Entries with the tag: the face-off hockey show
One of my favorite people to do e-mail interviews with, Scotty Wazz of the Face-Off Hockey Show, was kind enough to take time out of his hectic schedule to give us his thoughts on the 2012 NHL Entry Draft as well as what is going on in the NHL when it comes to the free agent season.
PH: As always, you and the FOHS crew were at the NHL Entry Draft this season. What was that experience like for you?
SW: It was an interesting experience, for sure. The CONSOL Energy Center is a pretty sweet building and the new video board the NHL has for the draft board made it’s grand debut. Plus, it’s always good to see my other friends from the blogging and media world, as well as putting faces and real names to those people I interact with on Twitter. Despite the confusing roads and all the bridges in Pittsburgh, it was a good time overall.
PH: As a whole, did you enjoy the draft this year? were there any surprises or disappointments?
SW: It was definitely an interesting draft, as some thought it could be a crap-shoot after the first couple of picks. Two of the bigger surprises could be the move the Penguins made moving Jordan Staal to Carolina, which would open up some money for the Penguins in the free agency market and help Jordan bust out of the shadows of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The other surprise was the Calgary Flames picking up Mark Jankowski in the first round, as he was projected to go much later and considering he is coming out of the Quebec high school system (despite playing US prep schools)—it’s a sizeable risk when it comes to a first round pick when there could be better talent in higher skilled leagues out there.
I don’t know if there’s many disappointments, though maybe you could consider the fall down the board of Filip Forsberg and Mikhail Girgorenko to the mid-first round. Also, the fall through the year of defenseman Nick Ebert, who didn’t have the best year in Windsor; but he fell all the way until the last pick—which could help the Kings when he develops even more. Yet, on a day like draft day, I’m sure just getting drafted is a great time for them, regardless of where it is.
Scotty Wazz, the host of the Face-Off Hockey Show and the author of The Strangest One of All blog, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about his experience covering at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft as well as his thoughts on the Philadelphia Flyers’ trades and a look at the upcoming NHL Free Agency season.
PH: So, the Face-Off Hockey Show was at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft covering the big event. What was that experience like for you guys?
SW: For us at FOHS, we use this as a great vacation getaway and to be able to hang out. We’ve been going since 2002 and it’s always great to see a new city and test out the bar scene and all of that. Plus, we get to meet our buddies in the media and this year—we attended a Tweet-Up and really got to know some new people we already knew about, but never knew about…..which makes no sense, but it puts a face to many names.
PH: What did you think of the draft as a whole? Iin your opinion, were there any surprises when it came to either picks or trades that were made?
SW: I think everyone thought that after the first four picks—it was going to be a crapshoot when it came to picks. It was a wide open draft and while some guys like Rocco Grimaldi dropped out of the first round; it wasn’t too unexpected. The trade that got me interested was Devin Setoguchi heading to Minnesota for Brent Burns, as it helps both teams. Burns can help the Sharks with some puck-movement and Setoguchi should be able to help the Wild with scoring. The thing with Burns is that he was Upper Deck’s signee for the second day of the Draft; so it was a bit of a farewell tour for him on Saturday.
Scotty Wazz, the terrific host of The Face-Off Hockey Show as well as the publisher of his awesome blog, The Strangest One of All, was kind enough to answer some questions regarding concussions, Matt Cooke, playoff races and his podcast.
PH: How do you think the NHL will handle the concussion issue now that some rules have been put in place? Do you think they’ll work?
SW: I think it’s a good thing that the NHL is trying to be as proactive as possible, but in a game where contact is encouraged—you can only do some much with the element of humans in it. If it’ll work and all remains to be seen, but it could deter enough people out there to actually think before they try to do something that’s borderline dangerous. Yet, at the same time, we all have lapse in judgment from time to time and we’ll probably see many cases of lapses, especially in an emotional sport; which hockey is.
PH: Do you think there is a place in the NHL for Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins? Do you think he will finally learn his lesson or will it fall upon deaf ears?
SW: Matt Cooke is an interesting case, because he really wasn’t this much of a dirty player years ago when he was in Vancouver. It seems that since he’s left there, he’s gotten beyond the role of pest and into the role of goon. He’s a very skilled player when all is said and done and I think he’s a valuable asset if he can be reigned in enough by coaches or management. As far as lessons, he says he learned his lesson, but you can’t believe it until you see it. I’m sure the Penguins’ brass has been on him about it after this and he’ll probably have to look at himself and realize that if he has this reputation, not many teams will be willing to sign him if he continues to be a liability.
PH: So, we are past the 1/3/ point of the NHL season. What are some of your general thoughts?
SW: Kind of hard to believe we’re one-third of the way through the season, but I think the torrid pace of Sidney Crosby is going to be the story until he slumps for two games or more. The continuation of maturity for Steven Stamkos has been great, considering what he went through in his rookie year. Plus, Tim Thomas really bounced back from his horrid season last year, showing that his Vezina year wasn’t a fluke at all.
PH: We know the season has yet to begin but name the eight teams from each conference that will make the playoffs.
SW: Well, in no particular order and off the top of my head:
East: Washington, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Montreal, Boston, New Jersey
West: Detroit, Colorado, St. Louis, Nashville, Vancouver, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose
PH: Which team do you think will be the biggest surprise this season? Why?
SW: I don’t know if you want to call it a surprise, but I think that Tampa could be a team to look at. You see what they’ve improved on; it looks like they could be a solid team and may turn some heads. Sure, the moves they made will help them become that, but I don’t think there’s many teams out there that will jump out more than Tampa. The biggest question will be goaltending and if the tandem of Mike Smith and Dan Ellis can be a solid duo.
Scott Wasilewski (Wazz) of The Face-off Hockey Show and The Strangest One of All Hockey Blog was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to discuss some off-season hockey topics here at Kukla’s Korner.
Take it away, Wazz:
PH: Which free agent signings do you like? Why?
SW: The defensive pick-ups in the Atlantic are amazing. The Devils picking up Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder are pretty clutch, as both are stable defensively responsible players and should be able to make up for the losses the Devils had to endure. Which leads me to the pick-ups of Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek by the Penguins, who are younger options to counteract the loss of Sergei Gonchar to Ottawa. Martin and Michalek should compliment and push Kris Letang to be tops on the defensive corps.