It’s again time to show your personal playoff prognosticalorial proficiency

The temperature is getting warmer…the pollen count is off the chart…we are having to mow the lawns again…the kids have finished their spring break…the Braves are playing games for real once more…the Hawks are gearing up for their third straight playoff appearance…and Don Waddell is once again making statements that express his belief he’ll be back for another stint as Thrashers GM, dispite yet another season that ended after 82 games.

Will this be the year Washington and Alex Ovechkin skate away with the Cup? (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Will this be the year Washington and Alex Ovechkin skate away with the Cup? (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Yes folks…it’s that time of year again. We’ve finally come to the part of the season that is normally reserved for teams other than the Atlanta Thrashers…the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As such, here is your chance to show us what you think will play out over the course of the first round by showing us your personal playoff prognosticalorial proficiency.

And as I told you last spring…yes, that is perfectly legal to do in the state of Georgia.

Let everyone know who you like and who you’ll be following in the coming weeks. Also, I would also like to know at this time which team you believe will eventually skate away with the Cup in June.

Caps vs. Habs - Your pick?

  • Capitals (96%, 128 Votes)
  • Montreal (4%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 134

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Me…I’m going with the Caps over Chicago, probably in six games. Washington has never let its foot off the throttle, even after wrapping up the Southeast Division, then the Eastern Conference top seed…and most recently, the President’s Cup. They have seven 20+ goal scorers…and then Mike Green with 19…so they’re not just Ovechkin & Co. coming into the post-season.

They are as balanced as the come up front…thus their league-high 3.82 G/G… and I think that will overcome whatever shortcomings they might elsewhere.

The Caps boast the leagues best power play, (25.2%)…so if anyone does have any hopes of knocking off the Caps, I would suggest staying out of the sin-bin.

Oh, and don’t you just know Jose Theodore is looking forward to being able to knock the Habs out the playoffs…which he and the Caps will do in five games seeing that they’ve drawn the short end of the stick and have to face Washington in round-one.

Devils vs. Flyers - Your pick?

  • #2 NJ (84%, 111 Votes)
  • #7 Philly (16%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 132

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Elsewhere in the east, given the fact that there is really such a gap between the top seeds and the bottom, I’m not calling for any upsets here.

Philadelphia will enter into their series with New Jersey having won their way in by way of a 2-1 shootout victory over the Rangers Sunday afternoon. They are led on offense by Brian Richard’s team-high 62 points, (31goals & 31 assists), Jeff Carter’s team high 33 goals and Chris Pronger’s 45 assists. Philly will be looking to Brian Boucher, (9-18-3, .899 SV% & 2.76 GAA), to keep them in this series.

But the Devils are the better team here, led by Zach Parise’s 38 goals and 44 assists. Ilya Kovalchuk scored 10 goals and 17 assists in the 27 games since the trade for New Jersey and was a +9.

Pens vs. Sens - Your pick?

  • # 4 Pittsburgh (64%, 84 Votes)
  • #5 Ottawa (36%, 47 Votes)

Total Voters: 131

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Besides, I will never bet against any team that has in it’s arsenal a goalie like Martin Brodeur, (45-25-6, 2.24 GAA, .916 SV% & 9 SO)…so I’ll take them in six over Philly.

The Thrashers played a part in Pittsburgh finishing second in the Atlantic Division thanks to the 1-0 season finale for Atlanta. Thus, the Pens take the fourth seed in the east and face the Ottawa Senators, who are led by Daniel Alfredsson, (20 goals, 51 assists & +8). Mike Fisher’s 25 goals were tops for the Sens who finished the season 7-2-1.

Sidney Crosby, as I’m sure you heard, tied Tampa Bay’s Steve Stamkos for the NHL goal title at 51…Sid also chipped in with 58 assists as well and was a +15. Evgeni Malkin netted 28 goals and 49 assists.

MAF enters into the first round with a regular season record of 37-21-6, 2.65 GAA & .905 SV%.

I think Pittsburgh gets by Ottawa in…oh, let’s go with six as well.

Sabres vs. Bruins - Your pick?

