Archive for February, 2009

NHL GAMES & PICKS

February 28th, 2009

For in depth look into the NHL teams records and preview of tonight’s games please go back to the “Home Pageon Hockey God, at the bottom lower left hand side:

Click on “Scoreboardand review every game by clicking in the individual games being played on Saturday.

Today’s Picks

WSH @ BOS: Take BRUINS

FLA @ NJD: Take DEVILS

ANA @ DAL: Take STARS

SJS @ MTL: Take SHARKS

TOR @ OTT: Take LEAFS

BUF @ NYI: Take SABRES

COL @ NYR: Take RANGERS

CAR @ ATL: Take HURRICANES

DET @ NSH: Take RED WINGS

STL @ PHX: Take BLUES

MIN @ EDM: Take OILERS

OTTAWA’S KICK EM or KEEP EM ROSTER REPORT

February 28th, 2009

During the course of a hockey season General Managers find out a lot about the roster they put together in the previous summer.

It’s the way it works in the NHL, the GM goes to the owner and tells him who he would like to spend the teams money on in the free agent market along with whatever remaining players they decide to keep.

Then you hire a coach that you think best fits the group of players you have assembled. In Ottawa GM Byran Murray this past summer tried to hire then Junior coach Pete DeBoer only to be scared off by the Sens GM and owners expectations of the club. You see DeBoer obviously thought that the team needed much more work to get back to respectability than the owner did at the time. Guess what DeBoer who switched gears and landed in Florida as their new bench boss was bang on.

Then Murray went with another Junior coach and former NHL player and coach in Craig Hartsburg. Well we all know how that ended up.

Now Murray went with yet another up and coming coach his own AHL coach in Cory Clouston. Clouston has been the one big bright spot in Ottawa since taking over making all the big mouth know it all media eat there own words. He has brought discipline and accountability back to the roster and the team has finally made some strides with some good solid play since his appointment as head coach.

The biggest decision in my mind Murray must make moving forward today is how does he get the tough rugged valuable Chris Neil signed beyond this season. The Sens are soft enough as it is and in need of 3rd-4th line grit upgrade, but to lose Neil would put them in a terrible situation of having to go out in the summer free agency period and replace Neil and add the other grit to the bottom 6.

Sens KEEP EM & KICK EM report starting  with the defence :

ANTON VOLCHENKOV : KEEP EM, he plays with grit and is a good solid D and passer.

JASON SMITH : KEEP EM, Smith who is the older veteran with great leadership and toughness is a keeper on the Sens blue-line.

ALEXANDER PICARD : KEEP EM, Picard is still to young to give up on but has a long way to go to becoming a full time big minute player in Ottawa.

CHRIS PHILLIPS : KEEP EM, Phillips has been a very useful player for the Sens since being drafted and is among the one of the leaders in the Sens dressing room.

BRIAN LEE : KICK EM, I know he is young but he is soft and not skilled enough to make up for it.

FILLIP KUBA : KICK EM, not by choice really as he is a free agent and likely to command to much money for Murray to be able to keep him. Replace him on the free agent market this summer.

BRENDAN BELL : KEEP EM, has plenty of up-side and if coached the right way can be a very useful NHLer.

CHRIS CAMPOLI : KEEP EM, as I bragged when Murray traded for him this kid is the real deal and will develop with coaching into the teams best puck moving offensive D.

FORWARDS:

RYAN SHANNON : KEEP EM, just not in the NHL yet. Shannon needs more time to develop into what the team needs him to be in the AHL.

CHRIS NEIL : KEEP EM, as I have already said above Neil is a must return player for Murray in Ottawa.

SHEAN DONOVAN : KICK EM, good guy and veteran but time for the Sens to add younger faster tougher legs to his role.

DANIEL ALFREDSSON : KEEP EM, Alfie has it all when he is healthy and playing motivated in Ottawa as the teams and owners captain. He needs to really stand up next season in the Nations Capital.

CHRISTOPH SCHUBERT : KICK EM, it’s time for Shubert to leave although a useful player that can play both Forward and D. But he is bitter about not playing all the time and needs a change of scenery.

JARKKO RUUTU : KICK EM, Ruutu is phony a player as there is in the NHL. What he really provides in Ottawa could be replaced with some astute signings by Murray this summer.

