Swami congratulates the CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS on winning the GHC CUP, renamed the SWAIN CUP in honor of Mike Swain, longtime Sabres Coach who passed last year! The Hawks beat the St Louis Blues in a rematch from last year when St Louis won! It’s gonna be tough for Swami to repeat last year’s predictions, as we were almost spot on! Swami was right on 13/16 teams, course we couldnt count last year saying 9 teams would make the playoffs! Swami had Philadelphia making it(nope) & New Jersey(missed by 2 pts) & we said the Islanders would not make it(they did & thanked Devan Dubynk for it) but Swami was right on with the other 13 teams making it or not! Who will make the Show this year & what does Swami think about each team’s draft last season! At the time of this research, the Lotto had not been held, so Swami is going in blind, with no trades yet or draft picks!
TAMPA BAY- Rookie GM Tim Matte made 9 trades last season looking to the future! With 4 First-Round Picks & 3 in the 2nd round, it’s an exciting time come Draft Day! The Bolts need an infusion of new faces, after scoring a League-Low 176 Goals & having the worst road record (10-26-4) in the League & finishing in last place! Youngster Morgan Rielly was a League-Worst (-62) plus-minus after coming over from the Islanders in a trade! 16-17 DRAFT- 13th Overall William Nylander could be the Top Line LW this season, 2nd rounder Nick Ritchie could get 2nd or 3rd line LW duty, Darnell Nurse, Jake Virtanen, & Joseph Blandisi are still projects! GRADE- B Camp Lines( Two 20 Goal Scorers) 1)W Nylander(22 G) -A Kopitar- K Okposo 2)K Versteeg- S Bennett- R Panik(22 G) Line 3)N Ritchie- E Haula-D Brown 4) J Blandisi,M Kruger,C Lazar,J Schroeder,B Smith all vying for jobs but with all the Rookies coming in, they might be casualties! DEFENSE-Line 1) M Rielly- J Schultz 2) N Leddy- D Severson 3) D Orlov- J Benn GOALTENDING – R Lehner -M A Fleury INTERESTING- Dimitri Orlov( +6) was just one of 2 players to finish with a plus on the team(Nylander +1 was the other) With a Lotto Pick & the 5th overall,12th & 16th in the 1st Round & Three 2nd rounders, the make-up of the team will change & they should advance in the Standings, but Swami says ” Just short of the Playoffs”
COLORADO- The Avs made 6 deals last season shedding many veteran’s on way to a League-Worst Home Record(15-23-2)! The transition year was tough, as Colorado gave up a League-High 292 Goals playing Firebrand Hockey(3-3,3-2) & were a League-Worst (-460) plus-minus! Tyson Barrie was brutal, finishing at -59 for the 2nd worst in the League, as he was in trade rumors all season! 16-17 DRAFT- The Av’s had 3 1st rounders last season & Sam Reinhart(6th overall) Max Domi(11th overall) & Nikolaj Ehlers(15th overall) should all make the Starting line-up this season! 2nd rounders Ryan Pulock & Chris Bigras were too small of fish, they’ll be thrown back in the water! Three 3rd rounders show promise(R . Boucher,N Petan,N Cousins)but will fight for a contract! 4th rounders Casey Nelson & Daniel Carr & 5th rounder B Davidson will be released! GRADE- B- OFFENSE( Seven 20 Goal Scorers) 1) N Ehlers(25 G)- V Trocheck(23 G)-S Reinhart 2) J Drouin(21 G)- R Rakell(33 G)- B Nelson(20 G) 3) A Lee(34 G)-V Rask- M Johansson(24 G) 4- M Domi- R Johansen-R Smith & that leaves A Killorn,R Nugent-Hopkins & R Spooner looking for ice time! DEFENSE- 1st pair) T Barrie-J Spurgeon 2nd pair) T Hickey- A Larsson 3rd- O Maatta(55 GP) – S Vatanen GOALTENDING- P Rinne-T Rask The Offense & Goaltending are in Good shape, just a little thin at LD, but if Lotto doesnt go their way & they pick 3rd or 4th, Zach Werenski could be headed to Denver! A Major deal to get a Top Line LD would have Swami leaning towards the Avs for a spot in the post-season, if no deal, then they come up short again!
