Moose is loose

The Thrashers are off today following Sunday’s win over Edmonton. Time to get some needed chores done around the house, but I wanted to post a new blog before I get started with my lengthy list.

Let’s pose a question before I return to practice on Tuesday morning. There we can check on the status of Pavel Kubina and Byran Little, who both missed yesterday’s game with injuries.

Johan Hedberg has gotten three of the last four starts in goal – missing only Friday’s game against Los Angeles. It was the second of the away-home back-to-back with the Islanders and Kings.

Do you think Moose is assuming the No. 1 goaltender job? Or is coach John Anderson riding the hot hand? Or is it all just part of a goalie rotation where both will play plenty?

Here are the early-season stats. Hedberg is ninth in the league in save percentage at .923. He has started five games (4-1) and relieved Ondrej Pavelec twice. Pavelec (6-5-1) is 17th with a .917 save percentage. He has started 12 games and relieved Hedberg once. Hedberg is 20th in the league in goals-against average at 2.63. Pavelec is 30th at 2.90.

Over his last three starts – all wins –  Hedberg has stopped a total of 97-of-104 shots.

Let me know what you folks think.

50 comments Add your comment

KLS1

November 16th, 2009
8:28 am

Ride the hot hand, its a long season and everything will come out in the wash. Of course, its hard to argue with the shut-out Pavelec posted the game before. Either way its a good problem to have.

Trash

November 16th, 2009
8:28 am

First ! ! ! ! ! ! Go, Moose ! ! !

sisu

November 16th, 2009
8:29 am

I think it is a question of who gives the team the best chance to win, ride the hot goalie.

Trash

November 16th, 2009
8:30 am

Uh. . . 2nd, right KLS! “A good problem to have” !

JLH

November 16th, 2009
8:34 am

Pavelec is still #1. I’m not sure why I think this, but perhaps Anderson is keeping the team in front of of our goalies more alert by alternating, and at the same time letting Pavs know that he has to keep working 110%. It could also be setting Pavs up for Kari’s eventual return, when the competition really ramps up. Also, it lets the team know that good play will be rewarded. Pavs could also have been still smarting a bit from the shot on the knee Friday. Has anyone seen a comment about that from the team?

Bob

November 16th, 2009
9:07 am

I was thinking the same as JLH, that Moose got the start yesterday as Pavs’ knee was hurting from the shot he took Friday

Darkhorse

November 16th, 2009
9:21 am

I also agree the shot Pavs took on his knee was the primary reason he did not get the start yesterday.

Pavs should start the Boston game Thursday. Moose is playing very well in the backup role and that is where I think he should stay. You want your backup to be able to relieve the starter and come in and get some wins for you along the way. Well, he’s done that. Do not change his role. He’s not a number one anymore in respect to logging lots of games and minutes.

However, wasn’t it the Boston game around this time last year where Pavs started and gave up three goals on the first four shots and was pulled? If Hedberg has a great record against Boston, maybe you do give him a go. But again, we play three games in four nights this week and four in six, so both should get plenty of time.

GaVaHokie

November 16th, 2009
9:23 am

This is a perfect time to meet up with Boston on Thursday… we’ve got a lot of momentum and they’re still without Lucic and Savard.

Russian

November 16th, 2009
9:37 am

Rotation goalies is perfect deal for team right now. Pavs is still young goalie and he needs to take break. Moose has been good bck up for him. I like to see Pavs plays against Boston.

Stevo

November 16th, 2009
9:47 am

I don’t know what Moose’s numbers are against Boston, but this is not the same Boston team as last year. They are missing some of the offensive firepower that they had last year. With that being said, I think you start Pavs if his knee is 100%. Give him a chance to prove he is better than giving up 3 goals on 4 shots to the Bruins. However, I would have no problem starting Moose if Pavs isn’t 100%.

Toby

November 16th, 2009
10:00 am

Pavs stopping 38 for a SO certainly doesn’t drop him to #2. They will switch back and forth for the hot hand. See Wads…Depth is Good!!!

MB

November 16th, 2009
10:06 am

Agree that Moose starting yesterday was more directly related to the shot Pavs took to his knee Friday night, and fully expect Opie back in net Thursday night. While I don’t like the 4-day gap between games from a momentum standpoint, hopefully OP, Little, and Kubina can all get back to 100% (or close to it) by then, not to mention additional healing time for Kovy and Kane.

