Monday, August 30, 2010

25:19 week 5: Pressure, guilty thoughts, moving stories and more

Welcome to 25:19, a feature that will run every Monday for 19 (duh!) weeks. Every week I will make 5 (Nick) lists, with 5 (number of rings Nick will retire with) points on each list. Thus having 25 (DMac) points in total every week. The lists will be random hockey stuff, some rankings, other in random order. Some will be opinions, others humour. I will leave it to you judge what is what. Hopefully you will find it entertaining and/or provoking enough to leave your ideas on things I missed and what I did wrong in the comments.

1. Five players who need to perform this season
- Sam Gagner - Showed Oilers fans so much as a rookie and nothing since.
- Taylor Hall - Has to prove his worth as a first pick, by outplaying Tyler Seguin. Hall will be asked to carry a lot of production, with bad players around him. Seguin will be asked for less, with great players around him. Pressure is on Hall and odds are firmly stacked against him.
- Jiri Hudler - Bolting in the worst way possible to KHL for money and then coming back on his knees with some bad rumours around him. Needs to win us back over.
- Jonathan Ericsson - Needs to prove it was a sophomore slumb, not a rookie luckout.
- Ilya Kovalchuk - After all this mess, hype and attention, the guy has something to live up to, don't you say?

2. Five phrases I never wanna hear on an NHL broadcast again
- Driiiiive
- Edzo
- Monster
- And the Chicago Blackhawks are the Sta... nope.. can't get myself to write that.
- Lindström

3. Five things I look forward to this season
- Seeing the United Center half empty in March.
- The relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes (a guy can dream)
- Number 12
- The extinction of the species known as Hawks fans.
- Nick's 7th Lidström trophy

4. Five hockey thoughts I feel guilty about having
- Joe Sakic was a damn amazing hockey player.
- I still like Michael Nylander, even AFTER Chicago.
- I kinda like the Philadelphia Flyers (minus Pronger of course)
- I enjoy to see two guys fight like animals (but only if there is a reason for the fight)
- The joy of every other team losing, looking up to us and hating u... no wait a second, not guilty at all. Just proud.

5. Five hockey stories that move me to tears
- Darren McCarty - Gutsed his way into the NHL, got it all, fell to abuse, but came back for one final victory.
- The 98 cup win - The way the team gathered and fought for Vlad was true beauty.
- The Theo Fleury story - Think that guy battled a little to get to where he got?
- Mario's return - Yeah, I loved watching reruns of late 80s, early 90s Pens games as a kid, though I wasn't a Pens fan. I loved Mario, both his returns were amazing. Today's Mario can choke on a big fat cucumber though.
- The Sharks playoff history - Tears of laughter

Eye candy
Yes I know she is a shitty person, but wow...



For the Helmophiles out there

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Fight Night prediction contest.

Update: The prize will be a $15 online gift certificate to the NHL.com store

Update 2: The deadline for this contest is game time of the Ducks game. Which is Friday at 7:30 PM ET. All entries emailed to me (puppetz4ever[at]hotmail.com) of left in the comments here before that time are accepted into the contest

So, I am predicting a lot of stats for this season in the season previews. And I feel pretty sure I'm gonna look stupid when we look at them after the season. So I want you people to look stupid with me! So what I want is that you predict a few stats too.

I will take a look at the predictions after the season, give you points for mistakes and the one with the least points will win a prize of some sort which will be announced later.


What I want you to is to predict the following in the comments:


For each goalie
Number of starts, number of wins, GAA, save percentage and shutouts. (I will calculate you predicted win %)

It will be scored like this:
Differential between predicted and actual number of starts: 1 point per start
Differential between predicted and actual number of wins: 3 points per win
Differential between predicted and actual win %: 2 points per 5%
Differential between predicted and actual GAA: 2 points per .05
Differential between predicted and actual save %: 2 points per .001
Differential between predicted and actual number of shutouts: 1 point per SO

For each skater
Games played, goals, assists. (I will calculate your predicted points per game)

It will be scored like this:
Differential between predicted and actual number of games played: 0,25 points per game
Differential between predicted and actual number of goals: 1 point per goal
Differential between predicted and actual number of assists: 1 point per assist
Differential between predicted and actual point per game: 2 points per .05

So to repeat, least points = winner.