BUFFALO- The Sabres made just one deal last season, sending their 2nd(16) to the defense-rich St Louis Blues for Ryan Ellis! Ellis will play 2nd line RD behind workhorse Matt Niskanen, who logged the 2nd most ice-time (27:41) in the League last season! Johnny Boychuk of Minnesota led with 27:42! 16-17 DRAFT- Buffalo nabbed Dylan Larkin with the 2nd overall, traded 2nd(Ellis), Goalie Joonas Korpisalo came in the 3rd,while Radek Faska was taken in round 4! 30 Goal Scorer Jonathan Marchessault was Stolen in the 5th round! GRADE- B OFFENSE( Three 20 Goal Scorers) 1) T Hall(20 G)- J G Pageau- D Pastranak(34 G) 2) J Marchessault(30 G)- T Bozak- J Pominville 3) D Larkin- Z Smith- M Frolik 4) A Burrows-R Faska- A Shaw DEFENSE- Line 1- T Krug- M Niskanen 2) D Phaneuf- R Ellis 3) N Kronwall(57 GP)- E Johnson(46 GP) GOALTENDING- S Bobrovsky – J Korpisalo Could really benefit(course any team could really benefit)if they win the Lotto as they lack a true 1st line Center, but plenty holes to fill( GP at Goalie & Defense) & if picking 3rd or 4th, it’s gotta be Zach or Ivan! Even with a Matthews or Laine, the Offense just isnt there yet & with a new Coach coming in, Swami says not enough Fire-Power to make the Playoffs!
BOSTON- GM Harry Sinden made no deals last year & Coach Bob Blanchard just didnt have enough defensive defenseman or a good enough Goalie to stop the puck enough, as they are in the Lotto for a 2nd straight year! 16-17 DRAFT- Connor McDavid- need I say more! Yes,,, Jaccob Slavin in the 2nd starts Top Line LD, Ben Hutton(3rd round) & Chris Wideman(4th round) should help the Defense, while 5th Round Gem Phillip Danault will get 3rd line Center duties! GRADE- A- OFFENSE- ( 5 20 Goal Scorers) LINE 1- J Benn(26 G)- C McDavid(30 G)- L Draisaitl(29 G) LINE 2- O Palat- E Malkin(33 G)- B Wheeler(26 G) LINE 3- T Toffoli- P Danault- C Perry LINE 4- L Komarov-Marcus Granlund-M Zuccarello DEFENSE- PAIR 1- J Slavin-K Shattenkirk PAIR 2- I Cole-D Hamilton PAIR 3- M Streit- C Wideman GOALTENDING- J Markstrom-L Domingue-C Pickard-M Neuvirth Plenty of Offense,little short on the 3rd pairing on D & could use a better Goalie, look for Mike Condon or Peter Budaj to sign on in FA Draft! Strat-Gods help us if they win the Lotto again( Matthews & McDavid) Again, if picking just 3rd or 4th, Werenski gets a Bruin uniform! If the B’s get help in Goal , then Swami will go out on a limb & say “The Bruins are my sleeper team to play past the Regular Season”
MINNESOTA- The 12th place Wild scored just 185 Goals, the 2nd lowest in the League! Coach Dave Lever’s special teams were not very special, as they had the Lowest PP% (13.4) & the worst PK%(70.5) in the League! Minnesota hired former Wild player Martin St Louis to shore up the special teams this season! 16-17 DRAFT- 8th Overall Anthony Duclair, 2nd round Joonis Donskoi, 3rd Kerby Rychel, 4th Bryan Rust. Bryan Rust gets only 57 gms, but will crack line-up, while Duclair & Donskoi might see 4th line duty! GRADE C- (pay cut for scouts to hire Martin St Louis) OFFENSE- (Three 20 Goal Scorers)LINE 1 – H Zetterberg- S Monohan(27 G)- M Stone(22 G) LINE 2- J Zucker(22 G)-D Brassard- S Doan LINE 3- A Roussel(60 GP)- P Stastny(66 GP)- B Rust(57 GP) LINE 4- C Hagelin(61 GP)- N MacKinnon- B Pirri(60 GP) Duclair,Grigorenko,Donskoi will see time for inuries! DEFENSE- PAIR 1- G Suter-A Martinez PAIR 2- A Sekera-J Boychuk(66 GP) PAIR 3- H Lindholm(66 GP)- N Holden N Hjalmarsson LD/RD can fill in injuries! GOALTENDING- J Howard(26 GP)-J Quick(17 GP)- A Montoya(19 GP)-M Hutchinson(28 GP)- J Zatkoff(13 GP) An Excellent Defense, but a challenged Offense & a Who’s in the nets tonight( Howard & Quick give em 43 GP of Quality Puck-Stopping, but then what) No 1st Round Rookie pick(traded for N Hjalmarsson last season) Hjalmarsson could be trade bait for help on RW! Will veteran’s Zetterberg, Stastny, & Doan be moved, with or without them, Swami see’s a very long year ahead, but not long enough to make Playoff’s!