  • #3 Buffalo (65%, 85 Votes)
  • #6 Boston (35%, 45 Votes)

Total Voters: 130

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If there is a chance for an upset in the east, you might find it in the 3-6 matchup between Buffalo and Boston. The Sabres… led by Derek Roy’s 26 goals and Tim Connolly’s 48 assists… have been banged up a bit and Boston had to fight-claw-scratch their way in and might be riding a high.

But in the end I’ll side with the Sabres in seven games if for no other reason than goaltending. Ryan Miller… who finished the year 41-18-8, 2.22 GAA & .929 SV%… I think will pull them through.

Out west… now this is where we could see some fun.

Like I said, I think Chicago comes out of the Western Conference and will begin by slipping past Nashville in six games. This will be the first time Nashville will play someone other than Detroit or San Jose in the post-season and I think they’ll put up a fight but Chicago should take this in a low-scoring affair…if their regular season series means anything. Look for lots of 2-1 or 3-2 kinda games.

Hawks vs. Preds - Your pick?

  • #2 Chicago (86%, 107 Votes)
  • #7 Nashville (14%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 125

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And let’s not forget, if indeed the Hawks do come out of the west and lose to the Caps…or anyone else for that matter…in the SCF, then that will make Marian Hossa a bride’s maid for the third straight year for three different teams. Not sure if that’s happened to anyone before or not.

The Avs are a great story this season…out of the playoffs last year, made some changes, benefited from drafting Matt Duchene, then the pickup of Craig Anderson, (38-25-7 with a 2.63 GAA, .917 SV% and 7 shutouts) in goal helped as well.

San Jose won the top seed in the conference and as such will take on the Colorado Avalanche. This should go the Sharks way as they enter into the playoffs fairly healthy.

Sharks vs. Avs - Your pick?

  • #1 San Jose (81%, 101 Votes)
  • #8 Colorado (19%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 124

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Colorado’s 2.89 G/G is the forth best out west, so they can gun with the Sharks. Could be a high scoring, fun series.

I’ll be rooting for the Avs…but I take San Jose in five.

Detroit and Phoenix looks to be an interesting matchup…and I am like most people are looking for a 5-4 upset. The Wings were fighting for their playoff lives not too long ago but started looking again like the Big Red Borg when it counts most, going an remarkable 17-3-2 down the stretch…

ahem…Now that is what’s known as a March to the Playoffs.

The Coyotes are making their first post-season appearance since 2002 and are another great story this season…especially given their trials and tribulations last summer. Very balanced on the attack, they have eight players with 30 or more points and another with 29…led by Shane Doan’s 55 overall points and Radim Vrbata’s 24 goals.

Coyotes vs. Wings - Your pick?

  • #4 Phoenix (42%, 52 Votes)
  • #5 Detroit (58%, 73 Votes)

Total Voters: 125

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Ilya Bryzgalov was an impressive 42-20-6 with a 2.29 GAA, .920 SV% and 8 shutouts. He could keep Phoenix in this series.

This is another one of those series in which I will be pulling for the team I predict will eventually lose in six games.

And then there is Vancouver and Los Angeles…two teams separated by just three points. The Kings have a great chance to pull a 3-6 upset here…especially if they get more outstanding work from Jonathan Quick in the nets. He finished the year 39-24-7 with a 2.54 GAA and .907 SV% with 4 shutouts.

The Kings are led by Anze Kopitar’s 34 goals and 81 points while Drew Doughty …the player picked just before Zach Bogosian in the 2008 draft…will be getting his first taste of the playoff life, so it will be interesting to watch the kid perform on the big stage.

Henrik Sedin led the NHL in points with 112 and his brother Daniel is currently on a 10-game points streak…in fact in his last 22 games he has failed to notch a point only once. Alex Burrows had 35 goals to lead the Canucks in that department.

Canucks vs. Kings - Your pick?

  • #3 Vancouver (62%, 78 Votes)
  • #6 Los Angeles (38%, 48 Votes)

Total Voters: 126

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Roberto Luongo went 40-22-4 with a 2.57 GAA and .913 SV% as well as 4 SO.

This series could be decided on the road. The Kings were 22-13-6 in L.A. while the Canucks were 30-8-3 in Vancouver. However, L.A. was a very impressive road team, going 24-14-3 while away from Los Angeles while Vancouver had a losing mark on the road…19-20-2.

So I think we’ll look for the Kings to steal one of the first two in British Columbia… and then go on to win in seven fun-packed games.