I think this will take some time for you to guess, so do it over time in a word document, maybe at the same pace as I do the previews or just do it now.

I need your submissions BEFORE the season opener at the latest.

You can submit your predictions in the comments or to me per email at puppetz4ever at hotmail.com.

Below are the players I want you to submit your predictions for. I will update the list with my predictions as the previews come along and link to each preview. And below that again, I will put up YOUR predictions as they arrive.

Roster and my predictions

Goalies
Jimmy Howard 58 starts, 40 wins, 2.31 GAA, .917 save %, 5 SO, 0.69 win %
Chris Osgood 24 starts, 13 wins, 2.58 GAA, .906 save %, 1 SO, 0,54 win %

Skaters
Nicklas Lidstrom 77 GP, 12 G, 53 A, 0.884 pts per game
Brian Rafalski 78 GP, 9 G, 42 A, .0654 pts per game
Brad Stuart 82 GP, 3 G, 20 A, .28 pts per game
Niklas Kronwall 61 GP, 10 G, 34 A, .72 pts per game
Jonathan Ericsson 70 GP, 7 G, 18 A, .36 PPG
Ruslan Salei 72 GP, 1 G, 14 A, .21 PPG
Derek Meech Hahahahahahahaha
Brendan Smith 10 GP, 2 G, 4 A, .66 PPG
Jakub Kindl 32 GP, 2 G, 9 A, .34 PPG
Doug Janik 10 GP, 0 G, 3 A, .30 PPG

Henrik Zetterberg 75 GP, 41 G, 50 A, 1.29 PPG
Pavel Datsyuk 78 GP, 34 G, 70 A, 1.33 PPG
Tomas Holmstrom 66 GP, 23 G, 21 A, .67 PPG
Todd Bertuzzi 82 GP, 20 G, 28 A, .59
Valtteri Filppula 79 GP, 22 G, 44 A, .84 PPG
Johan Franzen 76 GP, 43 G, 30 A, .96 PPG
Dan Cleary 74 GP, 20 G, 18 A, .51 PPG
Mike Modano 72 GP, 14 G, 30 A, .61 PPG
Jiri Hudler 82 GP, 32 G, 30 A, .76 PPG
Justin Abdelkader 75 GP, 3 G, 9 A, .16 PPG
Darren Helm 80 GP, 12 G, 16 A, .35 PPG
Patrick Eaves 67 GP, 15 G, 12 A, .40 PPG
Drew Miller 41 GP, 5 G, 9 A, .34 PPG
Kris Draper 34 GP, 1 G, 5 A, .18 PPG
Tomas Tatar 3 GP, 0 G, 1 A, .33 PPG

Reader predictions

Michael Petrella of the new and improved Production line (check it out, it is sweet) comes through with the first prediction, remind me of Doug Janik and takes a dig at me with his Bertuzzi prediction. I like that his prediction includes 51 wins. Here are his predictions (win and PPG calculated by me):

:: Howard: 60 starts, 39 wins, 2.56 GAA, .914 sv%, 4 SO, .65 win %
:: Osgood: 22 starts, 12 wins, 2.87 GAA, .899 sv%, 0 SO, .55 win %

:: Lidstrom: 81 GP, 16 G, 56 A, .89 PPG
:: Rafalski: 78 GP, 17 G, 49 A, .85 PPG
:: Kronwall: 55 GP, 11 G, 31 A, .76 PPG
:: Stuart: 80 GP, 4 G, 18 A, .28 PPG
:: Ericsson: 60 GP, 8 G, 18 A, .43 PPG
:: Salei: 65 GP, 2 G, 9 A, .17 PPG
:: Meech: 0 GP (in Detroit)
:: Smith: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A, .00 PPG
:: Kindl: 30 GP, 4 G, 11 A, .50 PPG
:: JANIK FTW!: 6 GP, 1 G, 1 A, .33 PPG

