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Member Since 25 May 2007
Offline Last Active Jul 22 2015 10:59 AM

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In Topic: Remaing RFAs to be signed - Jurco, Pulkkinen, Aubry

22 July 2015 - 11:00 AM

On Pulks specifically, I think if he can hold down a 3rd line place with PP time, he well score on pace for 20 goals...His assist totals will likely be lower, though I'm not as down on his playmaking than others. He has enough about his game to contribute at NHL level, and perhaps has a longer term upside as 30/60 man, but will take a while to adjust. Agree with those that say his wider skillset is underrated, but he is still too guilty of just entering the zone and unleashing the slapper when other things aren't working. Much of his success will depend on who his linemates are. But the guy has the talent to finish that we need.

In Topic: Remaing RFAs to be signed - Jurco, Pulkkinen, Aubry

22 July 2015 - 10:41 AM

kickazz, I don't turn on player left and right. I admit, I have turned on a couple, Q and Franzen to name two, but not before they have PROVEN in the NHL that they aren't worth the money or the roster spot.  Granted, Q did better last season, but he makes too much money.  I know the market dictates it, but I think Holland should have just let him go when he was UFA instead of spend the $4.25M on him...we would've had XO or Marchy all season last year and this year.  Franzen....nevermind, I need not get in to that subject...its been well discussed.


Doesn't mean I will TURN on Pulk, but at least give him a full season to prove whether or not he is indeed worthy of an NHL spot. He will MOST definitely do a s*** ton better than Franzen will.


Without wishing to entirely re-open both debates,  i think and have always thought you are wrong about the players you are talking about. Partly because you seem to operate primarily in absolutes.


Howard (aforementioned) is a goalie worth his contract when fit. Anyone could see Mrazek had a higher ceiling, but when you have one guy proven at around the level you need, and one guy that might be lights out, but has barely played at the highest level, you don't jettison the proven man, even if his upside isn't quite as high. Either way, despite the fact that I've loved Mrazek since within  a few months of the pick, equally, you can't bet the house on him yet. There have been plenty of goalies who start big and deteriorate. I don't think Petr will be one, and I expect him to become one of the top 5 in the NHL, but it doesn't make the Howard signing a mistake in anyway.


Quincey was never as bad as people thought, and at the time he signed, that was the best option. He's turned out to be just about worth his contract, and no-one from below has done enough to push him out. He broke through to the NHL in LA as an offensive defenceman, and its taken time for him to take on the defensive mode we need him to. He'll likely be gone by the time the finance is an issue anyway. But the wings were NEVER going to give up on a player they invested so much in at the time when he seemed to finally get  the system and elevate his play to the desired level.


Franzen was both an excellent player and well worth his contract up until last season. Sure he floats, but he is positionally and defensively responsible, puts up points at 45-60 pace every year (even last year), and has great chemistry with Z and Nyquist. It looks like he's done due to concussions, but as an all round player he is a lot better than credited for, and when he gets hot, he can blow teams away. I'll be amazed if Pulks will ever get as good all round as Franzen was 07-13, and I'm very keen on the little finn. 


So much playing the soothsayer in retrospect when actually your track record is entirely debatable will piss people off.

In Topic: Sean Avery - Transition Season

21 June 2015 - 08:08 PM

That broadway story made me laugh. As a professional actor you see bloody hissy fits all the time from never-were's let alone has beens. And if the assistant is crying because of what he said, she needs to grow some chops because I've had far worse things said to me by people when I've not only been in the right, but also totally conciliatory. If it wasn't him and didn't fit his persona, it wouldn't be a story.


As for the broader issue, the sports world is full of people who didn't last because they didn't have the mindset to make the incredible sacrifices necessary to be a top level pro sportsperson, as much in terms of personality as lifestyle choices (due to the tedium of the dullness of many extremely professional but charisma-less teammates), and Avery is one of them. He played up to his panto villain too far, and pissed off the wrong people because he had the dangerous element of intelligence and imagination, but not nearly as much as he thinks. He always knew his role, but never knew the line, which is why things got tricky for him. That said, I've no doubt that his bad behaviour was blown out of proportion because he pissed off the wrong people, and things got into the public domain that would have been kept quiet had they been the actions of others.


The article is well written, articulate and thoughtful, but also demonstrates a characteristic lack of personal accountability for his mistakes. 

In Topic: What changes do you think we'll see with Blashill?

04 June 2015 - 07:12 PM

The D is an interesting situation because with free agents and promotions it could be very different, but equally it might be the same.


