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2018/2019 Quest for the Cup

AG74683

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GO SABRES!
I'm still salty about my boy Jeff Skinner being up in Buffalo now. Hope he has a fantastic year.

'Canes open tomorrow at home against the Islanders. They went 5-0-1 in the preseason and had a crazy goal differential. Granted it's preseason, but things look REALLY good for the longevity of the team. I suspect the Checkers will be an absolute force in the AHL this year. The roster is completely different, barely anyone from last year. Darling went down in that OT game against the 'Caps, so we picked up McElinney off waivers from Toronto. Not too hyped about Mrazek and McElinney as our starters, but it is what it is.
 

michaelskis

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I predict that the Lightning will win it all this year.

The Wings will make the playoffs but lose in the 1st round.

Buffalo will maintain their perfect record of 0 Stanley Cups.

Ovi will sober up before the puck is dropped.

Sidney Crosby will go through a difficult patch because someone ripped the signed Justin Bieber poster from his locker.

I think that the Checkers will be good, but the Griffins will be their primary competition as Zadina matures.
 

AG74683

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I predict that the Lightning will win it all this year.
I dunno, I'll be interested to see how the team plays with the loss of Stevie Y. Say what you want about GM interactions with players and the team, but he was far more instrumental in their success than any standard GM would be.

My money is on the Senators to win it all this year :lmao::lmao::lmao:. What a freaking dumpster fire they have.
 

Doohickie

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I'm still salty about my boy Jeff Skinner being up in Buffalo now. Hope he has a fantastic year.
I was pretty excited when we landed him. He always seemed to score the backbreaking goals against Buffalo; now we have him on *our* side.

The fruit may not be quite mature yet, but the Sabres are on an upswing. They have some great young talent, and even more in the AHL that will be ready in a year or two. Jason Botteril, their GM since last year, has done a massive turnover of players, keeping the top draft picks and bringing in some experienced vets. They may not start winning right away, but they should at least be more fun to watch.

The Wings will make the playoffs but lose in the 1st round.

Buffalo will maintain their perfect record of 0 Stanley Cups.
I predict that where the Sabres have recently been, the Wings will follow. Expect a few dreadful years in Hockeytown.
 

AG74683

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I was pretty excited when we landed him. He always seemed to score the backbreaking goals against Buffalo; now we have him on *our* side.

The fruit may not be quite mature yet, but the Sabres are on an upswing. They have some great young talent, and even more in the AHL that will be ready in a year or two. Jason Botteril, their GM since last year, has done a massive turnover of players, keeping the top draft picks and bringing in some experienced vets. They may not start winning right away, but they should at least be more fun to watch.
On paper, the Sabres have an excellent roster. A lot of unsung guys who typically get left behind for no reason. Okposo, Sobotka, and Sheary never get enough credit for what they add. Defense has some real promise too. Ristolainen is great, and Dahlin will be a Calder contender for sure. Goal tending looks...eh, and while the offense has good medium talent, outright scoring stars are in short supply for sure. Skinner will help in that regard I think.
 

AG74683

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Well the 'Canes opener was....eh...

Lots of positives, but they put up something like 49 SOG and managed to come away with just 1 against freaking Thomas Greiss and lose in OT. The young guys looked really good though. I was unimpressed with Justin Faulk. I've never seen a player regress so freaking much in just 2 years. I really wish we could have moved him in the off season and brought up one of our young defense-men (Fleury). Dougie Hamilton was completely unused, and he's by far the best d-man on the team. I don't understand why the hell he wasn't on the power play. Mrazek was a little uninspired at points. He plays similar to Cam Ward in that he often ends up way out of position yet somehow manages to make wild (lucky) stops.
 

michaelskis

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Well the 'Canes opener was....eh...

