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i think the canucks look about the same as last year. they lost wellwood, bernier, grabner and now mitchell. they still never replaced mattias ohlund from 2 years ago and sami salo is a big question mark.

last year going into the season some predicted they would go to the finals. so this year i see them taking a step back unless they get some more help back on d.

i like hamhuis and ballard (as long as he doesn't smack luongo with his stick or score into his own net again). bieksa is due for a trade. so really they lost a lot on the backend.

another part who gets blamed for everything but i think is quite valuable is pavol demitra. sure he didn't put up the numbers, made a costly mistake in last year's playoff, but is a very SMART player.

overall i think the nucks will be good, but i think will take a step back. they really need some injected youth to step up this season.

coach AV? not a big fan. watching the nucks for so long, very hesitant to see them get past the second round. they had issues with the kings!

the hawks will still be good. despite losing a chunk of their role players. they're still deep. might not win as much. but could still step up when it counts. afterall they are the defending champs.
The pickups in Hamhuis, Ballard, Maholtra and Torres makes up for more than the losses when the team is healthy. Wellwood, bernier, Grabner and Mitchell all missed significant portions of last season either due to injuries/bench/general ineffectiveness. Edler's form in the King's series should give him a bit more experience and a step in the right direction towards Ohlund.

We still have Tambellini, Oreskovich, Rypien, Glass, Hordichuk, etc... to fill out the 4th line.

I'm a little concerned that Burrows is injured and will miss time but so long as Hodgson or Schroeder can make the team, I think all will be fine.

Things are looking good!

DnVD, given your positive comments last year, I'm guessing you're really liking the Marleau signing? Big Grin
Here's a list of the players gone from last season's roster:

Byfuglien; Versteeg; Sopel; Ladd; Eager; Madden; Burish; Fraser; Niemi; and Huet

The only player on that list that the Hawks will miss is Ladd. Byfuglien, Versteeg and Burish were fan favorites, but all can be replaced with cheaper options. Versteeg has some offensive upside, but his poor decision making in critical times will not be missed. Byfuglien won't be missed until the playoffs when he'll get loads of press for standing in front of some goalie. Ladd, however, was a complete player that didn't mind getting his nose dirty when it mattered most.

Now, here's a list of players still on the team:

Toews; Kane; Sharp; Hossa; Bolland; Keith; Seabrook; Brouwer; Kopecky; Bickell; Hjalmarsson; Campbell; Boynton and Hendry.

Which list would you rather have?

They've also added Turco and Pisani, and made room for prospects such as Makarov, Beach, Stalberg and Skille.

The Hockey News picked the Hawks 4th in the West behind Vancouver, San Jose and Detroit. I agree with these four as the top four, but I disagree with that order. We'll see.

Finally, they also ranked the NHL's top 50 players, with Toews coming in 5th behind Crosby, Ovechkin, Ryan Miller and Datsyuk. As he's progressed every year in the league, I see him moving up that list after another huge year.

Drop the puck already.
From the 2nd period on last night in Buffalo, the Hawks looked pretty good. Still a lot of new faces trying to establish some chemistry, but it seems to be coming along. Hossa has looked incredible so far - he's going to put up scary numbers if he is able to maintain.

Not looking forward to the game tomorrow night against the Preds as I absolutely hate their style of play.
quote:
Originally posted by thelostverse:

Finally, they also ranked the NHL's top 50 players, with Toews coming in 5th behind Crosby, Ovechkin, Ryan Miller and Datsyuk. As he's progressed every year in the league, I see him moving up that list after another huge year.
If you also take into account Toews' great showing for team Canada's gold medal winning hockey team, he's the 3rd top player in the league after Crosby and Ovechkin in my book. Having the best young American player in Kane on the same team really isn't fair.
6-2-1, a pretty decent start for Les Boys, and all of it on the back of Carey Price, sans Halak. Let's hope they can keep it up.

Blackhawks are a very good team. Hossa is out 2 weeks for now, it's gonna be tough unless Kane and Toews wake up from their doze. I think there was probably a little too much partying over the summer, time to get back to the workout room.
Grossie, Kane looks especially lost to me. He's never ben a good defensive player IMO, but the way he is going right now, Coach Q. should give him a backhand every time he touches the puck in the defensive zone.

I think a big factor in the occasional sloppiness is the high number of new players in the mix. Hopefully when Campball and now Hossa are back in the mix they can find lines that work and play more consistent. It'l be fun to watch.
quote:
Originally posted by billhike:
Grossie, Kane looks especially lost to me. He's never ben a good defensive player IMO, but the way he is going right now, Coach Q. should give him a backhand every time he touches the puck in the defensive zone.


You must be watching a different game than I am. Granted, Kane only has two goals as of today (although he does have 8 pts in 10 games), and he is -6, but he looks bigger and stronger than he ever has. When he has the puck, he is a man among boys. The goals will come, and the +/- will get better as well. He did finish the last regular season at +16, and I'd be surprised if he isn't at or near that at the end of this year.
I dunno, TLV. Kaner's got skill, but the total package just seems to be missing something right now. Not to say it's not there, it's just not showing.

I'm also pretty sure that coach Q agrees with Bill here- Kane wasn't on the ice for a defensive zone faceoff the entire playoffs last year, that was Madden's job, then when the puck was cleared he'd come off the ice for Kane.

By the way, Habs are now 7-2-1, which puts them alone atop the Eastern conference. I know it's early but better to start 7-2-1 than 2-7-1!

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