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Hockey Round Up Blog Is Back

After about a month long hiatus the Hockey Round Up is back

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But, its not a round up of the whole month. Just the past week or so

Scott Darling

 

1) Tortarella and Columbus

We’ll start with this video of Torts and Carboard Torts because I don’t know where else to put it

Rear Admiral and I have both been extremely high on Columbus the past two season. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Columbus has been playing slightly better since Torts took over, but they’re still in dead last in the East. With 24 points they’re 8 points out of the playoffs, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but they can’t continue to play .500 hockey and expect to gain any ground. It’s a weird scene in CBJ. Ryan Johansen, one of the best young centers in the league, is playing wing. Brandon Saad, the prized summer acquisition, has been demoted to the fourth line. And Hartnell has been a healthy scratch a couple of times Johansen’s name has even been mentioned in a few trade rumors. This is probably too much to write about a last place team, but CBJ is one of the more bizarre situations in the league and Torts obviously has a lot to do with that.

2) Jagr

Jaromir Jagr continues to produce. This little tip in goal last night tied him with Marcel Dionne for 4th all-time with 731 goals. Rear Ad and I talked about Jagr at length on the latest episode of Chip & Chase. He has to be one of the more lovable guys in all of sports right now. Continues to put up numbers and seems to be loving every second he’s on the ice.

I also think the Florida Panthers are a real team. They have a nice blend of youth and experience and Luongo gives them a chance to win every night. Right now they’re tied for the last wild card spot and I think they’ll be in and around that place all year. I hope that they get aggressive at the deadline and sneak in. The Panthers probably make the playoffs last year if their goalies didn’t get hurt and/or they signed Pres.

The local government down in South Florida also passed a resolution about leases and taxes and shit on Tuesday ensuring that the Panthers will be in Sunrise/Ft Lauderdale for the long haul. Miami sucks as a sports market, but I’d like to see what type of support the Panthers get if they have a team that is consistently competitive. I feel like they’ve made the playoffs like 3 times in their history. Hopefully this year is the 4th. They also announced that they’ll get new jerseys and a new logo for next season. Rebranding since you know, the Panthers stink.

3) Patrick Kane

Kane’s streak is now at 24 games. One shy of Crosby’s 25 game streak in 2010. The record is held by Wayne Gretzky of course. In 1983-84, Gretzky got on the scoresheet in 51 straight games. The goal last night by Kane shows his simple brilliance. He’s probably the only guy in the world that would have the presence of mind to toe drag that puck and slide it in. Everyone else would just jam it as hard as they could and hope of the best. Kane is the best player in the league right now and the MVP of the league. He’s carrying the Hawks offensively. Kane is also the first player to reach the 600 point milestone from the 2007 draft class. He’s 200 points ahead of Jamie Benn who is in 2nd place.

4) Goals of the week

–Giroux

Giroux has now scored against every team in the league. Good for him. The Flyers stink.

–Bergeron fast hands

Big goal in tight quarters. If Bergeron does something good, it’s going in the round up because I love him.

–Teuvo Teravainen

This is when Teravainen is at his best. Silky little no look shot. Does it better than anyone. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to give a consistent effort. Not strong on the puck, some brutal turnovers. I don’t know what his deal is, but like I said in the season preview blog…in order for the Hawks to be Cup contenders they would need Teravainen and Panarin to be impact players. Panarin has been great, Teuvo…not so much. He’s only 21 and it’s only December, but the Hawks need A LOT more from him if they’re gonna make a run this spring.

–Okposo in the shootout

My favorite breakaway move. Datsyuk-ish

–Jeff Skinner

Haven’t seen him do this in a while. Welcome back to the round up, Jeff Skinner

-Jordan Eberle

Don’t look now, but the Oilers are playing pretty good hockey and McDavid is getting close to his return. The Pacific Division stinks. It wouldn’t shock me if Edmonton got themselves into the playoffs.

5) Saves of the week

Garret Sparks in the shootout

Shout to our boy Garret Sparks. Stoolie and a Chicago kid. NIHL is basically a feeder program to the NHL at this point.

–Tokarski

 

6) Expansion:

The NHL had their Board of Governors meeting in California last week and Elliotte Friedman is speculating/reporting what I told you months ago.

a)Las Vegas and Bill Foley are getting a team in 2017-18.

