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

R. Stroz

April 12th, 2010
9:04 pm

Joe Friday

April 12th, 2010
9:12 pm

Caps over Habs in 5
Kovy over “Get a Haircut!” in 6
Pens over Sens in 5
Bruins over Sabres in 7

Preds over Hawks in 7 (no goalie and the curse of Hossa strike again)
Sharks over Avs in 5
Wings over Yotes in 7
Canuckleheads over Kovy’s next team in 6

Joe Friday

April 12th, 2010
9:14 pm

Sorry, forgot to add that the Caps take it in 6 games over the Sharks, mabye we can see Heatley slumped against the half-boards sobbing, this year!!!

World Be Free

April 12th, 2010
9:36 pm

Nice preview Bill. I think the Sabres will go down to Boston. They are beat up and don’t have the toughness.

Don’t know if i believe these rumors about Don Waddell going upstairs. I think the whole thing will pass with no changes, maybe anderson but no other major changes. The fans will be left to pnder their future as Thrashers supporters. Our season will become a distant memory in a few weeks. we’ll barely remember the season by the time conference finals come around.

Phoenix and Detroit could be a special series.

Eugene

April 12th, 2010
9:44 pm

Caps over the Habs in 5
Philly over Jersey in 6
Boston over Buffalo in 6
Pittsburgh over Ottawa in 5

Caps over Philly in 5
Pens over Boston in 5

Pens over Caps in 6

Colorado over San Jose in 6
Chicago over Nashville in 6
Vancouver over LA in 7
Detroit over Phoenix in 6

Chicago over Colorado in 5
Detroit over Vancouver in 6

Detroit over Chicago in 6

Detroit over Pens in 6

LAC

April 12th, 2010
11:33 pm

Hey Bill, you show Colorado as #2, should show #8. Just FYI… Thanks !

Wayne stuck in AL

April 12th, 2010
11:48 pm

Tampa Bay fired their coach and GM today, but yet, no sign of life from Atlanta Spirit…You know it’s bad when even Matt Chernoff, who proudly admits he knows nothing about hockey, spends FIVE minutes during his radio show calling out Atlanta Spirit for keeping Waddell.

Sharon

April 13th, 2010
12:05 am

Repost from the last blog…

Here’s my nutshell version of playoff picks for the first round. I have an upset in here and I’m sticking with it (haha)!

Eastern Conference

Washington vs Montreal = Washington (4)

New Jersey vs Philadelphia = New Jersey (6)

Buffalo vs Boston = Buffalo (6)

Pittsburgh vs Ottawa = Pittsburgh (6)

Western Conference

San Jose vs Colorado = San Jose (6)

Chicago vs Nashville = Nashville (7)

Vancouver vs Los Angeles = Vancouver (5)

Phoenix vs Detroit = Detroit (6)

Brendan

April 13th, 2010
12:24 am

I like Joe Friday’s picks. I only have a few wrinkles, but basically the same results, except for the Chicago-Nashville series. But uuh, before we go any further, the “reigning Czar” of hockey prognostication is Russ, followed by Red Light. Wanna make money?? Follow their picks, and not mine. I “average” 8.5 wins and 6.5 losses over all my decades of making these picks. Truthfully, the best I have ever, ever done … is 12-3, which I’ve done three (3) times in my life. I know absolutely zero about basketball, and yet, I’ve gone 15-0 four times in my life, and 14-1 eight times in my life in NBA picks. So, knowledge about a sport doesn’t necessarily correspond to making good or bad predictions about said sport.

Without further delay ….

– Washington over Montreal in four. Sweep!!

– NJ over Philly in five. Almost a sweep!

– Boston over Buffalo in six or seven. I’m leaning towards six. Tuukka Rask steals this series for the Bruins, with a whole lot of 1-0, and 2-1 type games. Bruins have trouble scoring, so they’ll need that flawless goaltending. If the Sabres do prevail, Thomas Vanek will have to make up for the loss of production from Tim Connolly.

– Pittsburgh over Ottawa in six. This is a rematch from 2008, when the Penguins swept the Sens. Fleury is the reason this series even goes six games. Otherwise, I’d be leaning towards a Penguins sweep.