PHILADELPHIA- Only 4 teams gave up less Goals(216) than the 11th place Flyers( a good trend)but the Flyers only scored 213 Goals, the 4th lowest in the League! Philly traded 3 Picks in the upcoming draft(2nd,3rd, 5th)last year for Offensive help & got Hossa,Sharp,Soderberg & Moulson in return, Hossa & Moulson should help this season. 16-17 DRAFT- 9th Overall Rookie Pick Goaltender Matt Murray has won the starting job this year, 2nd rounder Matthias Janmark (recovering from injury) 3rd Round- Brady Skjei will go out as #2 LD( not bad being the 13th defenseman to go in last year’s draft)Picks 4(L Ferraro) & 5(L Shaw)probably wont make team! GRADE- B+ OFFENSE-( Three 20 Goal Scorers) LINE 1- J Skinner(37 G)- D Backes-M Hossa(26 G) LINE 2- Z Parise- M Perreault- J Neal(23 G) LINE 3- A Cogliano- V Filppula- E Lindholm LINE 4- M Moulson-B Boyle- S Gagner Subs- P Sharp, M Foligno,B Ritchie,M Read DEFENSE- PAIR 1- V Hedman- D Doughty PAIR 2- B Skjei- S Jones PAIR 3- A Goligoski- J Manson A. Ekblad might also play #3 RD,but a poor camp has him on bench! GOALTENDING- M Murray-C Crawford-F Andersen With the 6th Overall pick in this year’s Rookie Draft, the Flyers could really use a Center(Sorry, Matthews is gone)so Best Available is their pick! Will Crawford or Andersen be moved for Offensive help(Center), Swami was wrong last year,saying Philly would make Playoffs, cant be wrong again, Philadelphia makes the Post-Season!
WINNIPEG- Last season Joe Pavelski scored 49 Goals to tie for 3rd most in League, but in his 30 GP, Defenseman Dan Hamhuis(+2) was the only Plus Player on the Jets! Coach Jay Edlin might just have another challenging year! 16-17 DRAFT- Artemi Panarin, the 5th Overall pick will see Line 1 action at LW! The “Bread Man” might carry the Offensive load this season! Jets traded their 2nd to Tampa for Andrew Ladd(Tampa took Nick Ritchie) A 3rd round bust in Oscar Lindberg, no 4th & 5th Anthony Bitetto needs seasoning! GRADE- C+ OFFENSE- (Six 20 Goal Scorers) LINE 1- A Panarin(31 G)- R Getzlaf- J Pavelski(29 G) LINE 2- C Kreider(28 G)- R O’Reilly(20 G)- J Eberle(20 G) LINE 3- A Ladd(23 G)- J Spezza- R Strome LINE 4- M Karlsson- C Cizikas- B Ryan DEFENSE- PAIR 1- J Bouwmeester- J Carlson PAIR 2- T Daley(56 GP)- M Dumba PAIR 3- M Hunwick- D Seidenberg L Schenn & J Demers also at RD for injuries along with D Hamhuis at LD GOALTENDING- J Gibson-C Johnson will handle the nets! A shaky 4th line up front & the LD needs patching(better D)will make it tough on youngster John Gibson in the nets! With the 7th overall pick, they hope Werenski or Provorov falls that far, but the Jets are not cleared for take-off just yet, no playoffs again this season!
