KK Members Blog
Ten games into the season, Ales Hemsky looked like he was going to finish the season at a point per game pace. Satisfying? Not quite. He may have finished the season with 82 points, but it looked like they were all going to be assists… on the powerplay, no less. However, come game 11, not only did he start scoring goals (notice: plural), but he started showing why critics have been so harsh on him in the past: he has the talent to score not just 82 assists, but 82 goals, but has failed to put it together in a full season.
For his opening act, he dangled through Braydon Coburn and then proceeded to give Martin Biron headspins. The second goal of that game was a sequel of the first. The next 3 games, he continued to score. These goals were not cheap either. A rocket over the shoulder Steve Mason, a one handed poke after a steal by Marc-Andre Fleury, and 1 vs 4 against the Devils defense. Four games, five goals (even some even strength!), and 5 TSN Highlight of the Night candidates. I have watched TSN since a child, and I don’t think any other player in NHL history can make this claim: their first 5 goals of the season were all HON candidates.
Hemsky has given the boost that the Edmonton Oilers needed to endure the season long 7 game road streak that they just completed in New York, where Hemsky provided the shootout winner, and kept the Oilers’ within the top 8 in the competitive Western Conference. Not only this, but has also supplemented the scoring that has been missing from sophomores Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner.
We are now at 15 games into the season. Hemsky has 15 points, with 5 goals - 5 more than I expected him to have. He is on pace for 27 goals. The question remains: can he possibly have 27 HON candidates?
Coming from back-to-back wins in New Jersey and New York, where he blocked 77 of the 80 shots he received, Jean-François Drouin-Deslauriers is starting to turn heads.
The young Oilers netminder is slowly making a name for himself and vying for more starts in the NHL’s only ménage à trois with Mathieu Garon and Dwayne Roloson.
In 4 games this season with the Oilers, Drouin-Deslauriers, has 3 wins to go with a 1,71 GAA and .951 Save %.
The 24 year-old goalie from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, spent the past two seasons in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins where he won a total of 48 games.
The 6’4’’ 200 lb Drouin-Deslauriers was drafted by the Oilers in the 2nd round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He signed a one-way two-year contract with the Oilers worth $1,250,00 M ($625,000 per season) this summer. Therefore, Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini had to keep him in the NHL to start the season.
Deslauriers’ emergence will allow Tambellini to shop Dwayne Roloson before the trade deadline, without fear of going with a Garon-Deslauriers tandem in the playoffs (should the Oilers make it).
Drouin-Deslauriers is only owned in 2% of Yahoo’s Fantasy Leagues, so it’s time to pluck him off waivers.
Some sound advice to the NHL: get rid of the f’n cliches! Every sport uses them, but the NHL’s marketing group cannot afford them.
Jeremy Roenick mentioned it at the start of the season when asked about Sean Avery’s criticism of the NHL’s lack of success in term of marketing: more and more players, especially the younger generation are becoming too robotic during press opportunities. This is part of the reason why the NHL’s marketing schemes have not been as successful as they’ve liked. Since Sidney Crosby was drafted, the NHL has focused their energy in marketing him, and rightfully so. He has been dubbed the “next one” since he was 8 and when you have a talent like that, you have to take advantage of it. However, the other part of the NHL’s marketing problem is not their problem at all - it is the players’.
Hi, hockey fans
I’d like to make each of you aware of my new hockey book, which will be available on December 1 from the publisher.
I’ve been a goalie for almost sixty years, and still play weekly against great young players around Washington, DC and in seacoast New Hampshire.
In the late 1950s, I backstopped the Rye (NH) Seahawks, a small town team of grizzled WWII veterans who played in the fabled town team leagues of northern New England, and made it to the Boston Garden to play in NH and New England championships in the early 1950s. I was just fourteen when I became the Seahawks’ netminder.
The book is a history of that vintage hockey team and era but also reflects on the great WWII generation, pond hockey, black ice, the hockey towns and teams of New England, and the aging process for those who play contact sports.
Dave Bidini, author of Tropic of Hockey and The Best Game You Can Name, strongly endorsed Seahawk : “A fine literary descendent of Jack Falla’s Home Ice and Peter Gzowski’s The Game Of Our Lives. Like any good hockey book, it teaches us more about the world than hockey itself.”
“SEAHAWK : Confessions of an Old Goalie” can be purchased in pre-publication from the publisher. Send $20 ($17 + $3 S&H) to : SEAHAWK, Peter E. Randall, Publisher, Box 4726, Portsmouth, NH 03802. The book will also be in the Spring 2009 NBN book catalogue and available in bookstores everywhere and on Amazon.com by early summer.
Hope you enjoy reading Seahawk as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Email : email@example.com
With the news that Nabokov was potentially injured, I quickly grabbed Greiss up in my hockey pool, just in case. I then went to check out his stats on the Worcester Sharks webpage and noticed that he had a large red X next to his name. Usually, this means a player has been called up.
If he gets called up later today, this won’t be the first time that a website had been updated way before the press was notified of the transaction. Why is this? Do the GMs really say - ‘quick, call the webmaster in Worcester and let them know we’re calling up Greiss asap. Then, after lunch or when you have time, let the press know.’ Just sayin…....this seems quite odd.
Has there ever been such a dynamic and enthusiastic prospect as Nathan Gerbe before? Last night he potted 3 goals to lead Portland over Worcester.
It isn’t just his scoring or his disproportionate size to most other players that makes him shine, but rather his Favre like enthusiasm approach to the game.
This is really the difference between Ovechkin and Crosby, one plays with a smile on his face and the other seems to sour his mood after every play. With Gerbe you get talent, determination, along with a brilliant smile. You just have to see him play to believe it - he’s not just punching a work ticket each time he gets on the ice, but rather the arena seems to be where he comes to life.
Let me first just say I’m happy to be one of the first old-school members on KK to post to the blog section. Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute more down the road.
On to the news:
According to the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, Chicago has plans to trade their 6.75 million goaltender to the New Jersey Devils soon. It sounds like they won’t be asking for much in return. According to the Herald, it sounds like the Devils might bite.
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A lot of talk lately about the young guns in the NHL. Its one way to help sell the future of the game in some markets as well as for the league. But forecasting someone’s development is an inexact science.
Here in the valley of the sun, the Great One decided it was best to give one of his potential future stars a night off and a chance to see the game from a different vantage point. Kyle Turris was a healthy scratch against Calgary, a team that has owned the Yotes for a few years now.
But fear not, Turris is expected to be in the line up Thursday night in the “Garage” which might be considered a home game for him. Should be interesting to see how he responds.
The Coyotes’ official blogger has a piece posted where he interviews Turris on this. Check it out: http://coyotes.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=390467
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