league and I believe it will take some time to fix. The other teams I ranked ahead of them I just feel are simply better teams than the Flyers, who are pretty much Giroux, Voracek, and maybe Provorov as of now. Not to forget Couturier.

The Hurricanes, yeah, no brainer for me here. Nothing screams cup contender or on the rise from that squad to me. But then again, they could prove me wrong. If they get into the playoffs that means I have a chance with Salma Hayek.

Central Division Predictions

1. St. Louis Blues
2. Nashville Predators
3. Chicago Blackhawks
4. Minnesota Wild
5. Dallas Stars
6. Colorado Avalanche
7. Winnipeg Jets

This is hands down the toughest division in hockey. All the teams in this division are good and could be considered playoff teams. I feel I will be dead wrong in my predictions for this division.

You could rotate the Jets with the Wild, the Blackhawks with the Stars. Here is my reasoning for why I ranked it how I did here:

-The Blackhawks are always going to be a playoff team as long as Toews, Kane, and Keith are there. Along with Coach Q. Sharp and Oduya are big losses but do not mean no playoffs

-The Blues are the kings of the regular season. How they do in the playoffs is the bigger concern.

-The Wild have a nice core. People thought they would trend downwards this year and coach Yeo was in trouble. Misjudgment there. Their goaltending is the biggest concern but they haven’t missed the playoffs in years with Suter and Parise at the helm.

-The Predators have the best defensive core in the league and Laviolette usually stays decent as head coach (until year three or so usually).

I can’t see these four teams missing for those reasons. The Stars are the wildcard for me. I feel they may either be able to sneak in as a lower seed, or pass the Predators or Wild. They have a nice young core and elite offensive prowess.

The Avalanche are still a big question mark but again have a nice young core. They too are speedy as hell. They are too inconsistent. One year they finish high, the next, quite low. I’m not too sure if that inconsistency means they are as good as the five I listed above them.

The Jets, I’m sorry to their fans. I really do think last year was an anomaly and I’m not buying them as an elite team. The six teams I ranked ahead of them I feel are flat out better. Of course I ranked the Jets in the bottom of the division last year, and they finished fifth in reality.

Pacific Division Predictions

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

Here is when my homerism comes in and big time.

I also follow this division more than the other divisions in hockey besides maybe the central division (since that one is so competitive and fun to watch).

I don’t even know if the Anaheim Ducks are a safe bet to finish first. Bruce Boudreau has always been a regular season coach though, so they are the logical choice. Look out Ducks fans about Bieksa though. Don’t complain if he manages to bring your defense down by himself. But like I said, the logical choice for first is the Ducks.

Here is where I will be crucified; I think the Canucks will be a better team this year than last. I follow this team more than any other team. I know Willie Desjardins is a winner. I predicted wild card last year and they instead came in fifth in the western conference and had 101 points. Willie will keep the good times rolling.

Ryan Miller needs to emulate what he did last year. 28-15 as a starter and solid for the most part before he got hurt. I couldn’t ask for more from him. If Jakob Markstrom breaks out like he did in the AHL last year, this could be an awesome goaltending duo.

Bieksa, Matthias, Kassian. All misfits that are gone and replaced by better guys. I truly believe Matt Bartkowski and Clendening will be good on defense. Clendening was solid for us when we had an injury bug in January-March. Little do Canucks fans forget that Sbisa was as well.

Sven Baertschi will be coming in to play on the second line. I can’t see him playing worse than Higgins or Burrows did offensively on the second line. He will put up better numbers. I am a believer.

Horvat and especially Linden Vey will have better years. If Vey doesn’t have a better year he will be gone. I’m rooting for him as he seems like a solid kid. Brandon Prust will be a hellraiser just like Derek Dorsett was on the fourth line. And enter in big Jake Virtanen and Ron Kenins.

Call me a homer, but that’s how I see things. The sky is not falling for me. We aren’t cup contenders but we will be fine.

The Sharks are a wild card to me. Will new coach Peter Deboer be the spark needed for this team? I always felt he was a good coach in New Jersey who was just brutal on the young kids like Adam Larsson. Paul Martin and Joel Ward are also coming in. I’m not sure about Martin but I know Joel Ward is good…for the postseason at least if the Sharks do make it.

The Kings might improve or they might bust. I really don’t know. I do feel Stoll, Richards, Voynov, and Williams all gone is a huge hit to their identity and core. Yeah they now have Lucic but he doesn’t make up for four guys. They will be a team to watch this year.

The Oilers have made all the right moves this offseason. Better moves than any offseason they have had in five or so years. But they are like that dirtbag boyfriend the girl you liked in high school had. They do all the right things but then screw over their fans once the regular season starts. I can’t see how they don’t improve with the changes they made. But if they still suck, the city of Edmonton may be cursed just like Cleveland is.