In terms of #1 goalie, I think we’ll continue to see Ondrej get the majority of starts. Kudos, though, to Moose for stepping up strong when we’ve needed him…one of the big reasons he’s such a fan favorite.

Barry

November 16th, 2009
10:43 am

I just think it all boils down to keeping our goalies fresh. This has been 3 games in 4 days. Also Moose apparently has a really good record against Edmonton so Anderson probably goes with who he thinks has the best chance to win and keeping the goalies fresh.

d

November 16th, 2009
10:45 am

Amazing how Moose’s YTD stats are so much higher than his career numbers. This is a young man’s game – players normally do not improve in the mid 30’s. My guess is that Hedberg’s stats will eventually return to their long-term mean average.

Who would have guessed that our two “back-up” goalies would be sporting a save % of 91.7% and 92.3% thus far this season?

Brendan

November 16th, 2009
10:47 am

Moose isn’t a #1 goalie in the NHL. If he ever starts 4 in-a-row, it means that something “un-good” happened to the starter. Or, in the case of Bob Hartley’s coaching, because Hartley wanted to Kari to ‘play better.’ And in Bob Hartley’s mind, goalies play better while riding the pine. :roll: Hey, he’s a complicated man. (But I’m talkin’ ’bout SHAFT! And I can dig it.)

John Anderson had an interview segment on the Oilers telecast on Center Ice. In it, he admitted to talking to his friend Bruce Boudreau ‘at least once a week.’ Hmmn. Keeping friends close, but enemies closer? Nah. I think they’re pals. :smile:

Before I end this post, I must say that I have always liked Moose. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s well-liked in the lockerroom. He’s won the “teammate’s teammate award” twice. Everybody roots for him to do well. It’s hard to watch a popular guy leave. But uhhh, I think that’s what we’re gonna do, at season’s end.

I know you guys don’t like to hear this … and as much as I’ve criticized Waddell for ever drafting Kari … the truth I believe is this one: We DID take 7 years developing Kari Lehtonen. I’m very sorry that he’s had injury after injury after injury. And I’m equally frustrated that Kari suffers ‘mental breakdowns’ every 5th game or so, but he actually is a fairly decent goalie. And if the choice were between Moose or Kari, my vote goes to Kari. What? Yes, even though Moose is almost NEVER hurt? Yes. Even though Moose usually fills in quite capably in relief of Pavelec or Lehtonen, when called up to do so? Yes. The answer any and all the questions is “yes.” I’d like to keep Moose. Truly, I would. But unless Moose is going to retire at season’s end, he probably doesn’t want to sign a 1-year deal. He’ll look for 2-years, because it’s his contract year, and he is without a contract next season. I know many of you detest the concept of carrying 3 goalies, but it’s worked for us this year. If Moose would agree to a 1-year deal, or to be hired as a goalie coach, I’d be fine with that, honestly. But I won’t blame Moose for leaving at season’s end, nor will I blame Waddell, if he doesn’t re-up the Moose. I will always root for Hedberg’s success, and remember him fondly as a Thrasher.

Dwayne

November 16th, 2009
11:08 am

Thrashers # 13 in NHL power rankings.

Spud Webb

November 16th, 2009
11:34 am

Moose is decent. Opie will be back Thursday night and we won’t miss a beat!! YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Darren

November 16th, 2009
12:01 pm

Let me throw this at y’all:

If, and this is a big if, Kari Lehtonen returns in playing shape, what do you do then?

Right now, Hedberg’s trade value is arguably greater than Kari’s (particularly because he’ll be a UFA after this year).

Sara

November 16th, 2009
12:01 pm

I think the organization *wants* Pavs to be the #1 guy – but he’s going to be expected to play like it. He struggled his next to last start and Moose had to come in and clean up. Then Moose was on a roll for two. Had Ondrej floundered against the Kings, Moose would be the man right now. Fortunately for him he didn’t, I think he got some extra rest because of the puck to the knee (and also to get Moose in front of the home crowd – don’t think the coaches don’t know who’s popular). We should see Pavs back in net for Thurs. vs. Boston.

