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Everything posted by IpsoFacto

  1. Stone has elbowed his way into this conversation too. He's now tied with Forsberg for points and is only one back of Johnny Hockey. I'm not sure whether his late surge will help him (late surge to drag ottawa into the playoffs?) or hurt him (he was never really part of the conversation and it may be too late to get him in the conversation). Just another really impressive rookie campaign... On a side note, Stone was a sixth round pick.
  2. I don't agree. It's been said by others, but if you just cycle bottom pairing D-men on your bottom pairing, you will be what we are - a bubble playoff team. If our third pairing had some second pairing potential / upside, it would move us closer to contender status. Nashville is the most obvious third pairing strength team, but teams like Chicago, LA, St Louis, etc all have much better D depth than us. I completely agree with Cross about moving Russel to the third pairing. You can still get 18+ minutes a night from him on your third pairing (many teams do from their 5th D). Think of how strong that third pairing becomes with just that change. Think about the reduction in minutes it gives to the top 4 too, in theory improving their productivity by being less fatigued. It would also give the team more flexibility with injuries - eg: the Gio injury would not have been as big an issue if you bump Russel up to play with Brodie and keep the second pairing in tact. Russel has had a great season, but if he's our 5th Dman instead of our 3rd/4th, we move that much closer to contender status. It's not a knock on him, it's just a reality of what it takes to be at the top. Our D was very much roasted at the beginning of the year. Gio and Brodie were still not viewed the way they are now (remember, it only started to happen last year...many thought their performance last year was an outlier). They were seen as good, but certainly not one of the best pairings in the league. Pre-season, the Russel/Wideman second pairing was laughable. As the season went on, Russel and Wideman proved themselves and Gio/Brodie established themselves as one of the best top pairings in the league. That's when we started to get some attention. Just by way of quick example, from NHL.com's preseason predictions http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=728988: "Though there are lots of intriguing young options up front, that is not the case on the blue line. Calgary signed Deryk Engelland to a three-year contract that was panned as one of the worst handed out in early July, but he's likely to be a regular for a team with six defensemen on a one-way contract." (in fact, Smid was projected second line in that article) Or this one...http://thehockeywriters.com/calgary-flames-2014-15-preview-defensemen/: "Well, Brodie and Giordano appear to be the real deal, and they are back! Heck, Mark Giordano – who wasn’t drafted and got brought into the Flames organization as minor league filler – got a lot of votes for the Norris Trophy last season. Brodie’s also rapidly improving. Beyond that, the bottom six is likely to be filled out with Smid, Russell, Wideman and newcomer Deryk Engelland, who provides a nice physical edge if not much offense. The big question at camp is who takes the seventh spot: Wotherspoon (recovering from shoulder surgery), free agent signing Corey Potter (ditto), offensively-skilled try-out Raphael Diaz or big-bodied try-out Sheldon Brookbank. Regardless of which direction the team goes, opposition clubs will likely try to isolate Brodie and Giordano, the only possession threats on the team, as much as possible."
  3. Just to add to this, at his current pace, JH will end up with 65 points. This is the most by any rookie in the past 5 years and the most since Kane had 72 points in 07/08. Assuming he hits 65, only 6 players in the last 10 years will have had more points in their rookie season: Ovechkin (106), Crosby (102), Malkin (85), Statsny (78), Kane (72), Backstrom (69). Every other rookie since the lockout will have had fewer points...
  4. Don't look now, but there's a new point leader amongst the rookies...
  5. Over the last 25 games, Mony has been better than a point per game player (16 goals and 10 assists). Two things are notable about those numbers. First, during that stretch he has been tasked with centering our top line and going head to head against the other teams' best lines. He's taking face-offs in literally every situation imaginable. Second, it's not like those number just came in one short stretch. He recorded at least a point in 19 of those 25 games. So his pts per game over any number of time periods is at or just over a point/game: Last game: 2G, 1A, 3PTS Over last 3 games: 3G, 2A, 5PTS Over last 5 games: 5G, 3A, 8PTS Over last 10 games: 8G, 4A, 12PTS Over last 15 games: 10G, 7A, 15PTS Over last 20 games: 12G, 8A, 20PTS Over last 25 games: 16G, 10A, 26PTS I recognize that it's a small sample size, but this is a 20 year old kid asked to be our true blue first line centre in every way. He is responding by playing at over a point per game pace for the last 25 games (which is nearly 40% of the games played to date). Those saying that he won't be a 100 pt/yr guy in his prime, while you're probably right (just on the odds of any player reaching those numbers...heck Tavares hasn't done it yet...his best season is 81 pts), I think it's way too early to close the door on that one.
  6. From a Cullen article on TSN...yikes: Deryk Engelland – Being pressed into a role beyond his capability since Mark Giordano was injured, Engelland was on for three shot attempts for and 24 against (11.1%) in a 4-3 shootout win at Boston. Flames forward Drew Shore wasn’t much better (5 shot attempts for, 27 against, 15.6%).
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