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Welcome to the 5th Annual Pre-season Top 30 Goaltenders List. It’s that time of year again, and after five years of putting this list together, the one thing I have learned is the value of consistency. Many a goaltender has now passed through this list with worlds of talent and bright futures’ ahead. The NHL, however, often has other ideas. The mainstays at the top are some of the most talented and hard working athletes on the planet, and it is truly a pleasure to watch them work.
This year’s list felt a little bit thinner than in seasons’ past, as performance attrition reared its ugly head on more than a few tenders this season, both vets and rookies, alike. There are a few bounce back performances and some steady steps forward, but I feel like this list has been scrambled quite a bit over last season. Read More→
It’s getting to be almost nearly soon to be hockey season, which means it’s also time to begin anticipating the other best thing about hockey season: fantasy hockey season. With that in mind, I figured I’d write a brief primer on fantasy hockey and how it works, since some of our readers may want to play but not understand how (I had truly no idea how any of it worked when I first got into it), and since it’s a great way to enjoy the game from a different perspective, following other teams and players and whatnot.
The basic gist of it is the same no matter what kind of league you’re playing in – you draft a roster of players and when they do things in real life you get points for your fantasy team. Different leagues weight things differently, but usually a goal is worth more than an assist, poweplay points are worth extra, penalty minutes are worth something smaller, etc. For goalies the way it works is they get a small amount of points for every save they make, minus points for letting in a goal, and then points for a win and/or shutout.
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend Smashfest for a third year in a row. For those unfamiliar with Smashfest, it is a questionably named fundraiser that (former?) Ranger Dominic Moore throws every year in Toronto. The event raises money for rare cancers and concussion charities, which both have personal ties to Moore.
Several NHL players attend to show their support for the cause, which elevates a ping pong tournament, paired with silent auctions, to raise over half a million dollars for charity. NHL players compete for ping pong supremacy in the friendly confines of the Steamwhistle Brewery, just beneath the CN Tower.
It’s the middle of the summer and there’s not a lot going on, so naturally I’m missing hockey. The longing for our beloved sport has got me ruminating lately about favorite hockey memories, lessons learned from being a fan of this team, and what hockey means to me. Along those lines I’d like to share a story as a kind of conversation starter, and because I realize that while I do spend a lot of time reflecting on statistics there’s more to the game than just numbers.
I’ll start by providing some background – I’ve always been a fan of the Rangers but throughout my young life my interest waxed and waned. In high school I was so wrapped up in academics and my dedication at the time to music that I wasn’t always as dedicated of a fan as I should’ve been. That began to change in the latter days of high school as I began to move on from things that had previously taken up most of my time. This was also the start of the Torts era – it felt like the Rangers had turned a new leaf and that this was a team you could believe in.
Last week, I proposed a somewhat scandalous suggestion, in that it doesn’t rely on either the eye test or on advanced statistics. It called upon the Rangers’ lack of enthusiasm and other intangibles that often make stats people a little upset. It’s worth a quick read prior to this post.
The majority of comments cited a need for change, that the Rangers have outrun their window to win. However, does this necessarily mean blowing up the team? From Gorton’s moves this week, it certainly looks like he’s trying to create a team to win, with prudent signings this week which will hopefully ameliorate the current core.
The draft is a great time to assess the needs of a team, to see where the front office is focusing and to guess how the team will utilize what they have and leverage their way to higher picks. It’s also a really great time to play make believe.
On Thursday, I posed a fun question to Rangers twitter: who is your dream Ranger? The one factor I threw out there is that it has to be a current player. Otherwise, we’re in total fantasy land: no cap hit, no trade issues, no restrictions. Your responses were pretty fantastic.
This week on the Blue Seat Blogs-cast we discuss the recent Yandle deal, asset management, and forecast the draft with Josh. As always you can find us right here, on iTunes, and on Soundcloud. Thanks for listening!
Happy Father’s Day, BSB nation! Before we dive into Rangers chat, I’d like to thank my dad for being a great role model and for being so supportive. Without him, I wouldn’t have a borderline corny-dad sense of humor. I would also like to wish all the dads who read us a happy Father’s Day and thanks for checking in here on your day.
Since it’s summer and, as an tax accountant, I use 110% of my brainpower from January-April, today will be a pre-draft musings. We went over this in last week’s podcast, but focused on who we think will be traded. How about focusing on not trading?
This past Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a promo event for Bauer Hockey where they showed off some stuff made with a fabric that’s apparently scientifically proven to keep athletes cooler and drier. Like a good nerd blogger I don’t actually play the game myself, but for all you beer league folks out there Bauer’s the way to go I guess. While I was there I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Chris Kreider; the transcript of our conversation can be found below.
PK: Obviously the season didn’t end the way a lot of us hoped for it to end – what’s your mindset heading into the offseason ad preparing for next season?
CK: It can kind of be a blessing in disguise, lot of time off, more than we’re used to, so we’ve got opportunity for guys to get healthy and to work on some stuff they need to work on.
This week on the Blue Seat Blogs-cast we unpack the recent Stanley Cup Final, discuss front office philosophy, and do a little trade talk. As always you can find us right here, on Soundcloud, and on iTunes.