:: Zetterberg: 80 GP, 40 G, 48 A, 1.10 PPG
:: Datsyuk: 82 GP, 38 G, 61 A, 1.21 PPG
:: Holmstrom: 70 GP, 25 G, 18 A .61 PPG
:: Bertuzzi: 81 GP, 19 G (HA!), 24 A, .53 PPG
:: Filppula: 81 GP, 21 G, 22 A, .53 PPG
:: Franzen: 74 GP, 34 G, 31 A, .88 PPG
:: Cleary: 68 GP, 14 G, 18 A, .47 PPG
:: Modano: 61 GP, 16 G, 20 A, .59 PPG
:: Hudler: 78 GP, 25 G, 36 A, .78 PPG
:: Abdelkader: 55 GP, 6 G, 8 A, .25 PPG
:: Helm: 75 GP, 12 G, 10 A, .29 PPG
:: Eaves: 65 GP, 17 G, 19 A, .55 PPG
:: Miller: 45 GP, 9 G, 7 A, .36 PPG
:: Draper: 41 GP, 2 G, 7 A, .22 PPG
:: Ritola: 6 GP, 1 G, 1 A, .33 PPG


My man Liam Hart from the excellent new Babcock's Fly Hair chimed in second with these predictions. Like Petrella he predicts 51 wins. We seem to be a positive crowd.

:: Howard: 62 starts, 40 wins, 2.30 GAA, .913 sv%, 6 SO, .65 win %
:: Osgood: 20 starts, 11 wins, 2.59 GAA, .900 sv%, 1 SO, .55 win %

:: Lidstrom: 78 GP, 12 G, 49 A, .78 PPG
:: Rafalski: 76 GP, 11 G, 40 A, .67 PPG
:: Kronwall: 66 GP, 8 G, 31 A, .59 PPG
:: Stuart: 80 GP, 6 G, 20 A, .33 PPG
:: Ericsson: 68 GP, 8 G, 15 A, .34 PPG
:: Salei: 72 GP, 2 G, 11 A, .18 PPG
:: Meech: Bye
:: Smith: 5 GP, 1 G, 2 A, .60 PPG
:: Kindl: 29 GP, 3 G, 9 A, .31 PPG
:: Janik: 4 GP, 0 G, 1 A, .25 PPG

:: Zetterberg: 76 GP, 33 G, 49 A, 1.08 PPG
:: Datsyuk: 81 GP, 31 G, 60 A, 1.12 PPG
:: Holmstrom: 75 GP, 25 G, 19 A, .59 PPG
:: Bertuzzi: 77 GP, 17 G, 26 A, .56 PPG
:: Filppula: 81 GP, 20 G, 42 A, .77 PPG
:: Franzen: 76 GP, 37 G, 32 A, .91 PPG
:: Cleary: 78 GP, 17 G, 20 A, .47 PPG
:: Modano: 75 GP, 21 G, 25 A, .61 PPG
:: Hudler: 78 GP, 26 G, 37 A, .81 PPG
:: Abdelkader: 60 GP, 7 G, 10 A, .28 PPG
:: Helm: 74 GP, 11 G, 11 A, .30 PPG
:: Eaves: 72 GP, 14 G, 15 A, .40 PPG
:: Miller: 40 GP, 7 G, 9 A, .40 PPG
:: Draper: 45 GP, 3 G, 6 A, .20 PPG
:: Ritola: 7 GP, 1 G, 3 A, .57 PPG


Our long lost buddy Bradley, aka. Corpuscavernosa (hey, it's almost hockey season dude, come back to Twitter!) chimes in with another optimistic prediction including 53 wins. Glad someone agrees with me.