NEW JERSEY- Matt Duchesne tied Patrick Kane(LA) with 50 Goals to lead the League, Matt also had 19 PPG’s to tie Sidney Crosby(TOR) for the best in the League, but despite Duchesne’s heroics, the Devil’s missed the Playoffs by just 2 Points! It has been 9 years since the Devil’s have made the Playoffs, still a long way from the record 15 yrs the Sabres missed(that streak ended 2 yrs ago). 16-17 DRAFT- Jack Eichel went 3rd overall, will be a force at #1 Center for years to come! The Devil’s also had the Kings 1st( trade a year ago) & made Noah Hanifin the 10th overall pick. Traded their 2nd & got Alex Petrovic & a 4th! 3rd rounder Frank Vatrano will contribute for 44 gms, while 4th rounders Slater Koekkoek & Matt Puempel will struggle to make club! 5th round Brock McGinn should make roster. GRADE- B- OFFENSE- (Seven 20 Goal Scorers) LINE 1- B Schenn(25 G)- J Eichel(61 GP-24 G)- N Niederreiter(25 G) LINE 2- T Pearson(24 G)- D Stephan- Tomas Tatar(25 G) LINE 3- P Maroon(27 G)- M Duchesne- J Jagr LINE 4- J Huberdeau(31 GP)- P Berglund(23 G)- V Namestinkov Bench- C Kunitz-N Bonino-T Hertl-F Vatrano & others! DEFENSE- This is where it gets ugly! PAIR 1- D DeKeyser- C Franson(68 GP) PAIR 2- J Moore- K Quincey(73 GP) PAIR 3- T Enstrom(60 GP)- P Wiercioch(57 GP) N Hanifin fills in on LD… T Myers(11 GP) on RD GOALTENDING- T Greiss- H Lundqvist The Goalie’s didnt quite have the greatest of seasons, but the real trouble is at RD, as the Devils are short on Quality & Quantity(GP), is a trade in the works(see SJ), cause it sure dont look like a RD would be picked as the 8th overall Draft Pick! Look for Devil’s to take Best Available Forward, Swami had them in last year(wrong, by just 2 pts), so the Streak continues to 10 years missing the Post-Season!
SAN JOSE- Finally Swami got it right, the Sharks made the Playoffs after saying they would for 3 years! They snuck in by 2 points, despite giving up 269 Goals, the 3rd most in the League! However, the Offense scored 262 Goals, the 6th best! 16-17 DRAFT- San Jose traded their 1st(P K Subban) & their 2nd(T Brouwer) grabbed Laurent Brossoit in the 3rd round(will play Goalie for 8 gms) 4th- Linus Ullmark-cut 5th- Connor Brickley(another cut) GRADE- C- ( no pay raise for scouts) OFFENSE- ( Seven 20 Goal Scorers) LINE 1- J Schwartz- T Seguin(26 G)- N Kucherov(40 G) LINE 2- L Couture(25 G)- A Barkov(21 G)- V Tarasenko(39 G) LINE 3- G Landeskog- N Kadri(32 G)- T Teravainen LINE 4- A Henrique(20 G)-A Wennberg- M Boedker Bench-A Vermette,L Eller,T Brouwer,B Connolly DEFENSE- PAIR 1- K Yandle- P K Subban(66 GP) PAIR 2- O Klefbom- R Ristolainen PAIR 3- J Johnson- J Klingberg subs- Ld- C deHann M Methot Rd-D Girardi,M Green,J Braun GOALTENDING- S Darling-C Talbot- J Halak-L Brossoit * Solid everywhere with 3 snipers with 30 or more Goals, Defense a-plenty , Goaltending no longer an issue, Sharks look to get back to Top 4 in League, of course Swami has them in(Playoffs)
NEW YORK I- The Islanders scored just 234 Goals, one less than 3rd place Dallas, for the lowest total for a team to make playoffs last year! However, the 219 Goals-Against was 6th best in the League, thanks in part to Devan Dubynk, who led the League in Saves% at .930! 16-17 DRAFT- No 1st round(trade to TB) Isle sent K Okposo,M Rielly,1st(16)D Nurse & 2nd(17) for J Toews & D Byfuglien 2nd round- Jake McCabe 3rd-Alexei Marchenko 4th round- Conor Sheary, who might be Top Line LW this season, also got William Karlsson & Mikka Salomaki in 4th & Shane Prince in 5th round! GRADE- B- OFFENSE- (Five 20 Goal Scorers) LINE 1- C Sheary(61 GP-23 G)- P Bergeron(21 G)- A Steen LINE 2- D Perron- J Toews(21 G)- M Grabner(27 G) LINE 3- P Byron(22 G)- M Fisher- M Cammalleri(61 GP) LINE 4- A Burakovsky- K Hayes- B Gionta Bench- J Abdelkader,T Plekanec,W Karlsson DEFENSE- PAIR 1 J Trouba(60 GP)- D Byfuglien PAIR 2 C Fowler- J Brodin(68 GP) PAIR 3 M Scandella(71 GP)- R Gudas(67 GP) subs Ld-J McCabe Rd- B Lovejoy GOALTENDING- D Dubynk-J Reimer-J Bernier Somewhat of a troubling situation when Top Defenseman J Trouba has to sit 20 gms, another factor is the Isle will be playing 4 Home & Road in perhaps the toughest division(Tor,Stl,Sj) Can Devan Dubynk prove Swami wrong again & make the Playoffs? The Challenge is on, Swami says ” They are a Bubble Team, but the Bubble breaks this year, make your Tee Times Early!
