Fan vs Fan

Monday, September 13, 2010

NHL 2010-2011 Season Preview: Everything in One Post

So, here we go, the entire NHL in one post. Eastern Conference, Western Conference, General NHL is the order I'm going in.

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division

Pittsburgh Penguins
The Good: Max Talbot will be able to pick out every douche in the NHL and deliver a list of them to us.
The Bad: After Crosby and Malkin, the Penguins severely lack forward talent capable of scoring 120 points a season.
Secret Strategy for the New SeasonWill be coddled by Gary Bettman's permanent man crush on Cindy Crosby

New York Islanders
The Good: Will have a guaranteed top 5 pick in the NHL draft due to playing 24 games against the Flyers, Penguins, Rangers and Devils all of which the Islanders will lose.
The Bad: Will run out of get well cards for Rick DiPietro by November.
Secret Strategy for the New Season: Hope the Democrats are able to push universal health care in the United States through in order to save on medical bills for DiPietro

New York Rangers
The Good: Will in fact win all 6 games against the Islanders due to the fact that they have Martin Biron.
The Bad: Will at some point sign Kyle Wellwood to a Redden-like contract.
Secret Strategy for the New Season: Hope to every divine being known the man that Gaborik can avoid Dan Carcillo.

New Jersey Devils
The Good: 
Signed shot blocking specialist Anton Volchenkov to throw his body in the way of any jars of jelly that Lou decides to throw.
The Bad: Have fallen victim to the fact that apparently the CBA matters.
Secret Strategy for the New Season: 
Will fatten Brodeur up to the point where he covers the entire net even if pad free.

Philadelphia Flyers
The Good: Filled the "Craptastic Defensemen" void left by the departure of Ryan Parent with Andrej "Big Mesz" Meszaros.
The Bad: Now have to face the defending Stanley Cup champions in 4 rematches as the Hawks now play in the Eastern Conference
Secret Strategy for the New Season: Have infinite hope in the idea that opposing shooters will never hit the net as they die laughing from realizing what the Flyers goaltending quality is.

Northeast Division

Montreal Canadiens

The Good: Will save money on pregame meals by being able to serve forwards from the kids menu.

The Bad: Decided to follow an idea presented by Down Goes Brown during the first around of the playoffs and are apparently going to start "Empty Net" as their goalie.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Players have worked on riot escape in practice as Montreal citizens tend to riot after every game regardless of result.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Good: Can avoid worrying about such debates as "Who to draft in 2011?" because of their lack of draft picks.

The Bad: Have yet to find a way to remove Tomas Kaberle from the team.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will magically improve forward depth by re-signing Vesa Toskala and converting him to center.

Boston Bruins

The Good: Due the NHL's Salary Cap, the Bruins roster is set in stone with players such as Tim Thomas and Marc Savard still on the active roster and no way to move them.

The Bad: Will be forced to place Marc Savard on LTIR after he accidentally runs into Zdeno Chara's knee during practice causing Savard to suffer a concussion.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will avoid blowing 3-0 leads in the post-season by avoiding the post season altogether.

Ottawa Senators

The Good: Have 2 great backup goaltenders who are great for 10-15 games a season

The Bad: Have a player married to Carrie Underwood, picking up Tony Romo's sloppy seconds has been known to cause problems.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: When in doubt, the fire the coach.

Buffalo Sabres

The Good:Have a GM who's willing to save players like Tomas Vanek from signing with Edmonton.

The Bad: Will no longer be able to score easy goals due to the fact that Vesa Toskala is no longer a goalie in this division.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will continue to fly under the radar and ride Ryan Miller for as long

Southeast Division

Florida Panthers
The Good: Sports interest in Miami is now buzzing due to the acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh along with Wade's decision to stay.

The Bad: This has absolutely nothing to do with hockey.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Goalies for the Panthers no longer have to worry about being decapitated by Keith Ballard.

Carolina Hurricanes
The Good: Are set up with plenty of early first round picks coming from their tank job that should continue for another 3-4 years.

The Bad: After losing Michael Leighton to the Flyers and not resigning Manny Legace, the 'Canes now only have 1 goalie with Stanley Cup experience in Cam Ward.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Hope that other teams take pity on them and allow them to face 82 games of backup goaltenders.

Tampa Bay Lightning
The Good: New General Manager Steve Yzerman is a Jedi which will allow him to hopefully keep evil Sith Lord Darth Ellis in check. (Question Time: How many Twitter meltdowns does Ellis have during the season?)

The Bad: Will constantly be distracted by rumors of trading Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, and Simon Gagne to the Canadiens for PK Subban and Carey Price as well as having to pay attention to what Dan Ellis says on Twitter.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will at some point, convince the Flyers to trade Jeff Carter for Paul Ranger.

Washington Capitals
The Good: Because of the tire-changing prowess of Brooks Laich, the Capitals will never be late to games due to flat tires.

The Bad: Like the US Congress, the team will be loaded with plenty of potential but will not actually get anything positive done when it matters.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Hope the NHL teams fall victim to the idea that Mike Green is a defensemen when in fact he actually plays forward.

Atlanta Blackhawks...Thrashers

The Good: As of last check of the team's roster with players like Byfuglien, Kane and Ladd, they are the defending Stanley Cup Champions

The Bad: The team may suffer from an identity crisis as the Cup winning players will have a hard time adjusting to playing in the empty arenas of the Southeast Division.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will do everything they did last season when the team played in Chicago and hope that it works again.

Western Conference
Central Division
Detroit Red Wings
The Good: Will save money on team travel by being able to cash in AARP rewards on flights, hotels and team meals.
The Bad: Will at some point begin to act their age.
Secret Strategy for the New Season: Have decided that trading European MVPs to the Flyers for part time enforcing defensemen is a bad idea.

