by Patrick Hoffman on 12/04/10 at 06:00 PM ET
Russ Cohen, creator of Sportsology, host of Hockey Prospect Radio on NHL Home Ice, and one of the authors of 100 Ranger Greats was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk the NHL season at the quarter point.
PH: So, we are just past the quarter pole of the NHL season. What are some of your general early thoughts?
RC: I think it’s been an exciting season so far. It seems as though fighting is on the rise and fans like that and it seems like the Western Conference is stronger than the East so far.
PH: Which teams/players have surprised you the most in a good way? Why?
RC: Atlanta. I had a great conversation with GM Rick Dudley at the rink. How many GM’s still scout? He’s made some shrewd moves and it’s paying off. I love Tampa as well. Steve Yzerman has injected hope into the franchise. The Red Wings are still the most impressive team in the game and that’s amazing considering the age of some of their players.
PH: Which teams/players have been disappointments? Why?
RC: The Devils top the list. I said in the preseason I didn’t know how they would replace Paul Martin and the truth is that they haven’t. The Islanders have to rank up there as well. They have a ton of cap space and yet they still seem to have a substandard blueline. The loss of Mark Streit was huge but they should have been able to overcome that.
PH: Which rookies have impressed you the most thus far? Why?
RC: Cam Fowler is showing why he should have been a top ten pick in the draft. Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been a rock. Sharks’ rookie Logan Couture has always been a scorer since juniors and Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle has continued to be the same star we’ve seen in the World Juniors. Carolina’s Jefff Skinner has been a bit of surprise to me that he’s been this good this fast.
PH: You cover a lot of Philadelphia Flyers games. Tell us your thoughts on the team and why you think they’ve been so successful this season so far
RC: Their blueline is among the best in the sport. It helps drive their offensive push and the steady goaltending has really been important to their early season success so far.
PH: Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share with readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
RC: Maybe to check out my books “100 Ranger Greats” or “Strike Three”. I know the latter is a baseball book but it deals with the demise of the Montreal Expos and Martin Biron gave me some great quotes about that subject.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.