On to the West!!!

– San Jose gets past the Avs in five games. And breathes, “finally,” to the Heavens above.

– Chicago over Nashville in six. Every team wins its home games until Game Six. Should be a great series. Nashville has never won a playoff series in their history. They had the chance to be the # 5 seed, but they blew it. Now they must pay for that failure.

– Vancouver over Los Angeles in seven. Maybe I’m overestimating the Kings, who are making their return to the playoffs since 2002. But, I really do think the Kings are ready to strut their stuff. If I’m wrong, L.A. will gone quickly. Roberto Luongo is the difference here. Lots of Sedin scoring, too.

– Detroit over Phoenix in six. For Jimmy Howard, this is his first big test in the Red Wings net. I’ll be rooting for the Coyotes. But, too much history on the part of Detroit, and not enough history on the part of the 2-16 “lifetime” Coyotes/Jets. It’s a sad end to a fantastic season for Phoenix. Go Coyotes!!! Prove me wrong!!!

Brendan

April 13th, 2010
12:29 am

Eastern Conference Finals: Washington over Pittsburgh in seven games.

Western Conference Finals: Chicago over Detroit in six or seven games.

Stanley Cup Finals: Washington over Chicago in six games. Chicago finally sees the Stanley Cup at the United Center. Too bad it’ll be carried by Ovechkin.

LAC

April 13th, 2010
1:21 am

Wash over Mtl in 4.
NJ over Phila in 5
Buff over Bos in 6
Ott over Pitt in 6

Wash over Ott in 5
Buff over Nj in 6

Buff over Wash in 7

SJ over Colo in 5

Nash over Chic in 6

LA over Vanc in 7

Phx over Det in 7

SJ over LA in 5

Nash over Phx in 5

SJ over Nash in 6.

SJ over Buff in 5 Stanley Cup Winner.

Can you name ALL the former Thrashers IN the playoffs ?

Just goes to show, you have to leave town if you want to WIN, because these owners and waddell could care less about winning. Loved his STUPID comment… “We need to figure some things out.”
After TEN years of FAILURE waddell is STILL trying to Figure it out ? This shows he HAS to go !
What an absolute IDIOT !!!!!

Tony C.

April 13th, 2010
3:10 am

Anybody know “Thrasher Fan Fred Johnson” credited with the photo at the end of this clip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIjEQHMjNcM

I tell ya, I think I’m going to watch that every morning I get up this summer….

Tony C.

April 13th, 2010
3:13 am

I ask cuz I wanna use that photo for a t-shirt

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
7:53 am

Playoff teams offer us a “snap shot” at UFAs available this summer.

Take Jose Theodore. A year ago, I wouldn’t have touched Theodore with a 10 foot pole. But he has really picked up his game this year, challenging for the number #1 spot in Wwashington. The Caps already have a #2 waiting in the wings in Neuwirth, which makes Jose expendable this summer.

Hey Bill, hate to get out of subject (as I usually do), but I will be watching those players that may come our way. A player’s playoff performances may dictate their value this summer, as well as the success of their respective teams. We have to get a #1 goaltender this summer, either by trade or UFA.

I am sure Dudley will be watching too.

The Real Thrash

April 13th, 2010
8:16 am

I predict that Waddell and Anderson will NOT be fired!

GaVaHokie

April 13th, 2010
8:30 am

Well, I placed my Vegas bet on Philly before the season started, so I’ll be quietly rooting for them. I’d like to think they can upset NJ in the first round… but they’ll have a rough path to the Cup. They’d have to go through NJ, then WSH, then Pitt in all likelyhood… I thought for sure they’d fix their goaltending sometime during the season, but they didn’t.

I’ll probably be cheering for whoever comes out of the Detroit and Phoenix match-up.

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
8:42 am

GaVa-just don’t think Philly will get the goaltending it will need to beat Jersey. Boucher vs Brodeur favors Marty, toss in the fact that NJ has better team defense/balance and I think Jersey will prevail.

The Devils really impressed me during their visit last week.