Lots of positives, but they put up something like 49 SOG and managed to come away with just 1 against freaking Thomas Greiss and lose in OT. The young guys looked really good though. I was unimpressed with Justin Faulk. I've never seen a player regress so freaking much in just 2 years. I really wish we could have moved him in the off season and brought up one of our young defense-men (Fleury). Dougie Hamilton was completely unused, and he's by far the best d-man on the team. I don't understand why the hell he wasn't on the power play. Mrazek was a little uninspired at points. He plays similar to Cam Ward in that he often ends up way out of position yet somehow manages to make wild (lucky) stops.
I listened to the Wings online and watched the Cains. It was nice to see them tie it up at the end of the 3rd with a 6th attacker on the ice. Mrazek is a bit of a flashback as we watched him when he was in Grand Rapids. He has rare moments where he is a freaking wall... last night was not one of those moments.
 

AG74683

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Mrazek is a bit of a flashback as we watched him when he was in Grand Rapids. He has rare moments where he is a freaking wall... last night was not one of those moments.
Honestly, he wasn't THAT bad. IMO both goals the Islanders scored were mostly off of defensive zone turnovers. He just has unpredictable positioning and tends to come out of the crease a lot, similar to Cam Ward. I dunno where that potent offense went, but it looked pretty anemic. Jordan Staal was easily the best player on the ice for the 'Canes, but everyone had a solid game. Aho had some great defensive plays, he'll be a great 1C two way forward.

I'm not really that pessimistic yet. An overtime loss still gets us a point. Tonight will be telling though. The Jackets aren't anything to mess with.
 

kjel

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Tomorrow my Devils play the Oilers in their first game of the season....in Sweden.

I fell bad because Jesper Bratt who is from Sweden and set to play managed to fracture his jaw yesterday at practice and is now in IR. Surprisingly the Devils extended a one year offer to Drew Stafford who played last year but was seemingly cut from camp a few weeks ago. Likely to replace Bratt and to fill the holes created by injuries.

Schneider is still on IR so the Devils are starting the season out with Keith Kinkaid. He's been very streaky but held up at the back end of last season. Guess we will see.

I am kinda pissed I don't get to go to the home opener, but I have tickets for all the weekend games so I'm happy.
 

AG74683

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Holy CRAP was that a hockey game yesterday!

'Canes battled back against the Rangers and ended up winning 8-5. It was as wild as you can get. The post game celebration was something I've never seen before. Freaking awesome stuff happening in Raleigh right now.
 

kjel

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Holy CRAP was that a hockey game yesterday!

'Canes battled back against the Rangers and ended up winning 8-5. It was as wild as you can get. The post game celebration was something I've never seen before. Freaking awesome stuff happening in Raleigh right now.
In other news...Rangers suck :)

Rangers fans are the worst.
 

AG74683

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'Canes win again! 5-3 over the Canucks. Offense is better than anything they've ever had, and it's all coming from the young talent, guys who haven't even begun to peak yet. Defense is an issue, but I think it's just guys adapting to a much faster, more offensively involved game. Rod finally gave Fleury the nod last night and he did well, definite improvement over Trevor Van Riemsdyk, who has struggled so far. Goaltending will continue to be a big issue. I wasn't impressed with Mrazek's debut, and Curtis McElhinney has actually been pretty serviceable. I think he might be a better fit for the team anyways, seems to have a much better personality.
 

Bubba

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I miss having the Thrashers in Atlanta. Sure, they had arguably the worst ownership group in the history of the NHL, which was reflected in the mismanagement of pretty much everything related to hockey operations, but the games were a lot of fun to attend.
 

Doohickie

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So for the first time in more than five and a half years, the Buffalo Sabres are over .500. Granted, they're only 3 games into the season, but I'll take what I can get.

Thus far, 1st overall pick Rasmus Dahlin has been fun to watch. He's a wisp of an 18-year-old but he's got a great head for the game, can shake and bake with the best of them, and can deliver a stout check when necessary. And his defensive partner, Jake McCabe, is playing the best hockey of his 4 year career next to Dahlin.

They play the Colorado Avalanche Thursday; let's hope their winning streak continues.

...and the puck stayed out.

 

Gedunker

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In other news...Rangers suck :)

Rangers fans are the worst.
Back in my day, the Broad Street Bullies sucked and their fans put Rangers fans to shame by a country mile.