As for the Calgary Flames, yeah, call me a hater. I wasn’t impressed by them at all last year even though they knocked out my Canucks. It was a giant “whatever” feeling. Bob Hartley usually gets tuned out by his team and I feel that happens anytime with this Flames squad if they keep playing the way they are. Believe it or not, I think Dougie Hamilton will be a bomb in Calgary. He certainly was when I watched him in Boston which is part of the reason why he got dealt. There also is something there that simply does not add up. Boston got rid of him for a low return, meaning not only was he a turnover machine, he may have had character issues. I do however like their addition of Frolik. But I can’t for the life of me see Monahan and Gaudreau replicating the seasons they had last year.

So there you have it. Let the hate mail commence!

Here is what I am predicting the 2015-2016 post season to look like:

Lightning .vs. Senators/Islanders/Blue Jackets (two of these three make it)
Red Wings .vs. Panthers

Penguins .vs. Senators/Islanders/Blue Jackets (two of these three make it)
Capitals .vs. Rangers

Blues .vs. Wild
Blackhawks .vs. Predators

Ducks .vs. Stars/Sharks (most likely Stars)
Canucks .vs. Kings

2015 NHL Draft: Why Ivan Provorov Will Have the Best Career After Connor McDavid

Sports

The 2015 NHL draft commenced a few weeks ago. Many picks were made, some of them obvious, some of them shrewd, and some of them garnered a “what the fuck are you doing reaction” *cough* Don Sweeney from Boston Bruins *cough*.

A lot of the first round picks were obvious. Some of them were odd.

Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel were the easy top two picks. After that, with the third overall pick, it was a gaunlet between young, skilled players to choose from such as Dylan Strome, Noah Hanifin, Mitch Marner, Pavel Zacha, and more. Noah Hanifin I would say was the favourite to go third overall followed by Dylan Strome. The Arizona Coyotes probably think they have their franchise defenseman already in Oliver Ekman-Larsson and that Hanifin was not needed. The Carolina Hurricanes gladly took him.

I am here to tell you that the Phiadelphia Flyers in ten years from now will have made the best selection in this draft after the Oilers obvious first overall selection of Connor McDavid. It is obvious McDavid will be a star in this league. If he goes the way Nail Yakupov did to start off his career I believe the Oilers are truly cursed. McDavid will be in the Art Ross running for years to come. He will be a Calder trophy candidate next year.

Ivan Provorov will be the same in years but for defenseman; he will be talked about as a Norris trophy candidate. This is a guy who oozes hockey IQ that you simply can’t teach. In 60 games last year on the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL, he posted 61 points in 60 games with a plus 36 rating at 18 years old. The Wheat Kings were a top team in the WHL largely due to his presence rocking the first defensive pairing. Not only do his junior stats and film tape stand out, he is also put into the best position to succeed.

You see, the Philadelphia Flyers are a big market team that always want to be in the mix of things. There are few organizations I recall that have consistently iced a playoff team as they have in the last twenty years. Ron Hextall is doing good things as new general manager and he hired the right new head coach in Hakstol after a distastrous few seasons. They will no doubt be in the playoff hunt in another year or two like they have been for many years before. Meanwhile what were the teams actually drafted ahead of the Flyers?

Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres
Arizona Coyotes
Toronto Maple Leafs
Carolina Hurricanes
New Jersey Devils

With the exception of the Devils, wait for it, wait… These organizations are all perennial failures and you can’t say otherwise until they do change things around. The Oilers are a tire fire and have been for years up until this year. They finally made the right personnel decisions by hiring Todd McLellan as head coach and Chiarelli as general manager.

The Sabres are on their way to becoming what the Oilers are. They intentionally tanked the last NHL season and didn’t even try denying it. Tim Murray is a moron and a half when you hear him talk to media. If that’s your general manager I feel pity for you. And the Ryan O’ Reilly contract where they got rid of some of their young core? Why Nikita Zadorov?

The Ariona Coyotes, yeah, a no brainer. They can’t spend to the cap and have to rely on drafting. With the exception of their 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 seasons, they haven’t have much luck and are trending downwards. Mike Smith hasn’t been the same since his hot 2012 season and more. A positive young core. We also must question if Dylan Strome is really a franchise changer or not. Strome, Max Domi, Larsson, and Anthony Duclair. A decent young core. But you have to wonder if Dave Tippett is the right coach to be coaching up young kids or not. You get where I’m going with this before I bash the Leafs and the Hurricanes.

A lot of these picks ahead of Provorov will also go back into their junior leagues next year. I can’t see many of them garnering roster spots besides Eichel and McDavid (obviously). Provorov should see playing time next year. I can’t count six defensemen on that team off the top of my head. They are so weak in that area that a top ten pick would suffice. I am all in on this kid.

Small, skilled forwards are a dime a dozen. Look at how Tyler Johnson went undrafted. A number one puck moving defenseman with a feel for the game is not something that comes along often. Provorov is the best defenseman taking in the last two drafts: after Aaron Ekblad of course.

