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#81

Posted January 09, 2017 - 09:47 PM

TheWizard

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You should have been there on April 23, 2006 when Wikipedia stated RJ Umberger died after a hit by Brian Campbell.

 

Only kidding, it didn't say that, at least not to my knowledge. :)

 

What is it with Buffalo defensemen?  They know how to lower the boom!


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#82

Posted January 10, 2017 - 12:01 AM

FightingFistFight

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I am a HUGE Minnesota Wild fan and funny thing is the newest team Minnesota and Columbus are in the race for the cup and guess who isn't Detroit

one of the original six teams



#83

Posted January 18, 2017 - 10:46 AM

rainsilent

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This thread has really dried up lately, so I'll add.

I have this feeling that the Leafs are going to finish in no Man's Land (as in 17th place) giving them a garbage draft pick and no playoffs.

I have no sympathy for the Bruins.

Also, I'm wondering if Matthews will emerge as a leader. For some reason I see Rielly wearing the "C" and Matthews wearing an "A".

And is me or can Auston Matthews not lift the puck off the ice on his shots?

Mitch Marner should be playing with Matthews, just imagine the points.
 

 

While I think Matthews and Marner would be a good combination in the future I don't think it would work right now at all. With them on 2 different lines the Leafs have 2 lines that are very real offensive threats. Something they haven't had for over 10 years.

 

As for Matthew's shots I think he just has a high preference for aiming his shots for the corners just above the pads. It is a very sound tactic as most goalies are holding their gloves and blocker up rather than down against the pads. That said most of his pretty goals have been top of the net shots.

 

I don't know the locker room feel of the Leafs (something Babcock can see all too well being the coach) but I can easily see Matthews getting the C within 2 years.

 

I still don't think the Canadiens actually have improved much at all from last season (besides Price being back) and may actually be a worse team than last year. That may sound ridiculous but even when they weren't into it late last season they weren't getting trounced like they have at least 3 times this season. Twice with Price in net. The team defensively at times just gets soft and when it gets bad it gets really bad. I don't think I can recall a top team being so bad when they don't play well. Thankfully for them that doesn't happen too often.

 

I think Carolina looks to be the dark horse team that can be the surprise team in the East. They have been very stingy defensively and they have been creating chances offensively up to this point. The only real problem is that they are not finishing. If they do start scoring they will actually become a rather dangerous team.



#84

Posted February 14, 2017 - 12:13 PM

Tutankhamen

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Here's the 50th anniversary documentary about the Pittsburgh Penguins:

 

 

Worth watching for any hockey fan, but I'm biased ;)



#85

Posted March 08, 2017 - 03:46 AM

koekefix

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Money time in the NHL. Trade Deadline has passed and the last 10-15 games are coming up. Would be cool if Toronto would get that wild card spot. 



#86

Posted March 08, 2017 - 04:58 PM

IneffableLeafs

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@koekefix

 

I agree



#87

Posted March 08, 2017 - 08:46 PM

TheWizard

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No way!  The Sabres are gonna sneak in the wild card!

 

OK, that's not likely going to happen so nevermind. :)


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#88

Posted March 10, 2017 - 09:14 AM

rainsilent

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I think the biggest thing that killed the Sabers was Eichel's injury before the season began. He missed the first 20 games and the impact was very noticeable. Yeah they were just under 500 without him but it was a real fight for the team in a lot of those games. I really think had Eichel not gotten hurt the Sabers would likely be holding a playoff spot currently if not just a few points back. They are only 9 points behind the Islanders (of all teams the Islanders hold the second wildcard) so I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't have found at least another 6 or 8 points somewhere in those games without Eichel. I don't think the Sabers would have made the playoffs still but they are very much on the cusp. They just need one or two defensemen in my mind to be a playoff team.

 

As for the Leafs I see only one problem in regards to them making the playoffs. The teams in front of them. The Islanders, Sens and Bruins are or have been playing very well as of late. They have to beat one of those teams in a race to the playoffs and I am just not sure that one of those teams is going to falter and give the Leafs the chance they would need. I would like to see the Leafs and Sabers in the postseason but I think we will have to wait until next season.



#89

Posted April 06, 2017 - 06:50 AM

IneffableLeafs

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Ok guys, a lot has happened since there was a post in this thread:

8 teams in the west have been determined,

Boston clinched a playoff spot behind Ottawa who hasn't,

Montreal won the division title,

The top four metropolitan teams are amazing (New York Rangers are in 5th in the league and are in the 1st wild card spot)

And finally, Toronto can clinch tonight with a decisive win against Tampa Bay, the team trailing (forget the New York Islanders, they won't clinch).