Could the Stanley Cup Finals end for the third year in a row with Marian Hossa left staring at the ice for answers (AP Photo/Charles Cherney)

Could the Stanley Cup Finals end for the third year in a row with Marian Hossa left staring at the ice for answers? (AP Photo/Charles Cherney)

So to recap…I see the Caps, Devils, Penguins and Sabres advancing in the east. If so, we’ll have a round two that will see Washington and Pittsburgh squaring off in Sid vs. Ovie II and the Sabres and Devils providing a matchup that pits two of my favorite keepers against one another.

Out west, I like the Sharks to have to deal with the Kings in round two as well as the Red Wings facing off against Chicago in what should be one hum-dinger of a series.

113 comments Add your comment

PJ

April 13th, 2010
5:09 pm

Hey Rawhide! Thanks for remembering Mini-PJ last week. I know…….. It’s been a while.

Here’s my prognostication. I’ve got the Bruins and the Kings beating the odds and going to the next round. I’ve got New Jersey and the Kings going to a game 7 nail biting finish!

Do we wait see what happens in the first round before further prognosticating??

EAST
Caps over Montreal in 5
Devils over Philly in 7
Bruins over Sabers in 6
Pens over Ottawa in 4

WEST
Sharks over Colorado in 4
Hawks over Preds in 6
Kings over Nucks in 7
Wings over Coyotes in 5

Go Kings! Go Devils! Go Bruins! Go Hawks!

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
5:20 pm

We will see MacArthur again-team will not cut a guy lose that they just paid 2 draft picks for. If for no other reason.

I thought he’d be better.

Red Light

April 13th, 2010
5:39 pm

You could be right World, but maybe, just maybe, he’ll get dealt prior to the trade deadline. You know, they did begin giving him some shorthanded time in the last week of the season. But, I fear he is nothing but a third line guy that scores occasionally.

Brendan

April 13th, 2010
6:28 pm

If someone wants MacArthur Park at the draft, I say we move him there. If no one expresses interest, why re-sign him? If he pulls some “arbitration” non-sense on us, we just let him become unrestricted, or pay what the arbitrator says. I can’t imagine it’d really be that exorbitant. I kinda like MacArthur Park. I’d like to see a full year out of the guy. We gave up NOTHING to get the guy. For once, I’d like to see actually actually, successfully, develop a player. C’mon Cunneyworth, work your magic!

R. Stroz

April 13th, 2010
6:41 pm

Oh bouncy balls,

Oh bouncy balls,

Won’t you bounce our way today,

Oh bouncy balls,

Oh bouncy balls,

Our fans could use a break today.

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
8:22 pm

The benefit to a player like MacArthur is that he still is restricted AND he had 16 goals last season. Not certain where Dudley goes with this one, if Duds is the one making the hockey decisions.

R. Stroz

April 13th, 2010
8:28 pm

Lottery Balls

Lottery Balls

Lottery Balls

YOU SUCK!

Alan R.

April 13th, 2010
9:01 pm

LOL Stroz. At least we could still draft Nino. I’ve heard some great things about that kid.

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
9:10 pm

Stroz you crack me up. Did you ever get a seat in the “catbird box” this year after your challenge at the townhall meeting? Picking 8th in a pretty good draft.

Right Light-MacArthur doesn’t have a great strongpoint to his game. I thought he may be a rental, with still time left in restriction. You and Brendan may be right, in that he may be offered at the draft. Not sure what he’d bring in return.

Hope we hear talk of “Arty” coming back next year. He was a great surprise, at least to me.

R. Stroz

April 13th, 2010
9:33 pm

Did you ever get a seat in the “catbird box” this year after your challenge at the townhall meeting?

Yep. An interesting discussion.

Brendan

April 13th, 2010
9:34 pm

Okay, I like the U-18 blueliner that NHL Central Scouting projects at #10 overall. I say we take ‘im at eight. I want to stay away from the Russian, who may pull Nikulin. We send it now, live, to our man on the scene in Russia. Take it away, Dmitry!

Dmitry: “Thank you, Brendan. I stand here with Ilya Nikulin for his reaction to the draft.”