:: Howard: 57 starts, 39 wins, 2.39 GAA, .925 sv%, 5 SO, .68 win %
:: Osgood: 25 starts, 14 wins, 2.44 GAA, .910 sv%, 2 SO, .56 win %

:: Lidstrom: 82 GP, 15 G, 49 A, .78 PPG
:: Rafalski: 74 GP, 12 G, 43 A, .74 PPG
:: Kronwall: 59 GP, 10 G, 29 A, .66 PPG
:: Stuart: 82 GP, 9 G, 21 A, .37 PPG
:: Ericsson: 79 GP, 14 G, 17 A, .39 PPG
:: Salei: 72 GP, 2 G, 11 A, .18 PPG
:: Meech: Peaced Out
:: Smith: 6 GP, 2 G, 2 A, .67 PPG
:: Kindl: 22 GP, 2 G, 7 A, .41 PPG
:: Janik: 3 GP, 0 G, 2 A, .67 PPG

:: Zetterberg: 74 GP, 37 G, 51 A, 1.19 PPG
:: Datsyuk: 82 GP, 34 G, 70 A, 1.27 PPG
:: Holmstrom: 70 GP, 24 G, 20 A, .63 PPG
:: Bertuzzi: 79 GP, 23 G, 27 A, .63 PPG
:: Filppula: 74 GP, 23 G, 45 A, .92 PPG
:: Franzen: 74 GP, 40 G, 31 A, .96 PPG
:: Cleary: 72 GP, 17 G, 21 A, .53 PPG
:: Modano: 70 GP, 20 G, 33 A, .76 PPG
:: Hudler: 81 GP, 29 G, 36 A, .80 PPG
:: Abdelkader: 77 GP, 8 G, 13 A, .27 PPG
:: Helm: 78 GP, 16 G, 16 A, .41 PPG
:: Eaves: 72 GP, 12 G, 16 A, .39 PPG
:: Miller: 46 GP, 9 G, 13 A, .48 PPG
:: Draper: 40 GP, 4 G, 8 A, .30 PPG
:: Ritola: 12 GP, 2 G, 4 A, .50 PPG


My man Topher, known as @Topher78916 on Twitter came through with another exciting set of predictions, predicting 52 wins and a Vezina worty season for Jimmah if we go by the numbers and some Kirk Maltby action.

::Jimmy Howard: 60 Starts, 41 wins, 2.27 GGA, .925 Save%, 9 SO, .68 win %
::Chris Osgood: 22 Starts, 11 wins, 2.30 GGA, .895 Save%, 1 SO, .50 win %

::Nicklas Lidstrom 75 GP 15 G 50 A, .87 PPG
::Brian Rafalski 76 GP 13 G 39 A, .68 PPG
::Brad Stuart 80 GP 6 GP 20 A, .33 PPG
::Niklas Kronwall 69 GP 9 G 35 A, .64 PPG
::Jonathan Ericsson 59 GP 7 G 15 A, .37 PPG
::Ruslan Salei 67 GP 4 G 7 A, .16 PPG
::Derek Meech MIA (Detroit)
::Brendan Smith 2 GP 1 G 2 A, 1.5 PPG
::Jakub Kindl 32 GP 4 G 11 A, .47 PPG
::Doug Janik 18 GP 3 G 6 A, .50 PPG

::Henrik Zetterberg 77 GP 37 G 52 A, 1.16 PPG
::Pavel Datsyuk 80 GP 45 G 58 A, 1.29 PPG
::Tomas Holmstrom 74 GP 29 G 21 A, .68 PPG
::Todd Bertuzzi 81 GP 22 G 27 A, .60 PPG
::Valtteri Filppula 79 GP 20 G 35 A, .70 PPG
::Johan Franzen 72 GP 40 G 28 A, .94 PPG
::Dan Cleary 66 GP 19 G 24 A, .65 PPG
::Mike Modano 67 GP 22 G 30 A, .78 PPG
::Jiri Hudler 80 GP 20 G 31 A, .64 PPG
::Justin Abdelkader 58 GP 8 G 6 A, .24 PPG
::Darren Helm 71 GP 15 G 14 A, .41 PPG
::Patrick Eaves 69 GP 15 G 15 A, .44 PPG
::Drew Miller 45 GP 11 G 10 A, .47 PPG
::Kris Draper 43 GP 5 G 9 A, .33 PPG
::Mattias Ritola 6 GP 3 G 2 A, .83 PPG
::Kirk Maltby 20 GP 4 G 2 A, .30 PPG