Go Devils!:6::6::6:
 

Planit

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Watching a bit of the game last night, I noticed that the advert on the boards in front of the penalty box is Bud Light Pit of Misery.

Dilly-Dilly I guess.
 

kjel

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Back in my day, the Broad Street Bullies sucked and their fans put Rangers fans to shame by a country mile.

Go Devils!:6::6::6:
Way more Rangers fans come to Prudential Center (Devils moved to Newark in 2007) than Flyers fans so I'm sure my view is a bit skewed. I do know that Rangers fans will pay double for my tickets at resale though :D

Tonight is the home opener, I will be watching at home because I have a weekend season package.
 

Doohickie

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Watching a bit of the game last night, I noticed that the advert on the boards in front of the penalty box is Bud Light Pit of Misery.

Dilly-Dilly I guess.
Yep. I'm not a fan of that whole ad campaign but I can't argue the appropriateness of that sponsorship.
 

Doohickie

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Crashing back to reality: The Sabres got whooped 6-1 last night by the Avs. I know they're still building the team, but I want to see some Ws. It's only made worse by the team up the street, the Maple Leaves, who are scoring like crazy. So jealous.
 

michaelskis

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I predict that where the Sabres have recently been, the Wings will follow. Expect a few dreadful years in Hockeytown.
Base on the start of the season, I fear that you are correct and that it is the return of the "Dead Things" era... that is until they hire Stevie Y to take over for Kenny Holland.
 

AG74683

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Crashing back to reality: The Sabres got whooped 6-1 last night by the Avs. I know they're still building the team, but I want to see some Ws. It's only made worse by the team up the street, the Maple Leaves, who are scoring like crazy. So jealous.
'Canes got their first lost in regulation last night as well. 3-1 against the Jets (2-1 really, the last goal was just an EN). The Jets are easily one of the best teams in the west, and we held them until the last minute with what essentially amounts to a backup goalie no one else wanted (Mrazek). It was also the second of a back to back that went to OT, so it's an understandable loss. Mrazek did okay, was out of position on one for sure. Defense tightened up a bit, which was good. I honestly didn't watch too much of it, it was on my tablet streaming but I was doing other things.
 

Doohickie

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The Sabres managed to dispatch the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night. That should come as no surprise; it appears that the Yotes are bottom-dwellers again this year, so nothing to get too excited about, but still some encouraging points:
. Young backup Linus Ullmark got his first career shutout on 36 shots.
. #1 Pick rookie defenseman Rasmus Dahlin scored his first NHL goal on a heady play where he passed to left wing Jeff Skinner who got in all alone on goal, but was too deep to get a good shot off; he banged it off the side of the net and it came out front for an easy tip-in for Dahline who had joined the rush.
. Speaking of Skinner, he eventually did score his first as a Sabre in the 3rd period on a play where caught up with an aerial pass behind the Arizona defense.
. Our other left wing acquisition, Connor Sheary, continues to be the perfect fit for the Eichel/Reinhart line. They're especially deadly on the power play. Jack Eichel is our top forward, but Sam Reinhart is playing very well alongside him... kind of like a Kane-and-Toews situation.
 

kjel

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Game #1 Devils vs Oilers (in Sweden) 5-2, solid game.
Game #2 Devils vs Capitals 6-0. Total domination by the Devils from the get go. Caps were slow and unorganized, people were wondering if Ovi had retired. To be fair the Caps played their backup goalie. He couldn't hang.

Game #3 Devils vs Shark 3-2. I went to this game yesterday and the the 1st and 2nd period was lackluster and the Sharks came to play. Devils managed to draw a lot of penalties so the Sharks had tallied 14 minutes in the box when it was all said and done. The Devils power play needs a lot of work but the penalty kill was solid and came in clutch during the last minutes of the 3rd period which is when they finally got it together. Still a win.

Kyle Palmieri has scored two goals in each of the 3 games which is great to see. He grew up in NJ and is a fan favorite.
 

AG74683

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'Canes dropped another to the Lightening 4-2 (last goal was an EN, so 3-2 really). Not a bad game, but their special teams just keeps getting worse. They probably have the worst PP and PK in the league right now.