“So what is it? Here’s one reporter’s guess: The NHL will consider expanding by one team for 2017-18, and I would suspect that’s Las Vegas, as adding an Eastern Conference team creates even larger conference imbalance.”–Friedman

b) Quebec City won’t get an expansion team because Bettman wants a turn-key solution in case franchises fail in either Phoenix or Carolina.

If you look back at Bettman and how he handled Winnipeg’s re-entry, he kept the Manitoba capital as a safety net for fixing a serious problem. The Coyotes were minutes away from going there before a new deal was worked out, and Atlanta did go when that situation couldn’t be saved.

Smart commissioners (and Bettman is one) always have a backup plan. Until he gets some brushfires extinguished as Florida was with a new lease deal on Tuesday, I could see the league saying to Quebec, “Your time will come, but I need to be certain you aren’t needed for relocation in the short-term.”–Friedman

I talked to a guy this weekend who has never been wrong on tips about anything NHL. He said that the NHL wants 32 teams and they desperately want Seattle to be in the equation. They’d rather wait for Seattle to figure out their rink situation than give a 32nd franchise to Quebec City.

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Another indication that expansion is definitely coming is the NHL scrapping the executive draft pick compensation rule. They got rid of the rule to protect expansion teams. How could Vegas expect to hire a front office staff if they had to give up draft picks to poach a guy from another team?

7) Scoring is down, what should be done

This has been a hot topic this year. Goals are slightly down again this season and now people are talking about changing the size of the goal, shrinking equipment and a lot of other solutions to this problem. However, it’s not a problem so everyone needs to shut up. The product on the ice has never been better and the coverage of the game has never been more abundant. This is a golden era for hockey. Literally every team has a star or two worth the price of admission. Scoring is down, but skill is up. Guys are making incredible plays every night and it’s not just goals that are exciting. There are plenty of things to watch on the ice besides goals.

8) All-Underrated Team

Elliotte Friedman did a long piece about Mike Hoffman being a late bloomer. He’s having an outstanding year. He’s a legitimate star, but nobody knows who he is. So here is your all-underrated team.

F-Hoffman

F-Krejci

F-Mark Stone

D-John Klingberg

D-Sami Vatanen

G-Ben Bishop

9) Don Cherry and Stars Fighting

Toews, Tarasenko, Crosby, Stamkos, and many other star players have dropped the gloves in the past month. Fighting is down overall, but fights involving high profile players are up. It’s a weird dynamic. Not sure if this is a trend like Grapes is suggesting or if all these fights in the last month were a coincidence more or less. Obviously teams don’t want their best players fighting, but they also don’t want to have a fighter on the roster. Something to monitor as this continues. Obviously I think most teams want a middle-weight scrapper who can play a bit like Andrew Shaw or Bobby Farnham instead of a John Scott type.

10)Power Rankings

1. Dallas Stars: Still getting points, playing fast, and playing the most attractive style. Niemi has turned out to be a great signing. Probably need one more top 4 type Dman to put them over the top

2. LA Kings: The Kings are hot right now. They’ve won 5 straight games and seem to have a bit of their mojo back that was missing in 2014-15.

3. Detroit Red Wings: I feel like the Wings are kind of flying under the radar. They are 7-0-3 in their last 10 games and they’re getting healthier. The past ten games haven’t been against top teams for the most part, but they are getting points where they need to. Detroit is another team that needs a top 4 defenseman.

4. Washington Capitals: I don’t think the Caps are an elite team. I have a hard time imagining the Caps making a run to the Finals this year, but the results so far this season speak for themselves.

5. Montreal Canadiens: On a four game losing streak right now, and the Habs still have the second best record in the league. They’ve struggled to score on this skid and that has been their problem in recent years. In order to win the Cup you need special offensive players. You need game-breakers. Montreal still doesn’t have that type of a guy. They gave Semin a shot hoping he’d be that guy, but he was cut this week. Not sure how the money would work, but the Habs should target a guy like Jeff Skinner or Matt Duchene at the deadline. Both have been floated in trade rumors this year.

 

That’s it for this week.

Andrew Cogliano

I think I’m gonna move this blogs to Thursday or Friday going forward. As always send in tips to barstoolchief@gmail.com. This blog works so much better when you guys send in highlights, GIFs, and talking points.

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