Stevo – agreed, Boston has been struggling … which is a really sore subject for me since I have 4 Bruins on my fantasy team and two of them are camping out on my IR. Though the fact I moved into 1st in my League this morning does take a bit of that sting out. :p

Sara

November 16th, 2009
12:03 pm

Darren – if I’m Waddell I keep both Ondrej and Kari for as long as I possibly can get away with it. As in, until either we can’t afford both or until Alan Walsh starts squawking about Ondrej getting disrespected by the organization and demanding a trade to a team that will make him their true #1. :eyeroll:

Russian

November 16th, 2009
12:40 pm

Kari is not coming back very soon. 6-8 weeks, plus 1 week in Chickago. I hope he will be ready before Olimpic Break. If he will show good play, we have to keep him and Pavs together. Moose will trade or keep him as insurance.

KLS1

November 16th, 2009
12:40 pm

As long as we keep playing good defense and put the puck in the net offensively, any of our 3 goalies will be fine (assuming Kari ever gets well).

The only question will be which of our starting goalies will be hot going into the playoffs.

BlueSpark

November 16th, 2009
12:41 pm

RE: Kari – I really think he’s the type of goalie who needs a strong defensive team in front of him. I don’t think he can handle 40 shots per game on a nightly basis. Pavelec is touted as more of a “battler,” and has even remarked that he prefers lots of shots. When Kari returns, I think he’ll be better (assuming he’s really ready and in shape) than the past 2 seasons, due to the D being a little better at clearing the front of the net and limiting 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances. That said, maybe 3 or 4 goods starts will be a nice showcase, because I don’t think he’s the right goalie for this team.

Jameson

November 16th, 2009
12:43 pm

Chris- Any chance you can check on OP’s knee tomorrow? I was worried when I saw the way he got up after that shot. I was just waiting to hear that we’d made the call to Chicago to bring up MacIntyre as a backup.

The Earl of Bud

November 16th, 2009
12:56 pm

I like JLH’s idea that Pavalec may have sat because of the shot on the knee as well, but until Chris confirms that, who knows? The fact that Pavalec has started 12 games to Moose’s 5 should tell us everything we need to know about who’s #1. No one gets benched for getting a shutout.

Brendan beat me to the backup comment. If Moose ever plays 4 in a row, he won’t look so spectacular, whereas Pavalec can handle it more and I’m not worried if he gets a few games off. We can’t ride him like he’s Brodeur anyway.

“Kari Lehtonen returns in playing shape, what do you do then?”

Start taking bets as to when he will be out again and what it will be for this time.

World Be Free

November 16th, 2009
1:11 pm

I saw Kari at the game yesterday. He was moving pretty well for a guy that just had back surgery. I think he’s going to come back stronger, ready for the stretch run.

stendec

November 16th, 2009
1:25 pm

Brendan, I was going to comment on your Kari Lehtonen remarks but they prove you are a complete idiotic imbecile without an ounce of hockey sense whatsoever. Be a team player! Not a Sori Letemin apologist. That said…Forgive my tardiness! Gone ballistic watching Falcons deteroriate from a well coached professional football team to a group of undisciplined heartless thug losers. Did Michael Sick sneak back into Flowery Branch while I was not paying attention? Sure seems like it! But I digress. I am so proud of Thrashers I am almost misty eyed! Four consecutive victories. An 18-7 scoring advantage! An average of 4.5 goals scored to 1.8 surrendered. Obvious Sori Letemin (who?) has not been between pipes! More pleased that Thrashers have toughed up on home ice. That is a necessity for a playoff/championship team in any sport! Goaltending has been out of this world during last four contests. Offense has done what has had to be done. Especially in narrow win over Edmonton Oilers. Team cannot continue at this torrid pace but end of current winning streak simply must not result in start of losing streak! Maybe these ice guys do get it after all! Congratulations. Keep on keeping on. ++STENDEC++

World Be Free

November 16th, 2009
1:40 pm

Kari’s not the only goaltender to suffer from lapses. I would have liked to have seen that remedied by now.

I have to agree with Brendan on this one, in the sense that Kari was one heck of a goalie after the allstar break last year. He has the skill, just cannot remain healthy overall.