I don't know how any goalie can play in Tampa. The dark blue of those seats makes the whole arena look dark, I have no idea how they see the puck.
 

Doohickie

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The Sabres came out of their 5-game west coast swing with a winning record. After shutting out the Coyotes, they dropped two in a row to Vegas and San Jose. Coach Phil Housley then shook up all the offense and defensive lines and they then won two in a row against the LA Kings and Anaheim. The Sabres 9th game of the season against the Ducks was the first Sabres game this season with a tying goal and a lead change; the Sabres seemed to be outplaying Anaheim most of the game but halfway through found themselves down 2-0. They scored two quick goals at the end of the second to tie it 2-2, then cashed in on a powerplay in the third to go ahead, and added a late empty net goal after Anaheim almost tied it. It was a good way to end the trip.

Now they're off until Thursday. Ho hum.
 

kjel

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Devils dropped a pair of losses to the Avs and Flyers. The Avs game was a pretty even matchup, both teams played decently but it's on of those games where the little things count. The Flyers game was sloppy and ugly. Zajac was out due to injury and his absence was noted because the Devils sucked on the faceoff. Devils took a lot of unnecessary penalties as well.
 

AG74683

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The Sabres came out of their 5-game west coast swing with a winning record. After shutting out the Coyotes, they dropped two in a row to Vegas and San Jose. Coach Phil Housley then shook up all the offense and defensive lines and they then won two in a row against the LA Kings and Anaheim. The Sabres 9th game of the season against the Ducks was the first Sabres game this season with a tying goal and a lead change; the Sabres seemed to be outplaying Anaheim most of the game but halfway through found themselves down 2-0. They scored two quick goals at the end of the second to tie it 2-2, then cashed in on a powerplay in the third to go ahead, and added a late empty net goal after Anaheim almost tied it. It was a good way to end the trip.

Now they're off until Thursday. Ho hum.
Looks like Skinner is getting settled in Buffalo! When he's happy, he's gonna be good. I saw a picture of him on Instagram at the Lakers game with a few players, notably Dahlin, which I thought was pretty cool.

'Canes righted the ship a bit with a win in Detroit 3-1 (2-1 really, last was an EN). Special teams looked MUCH better, scoring on 2 of 3 power plays. PK managed to stop all 4 against them. We are in the bottom of the league on PK with a 70% kill which is atrocious.
 

kjel

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Amanda Stein is the Devils reporter and she's all kinds of awesome. She was Tweeting from yesterday's practice....

"We are nearly 40 minutes into practice and it's just been drills, drills, drills. No line combinations/pairing work yet."
"This is the most unforgiving practice I have seen John Hynes run over my tenure."
"#NJDevils now skating laps in groups of five"
"Update: They're still skating laps."
"John Hynes just said if one group takes more than 12 seconds to skate the lap, everyone has to go again. Otherwise, laps are over."
"Three groups were 12 seconds flat. One group skated in 11 seconds. #NJDevils Hynes wrapping up practice now."
"Practice lasted roughly 1 hour 15 minutes. Maybe about 30 seconds between each drill."

And John Hynes said about himself and the coaching staff, "“We have to do a better job as coaches. We looked in the mirror yesterday & had one of those types of days today. We showed some pointed video clips to the players of the mental things we know we should do [...] And then it’s on the players to get up & go."

Devils take on the Preds on Thursday 8-!.
 

michaelskis

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Last night while watching the Wings / Cains game, the commentators were commenting that the Stanley Cup might be the grandest trophy in all professional sports. I agree 100%

Having said that, the Red Wings have a zero percent chance of winning it this year. Given how they are playing, I don't see them making it to the payoffs and anticipate them winning 10 games total.
 

