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So Where do we go from here? Analysis & Predictions

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7 minutes ago, MAC331 said:

I don't think we need another "proven" back up Goalie. This team overall should be strong defensively. If Smith goes down maybe they look around and see whats available.

If the players stand up for each other I don't think a tough guys is necessarily required. I just don't want to see Tkachuk or Bennett thinking that is their role at all.

I definitely don't see Tkachuk or Bennett given that role, we just know they will because that's how they are made up.  Kinda like Iginla was for years.....

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2 minutes ago, cccsberg said:

I definitely don't see Tkachuk or Bennett given that role, we just know they will because that's how they are made up.  Kinda like Iginla was for years.....

Nothing wrong with picking their spots to take up a challenge.

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Thought I would go back to an old thread to throw out some thoughts on a few items currently not catching much discussion.  

 

First off, what's up with a NHL-record zero coaching changes last season, followed by multiple, early-season coach firings already?  Is this Bettman's revenge on the league via the Loser Point that it is so tight that even the worst teams still have a chance and are jumping to tweak before they fall out of it since it is so difficult to regain?  Or perhaps is it a couple more "generational" talents coming up in next year's draft that teams are already scheming to position themselves not only for top talent but to take off right afterwards with youth and speed?  Getting ready to divine who stays and who goes at the upcoming TDL?

 

Secondly, are we really seeing the changing of the guard with several last-decade dynasties completely collapsing, i.e. LAK, ANA, CHI, STL and even PIT?   And the up-and-comers fast, speedy and youthful i.e. CAL, WIN, TML, NJD based in large part on the VGN success last year?  Some of that is very predictable but it is certainly accelerated so far this season.  

 

Thirdly, as a consequence to the first two points, is the NHL setting up for many blockbuster and multiple player trades as slipping teams make desperate moves to retool while the newbies look to take advantage bringing in short-term previous stars and superstars to push them over the top?  I mean, are we really looking at the dismantling of Pittsburg?  Two superstars moved out of CBJ, or ANA, or STL, or even LAK?  The twin towers in Chicago broken up?  

 

It seems like the Old Guard is "Broke" and desperation is setting in.  So change the focus of this earlier thread from Flames to NHL.  Where do We(NHL) go from here?

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Some of the coaching changes were simmering after last season.  Chicago was rumored to be mulling it over, and the oilers supposedly under-performed.  Of course, I wouldn't use anything the oil does as a sign of the times, since better management decisions could be made by throwing darts at a board of possible choices.  I do think that the changes are happening now in the hopes of saving the various teams seasons.

 

To your second point, I think the answer is yes for at least some of the teams.  Both CHI and LAK are past their primes, and have been for at least a season now.  No retooling is gonna fix those boats, they are sinking.  ANA is also close to the tipping point, but have some decent young players they could build around.  I still think STL is due for a rebound, but some of their core is aging out.  PIT seems to also be fading fast; their core players are all getting old, and they have next to nothing coming up having traded away almost all their 1st rounders for years.  They'll probably hang around for a few years (especially if Murray rebounds), but they might be in for a long rebuild in the not too distant future.

 

I think these are exciting times.  New teams are about to become winners, and we could well see a Toews or Doughty traded in the next year or two.  My prediction for this year is that both cup finalist teams will be teams that did not make the final four last season.

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20 minutes ago, ABC923 said:

Some of the coaching changes were simmering after last season.  Chicago was rumored to be mulling it over, and the oilers supposedly under-performed.  Of course, I wouldn't use anything the oil does as a sign of the times, since better management decisions could be made by throwing darts at a board of possible choices.  I do think that the changes are happening now in the hopes of saving the various teams seasons.

 

To your second point, I think the answer is yes for at least some of the teams.  Both CHI and LAK are past their primes, and have been for at least a season now.  No retooling is gonna fix those boats, they are sinking.  ANA is also close to the tipping point, but have some decent young players they could build around.  I still think STL is due for a rebound, but some of their core is aging out.  PIT seems to also be fading fast; their core players are all getting old, and they have next to nothing coming up having traded away almost all their 1st rounders for years.  They'll probably hang around for a few years (especially if Murray rebounds), but they might be in for a long rebuild in the not too distant future.

 

I think these are exciting times.  New teams are about to become winners, and we could well see a Toews or Doughty traded in the next year or two.  My prediction for this year is that both cup finalist teams will be teams that did not make the final four last season.