What do you guys think? Can Toronto pull off a win? What do think of the playoff teams? Any Stanley Cup predictions?

My Cup prediction is Washington by the way.

#90

Posted April 06, 2017 - 08:11 AM

bhandsome08

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I think the Make Me Laughs will clinch and get swept first round in the metropolitan... And i think Rangers will breeze thru the Atlantic

#91

Posted April 12, 2017 - 06:46 AM

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I was filling the bracket challenge today and put a big thoughts about it and basically all the time I had Caps-Pens in second round and the winner of this duel will take SC. West will put Ducks or Hawks in the final, but they will not make it. 

 

Clearly anything can happen - all the teams are great. I only don't like chances for Flames (for me, the weakest team on paper in the playoffs) and for Leafs (too inexperienced and they have to play Caps and probably Pens if they miraculously success in first round).



#92

Posted April 12, 2017 - 08:27 AM

MattLumberjacks

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We should have a bracket challenge, I started one here for members of the forum: https://bracketchall.../gameplanhockey



#93

Posted April 12, 2017 - 08:44 AM

bhandsome08

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Weakest teams to me are Flames and Leafs, possibly Blues. Oilers will be out first round due to inexperience too.

Not sure who will be in the Cup final, I put Caps because of Holtby, and guessed between Ducks, Sharks and Black hawks... I choose Sharks. -_-

#94

Posted April 12, 2017 - 08:59 AM

MattLumberjacks

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I don't see sharks going far, they're too banged up.



#95

Posted April 12, 2017 - 09:56 AM

bhandsome08

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I can see them beating the Oilers though. getting passed the ducks idk. isnt there a possibility of Couture and Thornton coming back game 1 too?



#96

Posted April 12, 2017 - 09:58 AM

MattLumberjacks

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Just because they are coming back doesn't mean that they are healthy.



#97

Posted April 12, 2017 - 10:14 AM

rainsilent

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Caps should beat the Leafs in 5 or 6 games at most. It shouldn't take 7. While the Leafs are young and talented they are raw and worse aren't very deep at all.

 

The Pens vs the Jackets is a bit tough. The Jackets don't have the Crosby kind of forward on their team however they are stout defensively. If they can play good enough to make it difficult for Crosby, Malkin and Kessel they can win the series but I think it is just too tough of a task. I can easily see this series going 7 though. This will be a close series in my mind and will be decided by the 3 game changing forwards of Pittsburg making the Jackets pay for any mistake.

 

The Rangers and Canadians is going to be a good series to watch as there is still some animosity between the teams. That said if the Canadians are going to win this series either the Rangers have to play sub par (as they are akin to do from time to time) or the Canadians have to play an absolutely superb team game (which is a big thing from any team Julien coaches) because the Canadians simply aren't fast enough, skilled enough, deep enough or physical enough to win this series in my mind. There is only so much team structure and Carey Price can do to win a series. After all statistically the only way the Canadians really improved under Julien was in goals against. Beyond that they were statistically still very middle of the road despite such a great win/loss record. One final point. The Canadians acquiring the more physical defensemen that they have over the past year is for exactly this kind of series.

 

The Sens and Bruins is likely the least interesting series in the playoffs. Neither team is particularly deep defensively while being somewhat deep up front. That said I think the Bruins have more going for them than the Sens do.

 

As for the West While I think that Nashville can give the Hawks a run for their money I don't think that they can effectively shut down both Toews' line and Kane's despite the grievous lack of depth that the Hawks have. Outside of Toews' and Kane's lines only 2 other forwards even reached 20 points which is alarming to me for a team so highly touted.

 

The Wild vs the Blues will be the closest series in the west in my opinion. The Wild is the deeper of the two teams by quite a way but their play down the stretch was rather lackluster. That said they had an absolutely brutal schedule to finish the season. If they can play like they were earlier in the season I don't think the Blues have it in them to keep up. This series will simply be decided by the Wild and how they play in my mind.

 

The Ducks vs the Flames is all about the Ducks being focused on the game rather than payback. They can't let the injury to Fowler distract them from beating the Flames first. The Flames just don't have the team to keep up with the Ducks up front and will need Elliot to be spectacular if they want to win.