Nikulin: “I told the top Russian prospect, don’t worry, Komerade. You won’t have to wait 10 years for Don Waddell to be fired, like I did. Maybe you ‘could’ go to Atlanta, after all? Good luck.”

Dmitry: “There you have it, Brendan. Hope springs eternal, even here in 30-degree Russia, that Don Waddell will be gone in Atlanta very, very soon. All our best to the Atlanta newspaper online bloggers.”

Brendan: “Thank you, Dmitry. Very candid. We wish Nikulin could have come.”

Wayne stuck in AL

April 13th, 2010
9:50 pm

I know I may be a lonely voice stuck here in Alabama, but it breaks my heart every time I see the NHL tab on ESPN’s Bottom Line and there’s nothing saying Don Waddell or John Anderson have been fired…Can we start a Tea Party to get rid of those two?

mrtn36

April 13th, 2010
9:53 pm

I want my Kane v. Cooke T-shirt — where do I sign?

Brendan

April 13th, 2010
10:13 pm

Rawhide, R.Stroz, Joe Friday, Russ, Red Light … let me ask you. Of all the teams in the dance … who will suffer the MOST … if the team falters early on, sayyyy … in the first two rounds?

I have my eye on San Jose. They can’t bow out in the 1st round, or even the 2nd round, where they’ll likely draw Detroit, without consequences. The “Marty Schottenheimer” of Hockey, Ron Wilson, is gone. But Marleau, Jumbo Joe, and the Heater are all on “center stage.” So is Nabakov. And McLellan won’t necessarily get a pass this time, as a “rookie” Head Coach. He and GM Doug Wilson may be out the door, if the Sharks don’t at least wind up in the CF, after a second straight year of being the #1 seed in the West.

What about Boston? Granted, with the Savard injury, and Rask being a “rookie” and all that, will Boston escape the wrath of its fanbase after being the #1 seed last year, if they lose to the Sabres? And if they do get past Buffalo, as I predicted, they’ll face Washington. That’s gonna be a rough series. If it’s a sweep, even with the injuries and rookie goalie, will Bruin fans be forgiving, with the mitigating circumstances? Or will they feel the franchise is long removed from its perch atop the Eastern Conference, and clamor for change?

Montreal? Well, I would have said “Gainey’s gone with anything less than a first round win, but he’s already gone.” And really, how many expected Montreal to still be a playoff team this year amidst that change? Who blames Montreal if the Caps sweep them? This is a mismatch. But it is a chance for Jaroslav Halak to push Carey Price out of the picture, and maybe into a draft day trade situation, if he can have a great outing. Likewise, if Carey Price gets the lion’s share of the starts, and does well, even in a playoff loss, what does this do to Halak’s future in Montreal? From an Atlanta perspective, I am watching the Caps-Habs series just to evaluate the Montreal goaltending. One of those guys could wind up here, theoretically. Lest we be going after Turco, Rolosson, or Biron in free agency. I love Moose. He’s one of my favorite Thrashers, all-time. But we were give a GIFT this year. A 37-year old career backup had one of his best seasons ever. We cannot expect a repeat performance next year. And Pavelec is still so young, and so relatively inexperienced to be the definitive # 1 starter. Waddell did specifically say that he would address goaltending during the offseason. I tremble with fear.

What about Nashville? They stilllllll haven’t won a playoff series. They had a legit shot at the # 5 seed. They let it slip away down the stretch, and got pushed back all the way to 7th. Now they have to play Chicago, a Conference Finalist from last season. I think GM Poile does a great job in Nashville. It’s not as if he’s dealt a “can’t miss” hand and has misplayed it. He gets far, far more with so much less. I just wish Nashville had a better budget.

What about Vancouver? GM Nonis segued to Mike Gillis, whom Vancouver ownership expects to place the team in the Conference Finals. Well?? Did they get there yet??? No, but stay tuned. If L.A. beats them, there will be outrage in British Columbia. Much is expected in Vancouver, besides the Olympic Gold for Team Canada. Luongo cannot rest on his “gold medal” laurels. He’s got to produce this playoff year.

What about Philly? Not a banner year for GM Holmgren. It took a shootout win just to get them in. Now with that, they caught a break, avoiding the Capitals as a 1st round opponent. Let’s see what they do with it.

Thoughts, please.