Goalies taking a long time to develop?

I keep thinking of Johnny Bower; Bower was a hall of famer when he finally developed, after age 30. Dominik Hasek was unprotected in the 1992 expansion draft. I think he went on to win 4 Vezinas, a couple MVPs, Stanley Cup and an Olympic Gold Metal. Tim Thomas bounced over half of Europe before coming into his own in the past few seasons, winning the Vezina last season.

Consider these 3 examples and I’d say Kari is right on schedule.

Smoothie

November 16th, 2009
1:57 pm

Going off the board here, but someone here on a previous blog entry had requested stats showing that Kovy was a greater defensive liability than our Crazy Legged friend, Maximum Finny. I checked the official stats on NHL.com and I could not be more surprised at some of the stuff I found, but I was not surprised to find that Mad Max was a greater turnover (”giveaway” if you’re talking hockey speak) risk than Kovy.

Player Gives Takes Goals

Afinogenov 16 23 8
Peverley 16 16 8
Kovalchuk 5 4 12
Antropov 9 6 0

Crotchby — 22 gives in 20 games; only 10 takes and 10 goals
Ovechkin — 15 gives in 14 games; only 12 takes and 14 goals
Thornton — 19 gives in 22 games; only 13 takes and 5 goals
Other Notables: Derek Roy with 16 gives in 17 gms; Zetterberg with only 10 gives in 18 gms

Mind you, these are the “official” stats maintained by the league with respect to taking care of the puck. I’m not quite sure how they define a “giveaway”, but I’m thinking it is the turnover of a puck that leads directly to an offensive rush for the other team. Otherwise, you would have to think these giveaway numbers would be slightly higher if they counted every time a guy fumbled the puck in the neutral zone.

But it’s nice to see that Finny is no worse at turning over the puck than some of the most creative playmakers in the league. Perhaps we are too hard on our new top RW, who may prove to be the best free-agency acquisition of the year.

jcwhitingjr

November 16th, 2009
2:09 pm

Unless you want to move OP or Moose, then Kari plays when he gets healthy. He has no trade value at the moment and we can’t get anything worth while by moving him right away.

The Earl of Bud

November 16th, 2009
2:48 pm

First regarding Lehtonen – yes some goalies developed in the later stages of their career. But for every Johnny Bower there is a Tom Barasso. Steve Mason came close to beating out Tim Thomas for that Vezina last year, but he did collect the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. Didn’t take him until he was 30+ years old to win it. So to make it some sort of universal law that ALL goalies develop after being bounced around Europe is a bit off base. What about the goalies who never develop after being all over the league, how do we know Lehtonen doesn’t have that ahead of him? Besides, it’s not his talent that we question, it’s his ability to stay healthy.

As for what defines a “giveaway” Smoothie, it is a bad pass or something that is the fault of the offensive player alone. Sort of like in tennis they keep track of “unforced” errors. Peverley is up there too, probably because of the rants I have of him turning the puck over on those cross-ice passes are making his total go up.

If the defensive player does something to force the turnover, it is not technically a “giveaway” but rather a takeaway for the other team. These are not a good thing to monitor though because they are very easy to rack up by basic poke checks and are extremely subjective, unlike a goal or an assist which is pretty hard to argue in 99.9% of goals scored. So many in NHL circles don’t like to use the “takeaway” stat at all and find that it has little correlation. Giveaways on the other hand are completely the fault of the player turning the puckover and are not so subjective.

So sure enough Smoothie, Max leads the team in turnovers as you pointed out and is way ahead of Kovalchuk in that department.

The Earl of Bud

November 16th, 2009
2:54 pm

Smoothie, I was going to add, if the puck is turned over it can NOT be a giveaway for one team and a takeaway for the other at the same time. It is either one or the other, it is either forced or unforced, not both. The other problem with using those takeaway stats is that we don’t have a way of measuring how many takeaways each of our own players contributed to the other team. If the other team has 10 takeaways for a game against us, we don’t know if 5 of them were taken away from Max or 8 of them were taken away from Max or none. So again, to measure it on a player-by-player basis, you have to eliminate takeaways when seeing who turns the puck over the most.