Some of this is within the hockey culture itself leading into bad management making poor decisions. Like why when the cap goes up doe certain GMs rush to give most of it to 2 players ? Stupidity

The cap environment is only so good for balancing out the roster talent. I prefer the job BT is doing here spreading the money around more evenly. The NHL is also full of poor GMs, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Carolina, Vancouver, Los Angeles the list could go on. The squeeze causes a lack of top talent being on rosters that is costing good coaches their jobs when it should be the GMs shown the door in most cases.

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7 hours ago, ABC923 said:

Some of the coaching changes were simmering after last season.  Chicago was rumored to be mulling it over, and the oilers supposedly under-performed.  Of course, I wouldn't use anything the oil does as a sign of the times, since better management decisions could be made by throwing darts at a board of possible choices.  I do think that the changes are happening now in the hopes of saving the various teams seasons.

 

To your second point, I think the answer is yes for at least some of the teams.  Both CHI and LAK are past their primes, and have been for at least a season now.  No retooling is gonna fix those boats, they are sinking.  ANA is also close to the tipping point, but have some decent young players they could build around.  I still think STL is due for a rebound, but some of their core is aging out.  PIT seems to also be fading fast; their core players are all getting old, and they have next to nothing coming up having traded away almost all their 1st rounders for years.  They'll probably hang around for a few years (especially if Murray rebounds), but they might be in for a long rebuild in the not too distant future.

 

I think these are exciting times.  New teams are about to become winners, and we could well see a Toews or Doughty traded in the next year or two.  My prediction for this year is that both cup finalist teams will be teams that did not make the final four last season.

I agree on the exciting times, especially as regards elite level players going UFA and/or getting traded.  There are so many older superstars on fading teams that may be willing to trade them for rebuilding, or players like Tavares willing to make the jump for one last chance at a Cup on their own terms.  In addition you’ve got a whole new cluster of teams eager for fast-tracking success or others willing for one last hurrah before it all falls apart.  

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I don’t remember what thread it was in, but Cross was quoting stats that proved Bennett’s play hasn’t change drastically. 

 

I am am not a total stats guy, so my eye test agrees. What is different this year is that the coach is recognizing it. GG would almost never tinker with the lines, especially the Backlund, Frolik, Tkachuk line. There just wasn’t anyone else for Bennett to play with. Now he didn’t sustain it, but how much is that the players he played with?

 

My thought has always been, play him with skill and his skill will be enhanced. 

 

Being with Tkachuk is great! And their determination compliments each other.

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11 hours ago, robrob74 said:

I don’t remember what thread it was in, but Cross was quoting stats that proved Bennett’s play hasn’t change drastically. 

 

I am am not a total stats guy, so my eye test agrees. What is different this year is that the coach is recognizing it. GG would almost never tinker with the lines, especially the Backlund, Frolik, Tkachuk line. There just wasn’t anyone else for Bennett to play with. Now he didn’t sustain it, but how much is that the players he played with?

 

My thought has always been, play him with skill and his skill will be enhanced. 

 

Being with Tkachuk is great! And their determination compliments each other.

 

Can we re-name the Backlund Bump to be the Tkachuk Bump?

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13 hours ago, robrob74 said:

I don’t remember what thread it was in, but Cross was quoting stats that proved Bennett’s play hasn’t change drastically. 

 

I am am not a total stats guy, so my eye test agrees. What is different this year is that the coach is recognizing it. GG would almost never tinker with the lines, especially the Backlund, Frolik, Tkachuk line. There just wasn’t anyone else for Bennett to play with. Now he didn’t sustain it, but how much is that the players he played with?

 

My thought has always been, play him with skill and his skill will be enhanced. 

 

Being with Tkachuk is great! And their determination compliments each other.

I think management did the right thing placing Tkachuk with Backlund and Frolik but it came at the expense of Bennett. We have seen all kinds of comments surrounding Bennett's lack of progress like he should have spent time the AHL. This is a "what if" but what if Tkachuk went back to London and Bennett had another season with Backlund and Frolik ? Instead we saw him saddle with a host of lesser players and the results spoke for themselves. There comes a time when some players learn to fly on their own and both Tkachuk and Bennett are there now IMO and should play together. The only adjustment I would make would be to have Bennett back at C and Neal on their RW. Backlund and Frolik could be better utilized bringing along another important player in Dube. I also think this would be the move to get Neal more properly involved.