Rawhide

April 13th, 2010
10:32 pm

Brendan – Maybe San Jose… the expectations “thingy” and all that. That, plus they have that “choke label hangin’ around their neck that they cannot seem to get rid of.

Eugene

April 14th, 2010
5:05 am

Brendan actually as long as Vancouver continues to sell out all their games and make the playoffs, I think Gillis will be able to keep his job. That’s the standard that’s measured in Vancouver. With the exception of Brian Burke, no GM in Vancouver has ever been fired as long as the team made it to the first round of the playoffs.

Lee

April 14th, 2010
6:51 am

Hmm…I wonder what mistake DW will make THIS time in the draft.

World Be Free

April 14th, 2010
8:00 am

San Jose-under achievers for so many years. People tab the Bills as a great team that never won the big one, but at least they got to the big one 4 times! San Jose has had the team to make it but hasn’t come close.

The string of failures has to be in the back of San Jose’s minds. They shuffled the captain’s position this year, but I am not certain it was enough. The regular season is the regular season, not the playoffs. The West is so tough, so many good teams and goaltenders.

Nashville is alot like Atlanta, since they have the same management people since day 1. I know they have been more successful overall than the Thrashers, but at some point you have to look at their makeup and wonder if the “team” can be successful at the NHL level. Poile is experienced, but he has no Cups to show for his experience.

Montreal was in trouble from the start of the season. They have a tone of high priced free agents, prospects that have not flourished and a goaltending controversy, with neither goalie a favorite to trade in the off season. I expect Montreal to go out early and then the stuff will hit the fan in Montreal, as it usually does.

Cliff Fletcher

April 14th, 2010
8:05 am

A number of you guys are hoping for Don to get canned after his 10 year performance. I don’t see this happening at all. The best we can hope for is having him moved upstairs and/or out of the hockey department. This would open the door for Dudley to take over.

Waddell had no experience in management when he took the job. He has not learned much of anything over the last 10 years, we all know this to be true. Dudley on the other hand, has been a successful player, coach and manager. He has a much better record of player evaluation and organizational management. I will be happy if Dudley takes over and Waddell is moved to a position away from the decision making on players. If you’re expecting him to be fired, I just don’t think this is going to happen.

Joe Friday

April 14th, 2010
8:43 am

Brendan, San Jose for sure. Chicago a close second. Both fan bases have high expectations and if San Jose doesn’t go deep, there’s going to be an uproar. I really have my eye on Chicago. Goaler is shaky and you have to have a goalie in the playoffs. And they struggled late in the season after Campbell went down.

Red Light

April 14th, 2010
8:44 am

Brendan: San Jose certainly needs to win Round One, but their average attendance has been near capacity in eight of none seasons. They have no competition in that area of Northern California (certainly not the Warriors) and have a solid fan base. I’m sure they want to win but will it really matter? I think Joe Thornton’s reputation, and that of Marleau, Heater and Nabokov, will be called into question more so than Wilson and McClellan. Management has spent the money, NcClellan got them to the playoffs again, and ultimately they haven’t performed on the ice. Personally, I do think they’ll advance to the conference finals and maybe beyond.

In my mind, the only one in real danger here is Holmgren, but probably only if Boucher is awful in goal. If he gives up four or more goals per game against N.J., then Holmgren has to bear responsibility because he fired Stevens, and didn’t re-sign the two goalies that enabled them to reach the conference finals in 2008 (particularly Biron), and lose to the eventual Cup champions last year. Not to mention, like I have before, that he has them right against the cap with little flexibility because of the Briere, Pronger, Timonen and Hartnell contracts among others. The only goalie under contract for next year is Boucher, at $925,000, and where are they going to get the money to get a true No. 1 unless they can make a deal?

Red Light

April 14th, 2010
8:46 am

Chicago is just glad to be back in the hunt. There is no danger there with 21,000 coming every night. Plus, they are very, very young. Next year is their year!

Red Light

April 14th, 2010
8:47 am

I’ve got a floater out there Trixie! Please help.

Red Light

April 14th, 2010
8:56 am

Gracias mi amiga!

World Be Free

April 14th, 2010
8:57 am

Red light-
Chicago still has questions in goal. Niemi has improved, but i don’t see him as a top flight goaltender. Huet is a bust at his salary.