MB

November 16th, 2009
4:20 pm

What’s surprising to me in those turnover stats is the low number of giveaways from Kovy. The guy is just doing everything right these days…I love it!

Crosby’s #s may be elevated because he’s trying to do more/too much with Malkin out of the lineup for so long, but I haven’t watched them enough to say for certain.

EOB, I kinda get where you’re going with the takeaway argument, but I don’t think discounting them entirely is the right way to go, either.

For instance, in one of the past few games, your boy Max (kidding, of course) lost the puck in what I would mark down as a giveaway. As the opposition entered our zone, Max caught up with the puck carrier and stole the puck from him. In your scenario, he would get knocked for the giveaway, but wouldn’t get credit for the takeaway (is that right?). That doesn’t seem right to me.

BTW, there is a site that attempts to remove some of the bias associated with those stats…I think they basically just collect them for away games. Their adjusted numbers had a certain Ilya Kovalchuk as leading the league in gives last season.

The Earl of Bud

November 16th, 2009
5:52 pm

MB, I’m with ya, you can’t take them away completely, just understand that they can be easily slanted to favor some players over others, also they can be easily misinterpreted.

The fact that there is a website out there that removes their bias should tell you something as to how reliable they are.

I gave the example of goals scored. Outside of the rare tip-in, a goal scored by Kovalchuk is rarely a goal scored by Bogosian just counted incorrectly for Kovalchuk. Whereas with takeaways they are counted wrong all the time. They do count and even with Max I was loving how he backchecked Dustin Brown in the Kings game (I posted that after the game). But those takeaway stats are not reliable, whereas almost every other stat is.

We aren’t even figuring in the takeaways for this discussion anyway but I thought I would throw that out there. For these purposes we should be looking at giveaways only.

Either way Max is hot and Lehtonen is hurt and we have 3 days to talk about something other than a game.

"Chef" Tim Dix

November 16th, 2009
5:58 pm

Talk Thrashers hockey tonight with me, the Chef @ the “Sports Buffet”, 9p ET, blogtalkradio.com 1-347-324-5735

Nate

November 16th, 2009
6:07 pm

Pavs should stay no. 1 as long as he’s healthy. Moose is a great backup, but he has a large enough sample size to show the longer he plays the more he will come back down to earth. Pavs is still young so let him prove how good he may or may not be as a starting goalie in the NHL.

JLH

November 16th, 2009
6:23 pm

Smoothie – I’ll keep blog jumping with ya.

Thanks for the “official” giveaway stats, but there is no way in he*l that Ilya only has 5 turnovers this year. I go to every game and I have seen games this year where he had that many in one game. I guess my definition of a turnover would include “unforced errors”. How can giving the other team the puck (other than shots and dump ins), whether it results in a rush or not, not be a turnover. I’m also sure that Max has more than 16,….. so maybe we can never know, unless someone who watches every game starts charting them. The coaching staff might have such stats, but I think it highly unlikely that information would ever be made public. I would love to compare notes with anyone else who might join me in charting “JLH Turnovers” over these next 3 home games. 4 of the next 5 games are also televised. I can see there being some leeway on turnovers if we are cycling the puck in the offensive zone, but I would love to see what numbers a variety of folks come up with.

MB

November 16th, 2009
6:43 pm

Right you are, EOB, that it’s tough to go without Thrash hockey until Thursday right in the midst of a winning streak, though it’s no doubt good for me to spend the extra time doting on the wife who supports my hockey obsession graciously.

The Kari situation is an interesting one for sure. Looking forward to seeing how Waddudley handle it.

The Earl of Bud

November 16th, 2009
7:02 pm

JLH, here’s how to look at it. When Max passed the puck and it landed right on the stick of the Capitals defenseman or forward (I thought it was Brooks Laich, someone help me out) and he passed it to Ovechkin for the breakaway goal, there was no pressure whatsoever by a d-man and thus it is a giveaway.

But when he was skating in circles, or goes into the corner and a d-man checks him, poke checks him, etc and he looses the puck, there is no giveaway registered, but the opposing team’s player who checked him gets credit for a takeaway. This is why I was saying takeaways are an extremely gray area and are tough to rely on. But the giveaways are as black as night and very objective and easy to count.