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San Jose won in OT of course, the worst case scenario.

 

it makes the Thursday game even bigger. Is it a must win? I think it’s a see what you’re made of after the last game against them.

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4 minutes ago, robrob74 said:

San Jose won in OT of course, the worst case scenario.

 

it makes the Thursday game even bigger. Is it a must win? I think it’s a see what you’re made of after the last game against them.

It is a really big game at this point of the season. Either 6 points up with a regulation win or 2 with a regulation loss. A true 4 point game 

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Just now, Thebrewcrew said:

It is a really big game at this point of the season. Either 6 points up with a regulation win or 2 with a regulation loss. A true 4 point game 

 

Yup, worst case scenario is the Flames are up only two or three points after Thursday. Gotta come out and play

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37 minutes ago, robrob74 said:

 

Yup, worst case scenario is the Flames are up only two or three points after Thursday. Gotta come out and play

Should be a fun one, I have full confidence the team will be ready to go!

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3 hours ago, robrob74 said:

 

Yup, worst case scenario is the Flames are up only two or three points after Thursday. Gotta come out and play

 

Please just tell me that BSD is starting.

I can bear to watch the 1st if he isn;t.

Just kidding.

 

BSD has been stellar on home ice.  In fact unbeaten on home ice in regulation.

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If PB starts Smith, he should have his head examine and possibly locked up in the asylum. BSD is the logical choice here. Big Save Dave all the way to the cup!

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41 minutes ago, DHT said:

If PB starts Smith, he should have his head examine and possibly locked up in the asylum. BSD is the logical choice here. Big Save Dave all the way to the cup!

 

With 29 games left, we can't start BSD in all of them.  That's the easy part of the equation.

B2B's - Feb.26/27, March 6/7, March 15/16, March 31/April 1.

 

Important games against top teams:

Feb 7 - SJS

Feb 12 - Tampa

March 6 - VGK

March 10 - VGK

March 16 - WPG  

March 31 - SJS

 

Other games against tough opponents/division strong teams:

Feb 16 - PITTS

Feb 20 - NYI

Feb 26 - NYI

March 4 - TOR

 

Balance the starts against weaker teams like OTT, ANA, LA, NJ, ARI.  20/9 ratio or someting close to that.

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On 11/21/2018 at 10:56 AM, MAC331 said:

Some of this is within the hockey culture itself leading into bad management making poor decisions. Like why when the cap goes up doe certain GMs rush to give most of it to 2 players ? Stupidity

The cap environment is only so good for balancing out the roster talent. I prefer the job BT is doing here spreading the money around more evenly. The NHL is also full of poor GMs, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Carolina, Vancouver, Los Angeles the list could go on. The squeeze causes a lack of top talent being on rosters that is costing good coaches their jobs when it should be the GMs shown the door in most cases.

 

I agree and want to add that not only is money being thrown around to a few players - too much term is as well. Let me be clear, I have ZERO issue with the term given to Johnny and Mony. All those griping about how it should’ve been a max term of 8 years for each, and Johnny is going to walk at the end of it, etc don’t take into consideration that their AAV on the cap would be higher and it would hamper our ability to build a team of good players around them (and thus make it more difficult to win a cup)

 

If I were a GM, I wouldn’t hand out contracts that are more than 5, maybe 6 years max for star players and I’d try to win cups within those 5-6 years. After that, and as those players approach UFA and a bigger payday, I retool / rebuild, and aim for a cup in the next 5-6 years. Those star players at the end of their 5-6 year contract will be in demand prior to going UFA, and I’ll recoup assets for them at that time so I can start the cycle over. 

 

Austin Matthews’ contract of 5 years is on point with what I would consider a “window” for a cup, however, where Dubas went wrong is the money... $11.6 is too high for that term. I’d hate to imagine what the ask was for 6, 7, or 8 years. Toronto may have a legitimate shot at a cup this year, but when you have that salary + Tavares + Nylander + Marner kicking in, I really don’t see a proper supporting cast competing for a cup. Perhaps they hope the rest of the team can ride the coattails of those 4 but that doesn’t sound like a recipe for success (or perennial contender) to me. 

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