My good friend Sara of the awesome Red Wings photo blog A Neuie Perspective came through with another set of predictions. It has 50 wins for the Wings, but does include some early season slumping for Jimmah. Let's take a look, take-a-lookers:

:: Howard: 48 starts, 29 wins, 2.51 GAA, .910 sv%, 5 SO, .60 win %
:: Osgood: 34 starts, 21 wins, 2.51 GAA, .908 sv%, 1 SO, .62 win %

:: Lidstrom: 80 GP, 15 G, 44 A, .74 PPG
:: Rafalski: 78 GP, 9 G, 41 A, .64 PPG
:: Kronwall: 63 GP, 7 G, 33 A, .63 PPG
:: Stuart: 79 GP, 5 G, 20 A, .32 PPG
:: Ericsson: 71 GP, 4 G, 13 A, .24 PPG
:: Salei: 68 GP, 3 G, 16 A, .28 PPG
:: Meech: Sorry
:: Smith: 4 GP, 0 G, 1 A, .25 PPG
:: Kindl: 41 GP, 2 G, 16 A, .44 PPG
:: JANIK: 8 GP, 0 G, 2 A, .25 PPG

:: Zetterberg: 77 GP, 35 G, 46 A, 1.05 PPG
:: Datsyuk: 81 GP, 32 G, 59 A, 1.12 PPG
:: Holmstrom: 71 GP, 21 G, 22 A, .61 PPG
:: Bertuzzi: 79 GP, 16 G, 27 A, .54 PPG
:: Filppula: 80 GP, 21 G, 34 A, .69 PPG
:: Franzen: 74 GP, 33 G, 27 A, .81 PPG
:: Cleary: 71 GP, 18 G, 20 A, .54 PPG
:: Modano: 77 GP, 14 G, 25 A, .51 PPG
:: Hudler: 80 GP, 25 G, 30 A, .69 PPG
:: Abdelkader: 66 GP, 6 G, 8 A, .21 PPG
:: Helm: 72 GP, 12 G, 18 A, .42 PPG
:: Eaves: 68 GP, 15 G, 10 A, .37 PPG
:: Miller: 36 GP, 5 G, 6 A, .31 PPG
:: Draper: 41 GP, 4 G, 10 A, .34 PPG
:: Ritola: 9 GP, 1 G, 4 A, .56 PPG
:: Maltby: 2 GP, 0 G, 1 A, .50 PPG

From Twitter, Keith Dotson (@KeithDotson of the blog Hackerphish pipes in with a very interesting set of predictions. He predicts 124 points which would have the Wings 1st in the Central, 2nd in the West and 3rd in the NHL in his opinion. And it seems he expects the Larsson to rejoin the fold and get a game. Also interesting to finally see a prediction keeping Meech as a Red Wing. So let's take a look, shall we.


Goalies
Howard: 59 Starts, 2.76 GAA, .934 Save %, 4 SO, W-L 48-11 (6 Reg 5 OT), .81 win %
Osgood: 22 Starts, 3.13 GAA, .907 Save %, 2 SO, W-L 8-14 (7 Reg, 7 OT), .36 win %
Larsson: 1 Start, 3.99 GAA, .858 Save %, 0 SO, W-L 0-1, .00 win %

Players GP-G-A
Abdelkader 60-8-11, .32 PPG
Bertuzzi 74-14-22, .49 PPG
Cleary 71-20-21, .58 PPG
Datsyuk 82-31-55, 1.05 PPG
Draper 65-8-8, .25 PPG
Eaves 66-10-11, .32 PPG
Ericsson 79-5-6, .14 PPG
Filppula 76-19-30, .64 PPG
Franzen 55-21-15, .65 PPG
Helm 70-25-19, .63 PPG
Holmstrom 73-20-20, .55 PPG
Hudler 79-38-41, 1.00 PPG
Janik 5-1-2, .60 PPG
Kindl 20-0-5, .25 PPG
Kronwall 59-9-18, .46 PPG
Lidstrom 82-10-49, .72 PPG
Meech 56-3-10, .23 PPG
Miller 82-15-20, .43 PPG
Modano 79-20-29, .62 PPG
Rafalski 81-10-43, .65 PPG
Ritola 11-4-3, .64 PPG
Salei 76-5-19, .32 PPG
Stuart 72-2-11, .18 PPG
Zetterberg 81-39-41, .99 PPG