Russ

April 13th, 2010
8:47 am

Washington over Montreal in 4.
New Jersey over Philadelphia in 5.
Boston over Buffalo in 6 (slight upset).
Pittsburgh over Ottawa in 5.

San Jose over Colorado in 5.
Chicago over Nashville in 7.
Los Angeles over Vancouver in 4 (LA looks good to me and Vancouver will choke).
Phoenix over Detroit in 7 (not an upset by seeds, but I’m sure it is in Vegas).

Dwayne

April 13th, 2010
8:50 am

Washington will not win the cup, no goaltending, same for philly. yuck, pittsburgh again, versus detroit. detroit in 6. Haha for hossa.

Russ

April 13th, 2010
8:50 am

I didn’t even think about this until after I posted my picks, but I have the three Canadian playoff teams going a combined 1-12. That would be kinda sweet.

TableHockey

April 13th, 2010
8:58 am

I’d love to see the Preds and the Coyotes make it out of the first round but I don’t think it will happen. I also don’t expect any upsets in the East in the first round.

Caps take Habs
Devils take Philly
Pens take Sens
Sabres take Bruins

In the West I think:
Blackhawks take Preds
Avs take Sharks (thanks to the patented SJS choke)
Wings take Coyotes (hope it’s not a sweep so the Coyotes fans can throw snakes on the ice)
Canucks take Kings

I agree with you Bill that the Caps will take the East and make it to the SCF. I suspect they will play Chicago though you can’t count out Detroit who is on a roll.

Maybe we should set up a playoff pool?

GaVaHokie

April 13th, 2010
8:59 am

WBF… I stand corrected… looks like I never placed the wager. Phew, Thank God!

But here are the current odds… gotta say the Buffalo and NJ odds are staring me in the face.

Boston Bruins
33/1

Buffalo Sabres
20/1

Chicago Blackhawks
9/2

Colorado Avalanche
50/1

Detroit Red Wings
8/1

Los Angeles Kings
28/1

Montreal Canadiens
35/1

Nashville Predators
40/1

New Jersey Devils
12/1

Ottawa Senators
33/1

Philadelphia Flyers
40/1

Phoenix Coyotes
22/1

Pittsburgh Penguins
6/1

San Jose Sharks
11/2

Vancouver Canucks
15/2

Washington Capitals
7/2

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
9:11 am

GaVa-always comes down to goaltending.
Table Hockey-agree, would be great to see Nashville and Phoenix in the WCF. Both teams have goaltending.

Rawhide

April 13th, 2010
9:29 am

LAC – Thanks…corrected it.

Dwayne – I hear ya….goaltending is what a lot of people are pointing out as Washington’s weak spot. Maybe that is so, but it didn’t hurt them much during the regular season and I think their overall team is good enough to overcome it.

And hey, it’s not like JT and VV completely suck…

Jose Theodore: 30-7-7 with a 2.81 GAA & .911SV%
Semyon Varlamov: 15-4-6 with a 2.55 GAA & .909 SV%

And remember what Varlamov did in the post season last year?

I’m just nott 100% sold that the Caps will go down due to weak netminding…we’ll see.

The Real Thrash – I fear you are correct.

moriler

April 13th, 2010
9:29 am

Eastern Conference:

Caps over Habs in 5
Devils over Flyers in 6
Bruins over Sabres in 7
Pens over Sens in 6

Western Conference:

Sharks over Lanche in 6
Hawks over Preds in 6
Nucks over Kings in 5
Wings over Yotes in 5

moriler

April 13th, 2010
9:33 am

Reasoning:

– The Habs can’t even pretend to stand up to the Caps.
– The Flyers are still stuck with the Boucher vs. Brodeur problem.
– The Sabres are inconsistent and Boston has Rask.
– The Pens are inconsistent, but the Sens are even worse.

– The Sharks have to win in the first round sometime, right? ;)
– The Hawks have an awful lot going for them this year.
– I haven’t followed either closely enough, but I think the Nucks are better than they let on.
– …and poor suffering Phoenix gets jacked up by the draw. They could’ve beat any of the other 4 teams, but the Wings finally have all their players back after half a season injured and are tearin’ it up.

thebigharybeast

April 13th, 2010
9:34 am

My ever so humble opinion:

Caps over Habs in 4
Devils over Flyers in 5
Pens over Sens in 6
Boston over Sabers in 7

Hawks over Preds in 6 (but man I like both teams)
Avs over San Jose in 6 (San Jose always chokes in the playoffs.)
Yotes over Wings in 7 (okay my upset special.)
Canucks over Kings in 6

Alan R.