St. Louis Blues
The Good: Acquired playoff hero Jaroslav Halak from the Montreal Canadiens for next to nothing.
The Bad: Were not told that Jaroslav Halak is Slovak for Choke's in Second to Last Round.
Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will undoubtedly be the best team in the NHL named after a genre of music.

Nashville Predators
The Good: Acquired familiar face Ryan Parent from the Flyers.
The Bad: Didn't realize that since Ryan Parent was traded to the Flyers from Nashville, he kinda started to suck.
Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will hope opponents die laughing when Ryan Parent is forced to log 25 minutes a game as Shea Weber's defense partner.

Chicago Blackhawks
The Good: Are apparently the defending Stanley Cup Champions, which means that the team should be loaded with a roster of scoring forwards, competent defensemen and solid goaltending
The Bad: Apparently, Blackhawks management seemed to have forgotten about small things like the NHL salary cap.
Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will sell Atlanta Thrashers jerseys and such at home games inspiring the city of Chicago to support the Blackhawks playoff heroes.

Columbus Blue Jackets
The Good: Should the team make the playoffs, RJ Umberger will light up Jaroslav Halak per the clause in his contract that states he owns anything that ever played for the Habs in the postseason.
The Bad: Seems that Steve Mason is a clone of Steve Penney.
Secret Strategy for the New Season: Have acquired former Oilers Captain Ethan Moreau, who will play far above any level played before out of sheer relief that he longer plays in Edmonton.

Northwest Division

Calgary Flames

The Good: The team's new acquisitions are already familiar with both the city and team as they all played for the Flames 3 years ago.

The Bad: The team's new acquisitions are dudes who PLAYED FOR THE FLAMES THREE YEARS AGO!

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will hope that this attempt at a tank job leads to Penguin-esque success.

Vancouver Canucks

The Good: Have an amazing player in Henrik Sedin and his twin Daniel as well too.

The Bad: Have a huge lockerroom void created by the loss of Kyle Wellwood.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will bank on the success of a backup goalie NOT named Andrew Raycroft.

Colorado Avalanche

The Good: Have a solid core of young players who are now all due for their sophomore slumps at the same time.

The Bad: Will not be able to rely on Peter Forsberg returning in order to save them.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Hope that Peter Budaj is actually Czech for Patrick Roy.

Minnesota Wild

The Good: Have a guy named Nicklas Backstrom on their team, and if what google tells me is true, then Nicklas Backstrom is a 80 point guy which makes him the perfect pair for Mikko "Numbers Don't Matter" Koivu on the top line

The Bad: Just realized that they have the OTHER Nicklas Backstrom and that numbers do matter.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will run on the hope that no one notices their existence again.

Edmonton Oilers

The Good: #1 Overall pick Taylor Hall has yet to demand a trade out of Edmonton

The Bad: #1 Overall pick Taylor Hall is getting closer to demanding a trade out of Edmonton

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Attempting to find a way to move the team out of Edmonton.

Pacific Division

And welcome to part 2 of our season previews. Today we're going out west and looking at the Pacific Division:

Anaheim Ducks

The Good: Brought in resident NHL Expert Andy Sutton to handle difficult questions regarding elbows to the head which should help the Ducks deal with issues regarding the new blind side hits rule.

The Bad: Made the mistake of trading Chris Pronger back in 2009, preventing his elbows from being acquainted with Sutton's skull every single day.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will inject secret anti-aging cream into Teemu Selanne and convince him he's a rookie again, then hope for another 76 goals.

San Jose Sharks

The Good: Let go of playoff choker Evgeni Nabokov in favor of proven winner Antero Nittymaki.

The Bad: Just realized that Nittymaki is only ever guaranteed to beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Atlanta Thrashers.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will tell Nittymaki that every game is against the Thrashers.

Phoenix Coyotes

The Good: Found Lee Stempniak after an 18 month NHL absence.

The Bad: Seem to have forgotten to resign him.

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will make the Colts and move to Winnipeg in the middle of the night some time.

s Angeles Kings

The Good: Finally developed a quality NHL starting goaltender.

The Bad: Forgot to call him from from the AHL, meaning Bernier is still riding a bus...

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Will have to hope and pray that Kerry Fraser is replaced by someone who gives them nightly Gretzky-esque calls.

Dallas Stars

The Good: Will no longer be distracted by Mike Modano telling stories of playing a game that ended with him having his name engraved on a giant silver trophy.

The Bad: In keeping with Eastern Conference traditions, will lose every game against the Sharks where the goaltending matchup is Niitymaki vs Lehtonen

Secret Strategy for the New Season: Allow Adam Burish's simple mind to be amused by simple things, like sitting in the press box or going to the AHL.

General NHL Predictions

  • Kerry Fraser may be retired, but the NHL has hired a new referee who is legally blind in order to prove that the disabled can have successful careers.
  • Gary Bettman is still stupid. (I call this, "playing it safe")
  • Stephane Auger will screw with all of us by calling a game perfectly down the middle.
  • Kyle Wellwood will eat his way onto a team.
  • Antti Niemi will remain unemployed until he gives up his contract demand of "not having another NHL caliber goaltender on the roster" is met.
  • Rick DiPietro will end up on LTIR. (Playing it safe again am I)
  • Pierre McGuire will move to Massachusetts and marry his 'Monster' Zdeno Chara
  • Once Edmonton has its first cold snap in December, Taylor Hall will demand a trade out of Edmonton
  • Joe Thornton will lead the Sharks with clutch play during the regular season and post-season before finally giving out during the Finals and saying "What, you think I changed at all"
  • The Phoenix Coyotes will find their way back to Winnipeg

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