Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quick Hits from around the NHL

While attending last night's Kings-Sharks game it appeared to me that San Jose is sick of hearing about the Kings and are not ready to relinquish the Pacific Division that easily. Here's an interesting quote from Sharks head coach, Todd Mcllelan, " They've reset the bar, and they did it themselves. L.A. is obviously the measuring tool in our conference, maybe in the league." Give the Sharks credit last night. They got scoring from all four lines, scored two power play goals against the Kings vaunted penalty kill, and answered every time the Kings got within one goal. Perhaps the most surprising move of the night was by the Kings to not start Jonathan Quick against their division rivals. Although Jonathan Bernier did not play well, the Kings defense didn't really help him. The next time these two teams meet is on December 27th at the Shark tank which is must watch TV.

Can't say enough about Flyers goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky and his 11-2 record with a .934 save percentage. Great moves also for the Flyers by locking up Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux to long term contracts, and less money. They're clearing buying into what Philadelphia management is selling... Didn't expect the Blues to miss T.J. Oshie as much as they have since his injury. Blues are 0-3 since he got hurt... Another night and another loss for the Devils. Once again they were shutout, this time by the Bruins and Tim Thomas... Sean Avery proved once again why he is the league's most hated player. He ignited the brawl between the Oilers-Rangers on Sunday night by checking Colin Fraser into the boards which was clean, but was challenged by Ladislav Smid of the Oilers and waited till he was not looking to sucker-punch him. Avery is not only known for his "sloppy seconds" comment, but also as someone who backs down from anyone that challenges to fight him. His antics are sickening in my opinion. Speaking of the Rangers, Brian Boyle who has 8 goals thus far, is probably the biggest surprise of the season. New York appears to have more depth than in years past, and in a weaker Eastern Conference they could make noise in the postseason...Keep an eye on Detroit as they are flying under the radar as most of the Western Conference hype is surrounding the Canucks, Kings, and Blues. The Wings are 11-3-1 and in their customary first place position. They are relatively healthy, and getting brilliant goaltending from Jimmy Howard.

Tuesday Pick: Montreal -115 over Philly

The Flyers are white-hot right now by winning nine out of their last ten games. Montreal is 7-3 in it's last ten and is riding a three game win streak. It's difficult to bet against the Flyers, but keep in mind this is the first meeting between these two teams since the Flyers eliminated the Canadiens last spring. This game has been circled on the calendar for the Canadiens far awhile. We like the way Carey Price is playing in goal for the Habs and think they will beat Philly who is playing on back to back nights.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Islanders make coaching change, sorta.

A quick thought here tonight on the re-assignment (what a joke) of Scott Gordon. I can't kill Gordon although I don't love his system. He is without Okposo and Streit.

As a fan that follows the team closely and rarely misses a home game, two things are evident. The first thing is that for whatever reason, the players have simply quit the last 10 games during the losing streak. They can say whatever they want but the effort is not there and young players like Tavares, Bailey and Comeau have taken steps back when the Islanders needed them to take major steps forward. For a while, it looked like Bailey and Comeau had taken those steps forward. They had a combined 13 points the first 6 games of the season and routinely going to the net and keeping possession of the puck. However, they have recorded 1 point combined since those 7 games.

The 2nd thing is, the team sucks. You can't put Micheal Grabner (a waiver pickup) with 8 career goals on the first line with John Tavares and if that doesn't work try P.A. Parenteau. Am I blaming Gordon for this? No. I blame management for not doing what they need to do to get someone better than a waiver pickup to play with Tavares. Not fair. However the step back that the Isles youth has taken since last season is evident and some of that blame falls on Gordon.

What blows my mind the most is that the Islanders have basically replaced Scott Gordon with Scott Gordon. No disrespect to Jack Capuano, but if the Islanders were to make a coaching change because they felt Gordon wasn't doing a good job or the system wasn't working, why bring in their minor league Bridgeport coach that teaches the same system? It makes no sense.
If the Islanders don't go out and hire a real NHL coach with experience in the next couple of weeks, I will donate my tickets to the organization that best deserves them. In all seriousness, if you know of one that will give tickets to kids and families that normally can't go to games, let me know and I'll look into them.

Hopefully the Islanders make a major change in their organizational plight, but don't count on it. Wang will make Gordon work his contract out as an Advisor to GM Garth Snow and a coach with experience won't be brought in because Wang wont pay for one.