April 13th, 2010
9:53 am

Red Wings in five! Who cares about the others? :P

Always Hoping

April 13th, 2010
10:23 am

I think Vancouver is the sleeping giant to win the cup. If Luongo can play up to his high level along with the Sedins they can be tough to beat. I think if they get out of te west they can handle Washington or Pittsburgh.

Red Light

April 13th, 2010
10:51 am

LAC: Since no one else will take a stab, I will.

Sutton, Heatley, Kovalchuk, Salmela, Hossa, Dupuis, Belanger, Kunitz (if healthy), Hordichuk, J. Williams, Coburn, Savard (if healthy), Recchi, Brett Clark, and Metropolit (if healthy). Who am I missing?

Normally, I would have some feel for the start of the playoffs, but I’m having trouble out West.

Washington in 6
Devils in 5
Pens in 7
Sabres in 6

Sharks in 6
Canucks in 7
Wings in 6
Preds finally in 6 (wishful thinking because I have tickets for that game)

I like the Devils in the East, and the Sharks in the West, but will go round-by-round so as not to look completely incompetent!

TommyT4

April 13th, 2010
11:08 am

Canucks over Pitts in final.

Rightshot

April 13th, 2010
11:11 am

Washington in 5 (Halak has one stellar game)
Devils in 5
Pitt in 6
Sabres in 7 (all 1 goal games)

Hawks in 6
Sharks in 7 (They try to choke but pull it together at the last minute)
Yotes in 7 (Most likely wrong on this one Probably be Wings in 4)
Vancouver in 6

Personally, I’ll be routing for the Caps

Nostradamus

April 13th, 2010
11:47 am

Prediction: Don Waddell signs a 1000-year contract.

With Big Lenny’s Pot-a-Potties.

Red Light

April 13th, 2010
11:49 am

THE DRAFT LOTTERY PREDICTION:

Columbus has been eligible for the draft lottery just four times and has made the No. 1 selection just once when it traded up with the Florida Panthers and selected Rick Nash No. 1 overall in 2002. While the odds of the Blue Jackets winning the draft lottery are just 10.7 percent, none of the other teams are “truly deserving” of the No. 1 pick.

Edmonton’ performance this season, and during the past four seasons since playing in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006 was/has been deplorable. Not only that, the Oilers in their infinite wisdom placed a draft simulator on their Web site, truly tempting fate with such imbecility! Here’s the link: http://oilers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=61882

Boston stole the Leafs pick and the No. 1 overall team in the East from 2008-09 simply doesn’t belong at the top of the draft.

Florida blew its chance to pick No. 1 overall when it traded the choice to Columbus in 2002, and their top-4 selections of Weiss, Bouwmeester and Horton during their recent past means they can’t be trusted with the top pick.

The Isles got the top pick last season so they can’t win it again, particularly with the lowest odds of the five teams eligible.

That brings us back to Columbus and general manager Scott Howson, whose first two No. 1 picks were Jakub Vorachek (7th overall) and Nikita Filatov (6th overall). Seeing the error of picking Europeans, Howson resorted to defenseman John Moore from Chicago with the 21st pick last year and he played well for the Kitchener Rangers this season.

Thus, in the process of elimination, the fact that only once has the fourth team moved up to No. 1 (Florida, 2003) in 14 prior drawings, and the need for Columbus to pick another Canadian boy, like Rick Nash this season, the Blue Jackets will win the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft Lottery tonight. Then, they will pass on Seguin and Hall and draft right wing Brett Connolly from Prince George with their pick.

Columbus
Edmonton
Florida
Boston
Islanders

BTW, I’m only partly serious!

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 13th, 2010
11:58 am

KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNE!!!!!

Oh, sorry. Still reacting to Tony C.’s link! All my frustrations with this year’s team went away with one punch.

