Toronto preview

toronto unfiorm

Toronto Maple Leafs Season Preview:

After a big finish over the final 10 games of the regular season saw the Leafs jump up from 8th place to 4th place, the team’s postseason hopes were dashed in a loss on home ice in Game 7 of the 1st round. When the dust settled and the disappointment subsided (somewhat) the new management team began their roster assessment and embarked on a flurry of trades to gear up for a deeper run in the playoffs this season. Gone are promising prospects Ryan Spooner, Olli Maatta and Rasmus Ristolainen, along with Matt Duchene. Newly acquired are 4th overall pick Jonathan Drouin and veterans James Van Riemsdyk, Scott Hartnell, Eric Fehr and Rob Scuderi. Here’s how the roster looks to take shape:

1- JVR-Crosby-Vrbata
2- Hartnell-Giroux-Hornqvist
3- St. Louis-Little-Gallagher
4- Kane/Drouin-Backlund-Fehr
Depth- Parenteau, Korpikoski, Garbutt
All of the top 9 forwards are 20+ goal scorers, and Kane and Fehr were on pace to cross that threshold.

1- McDonagh-Letang
2- Scuderi-Beauchemin
3- Stuart-Greene
Depth-Ehrhoff, Gryba
The top 6 all are 4 or 5 rated defensively, but there will be a lot of mixing and matching to cover the GP.

G- Mason, Varlamov
Mason will be the #1 with a .928 save pct, and Varlamov will start around 30 games with his .921.

We surrendered a lot of promising players, but feel that we have geared up for a big run this season. May need a mid-season deal to bolster the team but the Toronto faithful are hoping for big things this postseason.

Blues on the block

blues7778Blog updated with more stories, take a peek . You can also follow so when stuff posted , you get an email. (blog easier to update than web page)

Blues looking for an upgrade at LD. Right now the third spot is held by Jake Gardiner who I think might be a JK passer and 2 defense.
Looking for a JK 3/4 defense, or JKL passer on that side who can play the powerplay.

Blues can move the following players to find that piece or draft picks for next year.

Anti Niemi, .914 save percentage, 61 games
Mike Smith, 62 games, .904
Marian Gaborik 27 goals in
Drew Stafford, winger, 43 pts 76 games, 2nd liner in Winnipeg
Jeff Petry, 2nd pairing dman in Montreal, a 4 defense the last few years, slipped to 3 this year. Thanks Edmonton!
Ryan Ellis, 27 points, 58 games, RD, just 24
Ryan Murphy, 22 years old, 13 pts in 37 games.

Looking for later round picks for

Mason Raymond, 23 pts in 57 games

Mikhail Grabovsky, 19 pts in 51 games, 3rd line center Islanders

Sean Bergenheim, 19 pts in 56 games


St.Louis Blues

Avalanche Spring Training report

colorado uniform

Colorado Roster Update

Coach Patrick Roy addressed a media conference today regarding the outlook oft the Avalanche team for the upcoming season.

“We are extremely pleased with the direction management has taken with our club” quoted Roy. “We had an aging defense corps last year with a crop of young forwards. We have now added youth and depth to the back end. This will not be an overnight fix by any means, but we are looking at building something for the future that will last a few years.”

Prior to the draft, the Avalanche swung two deals to assist with the lack of depth at defense. The additions of defensemen Tyson Barrie and Olli Maatta have provided the Avs with two legitimate top 4 d men. Albeit Maatta will have a limited role this year, big things are expected in the future from this Finnish rearguard. Add in first round pick Derrick Pouliot, who will not see any action this year, and we have the making of a real good crop of defenseman that will join Giordano, Spurgeon, Alzner, Larsson, Vatanen and Hickey. The Av’s last pick in the rookie draft, Adam Clendening, will also spend the season in the minors refinning his game

The goaltending will be just fine with a trio of Finns keeping biscuits out of the basket. Rask, Rinne and Raanta will all get opportunities to display their skillsets and should keep most games close while providing the Avs a chance to win on any given night.

