KK Members Blog
The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Nashville Predators have a lot in common. Both have young stud Captain defensemen who play a similar game. Both have good goaltending. Both are strong on the backend. And both have a core of forwards that isn’t deep with offensive talent.
But the Nashville Predators are better.
You can thank Barry Trotz for that (the fact that he has not yet won the Jack Adams trophy is criminal). Every year sports journalists write off the Predators, and every year around February the same sports journalists churn out a string of articles about how the Predators keep on proving their doubters wrong.
The journalists aren’t just bandwagon jumpers. In fact, they are right. On paper, the Predators had no business making the playoffs 4 out of the last 5 years; after the 2006-2007 season, the Predators should have finished out of the top 8 in the Western Conference every single season. On paper.
Dear Toronto Maple Leafs,
Please stop sucking. This city of 5.5 million people needs you.
Think of us like Gotham City. In ruins.
We have not seen a playoff game since the 2003-2004 season. There are people in this city who have never been old enough to legally see a Leaf Playoff game in a bar even though they are over 19.
Over the course of the last 6 years of post-season drought, we have bought each of your new jerseys (home, away and third), bought tickets to the games, spent thousands of dollars on bar tabs and planned the parade route each year (we’re keeping the blueprints because obviously this is the year right?).
From this weeks ‘Who’da Thunkit’
Dallas Stars….2/25 on the PP (8%)...
they have allowed 10 PPG in 30 times SH…and…1 SHG in 7 games.
Teams you wouldn’t take to meet your Grandma
Columbus 3/30 PP (10 %)...allowed 6 PPG and 2 SHG, 7 games
Buffalo 4/36 PP (11.1%)....given up 6 PPG and 1 SHG, 9 games
Pittsburgh…8/49 PP (16.3 %)....given up 6 PPG, and 1 SHG, 9 games.
Colorado…the victim of 4 SHG in 7 games, 9 PPGA, 7/30 PP.
Dion Phaneuf was –3 last night. He was on the ice for 4 out of the 5 goals. He made a lazy play with his stick that led to a Mike Richards goal; he got unlucky when a slap shot from the point ricocheted off his skate into the net; he got caught up ice in the offensive zone leading to a 2 on 1; and he just got blatantly beat by Briere.
As of today, Phaneuf ranks 217th in the league among Defensemen with a +/- rating of –5. The irking fact about that stat is the fact that it is NOT out-of-the-ordinary for Phaneuf. If Nick Lidstrom was –5 at this point in the season, you could still bank on the fact that he would finish the season over +30. But Phaneuf has not been more than + 10 in his career since 2007-2008 when he was +12 (interestingly enough, over his career of 411 games Phaneuf is also +12).
Ironically, Phaneuf’s counterpart on the Flyers in the game yesterday, Chris Pronger, just happens to be one of the best +/- players of all time. In 1109 career games, Pronger is +176. Pro-rate Phaneuf’s stats to the same number of games. He falls short by almost +150. But it’s not just the +/- that sets the Flyers Assistant Captain apart.
This isn’t the first time someone has told Tomas Kaberle to shoot more. He may be a world-class offensive d-man. He may be able to move the puck up the ice and quarterback a powerplay better than almost anyone on the planet. But his shortcoming as an offensive d-man is his reluctance to shoot the puck.
Kaberle ranks 52nd in the league in Shots on Goal among defensemen with 10 on the season. Let’s do the math here. 30 Teams. 2 Defensemen on each team’s top PP unit on the points. That’s 60. Take away 2-3 d-men away from that number for guys like Ovechkin and Kovalchuk manning the points as forwards. Kaberle ranks 52 out of approximately 57 guys on the points of top PP units. By the way, his partner on the point, our Captain, ranks 1st among all d-men with 24 SOG.
Now there will be some among you who say, “well, Kaberle’s job is to set up Dion’s shot on the right or Kessel’s shot on the left.” Well, there is no light way to put this so here it is: You are idiots. This conversation is for people who actually understand hockey.
As of today, our Powerplay ranks 16th in the league at 14.3%. The Rangers drew 10 minutes in minors on Thursday, yet we failed to convert on one. And Kaberle is largely to blame.
Leafs (4-1-1) at Philly (2-3-1)
The Leafs have something to prove this game. After a 4-0-0 start, the Leafs have lost the last two games: An overtime loss to the Islanders which the Leafs dominated from start to finish but could not pull out the W; and a regulation to the Rangers in which the Leafs looked more like the team from last year than the team that began the season with the franchise’s best start in almost two decades. Which team will show up?
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 220 Pounds
Height: 6’ 8”
Wight: 257 Points
For those who didn’t see the fight:
In recent years, the #1 seed in the Western Conference has been synonymous with both the Pacific Division and the San Jose Sharks. It would seem likely that this will be repeated again in 2011.
This article will suggest that not only will San Jose not take the first seed in the West, they will not even win their own division, as it is now the time for the Los Angeles Kings to do just that.
Here are the five reasons that the Kings can take their rightful place on the throne in the Pacific:
Add a hefty $3 million fine and the loss of two draft picks to the list of what New Jersey Devils have lost in their pursuit of Ilya Kovalchuk.
The Devils will lose a 3rd round pick in 2011 and a 1st rounder in one of the next four years as a punishment for trying to test the limits of the rules.
Excessive, sure, but there’s a price to pay for pushing the envelope the farthest, especially when you do the pushing in the direction of Gary Bettman.
What have the Devils already given up?
Yesterday Paul (KK) posted a bit of an interview with Anze Kopitar with links to the rest of it on lakings.com. There were 2 other interviews that were related to Kings fans by Rich Hammond on his blog LA Kings Insider
First was an audio interview with former Kings forward and current TV color commentator Jim Fox as he appeared on XM Radio’s Power Play show. Here are 2 links:
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