Anyhoooo, Stanley Cup final will be Chicago over Washington in five games. Everything else I just sit back and enjoy without predictions. Altho, I will be cheering wildly for Ottawa in the first round just because I nearly puke everytime I see Sidney “Nancy Kerrigan bawling because her skatelace broke” Crosby on the ice.

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
12:15 pm

Matt Cooke was “Kaned” by Evander-couldn’t resist

Red Light-remember that idiot Portzline from the Columbus media dissin’ Atlanta before the season? Guess he never thought the Blue Jackets would finish LOWER in the standings to the Thrashers this season.

Sounds like the pending UFAs have all spoken with Dudley about their futures with the Thrashers-interesting.

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
12:30 pm

Marty Turco as a replacement for Moose?
And Moose as a replacement for Weeks?

GaVaHokie

April 13th, 2010
12:53 pm

Marty Turco as a replacement for Moose?
And Moose as a replacement for Weeks?

I’d be okay with that, but I think Moose will continue to play… he’s got a LOT of gas in the tank.

Alan R.

April 13th, 2010
12:54 pm

Could this be a sign of expansion into a completely untapped market? ;)

Rawhide

April 13th, 2010
1:11 pm

Huh…whaaaaa…??? Did someone say something about Marty Moose?

Look, I’m not driving everyone out to California in an ugly station wagon to visit some lame theme park with a cartoon moose as a mascot. Do you have any idea what kinda hassle that will be?

Besides, it would probably just be closed for repairs by the time we all got there, anyway.

I say…let’s just all fly to Hawaii for this summer’s vacation.

Red Light

April 13th, 2010
1:20 pm

World Be Free: I just read that post for the first time and not sure he was far off on many of his perceptions, but it was written June 1, long before Kubina and Antropov were added. I’m sure that Columbus felt they were headed in the right direction after making the playoffs, but after beginning the season with a 12-6-2 record, they had a horrible December going 2-9-5 for nine points (Thrashers were 4-10-1, also for nine points. I think they are two organizations cut from the same cloth where a compass is sorely needed.

Moose isn’t retiring and Turco is no back-up, although he may have to learn quickly.

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
1:25 pm

Portzline was dissing the Thrashers and Atlanta as a hockey market.
Guess he thought Columbus was on their way up.

ChippersLoveChild

April 13th, 2010
1:58 pm

Caps over Habs in 5
Devils over Flyers in 6
Buffalo over Boston in 7
Pens over Sens in 6

Sharks over Avs in 5
Blackhawks over Preds in 6
Kings over Canucks in 7
Phoenix over Red Wings in 6

Red Light

April 13th, 2010
2:44 pm

I guess there was a time when the Isles thought they were on the way up too.

You know, the key to any successful team these days is to find seven guys for your roster that you only have to pay 10 percent of the total cap hit. Using $56 million as the top hit, you pay those seven a total of $5.6 million, leaving an average of $3.6 million for 14 others.

In the budget-conscious markets, if you want to spend 10 percent above the cap floor, or $48.4 million, the average salary for those seven players must be $691,429, leaving $3.11 million for the other 14 players.

It’s an easy way to look at how some contracts really restrict what teams can or can’t do. For every guy you sign over $5 million, look what it does to the lower side of the roster. I think that’s why GMs leap at the chance to get veteran back-up goalies at $600,000, like Brent Johnson.

The minimum salary for the upcoming year, like this year, is $500,000. The maximum salary for entry-level players is $900,000 this year.

With Machacek scheduled to make $710,000 and Kulda $517,000 in 2010-11, I tend to think both will be on the opening day roster. Valabik at $800,000 seems like a certainty too. That would indicate that Schubert and Popovic would only be re-signed if they agree to two-way deals.

Bergfors most certainly will get a raise from $500k, Little and Ondrej were at $850,000 this year. MacArthur was at $1.4 million this year, so maybe he’s the odd man out in the grand scheme.

Lee

April 13th, 2010
2:57 pm

Achoooooooo!!!

Go Caps! Go NJ! Go Pens! Go Buffalo! Go ‘Hawks! Go Avs! Go Wings! And Go Kings!

