Archive for Around the League

Sep
09

Metro Division Preview

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Since hockey season is almost upon us (certainly the preseason at least) I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to write a quick preview of the Metropolitan Division, to refresh all of the things that went down this summer in our hockey backyard. It can be tough to remember every offseason transaction, so why not compile them all in one place and offer a little bit of analysis? Anyways, here’s your 2017-18 Metropolitan Division.

New York Islanders

This team got undeniably better, on the addition of Jordan Eberle alone. His chemistry with John Tavares is going to cause problems for teams around the Metro, and when you factor in Josh Ho-Sang the Isle’s scoring depth just became a force to be reckoned with almost over night. Still, although they’ve improved substantially up front, they’re the Islanders, with such luminaries as Dennis Seidenberg and Casey Cizikas down the depth chart, which is to say they’re not exactly stacked as you move down the lineup. I’d project them to make some noise as the playoff push begins to come together, but ultimately they’re a bubble team at best.

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Still cooler than any of us

Welcome to the second installment of this year’s Top 31 goaltenders.  I covered all of the introductory/methodology/housekeeping issues during the first portion of the list, which you can find here to bring yourself up to speed.  Otherwise, we are going to jump right in.  Here goes, goaltenders 20-11… Read More→

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You will never be this cool

Welcome to the 6th Annual Top 31 Goaltenders List.  Can you believe it’s been six years already?  Wild.  Anyway, this was one of the most difficult years to rank, in that many veteran goaltenders started to reclaim for former glory and a few young guys took aim at some top 10 stalwarts.  However, with the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights as the league’s 31st team, I got to add another spot to the rankings, giving me a little extra breathing room.

So, let’s get the house keeping stuff out of the way before we get to some honorable mentions and our first section of the list.  The criteria for the rankings are as follows:  I am advising a hypothetical “team” on a one-year solution between the pipes.  I am completely ignoring concepts of age, contract status, incumbent goaltender, contention window or any other factors relating to the status of said “team”.  Everything is in a vacuum and all about current talent level that can be projected out for the next twelve months.  It goes without saying this whole exercise is for fun and massively subjective, so feel free to run me through the gautlet in the comments.  Read More→

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Is Brian Elliott the answer in goal for Philadelphia?

Washington Capitals

The Caps experienced the most significant turnover of any Metro team, and not for the better. Washington lost Kevin Shattenkirk, Justin Williams, Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson. They did lock up Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Dmitry Orlov, but any way you slice it this team took a giant step back. To his credit, GM Brian MacLellan admitted that the salary cap had simply caught up to him and after going for it the last two seasons the writing was on the wall. Washington still has a ton of talent and will absolutely be in the playoff hunt, but the Caps don’t look like the bona fide contender they’ve been for the last decade.

New Jersey Devils

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May
27

Who to root for in the Stanley Cup Final?

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Hopefully by this point we’ve all come to terms and accepted our beloved Blueshirts’ early and unfortunate playoff exit, enabling us to once again enjoy the game of hockey for what it is. It’s been a couple of weeks, and lucky for us there’s still some great playoff action to be enjoyed.

Rejoining the rest of the hockey world for the Stanley Cup Final might be tough however if you aren’t sure which team to support. If you find yourself struck by this deep existential conundrum, look no further, because I’ve got you covered.

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May
12

Conference Finals Predictions

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Battle of the Superstars

Although we’re all still questioning and dealing with the grief of the Stanley Cup being out of reach in New York, the show must go on. It’s moving on without our Rangers, and quite quickly at that. Tonight starts the Western Conference Final, and the battle for the East begins tomorrow night.

Many of the staff here at BSB are dealing with the undeniable sadness of seeing a defeated Henrik Lundqvist, and simply cannot think about the future of this playoffs at present time. Three of us were able to pull together the courage to get our predictions out there. As always, leave yours in the comments.

Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

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Photo: NYDN

Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers have denied a request by the Buffalo Sabres to interview Assistant GM Chris Drury for their General Manager position. Drury was promoted by the Rangers to the Assistant General Manager position before this season. Prior to this position, Drury was serving as Director of Player Development. He was instrumental in recruiting Jimmy Vesey.

It’s not really a surprise to see the Rangers decline permission to the Sabres. He was named Director of Player Development in September of 2015, and a year later was promoted to the Assistant GM role. It may not seem like a huge jump, but a promotion that quickly indicates he is an important piece of the front office. Plus, the Rangers are in the middle of a playoff run. Not sure if that last bit means anything significant, though.

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Apr
26

BSB Playoff Predictions: Round Two

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Image

We’ve made it to Round Two of the playoffs, Rangers unscathed and surprisingly a lot of statistically advanced teams going home. The playoffs, as we know, are a whole different animal, and we’re already deeper here in the New York Metro area (or wherever it is you cheer from!) than we were last time. May hockey is a wonderful, heart attack inducing, fun thing to experience.

Of course, here at BSB this means a fresh crop of predictions. Let’s see how the BSB staff have done through one round:

Beatin the Boys

The second round of predictions includes Justin, so let’s all go blank slate and see how we can fare from here on out. As always, please share your predictions for the four upcoming series in the comments.

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Playoffs are Coming…

Ahh playoff time. The time is finally here for us to throw our covers to the wind and let our crazy fly free. The time of year when you can banish shirts to the bottom of the drawer if the Rangers lose when you wear it, when you swap Febreze for Tide if those jeans haven’t lost since March. A time when it’s acceptable to literally put an opposing trinket on ice… in your freezer.

It is also the time when your friendly basement-dwelling nerds here at BSB (except for Justin, inexplicably, always) predict who will win it all — round by round. Let us know your thoughts for the upcoming eight series in the comments. Happy Hockey Season, part 2!

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Read More→

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www.nhl.com

With the Vegas Golden Knights now confirmed as the NHL’s 31st franchise, one of the major story lines of this coming offseason will be each organization’s preparation for the Expansion Draft.  Even though the draft does not take place until June, the strategic implications for each club have been a hot button topic for both fans and media, alike.  Salary cap simulator and contract tracking site, CapFriendly launched an expansion draft tool back in November, and according to their figures, over 30,000 simulations have been run to date.  Needless to say, the upcoming draft has been of interest, pretty much all season.

During the general managers meeting in Florida a little over a week ago, a report came out that the league was considering not publicizing each’s team protected list ahead of the draft. For those who may not know, each team is allowed to protect currently rostered players in one of the two following formats of the team’s choice: 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goaltender, or 8 total skaters (forwards/defensemen) and 1 goaltender.

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