My man Chris, also known as @ChrisDF0 on twitter, chimes in with a nice set of predictions, giving the Wings 54 wins next season. He even was nice enough to calculate the percentages. Take a look:

::Jimmy Howard: 62 Starts, 44 wins, 2.31 GAA, .935 Save%, 8 SO, .71 win %
::Chris Osgood: 20 Starts, 10 wins, 2.50 GGA, .915 Save%, 1 SO, .50 win %

::Nicklas Lidstrom 78 GP 13 G 52 A, .83 PPG
::Brian Rafalski 76 GP 11 G 37 A, .63 PPG
::Brad Stuart 81 GP 5 G 23 A, .35 PPG
::Niklas Kronwall 71 GP 13 G 42 A, .77 PPG
::Jonathan Ericsson 62 GP 8 G 16 A, .39 PPG
::Ruslan Salei 64 GP 3 G 7 A, .16 PPG
::Brendan Smith 2 GP 0 G 2 A, 1 PPG
::Jakub Kindl 36 GP 5 G 17 A, .61 PPG
::Doug Janik 16 GP 2 G 4 A, .38 PPG

::Henrik Zetterberg 79 GP 42 G 56 A, 1.24 PPG
::Pavel Datsyuk 78 GP 46 G 55 A, 1.29 PPG
::Tomas Holmstrom 76 GP 31 G 26 A, .75 PPG
::Todd Bertuzzi 80 GP 20 G 31 A, .64 PPG
::Valtteri Filppula 75 GP 26 G 30 A, .75 PPG
::Johan Franzen 76 GP 48 G 32 A, 1.05 PPG
::Dan Cleary 72 GP 22 G 24 A, .64 PPG
::Mike Modano 55 GP 16 G 28 A, .8 PPG
::Jiri Hudler 77 GP 21 G 31 A, .68 PPG
::Justin Abdelkader 62 GP 10 G 8 A, .29 PPG
::Darren Helm 65 GP 13 G 20 A, .51 PPG
::Patrick Eaves 62 GP 18 G 11 A, .47 PPG
::Drew Miller 48 GP 8 G 15 A, .48 PPG
::Kris Draper 53 GP 11 G 12 A, .62 PPG
::Mattias Ritola 8 GP 4 G 1 A, .63 PPG
::Kirk Maltby 18 GP 3 G 6 A, .50 PPG


My good mate Doug of the excellent The Detroit Transplant sent me some predictions. Let's take a look:

An overly-optimistic 53 wins! Vezina for Jimmy, Norris for Lidstrom, Selke (again) for Datsyuk. Chicago finishes 3rd in the division, behind Nashville. HAHAHAHA
:: Howard: 64 starts, 43 wins, 2.15 GAA, .925 sv%, 7 SO, .67 win %
:: Osgood: 16 starts, 9 wins, 2.98 GAA, .898 sv%, 1 SO, .56 win %
::McCollum: 2 starts, 1 win, 2.50 GAA, .850 sv%, 0 SO, .50 win %

:: Lidstrom: 80 GP, 16 G, 54 A, .88 PPG
:: Rafalski: 77 GP, 9 G, 48 A, .72 PPG
:: Kronwall: 62 GP, 8 G, 42 A, .81 PPG
:: Stuart: 76 GP, 6 G, 50 A1, .74 PPG
:: Ericsson: 40 GP, 2 G, 25 A, .68 PPG
:: Salei: 62 GP, 7 G, 39 A, .74 PPG
:: Meech: Who?
:: Smith: 5 GP, 0 G, 2 A, .40 PPG
:: Kindl: 30 GP, 2 G, 12 A, .47 PPG
:: Janik: 10 GP, 1 G, 2 A, .30 PPG