R. Stroz

April 13th, 2010
3:23 pm

WBF – Here are a few more for you:

1) Kane kleaned Cookes plate.

2) Kane turned Cooke into a cobbler.

3) Kane knocked Cooke’s cookies to the floor.

Mrs. Zoomo

April 13th, 2010
3:28 pm

as Ryan told the snarky Pens fans behind us on Sat night, the Caps are going to win the Stanley Cup this year.

Rightshot

April 13th, 2010
3:29 pm

R Stroz -KO Kane cleaned Cookes clock

World Be Free

April 13th, 2010
3:43 pm

Stroz-anyway we put, it was beautiful to watch.
Cooke needed to go down a long time ago.

Joe Friday

April 13th, 2010
5:05 pm

“With Machacek scheduled to make $710,000 and Kulda $517,000 in 2010-11, I tend to think both will be on the opening day roster. Valabik at $800,000 seems like a certainty too. That would indicate that Schubert and Popovic would only be re-signed if they agree to two-way deals…MacArthur was at $1.4 million this year, so maybe he’s the odd man out in the grand scheme.”

Yep, totally agree. MacArthur would be one of the first guys out in my inaugural year as GM, don’t see anything from him.

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.

Badger Bob

April 14th, 2010
12:01 pm

Well said, glovesave! Bring back the MOOOOOOOSE!

Badger Bob

April 14th, 2010
12:07 pm

Our coaching purge has my buddies in Calgary screaming even harder for a purge there…

World Be Free

April 14th, 2010
12:09 pm

Hey guys, thanks for your “Moose thoughts”. Nice numbers Badger, shows how good Johan was this season. I agree on bringing him back, maybe as player-coach.

Looking for some LAC, Smoothie, Brendan and Stroz input today-their individual takes should be interesting.

Joe Friday

April 14th, 2010
12:32 pm

World, I would love to believe your “this is Dudley’s team now” but the facts belie that. He still reports to the same guy, they just reshuffled the deck chairs on the SS Thrashers

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 14th, 2010
12:40 pm

BREAKING NEWS–Buffalo wins the Stanley Cup. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Ryan Miller celebrated the win by dancing on the front lawn of an Ontario resident believed to be a Sidney Crosby. Mr. Crosby claimed Miller was chanting “suck on this, crybaby!” while making obscene gestures with his hands.

In other hockey news, Ilya Kovulchuk signed a 25 year, $735 million deal with the Atlanta Thrashers. Newly installed president Don Waddell explained that trading him last season was part of an elaborate plan to deflect rising fan venom against his tenure as GM. With the team’s ultimate nosedive, the coaching staff would be sacrificed. Quotes Kovulchuk, “Don say it good plan. He happy; I happy. He make more money; I make more money. Wife happy… Poof!

What happened? Where am I? I must have fallen asleep in front of the computer again. I had the strangest dream. Parts of it were awful. But some of it was beautiful. You were there! And you, and you,…and you! But it doesn’t matter anymore because we’re home now, Toto. And there’s no place like home!

World Be Free

April 14th, 2010
12:44 pm

Joe-I understand where you are coming from.

But Dudley would not take this job unless he had a certain amount of control. I am hanging my hat on that. So many people are still focusing on Don Waddell. We need to get past that, cause this is good news.

How much control? The coaches Don hired are gone today. This is Dudley’s first move and there will be more.

Smoothie

April 14th, 2010
12:50 pm

WBF – I’ve been on C-Viv’s blog and even chimed in on Schultz’s blog. He was actually fair and even-handed in his take on this situation. Obviously I am quite happy we are moving forward with these changes. Any kind of change is better than the status quo right now. Down the stretch, I lost faith in Anderson and his “system”…coaches aren’t supposed to make as many excuses as that man did when other teams simply shut us down. 16 goals scored in the last 10 games says it all. He never could seem to make the adjustments that would cut down on shots allowed and help us maintain puck possession at the other end. While it’s good to have a counter-attacking fast break, hockey is a game of puck possession and Anderson’s methodology for such was too risky.