 

Finally the Sharks vs the Oilers. The Sharks were the worst performing team down the stretch to make the playoffs. They are entering the playoffs with both Thornton and Couture hurt too. I know the Oilers are mighty thin once you get past McDavid but you have to get past McDavid and I am not sure a depleted and poor playing Sharks team can do enough to otherwise overcome McDavid.

 

As for the rest of the playoffs I think that the Pens can get past the Caps in a close series but I do think the Blue Jackets can also if they can beat the Pens whereas I think whoever wins between the Canadians and Rangers likely has a relatively easy time in the second round. Thus I can see any combination of Pens/Caps/Jackets vs Habs/Rangers as actually possible however to me the most likely is Caps vs Rangers in my mind.

 

As for out west I don't see any of the other teams in the Ducks bracket being an overly serious challenge to them short of the Ducks not focusing on what they should or unforeseen injuries. As for the Blackhawks vs Blues/Wild I think the Wild can actually upset the Hawks whereas despite the great play relative down the stretch I don't think the Blues have what it takes. If the Wild face the Hawks I would actually put the Wild vs the Ducks as slightly more likely than the Hawks vs Ducks in the Conference finals.

 

So what two teams am I going to put a prediction on to make the Stanley Cup Finals? The two deepest teams from the start of the season. Wild vs Caps. Nobody else in the NHL can claim that their top 3 centers all had 58 or more points like the Wild can. To boot the Wild then went and got Hanzal to take the 3rd line C spot so Granlund can play wing with Stall and Koivu as the top 2 centers. Hanzal scored at a pace of getting over 50 points in the 3rd line C role had he played the whole season. Sure the Wild may have struggled down the stretch in terms of win/loss record however the team on the whole actually was playing fine statistically with the exception of 5 on 5 goals against. That basically means Dubnyk wasn't playing well and it is true that he wasn't. That said the Caps were tied for first as the hottest team in the last few months leading into the playoffs. That with Ovechkin not even scoring at a high rate. Everything but that was going well for the Caps which makes it hard to come up with anything really negative to say or point out.

 

So who do I predict will win between the Wild and Caps if they play? The Wild. In the playoffs scoring depth becomes more important the further you go and the Wild are the deepest team in that regard. Any of the Wild's top 3 lines can play against Ovechkin's line and almost cancel it out. The Caps then can't do the same with the other two of the Wild's remaining top lines. Ok sure this prediction all hinges on Dubnyk finding his game but to be frank I wanted to give a more unusual prediction than the normal ones out there and this one I saw as the most likely. I wanted to put something even more different like Rangers or Blue Jackets vs the Wild but I couldn't sell myself on what would need to happen for that to happen.



#98

Posted April 12, 2017 - 03:17 PM

bouncer

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Matt - I'm there as Kamil A. (name from my other bracket, I was not able to change it...)



#99

Posted April 18, 2017 - 06:25 PM

IneffableLeafs

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Caps should beat the Leafs in 5 or 6 games at most. It shouldn't take 7. While the Leafs are young and talented they are raw and worse aren't very deep at all.

 

Sorry rainsilent?



#100

Posted April 20, 2017 - 05:52 PM

rainsilent

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Sorry rainsilent?

 

Do I need to point out that the Leafs haven't won the series yet? The series is 2-2. Caps can sill win in 6 which is within my prediction no? Caps have not been playing well at all though. So you want me to be/feel sorry because the Caps are not playing to the best of their abilities allowing the Leafs to remain in games? There is an old adage. Let a team hang around long enough and they will beat you. That is exactly what is going on in this series. If the Leafs win the series it is only because the Caps players gave it to them through poor play. I honestly don't think either team in this series is playing particularly well on the whole. There are spurts of quality play but there have been very few moments of brilliance and a lot of mistakes by both teams in the series. You can tell the Leafs are a young team with a lot of talent but a lot to learn by watching them play. The Caps however if you didn't know better you would think this team had to fight to make the playoffs, much less that it is a team rich with talent, with how they have been playing thus far.

 

That said there is only 1 series that is going completely askew. Preds and Hawks. I know the Hawks have no depth but I didn't think that the Preds had the D (ok it isn't the D it is Rinne) to shut down the Hawks superstars like they have.

 

The Wild and Blues series is going exactly as I predicted. Minus the end scores and thus games won. The Wild have been dominating the Blues but Allen has been playing one of the better goaltending series of the last 10 or so years. I had to point this series out because of the amazing play of Allen thus far. It isn't like Dubnyk has been playing bad either. He is definitely playing good enough to win a series but when you have a goalie playing one of the better series of recent times on the other end good enough to win isn't good enough.






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