Doohickie

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Looks like Skinner is getting settled in Buffalo! When he's happy, he's gonna be good. I saw a picture of him on Instagram at the Lakers game with a few players, notably Dahlin, which I thought was pretty cool.
The hope is that with the infusion of Skinner, Dahlin, Sheary, etc., the expectations have changed. The Sabres are no longer waiting for additional pieces (well, you can always use more talent), rather they are coming into "win now" mode, and if that's the expectation of the players, then the team culture has changed for the better. Skinner in particular seems to have a fire in his heart for the game; he's very intense. Part of the reason they traded Ryan O'Reilly was that he famously said in an interview that all the losing made him lose his passion for the game and following that he became the poster boy for the losing culture in Buffalo. He's still a very good player (and it looks like he's off to a good start with the Blues) but there was something about his manner that just didn't jive with a very young, rebuilding team. Trading him cleared the deck for Jack Eichel to take over the captaincy (they'd been using all As, and no C), and that seems to have spurred Jack's development.

Bringing Skinner in has given Eichel a very speedy, high-skill guy that plays the game as fast as he does, something that was lacking. They started out on the same line but it didn't click at first so they were broken up. Following the two losses on the road trip they shook up the lines again and put Jack and Jeff back together, but with a different right wing (veteran Jason Pominville replacing the younger Sam Reinhart) and now it's all clicking. Pommer is the smart, cagey veteran who grounds line which allows Skinner and Eichel to create.

One concern is secondary scoring; the last couple games improved on that front, but there is still room for improvement there. Having three full days off between games might be an issue; they were just starting to build momentum and now they're just sitting around waiting for the next game.

Last night while watching the Wings / Cains game, the commentators were commenting that the Stanley Cup might be the grandest trophy in all professional sports. I agree 100%

Having said that, the Red Wings have a zero percent chance of winning it this year. Given how they are playing, I don't see them making it to the payoffs and anticipate them winning 10 games total.
Lose for Hughes! (Tanking is more fun if you have a slogan.)
 

Doohickie

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And.... the Sabres won again. Three in a row! They're starting to look like an actual team for the first time in about 7 years. It was a good home game Thursday night: The Sabres allowed the Canadiens to score early, then tied it; Habs went up again, Sabres tied it. The Sabres fell behind a third time, and tied it up again. Then they scored the winning goal on a power play with about a minute left in regulation. It was the best Buffalo Sabres game I've seen in years.
 

Planit

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I read today about the Arby's promotion with the Red Wings. Essentially it was for free curly fries when a Wings player scores a hat trick.

Today Arby's revised their promotion due to no hat tricks being scored. Now you'll get free curly fries whenever the Wings (as a team) scores 3 goals in a game.

Ouch!:-c8-!:lmao:
 

AG74683

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I read today about the Arby's promotion with the Red Wings. Essentially it was for free curly fries when a Wings player scores a hat trick.

Today Arby's revised their promotion due to no hat tricks being scored. Now you'll get free curly fries whenever the Wings (as a team) scores 3 goals in a game.

Ouch!:-c8-!:lmao:
That promotion was kinda dumb to begin with. Hat tricks aren't exactly all that common, being an average of anywhere from 70 - 75 a year league wide. Considering that's across 31 team, that's anywhere from roughly 2-3 hat tricks per team, per year (which of course doesn't happen equally across the board).
 

kjel

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Devils had a FUGLY game in Tampa Bay. I think the Lightning could go all the way this year.
 

Doohickie

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The Sabres are really racking up the points now. When they won their ninth straight game Saturday they were in 1st place in the NHL. Other teams have played since then and they've slipped down to 3rd, but just a point behind Nashville and Tampa Bay, both of which they play in the next week. This streak can't go on forever, but they seem to be pulling out these close games lately.

The team is really coming together. The chemistry between Eichel and Skinner is the big story, but contributions are coming from all the forward lines and the defense too, and goaltending has been lights out. Not all the games are pretty; they just win, baby.
 

michaelskis

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The wings.......






Fuck... I will be happy if they don’t finish last. It is time for a new GM. One that spent some time in the FL sun.



Canes are doing OK, the Islanders show how important a good coach is, and the Caps show how important a good captain is.
 

AG74683

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The team is really coming together. The chemistry between Eichel and Skinner is the big story, but contributions are coming from all the forward lines and the defense too, and goaltending has been lights out. Not all the games are pretty; they just win, baby.
Good for Skinner! A lot of 'Canes fans are griping about the trade now, but he wouldn't have been very effective staying with our team. I mean maybe he'd have some chemistry with Svech, but I doubt it.