ST LOUIS- Despite a 6th place finish in the Regular Season, the Blues knocked off both Dallas & Vancouver for a rematch in the Finals vs Chicago! Just getting there without All-World Goalie Carey Price, who was on the DL most of the season, was an awesome feat! Milan Lucic, who led the GHC in PIM(108) boldly said “We want another rematch with Chicago” 16-17 DRAFT- Robby Fabbri, who was the last(16th overall)pick in 1st round, scored 2 Big Goals in series win over Dallas. Three picks in 2nd round- Shea Theodore, Connor Hellebucyk(who stymied the Stars in Playoff Series Win) & Griffin Reinhart. 3rd- Joel Armia 4th- traded 5th- passed(roster too loaded) GRADE- B OFFENSE ( Nine 20-Goal Scorers-2nd most) LINE 1- F Forsberg(31 G)- M Scheifele(32 G)-Michael Granlund(26 G) LINE 2- M Lucic(23 G)-E Stall(28 G)- N Foligno(26 G) LINE 3- C Coyle- K Turris(27 G)- E Kuznetsov LINE 4- R Fabbri(51 GP)- B Sutter- R Nash(23 G) subs- C Wilson,J Armia,D Stafford,M Gaborik DEFENSE- PAIR 1- O Ekman-Larsson- B Burns(29 G) PAIR 2- J Gardiner- A Pietrangelo PAIR 3- M Stall- J Faulk subs- Ld- J Gorges Rd- L Sbisa GOALTENDING- C Price-A Vasilevski In Minors/Trade Bait M Smith,C Hellebucyk,A Niemi The Blues seem primed for another “Cup” run, the Team to beat says Swami , it’s just a matter of where they finish(Top 4)
TORONTO- The Leafs had a Good regular season, finishing in 5th place, thanks in part to a Penalty-Kill%(80.8)that was 2nd best in the League! Sidney Crosby had 19 PPG’s to tie for the League Lead with Jersey’s Matt Duchesne! Crosby also finished 3rd in League Scoring with 98 pts, behind Joe Thornton & League Leader Patrick Kane! 16-17 DRAFT- GM Keith Larkin made 5 deals, 4 involving draft picks, Trading a 1st for(B Elliot), a 2nd & 4th for(J Williams & A Emelin)2017-18 1st for (B Seabrook) & a 17-18 2nd for (K Alzner). They hit a Home Run in the 3rd round getting Brett Pesce, who will line up at #2 RD when K Letang sits! 5th rounder Andrew Copp wont make the team! GRADE- B- (Scouts want more picks) OFFENSE- (Ten 20-Goal Scorers-most in League) LINE 1- J VanRiemsdyk(29 G)- S Crosby(44 G)- R Vrbata(20 G) LINE 2- E Kane(28 G)-M Backlund(22 G)-J Williams(24 G) LINE 3- S Baertsschi-B Little(59 GP-21 G)-P Hornqvist(70 GP-21 G) LINE 4- J Chimera(20 G)-Bo Horvat(20 G)-B Gallagher(64 GP) On the Bench- C Giroux,S Hartnell,P A Parenteau & J McGinn Claude Giroux on the bench, What! I’m better than, nope not on this team- Is he trade bait? DEFENSE- PAIR 1- R McDonough- B Seabrook PAIR 2- F Beauchemin- K Letang(41 GP) PAIR 3- K Alzner- B Pesce Subs- Ld-A Emelin/N Schmidt Rd- K Miller GOALTENDING- J Allen-B Elliot-S Mason Offense shouldnt be a problem, having the most 20 Goal-Scorers in the Line-up, boasting two on the 4th line! Can the Defense withstand Letang’s injury, Can Jake Allen carry the mail in Goal? Crosby has a no-trade contract & the youngsters(Backlund,Little,Horvat) want ice-time! With no 1st rounder or 2nd in upcoming draft, Do the Leafs trade Giroux(He’d look good in a Flyer uniform) Swami says trade or no-trade, time to buy tickets to the Post-Season again!