As you know from our many conversations, I’m a big fan of Duds as well. Not so much as a player because he was a bit before my time, but his track record in assessing talent and building teams from distressed cellar-dwellars to contenders is pretty damn solid. I can only hope that the look on Waddell’s face from the post-season interview was one of pure resignation and realization that this really is and will be Rick Dudley’s show. He had the look of a man who was told to take a hike in the form of a “promotion” until he retires in a few years. For some reason, Levenson and Gearon feel indebted to that man and we can only hope they are committed to letting Dudley have free reign. The coaching hire should be tell-tale. Getting a guy like Craig MacTavish who coaches the way Dudley played and would coach is certainly a step in the RIGHT direction.

Smoothie

April 14th, 2010
12:54 pm

Oh dear, I may have to reconsider my first choice for coach due to the potential for utterly bad karma:

From wiki:

“MacTavish missed the 1984–85 season after being convicted of vehicular homicide, having struck and killed a young woman while he was driving under the influence of alcohol. MacTavish pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol in an accident the night of January 25, 1984 in Peabody, Massachusetts. Kim Radley, 26, of West Newfield, Maine, died four days later of injuries sustained in the crash.[5] MacTavish spent a year in jail as punishment for this offence. While incarcerated, he watched most of the games that were televised. After MacTavish was released from prison, the Bruins offered to let him out of his contract. MacTavish accepted.”

Alan R.

April 14th, 2010
12:59 pm

In the middle of all this good news…

… Evander Kane made an appearance on Boston radio this morning. The audio of that interview should be buried somewhere in here.

Alan R.

April 14th, 2010
1:10 pm

An update to my previous post, the Evander Kane interview appears about 1/3 of the way into the “Hour 2″ part of the podcast linked on the site..

World Be Free

April 14th, 2010
1:15 pm

Thanks smoothie-I saw your posts on Viv’s blog, I didn’t go to Schultz’s cause I just ate lunch and that loser makes me sick.

I am not sure who Dudley will hired as coaches. Never been a MacTavish fan and I remember when he got in trouble in Boston. Dudely has been around a long time, I am sure he’ll make the right call.

I wonder what EJ McGuire thinks about all this? EJ is the head of NHL Central Scouting, a South Buffalo boy who grew up a Sabres fan in the 70’s like me. Betcha he likes this move.

Sorry guys, but I am such a Duds fan I can’t even work today.

Bluenote

April 14th, 2010
1:24 pm

Some accountability. What welcome news.

Agree that JA was a nice guy, but just never saw him making the AHL/NHL jump as successfully as his bud Bruce Bodreau. Too bad, because I was rooting for him for a long time.

Of course if she had Alex Ovechkyn and a stacked lineup I imagine my dog could do fairly well coaching in the NHL….even without opposable thumbs.

The number of flat starts and phone-it-in periods this season was unacceptable. Sorry coach, it’s an unforgiving business…..even here apparently. While I don’t think a maniac like Tortorella is the answer a little more screaming and furniture chucking was in order this season. Sadly, shrugs and Droopy Dawg postgame interviews was what we got. JA might be a nice guy to play for, but nobody ever seemed to fear him

Best wishes Randy. You’re a class act and a hard worker. You’ll land in a good place.

Adios Stevie! Time for a change here. I’d sure love to see us hang on to some character and work ethic with Moose as a player or as a coach. The Nabakov thread scares me. Haven’t we learned anything from building around a Russian superstar?

Now, where can I get my Kane/Cook commemorative T-shirt?
Memo to ASG: you’ll sell a TON of them if they’re in the shop next year.
Operators are standing by…..

R. Stroz

April 14th, 2010
1:33 pm

My take:

1) not entirely unexpected, yet pleasantly surprised

2) Weekes is finally gone.

3) Waddell serves as a go between owners and GM. Waddell is the salesman for Dudley’s plans. Waddell provides the polish for Dudley, so Dudley doesn’t deal with ownership directly. Otherwise, Dudley would probably use his knuckles to polish ownership.

4) Waddell is rewarded for towing the company budget.

5) Dudley has spent the last year picking his team.

6) The era of excuses just left the building.

That’s my first take.