Archive for the ‘northeast division’ Category

Gut Reactions: The Northeast Division

October 1, 2009

OK, kids here’s the last divisional post. I’ll have other predictions later.

1. Boston Bruins
Even though the Bruins received very nice long-term value for Phil Kessel, I’ll always think of this off-season as the one in which Boston basically lost Kessel for Derek Morris. That’s just terrible, in my opinion.
Still, the Bruins might just be the most versatile and impressive team in the Eastern Conference. Marc Savard has two scoops of raisin-flavored inspiration because he’s in a contract year and he wasn’t even invited to the Team Canada camp.
Combine his motivation with a team that can play with toughness, finesse and everything in between and you have a team that could very well fight for the President’s Trophy once more.
(Editor’s note: it’s really a crapshoot after Boston)
2. Montreal Canadiens
[Insert Montreal midgets joke here]
3. Buffalo Sabres
Just about every team in the NE saw drastic sweeping changes and yet pundits consistently bag on the Sabres for doing nothing.
What’s so wrong with stability? We know that the Sabres have a good coach, a good goalie and some spirited spritely little forwards with big offensive talent. Granted, the team lacks a standout on the blueline (Jay Bouwmeester would have been a fantastic fit) so their relative ceiling is limited.
With just a little more luck, the Sabres should make it back to the playoffs.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
It’s strange that Brian Burke mortgaged so much of the team’s future for an injury prone player like Kessel. I like Kessel – and the Leafs need offense pretty badly – but he seems to be an odd fit for Toronto in my opinion.
The moves they made to add defense and toughness bode well for the medium term but their goaltending is suspect in the least. For every import like Jonas Hiller, there have been a ton of letdowns who weren’t ready for the North American game.
This division seems to be rife with odd, expensive decisions.
5. Ottawa Senators
If you’re arguing from a chemistry/hustle/heart standpoint, the Ottawa Senators aren’t exactly exploding with character guys in Scott Gomez (Oops OMG I meant the Senators OTHER non-character guys … clearly this typo erases my credibility in one swift motion!) and Alex Kovalev.
If you’re looking for amazing goaltending, the Senators are average – at best – with Pascal Leclaire as their supposed No. 1.
If you want shutdown defense, just look away.
It could be a dark year in Ottawa.

Living GM vs. Blogging GM: Northeast division

March 10, 2009

To wrap up our Trade Deadline coverage, we’ll take a look at the big moves (and non-moves) in each division one-by-one. Did our contributors and their respective GMs see eye-to-eye? Would those guest posts provide a better reality than what really came about? Let’s take a look at the Pacific division:

Real Life: Montreal Canadiens do nothing (except for, of course, the firing of Guy Carbonneau)

HF29 of Four Habs Fans said:

“If I were Bob Gainey, I’d stick my finger up my ass and not do anything. We are not in a position to win a cup with the addition of a rent-a-player, we are about to lose half our team to free agency this summer, and we can’t dump all our great prospects who will be replacing the UFA’s. So I’d go find a beach that has no Blackberry service.”

No reports available regarding digital penetration, but Gainey mentioned that he canceled his trip to Florida once he realized that his coach’s execution was imminent. So Four Habs Fans nailed this one pretty impressively.

Real Life: Ottawa Senators trade Antoine Vermette for Pascal Leclaire and a second round pick
Dany Heatley Speedwagon from Scarlett Ice said:

“If I were the Sens GM right now… I’d start filling out job applications.”

DHS might be more right than we can know. That being said, getting Leclaire might be worth the risk but the second round pick makes the move more salvageable. So much for the Sens becoming less of a big salary no depth team, though.

Real Life: Boston Bruins trade three prospects in two trades that brought in Steve Montador, Mark Recchi and a second round pick

Evan from Stanley Coup of Chowder rightly predicted that Manny Fernandez would not be moved and the Bruins would not trade for Erik Cole or Keith Tkachuk. He didn’t predict the mid-level moves, but let’s just say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Real Life: Buffalo Sabres shuffle second round picks, move Ales Kotalik and acquire Mikael Tellqvist to give Patrick Lalime a backup while Ryan Miller heals up.

Vance from Bangin’ Panger said:

“1. Trade Maxim Afinogenov for anything…anything at all. At this point, I would accept “Future Considerations.”

2. Trade Nate Gerbe, Drew Stafford, & a 1st for Olli Jokinen, Derek Morris, and a 3rd. Oh wait, that’s too serious.

3. Sign Tim Connolly. Then in turn, announce that the “Future Considerations” is in fact the purchase of a Chinese facility which genetically engineers single body parts for the recently signed Tim Connolly. Win – Win situation.”

This trade rumor mongering is too much for me, Let’s leave it to the experts…like Eklund.”

The Sabres could not find a bag of pucks for Afinogenov and didn’t make a big splash trade, but they did sign Connolly to a contract extension. One of our three … isn’t awful? This is why I’m not the next “Weird Al” Yankovic. Though I do love puns.

Real Life: Brian Burke makes very few changes with the Maple Leafs, except for that wacky trade that brought in Olaf Kolzig. The one “real” trade was Nik Antropovto the New York Rangers for a second rounder and a 2010 conditional pick.

While Loser Domi of Pension Plan Puppets spoke of boozing, while Bitter Leafs Fan said the Leafs should have a fire sale.

Just about everyone was fooled by crazy old Burkie’s “move” but few were surprised by the Antropov trade.