Archive for the ‘10 Thoughts’ Category

Winnipeg Jets

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Friedman’s column, December 17th: Conference switch weighs heavy on Jets

Opening:

Friedman opened his 30 Thoughts today by discussing the Winnipeg Jets, whose conference switch has resulted in the terrible reality that CRAP, this is actually kind of terrible for us, even if we did get a friendly schedule with minimal back-to-backs. They’ve signed some long term deals and realize now who they built to play – teams in the sort-of-gross Southeast division – leaves them more than a little short of truly competitive in the West.

From Friedge:

They’ve gone from the Southeast, the only division under the previous setup to never send three teams to the playoffs in a single season, to a schedule that’s 50 per cent Anaheim, Chicago, Colorado, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Jose and Vancouver.

That…that’s rough. Friedge then references how rare it is to see odd man rushes in West-on-West games, and the Dallas Stars crushed the Jets on four odd-man-like meltdowns en route to their 6-4 win.

The point is…what now for the Jets? Here’s where they sit in the West:

west_standings-2

(click to enlarge)

…And with the honeymoon basically over in Winnipeg (they’re still pumped to have the team, but they’re ready to compete), there will be temptation to start pulling wild triggers and trying to make changes so it’s not another couple decades of sadness, as Jets fans have known in the past. I couldn’t agree more with Elliotte:

This is a very dangerous time for the Jets. When the pressure is on to do something, that’s when an organization’s collective head must be at its clearest. Every team’s goal is to win the Stanley Cup, but suddenly Winnipeg’s path to success is very, very different.

Oh, you need like, a lot of good players.

With all the Evander Kane rumors that come up, you wonder if they don’t pull the trigger on a trade for a haul that nets them a lot of picks and prospects. Because unfortunately, the depth of talent they have now, while far from nothing, isn’t going to be enough.

10 Thoughts

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Jamie Benn

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Friedman’s column, December 11th: Correct call is ultimate goal in NHL

Opening:

Elliotte starts out this week’s post by discussing the need for the league to do a better job on getting goal calls right. He cites three incidents where they’ve missed:

Two years ago, the league made a nice little move, allowing officials power to congregate after a goal. Is it enough? Maybe this is a tiny outbreak, but the answer appears to be no. In addition to the Canucks, there are examples of misses for the Anaheim Ducks here and Montreal Canadiens here (3-0 goal at 1:04). The races are too tight, the games too important.

For me, the craziest one this year was in San Jose, when they scored in overtime to beat the Sabres, the ref didn’t think it went in (because he was focused on the first shot off the post), and instead of reviewing it to be sure, he felt confident enough that they went straight to the drop of the puck. Tyler Myers literally dug the puck out of the net, and just like that, I GOT HIT IN MY SURVIVOR POOL– ahem. Sorry about that. I mean, the Sharks got screwed out of a point. Good replay starts about 40 seconds in:

Either way, we’re inevitably headed toward the league introducing some technology – a camera in the ice under the goal line (this is a terrible idea, shut up Bourne), a chip in the puck, cameras in the post, something. Other sports have come a long way. Soccer recently introduced goal line tech, and tennis has made huge strides in that regard too. Obviously it’s easier in those sports, but hockey’s going to figure something out, cause points are too valuable to have them stolen.

10 Thoughts

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(Photo from CanesCountry.com)

(Photo from CanesCountry.com, by Jamie Kellner)

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Friedman’s column, November 5th: Manny Malhotra celebrates return to the NHL

Opening:

Friedman opens today’s 30 Thoughts with a bright, sunny smile for y’all, which as he notes, have been too few and too far between in NHL news lately. (Twitter, man. Don’t let it get ya.)

Manny Malhotra has battled past an eye injury that saw him miss a huge swath of time, and seemed to have cut his NHL career short. Even with medical clearance, the Canucks were hesitant to give him another shot.