DANY HEATLEY : KEEP EM, you can say whatever you want about Heatley but he can score goals and is always going to be dangerous around the net. His 30 goals still lead the team by far in Ottawa.

NICK FOLIGNO : KEEP EM, still another player that is too young to give up on and seems to be playing better with new coach Clouston behind the bench.

JESSE WINCHESTER : KEEP EM, I’m not a big fan of this kid but my son says I’m being too hard on him and he is going to be a good player in the next few years so we will keep him.

JASON SPEZZA : KEEP EM OR KICK EM ?, Spezza is the hardest decision because if you could replace him in a trade for a Center that can put up his points and play with some grit you would be much better off. But the fact is that is a huge deal that probably can’t be made so you have to keep the point producer in Ottawa.

MIKE FISHER : KEEP EM, Fisher is a solid 3rd line Center not 2nd line. The problem in Ottawa is he is being asked to play on the teams 2nd line not the 3rd where he belongs. Fisher is a tough kid that plays with heart and has had two difficult things happen to him in Ottawa. 1. Huge contract comes with huge expectation. 2. Injuries all the time that slow his progress.

MIKE COMRIE : ? ?, The jury is still out on Comrie with the Sens. Clouston coached Comrie in Junior so they have somewhat of a previous relationship that will dictate how good Comrie can be and if he is worth the return to the Sens.

GOALTENDING:

ALEX AULD 2.44 GAA, he has the ability to be a solid backup tender but nothing more at the moment full time.

BRAIN ELLIOTT 2.76 GAA, Elliott has been awesome some nights and just average others, for him to become a legit number one goalie for Ottawa he has to find that consistency.

IN CLOSING

The Sens need to give coach Clouston a contract extension and give him some grit to go with the skill he already has on his forward units.

Goaltending may be the biggest obstacle after the addition of grit in Ottawa. If Murray doesn’t think after the end of the season that Elliott can do it he must go out to the free agent market this summer and land a big time goalie. There looks to be a few at least available this summer that would fit the bill with the Sens.

For Hockey God I’m Dave Frost

HOCKEY PICKS FOR FRIDAY’S GAMES

February 27th, 2009

For in depth look into the NHL teams records and preview of tonight’s games please go back to the “Home Pageon Hockey God, at the bottom lower left hand side:

Click on “Scoreboardand review every game by clicking in the individual games being played on FRIDAY FEB 27TH:

TONIGHTS GAMES:

MONTREAL @ PHILLY : TAKE FLYERS

KINGS @ WINGS : TAKE WINGS

PENS @ HAWKS : TAKE HAWKS

WILD @ FLAMES : TAKE FLAMES

TAMPA @ CANUCKS : TAKE CANUCKS

PRONGER FOR BOUWMEESTER ? NHL NOTES :

February 27th, 2009

Both the Florida Panthers and the Anaheim Ducks need to make a decision about their star defenceman as soon as possible heading into the NHL trade deadline next Wednesday.

Both Jay Bouwmeester and Chris Pronger would be a big heavy existence for any team that were lucky enough to acquire them.

Bouwmeester is a free agent July 1st and is much more of a risk for anyone trading for him at the deadline, especially with what Panthers GM Jacques Martin asking price is going to be.

Pronger still has a year left on his contract which makes him much more attractive, except for the fact that he and his wife will only move to certain Cities that are warm climate areas.

Pronger who has been ripped by the Edmonton fans and media after it was perceived that his wife hated Edmonton weather on top of living quality. Pronger’s wife is from the mid west and is use to warmer weather and has obviously influenced Pronger to stay in the warm weather to play. The word is that Pronger would like to only go to a warm City if traded at all by the Ducks, where he would like to stay if he could.

GM Bob Murray as I said yesterday will have to decide which one of his big D he moves before the deadline. Prongers warm weather wish could make it an obvious move if Murray wanted to take a  chance and acquire Bouwmeester for Pronger and then either keep him for the playoff race or then trade him for some forward help.

Pronger could fetch him back plenty offensively, if he finds a team like Philly that needs some D help for the playoffs and has the forwards to include in any deal.

Either way you can bet that both these D will bring back a load of talent at the deadline this season with so many teams still fighting for their playoff lives including Panthers & Ducks.

AVERY BACK IN THE NHL NEXT WEEK !