Perhaps you are counting a number of takeaways into your giveaways total and that is why you have such a higher number.

sisu

November 16th, 2009
8:00 pm

As far as Kari is concerned, he had a problem repaired that had been with him a long time. He is feeling like a new man…about a 3 more weeks until he is close to 100%

Brendan

November 16th, 2009
10:03 pm

The blogosphere gobbled my 6:10-ish PM post. But in it, I cited to EOB that Buffalo’s 37 Goals Against are best in the league, considering that New Jersey had played an extra game. That was, of course, prior to tonight’s game, which the Devils lost, 3-2, to Philly. So now, the Sabres have two games-in-hand, and three (3) fewer goals against. I talked about how a team’s ‘character’ can be found in its GA and its road record. So, EOB must be proud of his Sabres, right about now.

Right now, Florida and the L.A. Kings are in OT, at 3-3. Remember, the L.A. Kings beat TB in the shootout and have now taken Florida to overtime, while losing to Atlanta, 7-0. If the Kings played Carolina before us, I’m sure they won that one, too. The Kings seem to be touring the Southeast Division. There’s 2:00 left in OT. It’s Channel # 779 on Comcast, if you have Center Ice.

The Earl of Bud

November 16th, 2009
10:12 pm

Brendan, I am proud indeed, dare I dream of an Atlanta/Buffalo conference finals? Boy that would get some of the people around here who are scared of Buffalo fans riled up :)

Watching the LA/Fla shootout now.

World Be Free

November 16th, 2009
10:49 pm

Correct Brendan, Sabres fans are feeling pretty good right now. Nice to see Tyler Ennis get his first NHL goal against the Flyers on Saturday. Still haven’t forgiven the Flyers and Bernie Parent for the ‘74 playoffs.

But we have a long way to go. Plenty of injuries ahead and no quality depth in goal. We’re one high ankle sprain away from fighting for the 8th spot.

Brendan

November 16th, 2009
10:57 pm

The Kings won the shootout. I forgot who got scored the winning for L.A. I want to say Kopitar. But that might not be right. It’s 3-1, Bolts over the ‘Yotes, after two periods. C’mon, Phoenix!!

I went trolling around http://www.cbs.sportsline.com/nhl and found some interesting stats, in this … our LULL time. Guess Kovy’s shot percentage conversions? It’s a whopping 30.8 percent. That’s almost a goal every three shots for # 17. Peverley is next, at 22.9 percent. At 20.5 percent … it’s Zach Bogosian. That’s a little better than a goal every five (5) shots. Finny is at 17.1 percent. Evander Kane and Armstrong are tied at 16.7 percent. What about shots taken? Kovy had the most, right? Wrong!! It’s Max Afinogenov, at 41. Kovy and Bogosian are next, at 39. At 37 is … would you believe … Slava Kozlov???? Yes. At 36 shots, E.Kane. Pevs is next, at 35. Kubins sits at 32. And Todd White at 26.

The plus-minus leader is: Evander Kane. That’s right. The rookie leads the team, at +9. At +7 are Nik Antropov and Pavel Kubina. At +6 is Marty Reasoner. At +5, is the Pevs Dispenser. Army is next, at +4. Enstrom and Kovy are +3. And in the dog house is Todd White, at -6.

Our Assist leader is Antropov, at 16. I would have guessed Peverley, but he’s next, at 15. Enstrom has 10 helpers, tied with Finny. And Reasoner has 8 assists.

Brendan

November 16th, 2009
11:15 pm

Truthfully, I had surprise to see Max Afinogenov so high on the Thrashers leaderboard in so many categories. Shots, shot percentage, Goals, Assists, Points. It’s far more than I would have thought, during training camp. Max is, early on, showing that he’s comfortable here. This change of scenery seems to have done him a world of good.