The rebuild continues up front as 8 of 10 draft were forwards. At an early camp skate, it appears that Ryan Johansen will center between Anders Lee and Marcus Johansson. Line 2 has the Nuge between Frans Nielsen and Alex Killorn while the third set has Carl Soderberg skating with David Perron and Reilly Smith. Zemgus Girgensons, Brock Nelson and Nail Yakupov will toil on the 4th line. Ryan Spooner will pick up some games at center while newly drafted Rickard Rakell and Victor Rask will also see a few games. The Av’s have high hopes on draft choices Chris Tierney as welll as Jiri Sekac and Vincent Trochek. They will be expected to be the top line on the farm this year with intentions of promoting them to the big club next year. Other bigger projects involve Lucas Lessio – a power forward with scoring ability, Nick Shore – a player with speed and great vision, and Ronald Kenins – a shifty forward who may turn out to be the surprise pick of the draft, but we are not holding our breath!

“We are coming out of camp with an attitude of playing hard every night. If all works out, we will be in the playoff hunt, but our goal is to work, work, work and let the players continue to develop through games and situations. Our goaltending should gives us a chance every night, but our forwards will have to be big overachievers for us to have an opportunity to play past the regular season. We have a great young core of players that should continue to improve every season. I hate to sound like Babcock, but this rebuild will take time.”

Kevin Anton

Black Hawks off season

chicago uniform

Well the rookie draft is over and the BlackHawks had a busy off season, if you look at the moves and the draft you will see that we pretty saw what the swami had seen with our team and we feel we filled in the holes. We felt we needed a good scoring LW and some depth on the 3rd and 4th lines and also to improve our RD depth.

so we added
LW M.Pacioretty (we get a true 1 LW)
RW J.Williams (good depth player)
RW J.Ward (see aboe)
C/RW Hayes (4th line center but i hope he continues to improve)
C B.Horvat (I see him as a future 4-4 guy)
RD D.Sverson (3-3 RD and he should get top pairing with the Devils)
LD/RD Neserov (was good in the playoffs, i see an improved card with more games)
LD/RD Trottman (not expecting much)
LD/RD M.Mueller (I think he ends up a 2-4 guy in a couple of years)
LD N.Beaulieu (my homer pick, but he will play 2nd pairing with Petry, i can see him as a 3-1, 3-2 k passer next year, Markov getting older means more ice time for him, fingers are crossed)

still with 2 picks in the ufa left the projected lineup is


D.Brown/B.Horvat should be the fillers

3rd line Center will be shared
Dubinsky 47GP will play all home games +6 road
Hanzal will play 35 road games


Kulikov to be LD fillers
Nesterov/Trotman to play RD fillers

Holtby 73GP
Elliot 9 GP

Power Play unit 1

Power Play unit 2
Williams-Stralman(Nesterov when he plays)

PK unit 1

PK unit 2

wish list would to get a good 3rd line RW checker who can score a little

So all in all pretty happy a big weakness last year was our bottom pair on defense but this year we should be a lot better, can’t wait to see what the Swami thinks in his next write up.


2015 2nd Round of the draft

2015draft17. VAN – Adam Lowry
> 18. SJS – Scott Darling
> 19. CHI – Bo Horvat
> 20. NJD – Teemu Pulkkinen
> 21. BUF – Jori Lehtera
> 22. SJS – Alexander Wennberg
> 23. DAL – Petr Mrazek

> 24. COL – Rickard Rakell
> 25. COL – Victor Rask
> 26. BOS – Calvin Pickard
> 27. STL – Nikita Zadorov

> 28. PHX – Melker Karlsson
> 29. COL – Chris Tierney
> 30. CHI – Nathan BEaulieu
> 31. NYI – Dmitrij Jaskin
> 32. CHI – Mirco Mueller