VANCOUVER- The Canucks scored the 2nd most Goals(277)in the League, had the Best PP% at 27.8 & the Best PK% at 84.2, as the Special teams carried them to a 100 Pt season & 4th Place! Beat Toronto in Playoffs before bowing out vs St Louis! 16-17 DRAFT- The “Ghost” went 4th overall as Shayne Gostisbehere looks to be the #1 RD this season, then the Scouts disappeared(like Ghosts)taking Colin Miller,Jordan Martinook,Nick Paul, & Tom Kuhnhackl in the following rounds. Miller,Martinook, & Kuhnhackl will collect splinters in the press box this season! GRADE- C+ OFFENSE-(only two 20 Goal Scorers) LINE 1- J Gaudreau- D Krejci(23 G)- K Palmeri(26 G) LINE 2- D Sedin-T Johnson(66 GP)-T Zajac LINE 3- A Galchenyuk(61 GP)-H Sedin-L Eriksson(65 GP) LINE 4- B Jenner-A Lowry-Z Kassian Bench- J Jokinen,J Martinook,C Jarnkrok,J Fast,T Kuhnhackl DEFENSE- PAIR 1- R Josi- S Gostisbehere PAIR 2- M E Vlasic- C Tanev(53 GP) PAIR 3- A Edler(68 GP)- K Bieksa Subs- Ld-P Martin Rd- C Miller/C Murphy GOALTENDING- C Anderson-R Luongo-B Bishop-D Kuemper What Happened to the Offense, Canucks had 5 Thirty-Goal Scorers last season on way to 2nd most Goals in League, are veterans A Edler, R Luongo,K Bieksa on the trading block, they(Vancouver) drafted RD’s in first 2 rounds last year, will they do the same? Is Nikita Zaitsev a target or will hometown favorite Troy Stecher get the call? Too Many Questions, but Swami has the Answer “It’s not looking Good for the Playoffs this season”
DALLAS- Stars Coach Dale Hunter took home “Coach of the Year” honors with the BEST Road Record 29-8-3 in the League, then he tossed the trophy in the river after losing to St Louis in 1st round of Playoffs! Stars had the 2nd best Goals-Against(196), while scoring the 2nd least(235)of the playoff teams! Two non-playoff teams(Bos & Nj)scored more Goals than Dallas in regular season! 16-17 DRAFT- Stars took Colton Parayko 12th overall in 1st round, struck-out in 2nd(Phil DiGiuseppe), then slammed it over the fence in 3rd with Victor Arvidsson, Joel Edmundson in 4th, Joe Morrow(cut) in 5th! GRADE- B+ OFFENSE ( Eight 20-Goal Scorers) LINE 1- B Marchand(39 G)- N Backstrom(23 G)- C Atkinson(35 G) LINE 2- V Arvidsson(31 G)-R Kesler(22 G)-J Silfverberg(23 G) LINE 3- M Hoffman(26 G)- J Stall- J T Miller(22 G) LINE 4- M Ferland-J Beagle-T Rieder Bench- J Bailey,C Sceviour,J Iginla,T Wilson DEFENSE- PAIR 1- B Orpik-E Karlsson PAIR 2- J Muzzin- C Parayko PAIR 3- A Markov-T J Brodie subs- Ld-J Edmundson Rd-D Wideman/K Klein GOALTENDING- P Grubauer-C Schneider-P Mrazek Pavel Datsyuk retired, but the Offense looks better(Arvy) than last year, getting a little gray(OLD) on defense..Markov,Orpik,Wideman. Look for Stars scouts to convince GM Steve Yzerman to go Defenseman in Rookie Draft! Swami says Coach Hunter will get them in(playoffs)