Now, for our ol’ friend, Garnett Exelby, I think he’s sitting in the Presser in Toronto. Which segues nicely into this: Pat Stapleton is a team leader in Chicago. He was part of the Exelby trade, that also brough Kubina here. The part of that trade I didn’t like … was Colin Stuart going to Toronto. But he’s not there. Where did he go after that? Was it Calgary? Where is Colin Stuart, now? I haven’t heard his name anywhere on Center Ice. Anywho, GM Brian Burke isn’t looking good on that trade. One guy’s traded away and the other sits in the pressbox. Meanwhile, Stapleton is doing well in the AHL and Kubina is +7, with three goals, on the Thrashers top pairing. Depending on the game, with 32 shots. I understand why Burke made that trade. He had a player in Kubina, eating up $5 million in cap hit, with a year left, at age 32. He saw an opportunity to shed payroll while taking in a serviceable player in Exelby and a depth Center in Colin Stuart. It turn out quite the way he hoped, but he still shed payroll in the deal. Since Brian Burke took over as Leafs GM, the one I liked was the Luke Schenn trade, at the draft, with the NY Islanders for some ‘throw away’ 2nd and 3rd rounders. I never liked the Kessel trade. But it’s still too early to make any definitive assessments. If Toronto can finish 18th or 19th in the league, that 1st rounder headed back to Boston won’t be so devastating. If they finish 27th or 28th, they’ll wish they could make that pick. But, then again, Kessel is under contract for 5 years. And they might well turn out to be very productive years.

Moose’s fine record, early on, is very encouraging. Some nice wins and save percentage for Hedberg. At 10-6-1, Moose is responsible for almost half of those wins. Since that 4-1-1 start, the team has gone 6-5-0. But six of those eleven (6/11) games were played sans Kovalchuk.

Brendan

November 16th, 2009
11:25 pm

WBF, wasn’t Buffalo in the 1975 Finals? I thought ‘74 was the Bruins vs. Flyers. Though, I think Bernie Parent was the Conn Smythe winner that year, too.

Dang. Tampa is up, 4-1, on the Phoenix Coyotes, from Glendale, Arizona. It’ll be a final in mere seconds.

Dwayne

November 17th, 2009
7:38 am

Out of a playoff spot…quick, Trade Kovy while we can get something for him!!!

World Be Free

November 17th, 2009
9:26 am

Colin Stuart went to Calgary, he’s at their minor league team.
BUF in finals during 74-75 season-what a great final that was, Bernie Parent stole the Cup for Philly.

Brendan, funny how we always move to Toronto when we talk about inept management. They got lucky when they landed Mats and Gilmour int he early 90’s. That period was the only period when they’ve been good for the past 30 years.

Punch Imlach is up in heaven smiling at the Leafs’ inept record. Imlach was one the best GM’s of his time.

Brendan

November 17th, 2009
11:55 am

No argument there, WBF. Punch Imlach knew his stuff. Punch Imlach knew how to run an organization. He was an excellent judge of talent. He had fabulous success in the NHL. And when Expansion came, by that, I mean the 1967-68 expansion, he left Toronto for Buffalo and look what happened? In just 5 years, he had the Buffalo Sabres into the Stanley Cup Finals. What an exciting time that must have been in Western New York, in the mid-1970’s. Great “new” rivalry with Toronto, which featured Darryl Sittle, Ian Turnbull, Borje Salming, etc. Can’t remember if it was Wayne Stephenson or Mike Palmateer in net in those days. Then there was the Sabres. Perreault, Martin, Gare, Robert, “Spinner” Spencer, Lacarriere, Lee Fogolin, Bill Hajt, Ric Seiling, Gary “wheels” MacAdam, Jim “bat killer” Lorentz, Don Luce, and Craig Ramsay, as a shutdown, checking line. Gerry “fastest glove in the West” Desjardins and Roger Crozier in net. Was Tim Horton with them then? They also had big, bruising defenseman like Jerr “King Kong” Korab and Jim Schoenfeld. What an exciting, well-built team by Imlach! I think Floyd Smith was the Coach. That Sabres team even gave the “Immortal” Montreal Canadiens an honest and evenly played match. In the 1970’s, the two best SKATING clubs were the Sabres and Habs. It was a delight to watch them square off. And Montreal learned respect for the Sabres, en route to winning 4 straight Cups, from 1976-1979.

Anne

November 18th, 2009
8:02 am

I saw Kari’s interview in finish magazine and it was interesting. Doctor who operated said to him, that his back injury was congenital. Kari is waiting to get back on ice and fight for gametime with Pavelec.
I hope he get healthy soon :)