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

Bold Predictions for the 2014-2015 NHL Season

Sports

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The NHL season starts around the beginning of October and since the free agent frenzy has pretty much ended I have a few bold predictions for next season that go against “the norm”. In other words, predictions that are bold and go against the public. Here are a few I have:

1. The Vancouver Canucks make the playoffs.

Albeit I’m very biased towards them, I am willing to bet this happens. Everywhere I go people are counting them out saying how they are a tenth seed, etc. I have followed this off season. I followed last season. They sucked ass last season and a large portion of it was due to the goons known as John Tortorella and Mike Gillis. There is no way this team should have been playing a defensive dump and chase style. It doesn’t fit the team. Coach Tortorella is a goof who will never land a job in the NHL again (a not so bold prediction or opinion there either). Jim Benning has made some shrewd moves that I think will pay off. The jury is still out on his draft picks Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann. But signing Ryan Miller for a few years, good move. The pay is a bit steep but that’s the price you must pay for a decent goaltender. Miller looked bad in St. Louis especially in the postseason but that’s his only dark moment of his career so far. I’m willing to see if he has more to offer. Dealing Ryan Kesler was the best move they made. Nick Bonino is a great kid and plays the game hard. Outside of all these moves Jim Benning made in terms of player personnel, the biggest and the one I think will pay off was not made just by him but also president Trevor Linden: hiring Willie Desjardins. The guy has won at every level besides the NHL. He made the Texas Stars in the AHL a great team. He made the Dallas Stars have serious depth alone due to the way he coached the young kids on the Texas Stars. He also won multiple times in the WHL before. I have not heard a single bad word about him. Just great things. Look for him to turn the Vancouver Canucks around, be a well liked coach by the players, and have them become a winning franchise. No, I don’t think they will be Stanley Cup contenders or fighting for the presidents trophy. I also don’t think they will win the Pacific Division, that’s crazy. They will make the playoffs as a sixth-eighth seed. I am putting my mouth on the line here.

2. Pekka Rinne gets exposed as an over rated goaltender

I’m sorry Preds fans. I always hear people talk about him as if he is a top goaltender in the league, top three, etc. I’ve never seen it. He was a huge body in front of the net behind Ryan Suter and Shea Weber all those years. That’s why he looked really good. Take out coach Barry Trotz and his boring ass defensive system and replace him with offensive minded Peter Laviolette, look at people to start doubting Pekka Rinne as among the league’s best in net. This is a little bold and the term “over rated” seems to imply I think he sucks. I think he will still be good, just not in the top three as people typically have him in in their lists of best goaltenders in the NHL.

3. The Boston Bruins don’t repeat as regular season powerhouses this year

The Bruins have been a very successful franchise for years now in the NHL but I think they won’t repeat as president trophy champions or as a top team in the regular season. Just a weird feeling I have. Chara is getting old, he has been slowing down season after season. It is only a matter of time before he retires or fades away. He is a huge driving force behind the team. Without him, I don’t know. They got rid of top scorer Jarome Iginla and replaced him with…well…nothing really? I think this team should have kept him for another year, he fit well in the system. I say they are still a playoff team but finish no higher than third in the eastern conference. And then come playoff time, Tukkaa Rask gets exposed as a choker once again. The Flyers and Canadiens completely lit this guy up when his team had both series in a stranglehold. Definitely not worth the money they are paying him. Roberto Luongo got hated on as a Canuck, why is this guy excused?

4. The Montreal Canadiens don’t go on a huge playoff run again

Not sure if this is bold. I don’t think they have the same success as they did last year. Carey Price is a monster in net no doubt and they still look like a playoff team, but I think they got by last year in the playoffs playing a really gritty style that many teams typically don’t repeat. They had guys such as Dale Weise scoring clutch goals or Daniel Briere (who they got rid of). Leader Josh Gorges was dealt to the leagues worst Buffalo Sabres for scraps. I don’t see this team going as far in the playoffs as they did last year. I rooted them on, it was a great run, but let’s be realistic here.

5. The Anaheim Ducks do not make it far in the playoffs

Of course they make the season with Boudreau being head coach. That’s his bread and butter. I have no shame in admitting they may be a fifth to first rank team in the western conference. But come playoff time, they will lose, again, like Boudreau coach teams do. No way am I betting on this team to win the cup. I also would like to make the bold prediction that Ducks fans become disappointed with Ryan Kesler’s production and wish for Nick Bonino back. Seriously. He has not been good at all since Vancouver’s cup run and I am glad to get Sbisa and Bonino for him. Not joking or trolling. Gibson is young and a question mark. He’s said to be a phenom but this will be his first full year. I don’t know about giving him such a heavy task. Andersen is also a question mark as a 1B/backup goaltender. Look for the Ducks to be golfing by the semi finals and their fans complaining about Boudreau and Kesler.

6. The Kings, Blackhawks, or Penguins become Stanley Cup champions (again)

Okay, this is not very bold at all. This is with the norm. I think the Kings or Blackhawks are easily in line to take home another cup along with maybe the Penguins in the east. Mike Johnston as newly hired head coach of the Penguins should take them into the playoffs. The last time the Pens hired a head coach they destroyed the rest of the league. They were something like 18-3 before going into the playoffs with Bylsma. Mike Johnston may have the same success or it may backfire. The Kings and Blackhawks are still the premium teams of the west. The Blues, Sharks, and Ducks are all teams capable of doing well in the regular season but then shitting the bed in the playoffs. I don’t see either team passing the torch in the west this season unless they have injuries to key players.