If you missed the start of our NHL team-by-team previews, you can check those out here (the Bruins, Capitals, Jets and Ducks, so far). The format this year is to tell you why your favourite team is awesome, then to tell you why they suck, and let you happily dwell on whichever part you want!
Top 5 Tidbits
I’ve been told that the picture you see below is legit. Here is what Team Canada will wear at the Olympics:
And boom goes the dynamite.
My initial take was that of displeasure, but I’m warming to them just a day later. It’s by no means a masterpiece, especially when you consider it still has melt-on shiny plastic fake stupid laces on the front, and appear to have something of the same composition on the shoulders (maple leaves? Beavers? Tim Horton’s logos?), but those affronts to humanity aren’t that visible from a distance.
I don’t care for the white stripe only being on one arm, as asymmetrical jerseys should be reserved for roller hockey and ECHL promotions, but I’ll give the jersey points for leaving black out of the equation (I assume the pants will be black, which is fine). I even kind of like the leaf being outlined in gold, even though that’s a touch of hubris that will undoubtedly come back to bite my homeland in the ass.
I guess it is what it is. Your thoughts?
I’m not exactly sure why this is in the news so much lately, but everyday there’s a new quote from the Great 8 on the reality: The KHL would like to lure world-beating talent Alex Ovechkin to Russia.
No s**t. You don’t say.
This is the same league that is giving NHL knockoffs millions to play there because it helps the league’s quality and notoriety. This is the league that’s paying Ilya Kovalchuk some 20 million dollars a season to play there. You don’t think Alex Ovechkin has been aware for his entire life that it’s an option? That they want him to play there? This news is as fresh as Jeff Foxworthy stand-up. Or Jeff Foxworthy references.
I do believe, truly, that he will go play in the KHL down the road. The Russian NHLers had their fun during the lockout, and that’s his home, and he’ll get paid a lot to play a slightly easier brand of hockey and be famous and it will be wonderful. He will, at some point, go.
But for now, he’s trying to win a Stanley Cup, he’s honoring his contract, and he’s playing in the best league in the world. Can’t we just enjoy that, instead of being the person in the relationship constantly worrying if their partner still likes them? Desperation is a real turn off.
You can watch the press conference below:
I kinda like his strategy. Take over teams that are in the absolute basement, and any improvement over the years makes you look like a genius. It didn’t quite pan out in Toronto, but that doesn’t mean he won’t do better with another crack at it. Especially when he’s just being “a good teammate” and not “driving the bus.”
Here’s how many points the gamblers think your team is going to get
Alphabetical, cause for some reason organizing them by points would’ve been too logical:
Anaheim Ducks 90.5
Calgary Flames 74.5
Carolina Hurricanes 84.5
Chicago Blackhawks 105.5
Colorado Avalance 86.5
Columbus Blue Jackets 85.5
Detroit Red Wings 97.5
Edmonton Oilers 89.5
Los Angeles Kings 98.5
Minnesota Wild 94.5
Montreal Canadiens 94.5
Nashville Predators 84½
New Jersey Devils 79½
New York Islanders 89½
New York Rangers 98½
Philadelphia Flyers 92½
Phoenix Coyotes 85½
Pittsburgh Penguins 108½
San Jose Sharks 94½
St. Louis Blues 99½
Tampa Bay Lightning 88½
Toronto Maple Leafs 96½
Vancouver Canucks 95½
Washington Capitals 93½
Winnipeg Jets 82½
Now, keep in mind I phrased that wrong above: here’s what the line-makers believe will get you to bet. You have to remember that. People were discussing these numbers yesterday like they’re predictions. They aren’t, even though they’re slightly reflective of the ballpark area line-makers expect to see teams (they’re always going to go high on a team like Toronto, knowing so many people will bet positively on them regardless).
That said, the Toronto Maple Leafs line is so off that people wrote about it and shared it, meaning people went Ricky Martin (she bangs! she bangs!) on the under so hard Bodog actually changed the line. Specifically, it was this bet they changed:
Toronto Maple Leafs to make the playoffs?
Yes -220 (5/11)
No +175 (7/4)
It now only pays out +155 on the no. The line, she shifts! she shifts!
Update: huge movement in one day on this line:
Step one in the 12 steps towards bringing back hockey is September. Step two is prospects camps. We’re now officially past the first step.
This is the annual time of year where one or two players get a run of great luck, and since the tournaments are so heavily scouted, their stock goes through the roof.
There’s a solid CBC article here about how team’s are aching for one of their young prospects to really impress them, because having entry-level players (who actually play) in your lineup is huge for managing the salary cap, especially this year since it’s been reduced. (Well, it’s not exactly about that, but that’s the implication.)
I could see some teams taking the bread out of the over before it’s baked this year to save on salary and hurting the development of their kids.
“It’s ready right?” “Oh I think so, especially if you do. Golden brown on top. Well, golden-ish.” “Good enough by me, take it out.” *Some 19 year old kid gets Kronwall’d in his third NHL game*
For his part, in that article, Lowe claims the cap doesn’t affect kids time frames today. I disagree.