LOS ANGELES- Patrick Kane had a Monster year, Leading the League in Points(116) & tying for the lead in Goals(50), while teammate Alex Ovechkin scored 49 Goals to tie for 3rd, as the Kings scored 276 Goals, the 3rd most in the League! On a sour note, the Kings were upset in the 1st round of playoffs by the pesky Isle! 16-17 DRAFT- Los Angeles dealt their 1st round pick a year ago to NJ(a multi-player deal that saw Matthias Ekholm & Artem Anisimov become Kings) Double A(Andreas Athanasiou)went in 2nd round, 3rd round brought in Brian Dumolin, who will start on the 3rd pair at LD! Mike Reilly(sent down)in the 4th & Scott Wilson in the 5th(Wilson should see 4th line duty) GRADE- B+ OFFENSE- (Five 20 Goal Scorers) LINE 1- A Ovechkin(33 G)- M Koivu-P Kane(34 G) LINE 2- B Saad(24 G)- A Anisimov(64 GP-22 G)- C Smith LINE 3- P Marleau(27 G)- M Zibanejad(56 GP)- B Bennett(65 GP) LINE 4- S Wilson-S Couturier(66 GP)- N Bjugstad(54 GP) Bench- A Athanasiou,M Cullen,M Calvert,J Larsson,R Callahan DEFENSE- PAIR 1- D Keith-S Weber PAIR 2- M Ekholm-D Savard PAIR 3- B Dumolin-C Ceci subs- Ld-T Van Riemsdyk Rd- T Hamonic GOALTENDING- M Jones-K Kincaid-R Miller (O Pavelec -sent to minors or cut) The Right-Wing after Sir Patrick Kane is pretty much 4th liners, but RW is loaded in 1st round of Rookie Draft, as Swami see’s no less than 6 or 7 of them being picked, will one fall to 15th overall? The Playoff’s could be a challenge for Coach Pat McBride’s squad, but the Defense & the Dynamic Duo of Ovie & Kane will get them in.
CHICAGO- The Blackhawks made 10 trades last year resulting in a “Swain Cup” victory in a rematch with the defending Champion St Louis Blues! Chicago ran away in the Regular season posting the Best Home Record 30-5-5, Scored the Most Goals(298), gave up the Least(191) & finished with 119 Points! Goaltender Braden Holtby led League in GAA(2.18) Shutouts(8) & Star Points(76)in this magical season! 16-17 DRAFT- Hawks traded both their 1st(N Ehlers) & 2nd(C Bigras) along with Bo Horvat to the Avs for Mark Giordano. Chicago also traded their 3rd(A Marchenko) & Kevin Hayes to Ny for Gus Nyqvist. A pick in the 4th(Sven Andrighetto) & three in the 5th(G Pateryn,E Medvedev,D Mcllrath)yeilded no starters. GRADE- C- OFFENSE- (Seven 20 Goal Scorers) LINE 1- M Pacioretty(35 G)- J Tavares(28 G)- T J Oshie(68 GP-33 G) LINE 2- A Radulov- J Carrter(32 G)-J Voracek(20 G) LINE 3- B Dubinsky-M Hanzal(20 G)- W Simmonds(31 G) LINE 4- G Nyqvist- J Thornton-L Stempniak Bench- F Nielsen,S Stamkos(17 GP),D MacKenzie,S Andrighetto,J Ward DEFENSE- PAIR 1- M Giordano-J Petry PAIR 2- Z Chara-A Stralman PAIR 3- N Beaulieu- K Russell(68 GP) subs- Ld-B Campbell,D Schlemko Rd-D Schlemko,N Nesterov,Z Bogosian With no 1st or 2nd round Rookie Pick in upcoming draft & six players that can only play Center(Tavares,Thornton,Hanzal,Nielsen,Stamkos,McKenzie) will someone be dealt! Not sure if a deal or two will happen,but I (Swami) knows they will make the Playoffs!
Hopefully everybody had a good summer, kinda short for the Commissioner(Matt), maybe this season we can keep up with his dates & schedule & be on TIME! The “Lotto Draw” is just around the corner followed by our August Rookie Draft. Good Luck to all in the “Lotto” & to everyone else in the Draft! Can’t Wait!! To get things started, This just in!
Dallas trades Tobias Rieder & Riley Sheahan to NYI for James Reimer