Will the Red Wings Make the Playoffs?

01/04/2010
Stanley Cup Finals - Pittsburgh Penguins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Five

Coming into last year, the Detroit Red Wings looked stronger than ever.  Fresh off a dominating cup win they added arguably the best sniper on the market and seemed poised to create another dynasty, even in this cash strapped salary cap era.

This year certainly seems to be another story.  Gone are Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson amongst others leaving the team with roughly 31 percent of the offense to replace.

Who did they bring in?

Todd Bertuzzi, Drew Miller, Jason Williams and Patrick Eaves amongst others.  Those four combined for a whopping 54 goals last year, a little more than half of the 89 goals that left this past offseason.  If you subtract 35 goals from last year’s totals the team still would finish 7th in scoring and not first.

GM Ken Holland planned on using rookies and young players such as Ville Leino, Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm in scoring roles, hoping it would force them to step up their games and make up the remaining 35 goals needed.  What Holland did not expect were injuries.  Injuries and injuries alone could derail all hope this team had to make the playoffs, let alone another return to the Stanley Cup.

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Jaroslav Halak On The Block

12/10/2009
Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens

According to the Web Staff over at Sportsnet, the Montreal Canadiens are actively shopping Jaroslav Halak (H/T to crashthecrease.com).

The 24-year-old netminder is 6-4-0 in 11 games, including an impressive 46 save effort against the Ottawa Senators.  Earlier in the year the Czech native amassed a four game win streak, an feat when you consider how injury riddled and weak the Montreal defense has been.

A quick look around the league shows a handful of teams needing depth between the pipes.  The Flyers lost starter Ray Emery for six weeks leaving their team to the fate of Brian Boucher.  The Oilers may have to rely on Jeff Deslauriers longer than they would like while Nikolai Khabibulin sits at home with a bad back.  Pascal Leclaire remains on the sidelines as he watches Brian Elliot inconsistently block pucks.

Perhaps the most interesting rumor circulating involves Darren Helm and the Red Wings.  As earlier whispered here.  Does Halak really offer an upgrade to Jimmy Howard or the legendary Chris Osgood?

A quick look says no.

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 11/20/2009

11/21/2009
IL: Vancouver Canucks v Chicago Blackhawks

Another new feature here on NHLHS. I will break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every night and cite why I chose them in particular. In addition, I will track the amount of times the players have received this honor and tally them at the end of the season. For the sake of clarity, I will be using Yahoo! standard categories (Forwards – G,A,+/-, PP,PIM, SOG; Goalies – W,GAA,SV%,SHO)

THIRD STAR: Christian Ehrhoff (0-0-1), Vancouver Canucks -The former 4th round pick made a seamless transition from the Sharks system to Vancouver’s.  Potting 15 points in his first 22 games, Ehrhoff produced an excellent fantasy line with two goals and an assist.  The German import added three shots, a power-play point and finished the evening a plus two.

SECOND STAR: Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks (0-1-0) -Big Joe’s season easily returns him to elite status.  Flanked by Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau, the possibilities are endless for his offensive ceiling.  Thornton posted a whopping four assists (with 2 coming on the powerplay), two penalty minutes, took two shots and finished the evening a plus two.  On the year that gives him 24 assists in as many games to go along with a respectable six goals.  Just another monstrous year coming.

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