I suppose the biggest question is will the coach keep the Babcock tight positional play that has been reasonably successful or take a risk and go for a more offensive style? The answer to that will determine the futures of many players on the roster, including kindl, smith, weiss, jurco and possibly Pulks, all of whom would be keen to see the latter. 


One of the interesting questions for the new set up is can they get the playoff version of Brendan Smith to show up in the reg season. In the post season he has looked like a top 4 dman, but in the 82 games he can fluctuate from top 4 to #8 without warning. Kindl also has question marks...although he gets the easy ice time, his points to games ratio is not bad at all, and he is one of the few of our D who actually can hit the net on the PP, and he plays great stretch passes. Can they get him to overcome his indecision and lack of fight in his own end? Big asks, but either coming off would be a big help. Can Big Rig get his confidence back with a healed hand and actually look a top 4 damn? Will DD continue to progress? Will KFQ be able to maintain last seasons form without babs? Or might he even surpass it and re-find his offensive touch as seen in LA and Colorado? We know Marchy and XO can cope with Blashill, but can they REALLY step up?


And of course, one can assume KH will try to find a FA upgrade. Landing any of the current options creates spare assets. A trade for an upgrade seems unlikely, but the cap space of others may yet change that, especially from teams out west.


As for what I'd like to see...


If we can't get Green or  Franson at a reasonable price, i would consider Martin, Sekera or maybe even Erhoff or Meszaros (if cheap cheap) if we can swing send some other assets away for an upgrade. Otherwise leave along. Up front, Drew Stafford is an obvious option, Joel Ward as an outside choice but really there isn't much and I'd probably prefer to stand pat.

Again if we trade assets, maybe Shawn matthias, glencross,Justin Williams or possibly at a push Frolik come into, but only would be worth considering if we can shift others out to bring an upgrade on the back end.

In net, I can't see Jimmah leaving, so no change except possibly in GR.


If no trades or signings of note happen, I'd be tempted to shake up some of the lines. Tats works well with D but also with Sheahan so I'd be tempted to go with.


Z - D - Abby

Tats - Sheahan - Jurco

Franzen/Pulks - Helm - Nike

MIller, Glen, Ferraro






Of course Weiss and Kindl if not traded will rotate in, and I wouldn't be surprised if the former bounces back to complicate things no end!


But I would only do so on the basis of situational line rotation and fairly equal ice time for the top 3 lines. Its tricky because it would mean Tats/Sheahan/Jurco would be the only balanced line really. Nyquist has great chemistry with Zetterberg, but the only other person he seems to really have that telepathy with is Franzen and I can't see him coming back or staying back. Otherwise that's a good line because of Franzen's size, and Nyquist's speed taking some of the physical pressure of Z, but only really works if Z and Franzen can rotate central duties as I don't see Z as a full time center from here on in.

Dats can kind of play with anyone as long as there is at least someone providing good forecheck pressure. Pulks I can see moving up and down the line up until he finds a fit as his shot makes him a threat on any line that gets offensive zone time. 

Certainly the 4th line picks itself as the roster stands.


On the back end the only pair that works for both is KQ and DD, and I'm scared of having Kronwall and Ericsson together as Kronner's skating has declined and Ericsson's first 5 yards is SLOOOOW. Smith on the first line IS a massive risk, but he seems to play better when a) given more responsibility and b) with someone really smart! In an ideal world someone comes in alongside Kronner or Marchenko suddenly takes 3 steps forward. We all know our back end is horribly imbalanced and suffers from quantity over quality, so unless we get someone in from outside then there is no really satisfactory solution. I know Smith higher up the line-up might go horribly wrong, but if nothing changes roster wise, i'd prefer to take the risk first up and give him a chance and the confidence to utilise his strengths. Like many, I suspect he just doesn't have what it takes between the ears, but he does seem to switch on when pushed front row centre. As for PP, I only think smith works if we play 2 d- men and he can roam, effectively being a demi forward, so if the current set up works with the coaching changes I'd use him sparingly. I say utilising him there is less of a priority than getting the Pulkcannon in positions to use that slap shot. Our finn has much development to do, but he has the best slapshot and one of the best wristers on the roster and he WILL shoot, so if he's on the team that has to be utilised, and not too close to the crease. His release and ability to find space will never match Brett Hull's but he's the closest this club has seen since.

In Topic: Playoff Laughbreak video NSFW (language)

18 May 2015 - 09:33 PM

Shows just how common really unpleasant flying headshots and elbows were really not that long ago....Scott Stevens would have been a walking suspension....