Chicago is just like Philly-they do not have the cap room to go out and get a #1.

Red Light

April 14th, 2010
9:03 am

You could be right World, but they may be counting on Niemi (like Pavs he just needs time) because they have enough firepower to overcome inexperience in goal. We’ll see how it works out for them in the playoffs.

Vacate No. 8, a slot that ain’t so great

Here is a list of the last 25 players taken with the No. 8 overall pick. Yes, there are some serviceable NHL players on the list, but very few “impact” players taken with the No. 8 pick. 15 different teams during the 25 years used the pick. Only Hatcher and Roenick played more than 1,000 NHL games.

This is a perfect time to deal it for an NHL player with an RFA contract or a player who is already under contract. Smoothie wants someone like Sharp, and No. 8 overall packaged with other assets can be used to get that kind of player. I’m not a believer that Sharp is available, but someone out there could be.

2009 DAL Scott Glennie
2008 PHX Mikkel Boedker
2007 BOS Zach Hamill
2006 PHX Peter Mueller
2005 SJS Devin Setoguchi
2004 CBJ Alexandre Picard
2003 ATL Braydon Coburn
2002 MIN Pierre-Marc Bouchard
2001 CBJ Pascal Leclaire
2000 TBL Nikita Alexeev
1999 NYI Taylor Pyatt
1998 CHI Mark Bell
1997 BOS Sergei Samsonov
1996 BOS Johnathan Aitken
1995 MTL Terry Ryan
1994 TBL Jason Wiemer
1993 NYR Niklas Sundstrom
1992 TOR Brandon Convery
1991 MIN Richard Matvichuk
1990 MIN Derian Hatcher
1989 VAN Jason Herter
1988 CHI Jeremy Roenick
1987 CHI Jimmy Waite
1986 WIN Pat Elynuik (passed on Brian Leetch)
1985 DET Brent Fedyk

Thoughts on dealing No. 8, or both No. One’s this year for the right player(s) in return?

Red Light

April 14th, 2010
9:15 am

I also find it very interesting (scary) that Atlanta picks after three other division rivals, Florida, Carolina and Tampa Bay. Not too worried about Sexton or the new GM in Tampa, but with Rutherford choosing right before Atlanta, that does cause some worry.

Rightshot

April 14th, 2010
9:32 am

I would trade the first round pick we got from NJ before our #8.

Who are the best UFA goalies that will be avaiable?

World Be Free

April 14th, 2010
9:33 am

Red Light-dealing both picks (or maybe the 2nd pick)
I would do it if we could pickup an impact player now.

Time to get the fans back if there’s nobody available when we come up at #8.

Rawhide

April 14th, 2010
10:09 am

GaVaHokie

April 14th, 2010
10:09 am

Wonder if we can trade both 1st Round picks to move up to #2? Doubtful.

Should be some great options at both picks, still.

glovesave29

April 14th, 2010
10:15 am

About damn time

frenchy

April 14th, 2010
10:17 am

LIGHT!!! LIGHT!!!! I can see LIGHT!

Will this be the move who will jump start this franchise?

Tom (Capital T Tom)

April 14th, 2010
10:17 am

We need to attract an A level coach, one that players will come to ATL for, so that we can get the level of talent we need to compete.

Dudley should give us some respect in the league, although it is tempered by the failure to completely rid ourselves of the stink of Waddell. Now we need an ironclad promise by the Thrashers that Waddell will have NO INPUT into personnel decisions. Set the budget and let Dudley do his thing.

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 14th, 2010
10:18 am

Waddy moves up to what, exactly? Seriously, I need education. What specifically does a president do? No Obama jokes, please.

Badger Bob

April 14th, 2010
10:22 am

My brain is mush after a long vacation, but here are my picks anyway:

Washington in 4
Devils in 5
Sens in 6
Bruins in 6

Sharks in 7
Canucks in 6
Wings in 5
Hawks in 6 (probably in 5, but I want Red Light to get to use his tickets)

Then, Caps over Bruins and Devils over Sens; Caps over Devils and Hawks to win the Cup.

Out West, Hawks over Nucks and Detroit over the Sharks (and the Thrashers grabbing up Nabokov in the great San Jose purge, which also answers the question on the team facing the most dire consequences of a choke), then Hawks over Wings.