There were some teams with interest last summer, but they just weren’t sure about the eye – even with medical clearance to play. Malhotra had no interest in using the goal against them or the Vancouver Canucks, who decided it was unsafe for him to play.

“All I want to do is prove Carolina right for taking the chance,” he said.

That’s a quote from one of the good guys right there.

To go with Malhotra’s moment, Tuesday night saw Taylor Fedun score his first NHL goal after a broken femur put his career in jeopardy.

From Malhotra:

“We’re very privileged to play this game. It seems like every story is what people want out and what’s wrong with the sport.

“There are positives all around. We should highlight what is great as opposed to what is negative.”

Hugs, you guys.

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Claude Giroux 2

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Friedman’s column, October 21st: Playoff also-rans determined early in the NHL

Opening:

I’ll try wrap Friedman’s intro up in just a few words: “Is your team off to a terrible start this season? Well then, you’re probably boned.”

Of course, Elliotte wrote it much more eloquently than that:

Generally, working yourself into a panic about what your team does in the first 10 games is a bad idea. But what really stands out about this particular season is how many teams are in danger of falling so far behind.

For example, the highest number of teams to fall at least four points out of the playoffs by Nov. 1 in our sample size is seven. That was 2006-07, the year Calgary made it. The lowest was two. This year, there are, potentially, seven such teams in the Eastern Conference (remember the crossovers). The West has three.

Misery loves company, maybe? No? …Okay, then some teams have some work to do here.

As far as pure opinion goes, you have to believe Buffalo is already screwed. I mean, sorry to pee in the Corn Flakes of a fanbase this early in the year, but how many Sabres fans even believe that their group can turn it around? 10 games in, looking at the 2014 draft. Fun. I won’t fully write-off any other group entirely yet, but it’s seriously time to get the ship righted if you’re one of the 10 teams Elliotte’s referring to. Standings here, if you’re curious.

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10 Thoughts

2. Just when we thought we were finished with boardroom battles for eight years, this is going to be an interesting week between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association. On Monday afternoon, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will hear Patrick Kaleta’s appeal of the 10-game suspension levied by league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. This is not a popular move by the union, internally or externally. Outside of the Sabres dressing room, you won’t find many players who support this. They feel Kaleta tries to hurt people and shouldn’t be the test case for the newly created process (Personal opinion: those people are right). Basically, the NHLPA’s position is you don’t get to say he can’t use what’s available to him just because you don’t like him.

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shootout

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Friedman’s column, October 7th: Controversial spin-o-rama move in spotlight

Opening:

Friedman starts out this week by discussing the spin-o-rama, specifically the one Mason Raymond scored with against Ottawa to push the Leafs past the Senators earlier this week. Paul MacLean made some interesting comments after the game, specifically this:

“I was on a conference call at the start of the year with all the other coaches and was informed at that time… that that play would be seriously reviewed and you’re taking a chance that… the goal would be disallowed in the spin-o-rama move. We informed our players of that, and we don’t do that. I think it’s a very unfair play for the goaltender for the guy to come in and blow snow on him. To me, he came to a full stop and the puck went backwards and came forwards, but that’s me.”

Ending with, “But…

 …I’m only a fisherman from Nova Scotia, so I don’t know nothin’ about nothin,”

Paul MacLean’s the best.

Here’s the thing about the spin-o-rama: it’s bullsh*t and needs to be illegal. Yes it’s cool and interesting and neat and Yay For Fun!, but it defeats the spirit of the true breakaway to me, which I believe is what we’re trying to, or should be trying to, replicate (I also think Patrick Kane taking two thousand seconds and a billion stickhandles does too, but I’m an old grump). I think – and this is just me, it’s not in any rulebook or anything – that there should be some representation of actual hockey, which means skating in fairly fast and trying to beat the goaltender as you best see fit. While there are other ways to get the cat skinned for a shooter, including skating in at no-miles-per-hour, and reversing your direction with the puck ala the spin-o-rama, it would best if we at least kept the shots hockey-like.