Canes are doing OK, the Islanders show how important a good coach is, and the Caps show how important a good captain is.
Meh, I dunno if the 'Canes are doing "ok". Goaltending is still a total nightmare. Darling is worthless, both because he can't stop a bag of pucks, and because the team just gives up with him in net. There is a noticeable difference in how the team plays in front of Mrazek or McElhinney vs. how they play with Darling in net. McElinney needs to be considered as the starter from here on out. Rod Brind'Amour needs to work on his transition from player to head coach. Throwing your team under the bus is one thing, but making off handed remarks clearly directed at specific players to the media is another. I've never been a fan of that and don't think it really encourages those guys to play any better.
 

kjel

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If you've seen the Devils defense please let them know you've found them!

Not a terrible game against Florida last night, but it wasn't a great one either. Still have yet to win in OT this season.
 

michaelskis

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So do you think it will be the Seattle Metropolitans like the 1917 team? Or will they be the Fishmongers?

I am less angry with northern Cities getting NHL teams, but here comes another round of poaching. Sad thing is Vegas does not need to worry about it for this round.
 

AG74683

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So do you think it will be the Seattle Metropolitans like the 1917 team? Or will they be the Fishmongers?

I am less angry with northern Cities getting NHL teams, but here comes another round of poaching. Sad thing is Vegas does not need to worry about it for this round.
I want the Seattle Slammin' Salmon.
 

Planit

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So do you think it will be the Seattle Metropolitans like the 1917 team? Or will they be the Fishmongers?

I am less angry with northern Cities getting NHL teams, but here comes another round of poaching. Sad thing is Vegas does not need to worry about it for this round.
I want the Seattle Slammin' Salmon.
ESPN has a story about the naming & uniform contest.

My favorite: Seattle Sushi

http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/25440967/uni-watch-delivers-winning-entries-seattle-nhl-design-contest
 

kjel

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It was nice waking up to see the Devils finally got a road win. 6-3 against the Kings. I'm sure we'll get cremated on Sunday in Anaheim and Monday in San Jose.
 

michaelskis

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Personally, I think the NHL could use some contraction, starting with getting rid of the franchises in Calgary and Winnipeg. :p
:-{ :-@

I agree with contraction.... but shut your mouth! Let's start with teams that are the furthest south and work our way north.

Think about it for a moment... there are two NHL teams in FL... and none in Wisconsin or Maine!
 

AG74683

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:-{ :-@

I agree with contraction.... but shut your mouth! Let's start with teams that are the furthest south and work our way north.

Think about it for a moment... there are two NHL teams in FL... and none in Wisconsin or Maine!
Wisconsin does have the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL and they do really well in terms of attendance. I still don't get why Wisconsin hasn't even been considered for an NHL team.

I don't think the NHL needs contraction, I think the expansion has been very good for the league. I mean Vegas broke all sorts of records last season in terms of attendance. I think Canada needs a few more teams, starting with Quebec City. Then London and maybe Saskatoon or Regina. Houston or San Antonio should be the next US city to get an NHL team. I'm a little worried that Tom Dundon might end up moving the 'Canes to Houston since that's where he is from. IIRC, he can't move the team for at least 10 years though.
 

michaelskis

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Wisconsin does have the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL and they do really well in terms of attendance. I still don't get why Wisconsin hasn't even been considered for an NHL team.

I don't think the NHL needs contraction, I think the expansion has been very good for the league. I mean Vegas broke all sorts of records last season in terms of attendance. I think Canada needs a few more teams, starting with Quebec City. Then London and maybe Saskatoon or Regina. Houston or San Antonio should be the next US city to get an NHL team. I'm a little worried that Tom Dundon might end up moving the '[STRIKEOUT]Canes[/STRIKEOUT] Hartford Whalers to Houston since that's where he is from. IIRC, he can't move the team for at least 10 years though.
There... I fixed that for you...



I was impressed by the way the Wings played last night... until the 3rd period.
 
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