Sean Avery will reportedly be back in the NHL as early as next week possibly with the New York Rangers.

Providing that the Pittsburgh Penguins don’t step up and claim Avery themselves there by keeping the team just ahead of them in the Eastern standings from picking him up.

Avery would help the softer Pens roster as well, the Pens have never recovered from losing Ryan Malone, Adam Hall to free agency or trading of Colby Armstrong at last years deadline.

If Avery does make it through to the Rangers, things in the Big Apple will get very interesting to say the least with Sathers group, including his brand spanking new egotistic coach John Tortorella.

When working for TSN while out of coaching work Tort’s had this to say about Avery at the time :

Tortorella said: “Enough is enough. He’s embarrassed himself, he’s embarrassed the (Stars) organization, he’s embarrassed the league and he’s embarrassed his teammates, who have to look out for him. Send him home. He doesn’t belong in the league.”

Rangers GM Glen Sather told the New York Post on Monday of the potential conflict between the new coach and Avery: “He doesn’t have the history with Sean that we do. Over time you learn to love him, just like I do.”

All I have to say about Sathers comment is yeah right we’ll see about that in the next weeks. Love to be a fly on that wall when Avery and Tort’s big heads clash for the first time.

It’s good for the NHL that Avery will be back to playing again, whether you like him or hate him he brings excitement to the game and is an interesting story in a league that lacks them.

HAGMAN HIT IS INDICATION OF THE LEAFS SOFTNESS

I don’t know how he does it in Toronto night after night watching these Maple Leafs play. GM Brian Burke has got to be close to coming out of his box watching the Leafs get pushed around like they do literally almost every night.

Last night once again another Leaf was given a  cheap shot hit, this time to the head of Niklas Hagman by Islanders Brendan Witt.

Witt received a 5 game suspension from the NHL today for the dirty hit, but should have got his clock cleaned for doing it in the first place.

That’s the main problem with the Leafs, they get pushed around, taken advantage of in the corners in front of the net, literally everywhere on the ice. There is absolutely no fear from any player on any team of retribution with the current line up Burke has.

This is going to change and change quickly with Burke and his personality where he believes that for a team to be successful in the NHL you have to have tenacity and balls to say the least.

It’s tough to watch and has to be driving Burke nuts to the point where he is pulling his hair out.

CAP-ESCROW ISSUES

Speaking on the hockey noon show on Sportsnet Friday you have to like how quick former NHLPA employee and now player agent distanced himself from the current CBA between the league and Players. Without question showing why Ian Pulver left the NHLPA after the agreement was done in the first place.

Pulver, who represents NHL players now a days including the soon to be much sought after Mike Cammalleri who is a free agent this summer and former Leaf D Bryan McCabe.

Pulver said he doesn’t like the cap- escrow issues that are now coming to the surface more than ever with players being told that they will likely lose escrow money this season.

This agreement which was terrible when it was done and still is terrible now includes a salary cap that has all but diminished in-season trading.  Escrow like Pulver indicated is almost unheard of in the every day work force,  with players losing money off their agreed to salaries.

This deal is in the NHL thanks to the great Teddy Saskin and his buddy buddy relationship with the agents from Newport Sports. How do you think those agents would like to explain this to their players now, after being so involved in the new CBA with the former fired Saskin?

I hope they stop to think about what happened years ago when their own represented players are asking them why they are going to lose so much money on escrow this season.

What’s the saying again ? What goes around comes around !!

For Hockey God I’m Dave Frost

Jones Limousine Direct Link: www.joneslimousine.com

NHL Games and Picks

February 26th, 2009

For in depth look into the NHL teams records and preview of tonight’s games please go back to the “Home Pageon Hockey God, at the bottom lower left hand side:

Click on “Scoreboardand review every game by clicking in the individual games being played on Thursday.

Tonight’s Picks

ANA @ BOS: Take BRUINS

COL @ NJD: Take DEVILS

TOR @ NYI: Take LEAFS

FLA @ NYR: Take PANTHERS

ATL @ WSH: Take CAPITALS

BUF @ CAR: Take HURRICANES

SJS @ OTT: Take SHARKS

PHX @ NSH: Take PREDATORS

STL @ DAL: Take STARS

CLB @ EDM: Take BLUE JACKETS