I say we put a clock on guys and only allow spins, not “spin-o-ramas” (I’m not opposed to fancy, as long as it’s something ala Tomas Hertl’s between-the-legs-at-game-speed style). There’s a difference between a spin and a spin-o-rama, as any halfway-decent skater can attest.

It doesn’t seem fair for the goaltenders otherwise, and it really becomes a sideshow instead of a breakaway competition. I understand that goalies can still stop these shots, I understand everyone is allowed to use them, and I understand I’m being a miser here. Whatever. Those are stupid (fun to watch!) moves that shouldn’t be allowed.

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10 Thoughts

1. Looked a little bit into Ken Holland’s overtime suggestion: four minutes of four-on-four, followed by four minutes of three-on-three if still tied. Then a shootout if necessary. I love the idea, which was tried at the Traverse City rookie tournament the Red Wings host. One of the reasons against it is the league doesn’t want longer games. 

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John Tortorella 2

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Friedman’s column, September 9th: NHL clarifies illegal check to head rule

30 Thoughts is back, hurray! These are pretty easily my favorite posts in the hockey world, as evidenced by my choice to pick through them every week. I’ll be writing a new feature schedule this season (to be released soon), but I intend for Thoughts on Thoughts to stay a part of the rotation.

Opening:

Elliotte opened his first column of the new season with information about a change in wording to the new head shot rule. Here’s what Friedman had to say about the change:

Rule 48.1 (Illegal Check to the Head) used to read as follows: “A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted.” Personally, I found the “targeting” issue difficult to determine at times. NHL speed didn’t always make it easy, especially if there weren’t enough camera angles with a proper view.

Those issues led to the need for clarification:

This is not considered an official rule change, which involves a lengthier process. Instead, the language was altered for greater clarity. Now Rule 48.1 declares an illegal check to the head as “a hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable.”

This is glorious. Throughout last season I feel like I spent the majority of my “Court of Public Opinion” posts explaining why you can’t possibly be “targeting” something if it’s unavoidable on an attempted clean check.

Self back-pat moment of the week: I went back over every Court of Public Opinion post from the previous season. I made suspension predictions 12 times, and if you’re generous enough to allow the few times I said a two-game number range (“four or five games,” for example), I was bang on nine of 12 times. My grand total was six predicted games below actual suspension (though the NHL liked to choose the lower number when I said two-game ranges), thanks in large part to guessing three games for Raffi Torres on Jarret Stoll, when he was given “the series” which ended up being six more games, costing me three.

Needless to say I’ll be studying the new terminology closely to try to maintain that record. To the goods! Read the rest of this entry »

Buffalo Sabres v Anaheim Ducks

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Last edition (that I followed through on)NHL buyouts no sure thing (Thoughts on Thoughts)

Friedman’s column, July 2nd: Focus switches to NHL free agents, offer sheets

10 Thoughts

4. Quote of the draft from one executive on seeing Nashville Predators GM David Poile’s reaction to getting Seth Jones: “I’ve never seen him so giddy in public.”

And who could blame him?

All great teams seem to have a foundation on which success is built. In Chicago, your main blocks are Toews and Kane, in Pittsburgh, Crosby and Malkin and so on. Almost all great foundation players come from the draft. When you’re sitting with the fourth overall pick, its very possible to get a player like that, but you’re usually starting to enter “maybe” range. Fortunately for Nashville, the Panthers coveted Alexsander Barkov, and the draft’s best defenseman fell into their laps. Another piece of the foundation poured, giddiness allowed.

6. Why did Jones fall to No. 4? Nothing personal. It’s just that Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Drouin have elite offensive potential. As defensive-minded as NHL teams can be, most will say you can’t win the Stanley Cup if you can’t score. The facts support the theory with the exception of 2011-12 — the only season since Lockout II in which no team among the Top 10 in goals reached the conference finals. Read the rest of this entry »