And Brendan, only in Atlanta would we say giving up a 3rd and 4h round draft pick is giving up nothing. You are right about what we gave up, but only because we draft like crap after the first round.

World Be Free

April 14th, 2010
10:27 am

You all know what I feel about Dudley.

He is one of my favorite players of all time, one of my 10 favorite. It all starts from there. He was a player that gave 100% every shift, maybe my favorite Sabre in 40 years behind Perreault and LaFontaine.

As for the coaches, well I like Cunneyworth for alotta the same reasons i like Dudley. It’s Duds team now.

TableHockey

April 14th, 2010
10:39 am

Agreed World Be Free – given Dudleys connections with the B’Hawks I wonder if our next head coach is currently one of their assistant coaches?

Badger Bob

April 14th, 2010
10:41 am

Savannah, I think DW is the translator, who knows a little about hockey (but not nearly enough to be an effective GM) and a little about business. RD spots the player to target, but can only explain why we need him in terms of hockey skills, leadership qualities, and locker room presence, which sounds like Mandarin to Octocluster. So DW translates that to “we’ll win more games, put a more exciting product on the ice, sell 5,000 jersey’s with his name on them and generate ticket sales”. Could work. Depends on whether Octocluster really cares about having a winner.

TableHockey

April 14th, 2010
10:47 am

Perhaps John Torchetti will be our next head coach???

World Be Free

April 14th, 2010
10:59 am

Does this mean Steve Weeks is gone too?
Could this mean Moose will be our new goalie coach?

TableHockey

April 14th, 2010
11:10 am

WBF – Weeks is gone as is Cunneyworth and Nelson.

lilibeter

April 14th, 2010
11:11 am

WBF…that was my first thought too when I saw that Steve Weeks was out. I can’t imagine Moose wanting to give up playing after having his best career season, but I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping against hope that he will want to retire on high note and will want to take over being our goalie coach.

GaVaHokie

April 14th, 2010
11:11 am

Does this mean Steve Weeks is gone too?
Could this mean Moose will be our new goalie coach?

Yes
No

Unless he becomes a player/coach, but I highly doubt it… Moose wants to play.

lilibeter

April 14th, 2010
11:15 am

And as for the playoffs…please, please, please, I’ll take ANYONE but the Red Wings!!

On a completely selfish note, I kind of hope the Capitals win the Cup. I may not like them, but they are a Southeastern Division team…you know, the division with the non-traditional hockey markets.

Zoomo

April 14th, 2010
11:22 am

A breath of fresh air for the franchise. Maybe better said as oxygen for a franchise on life support.

I hate to see anyone lose their job. Anderson had his shot, but I was never a big beliver in guys that play “systems”. Doesn’t work most of the time.

Anderson is a nice guy and I feel bad for him as a person.

I’m happy as a fan. We need new life and a new direction.

Badger Bob

April 14th, 2010
11:28 am

Moose will play next year, and someone will pay handsomely. Consider, there are nine UFA goalies who appeared in at least 30 games this year. Moose’s ranking among them:

GAA: 2nd (only Nabokov was better)
Save %: 2nd (only Nabokov was better)
Shutouts: 2nd (only Turco was better)
Wins: 4th

No way he “leaves on top”. By the same logic, Crosby retires with a Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold Medal. Won’t happen.

Brings me back to the fact that the only goaltending upgrade we can make through free agency is moving on Nabokov. If the Sharks tank again, he’ll be very available.

TableHockey

April 14th, 2010
11:31 am

I’d like to see Hedberg get signed for 1 or 2 more years here. Gives us a quality back-up for Pavs who definitely improved at the end of the season. Imagine his potential if our new coach actually hires a goalie coach.

glovesave29

April 14th, 2010
11:33 am

How can you compare a 37 year old career back up to a 22 year old who has yet to reach his peak? Moose still has the desire, I think his numbers will certainly tail off next year, but he is a locker room leader, a tireless worker, and wants to be here. Re-sign him. Give the team some stability. Stay clear of Nabokov…he’s a “me” guy – as shown when he demanded to be the starter for Russia, or he would not play in the Olympics.

Red Light

April 14th, 2010
11:41 am

Bravo glovesave29. You hit the nail on the head. Screw the Euros who only care about their money/reputation.