All Around the NHL

I figured I might as well start a NHL blog for today with the trade deadline and all. Some moves have already been made but there haven’t been any “real” blockbusters yet. Sure we have Palmieri & Hall but those don’t fully get my juices flowing. I think Palmieri will work out well and NYI are much improved from that deal. It’s early in the day so maybe there will be some more impact signings.

Update: As a Wings fan I am flabbergasted at the Mantha deal. Good for Stevie Y!!! Vrana and Panik are good players and picks are just the cherries on top. What are the Caps thinking? I don’t view him as much of an upgrade over Vrana. Very peculiar if you ask me. I love it for the Wings that’s for sure! Any other deadline thoughts?

COVID Season

Ok I’m going to talk about the big elephant in the room… the current schedule and divisions!!! I’m going to lead with I understand why this had to be done but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. If you frequent the forums, it’s one thing I have talked about basically all season. I’m all for “division rivalries” but this takes it to an extent I am not sure we needed. And to be honest, I’m not sure any of these rivalries have gained any steam from this besides maybe some Canadian teams. The “North” division has been the biggest beneficiary from this schedule. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this division is “must watch hockey” regardless of the teams playing. Well frankly I disagree, sure more of the “big talent” (moreso McDavid, Drai, and Matthews) is in the North, but that doesn’t matter to me when you have the Senators, Canucks, and Flames. Sure we expected the latter two teams to do better and be more exciting but they haven’t been!!! I’m probably sounding like a biased American but I hate that division. I guess you could pile it on me and say look at the Central or East and the teams “fighting” for spots who we all had pegged in there easily. I just feel this season hasn’t been representative of what a NHL season should look like.

Some part of this has been the games that have been “marketed” on TV. I can’t tell you how many Sabres, Flyers, Capitals, Rangers, and Penguins games have been on!!! NBC Sports is all about the East division but I suppose we get a lot of VGK/COL late games. I like watching hockey as much as the next person but some of these games have just been flat out exhausting. At the beginning of the season I knew these games wouldn’t have the intensity of playoff hockey, but I have found many to be severely lacking. IMO this is because of how the schedule is. I can see it in guys’ faces “We have to play these guys again?!”. If nothing else we have seen some incredible failures by multiple teams this year and the horrorshow has been a little fun (PHI, STL, VAN, CGY, etc.) at least.

Based on the forum (not sure if that’s a good judgement) NHL excitement has been a little down but we do have a lot of sports going on right now. I’m going to let this year kind of coast by and tbh I’m just ready for when the first “out of division” game happens. I have a while for that, so I’ll just patiently wait for the season to whittle down and get excited for the next step (expansion draft).

Expansion Draft

I have always gotten excited for the Expansion Draft. This year I am even more excited because of VGK’s first run at it. First things first, I think teams will be much smarter (yes I’m talking to you FLA)!!! I think one of my major questions is how SEA will handle cap. Will they stay away from “big” contracts or will they embrace some? I’ve seen a few mock drafts and I have had to laugh at some. I know we can’t be perfect but some “picks” have me shaking my head. One curious name for me is Oshie. I think it depends on how this season goes for WSH but everybody seems to think he’s heading out there and for once I might agree. He’s got a pretty large contract (6 mil) and is getting up there in age. I kind of see him as the Marc-Andre Fleury of this new Kraken team. I am also very curious who the coach will be. We’re a ways out before this happens, I just wanted to get a discussion going. Any Seattle fans out there? If so what are you guys looking for? Even if you aren’t a SEA guy, let me know know what you think of the upcoming draft.

Playoff Predictions
North:
1) TOR
2) WPG
3) EDM
4) MTL

West:
1) COL
2) VGK
3) MIN
4) STL

Central:
1) CAR
2) TB
3) FLA
4) NSH

East:
1) WSH
2) NYI
3) PIT
4) BOS

Stanley Cup Champions: COL over CAR

I am going into this thinking the only positions left to “decide” are the final 4th spot in the East & Central. If I had to pick somebody on the outside looking in, at this time it would be NYR. I don’t see the Blackhawks or Jackets making it a fight, nor DAL.

Well that’s all I have for the NHL, just wanted to get some thoughts out here and was hoping for a more eventful deadline.

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Comments

  • panters

    Fine words Kyle. I’m in 100% agreement with you concerning the same schedule for nearly a whole week. Since I only play SDs some nights it’s hard with the same SD to play!

    I do really enjoy the all-day games on Sunday but you’re right they just show the same teams.

    I hope your underlying motive to picking the Canes to go to the Cup is just so they will not make it through the playoffs!

    Thanks for the informative blog!

  • hautalak

    Yeah I don’t think we are the only ones!!! Playoffs is “close enough” so by then maybe I can come around to the “same teams” thing. Right now I’m just playing minimally and want to use all the guys that were traded!

    Yeah it’s weird because I thought I could always enjoy hockey but seeing teams you know are out of it (that networks didn’t think would be at the beginning) is getting old. Even before the season why so many BUF games? lol But I digress and should shut up about the issue.

    No, this time I have to accept they are a really good team. Waiting on the news of Tera but even w/o him they look like a contender. My boy Petr is having himself a good season (when he’s been able to play). Only called him my boy b/c his old DET days. It’s gonna be tough but they have a chance. Might have to make a bet on them so I can show you I’m for real lol

    Glad you enjoyed! Go crush SD!

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