- The whole Rick Nash saga played out about as I expected, although it may not be for exactly the reasons I described here http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...id=6464&post_id=13064
. I honestly think that Scott Howson really had no intention of dealing Nash unless someone was going to give up the house...and no one did. He did get a fair return for Jeff Carter and that may have been his plan all along. I guess about the best thing that could be said for the whole ordeal is that is kept the trade deadline day interesting...well a little bit anyway.
- Speaking of the deadline day...is it possible for the Trade Deadline to 'jump the shark' like a TV show does? http://www.tvguide.com/jumptheshark
Ok...I know they are two entirely different things, but for all the hype going into it, the deadline just doesn't seem like it will ever be able to meet the expectations again. Too many teams are in the hunt and too many GM's can't afford to gamble because the margin of error is way too small and the consequences for a lot of them are way too large.
- I know Brian Burke has gotten a lot of negative feedback about his comments concerning the trade deadline, but from my point of view, I think he is right. As fans and media types, we all want the soap opera stories...but as a GM, you can't afford to be a part of that. You can't afford to get caught up in the frenzy of the day and make a bad decision. As much as people might not like what Burke said...or as some newspaper headlines reported...calling him a whiner...I respect him for speaking his mind and being honest. For all of the things I have heard and read about Burke, that's the one thing I hear/see over and over...he's an honest guy. Can never have enough of them...even if you don't like what they have to say.
- I think it's funny when analysts try and determine winners and losers from the deadline...on the deadline day or in the immediate days that follow. Let's face it, you really don't know until weeks, months or even years later in some cases. And sometimes the perceived benefits of a trade change as time goes by. A good example is the 'Marian Hossa Trade' http://sports.espn.go.com...nhl/news/story?id=3265859
the Penguins made a few years back. Hossa proved to be a big help in the playoffs, even though the Pens lost to the Wings in the finals, but he bolted for the Wings the next season. The 'throw-in' player...or at least perceived to be that at the time was...Pascal Dupuis. Four years later and Dupuis is still with the Pens and probably has contributed enough to the success of the organization during his time here that the trade should really be re-titled the 'Pascal Dupuis Trade'.
- I'm having a tough time figuring out who the favorites are in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs. I know we don't even know who the 16 teams are yet...but based on what we do know, there have been enough inconsistencies among the clubs that even the best analysts have to be scratching their heads going into the stretch run. Here's a good example...what teams have been the most consistent for the longest period of time this year? I know the Wings have been pretty strong...but they have had their ups and downs (especially early). The Bruins looked terrible to start...then caught fire...but have taken a dive recently. I'd have to say the Rangers and Blues have been two of the most consistent teams from start to finish and both are in great shape as we head toward the playoffs. That said, with the lack of recent playoff experience the clubs have, would anybody really pick these two as the favorites to advance to the finals?
- Speaking of consistently playing well, has anybody been better than the Coyotes in the last month? All wins and 1 OTL in the month of February. That's pretty damn impressive.
- Speaking of the Coyotes...Hats off to Dave Tippett for what the Coyotes are doing and for his belief in goalie Mike Smith. After Smith's last season in Tampa, I really didn't think he would be able to replace Bryzgalov...but man was I wrong. Smith has played in 50 games, has 29 wins, a goals against avg of 2.24 and a save percentage of .927. He's helped make the Coyotes a team that quietly has flown under the radar, all the way to 1st place in the Pacific Division.
- What's wrong in Chicago? I know captain Jonathan Toews concussion has hurt the Hawks, but I honestly thought they would play with more consistency than they have. Based on some what I have seen, their defensive play has been so-so, but the bigger problem has been poor goaltending. I think one of those guys (Crawford or Emery) will catch fire and solidify things...right?
- Sticking with the Blackhawks...Marian Hossa seems to be off his game a bit too - at least from the scoring standpoint. Hossa has 60 points in 63 games but at the end of January he had 53 points in 47 games. That's a February stat line of 4 goals, 3 assists and a minus 4 in the last 13 games. Those numbers ares very un-Hossa like. I'm guessing the loss of Toews has hurt his stats...but could he also be playing at less 100% right now?
- AND FINALLY...I didn't want to say too much about Crosby in this blog...so I will only say this...I expect him to be ready for the playoffs. I expect that will probably mean, at most, 10 regular season games...and then he'll be in good enough game shape to help the Pens push for a cup.
Thanks for reading!!!!