:: Zetterberg: 75 GP, 28 G, 50 A, 1.04 PPG
:: Datsyuk: 79 GP, 30 G, 54 A, 1.06 PPG
:: Holmstrom: 72 GP, 26 G, 21 A .65 PPG
:: Bertuzzi: 75 GP, 15 G, 30 A, .60 PPG
:: Filppula: 65 GP, 18 G, 35 A, .82 PPG
:: Franzen: 70 GP, 24 G, 38 A, .89 PPG
:: Cleary: 64 GP, 16 G, 20 A, .56 PPG
:: Modano: 68 GP, 18 G, 25 A, .63 PPG
:: Hudler: 72 GP, 22 G, 40 A, .86 PPG
:: Abdelkader: 62 GP, 5 G, 7 A, .19 PPG
:: Helm: 78 GP, 12 G, 15 A, .35 PPG
:: Eaves: 50 GP, 9 G, 9 A, .36 PPG (+2 more shootout fails)
:: Miller: 53 GP, 12 G, 11 A, .43 PPG
:: Draper: 48 GP, 7 G, 13 A, .42 PPG
:: Ritola: 16 GP, 3 G, 5 A, .50 PPG


My mate Murdoch aka. @skeletonframes from Twitter chimes in with a set of prediction now close to the deadline. He predicts a 51 win season and some time for McCollum. Let's look at his predictions, shall we?

:: Howard: 62 starts, 43 wins, 2.24 GAA, .924 sv%, 3 SO, .69 win %
:: Osgood: 8 starts, 2 wins, 3.36 GAA, .845 sv%, 0 SO, .25 win %
:: McCollum: 12 starts, 6 wins, 2.76 GAA, .899 sv%, 0 SO, .50 win %

:: Lidstrom: 82 GP, 14 G, 61 A, .91 PPG
:: Rafalski: 72 GP, 12 G, 52 A, .89 PPG
:: Kronwall: 76 GP, 11 G, 36 A, .62 PPG
:: Stuart: 82 GP, 3 G, 28 A, .38 PPG
:: Ericsson: 71 GP, 4 G, 18 A, .31 PPG
:: Salei: 72 GP, 1 G, 11 A, .17 PPG
:: Meech: 82 games watched
:: Kindl: 30 GP, 5 G, 13 A, .60 PPG
:: Janik: 7 GP, 0 G, 4 A, .58 PPG

:: Zetterberg: 76 GP, 36 G, 52 A, 1.16 PPG
:: Datsyuk: 82 GP, 42 G, 66 A, 1.32 PPG
:: Holmstrom: 68 GP, 18 G, 27 A, .66 PPG
:: Bertuzzi: 73 GP, 14 G, 31 A, .62 PPG
:: Filppula: 76 GP, 19 G, 43 A, .82 PPG
:: Franzen: 78 GP, 39 G, 29 A, .87 PPG
:: Cleary: 81 GP, 15 G, 29 A, .54 PPG
:: Modano: 67 GP, 12 G, 24 A, .54 PPG
:: Hudler: 80 GP, 28 G, 26 A, .68 PPG
:: Abdelkader: 61 GP, 8 G, 13 A, .34 PPG
:: Helm: 69 GP, 16 G, 18 A, .49 PPG
:: Eaves: 48 GP, 11 G, 14 A, .52 PPG
:: Miller: 44 GP, 6 G, 7 A, .30 PPG
:: Draper: 42 GP, 4 G, 9 A, .31 PPG

Season preview - first defense pairing

Today I'll take a look at our first defense pairing for this season, which, as always, will be Nicklas Lidström and Brian Rafalski.

Nicklas Lidström
Last three seasons
07/08 - Red Wings - 76 GP, 10 G, 60 A, 70 Pts, +40, 40 PIM
08/09 - Red Wings - 78 GP, 16 G, 43 A, 59 Pts, +31, 30 PIM
09/10 - Red Wings - 82 GP, 9 G, 40 A, 49 Pts, +22, 24 PIM

Last year
I think Nick got a bad rap last season. Yes, he had a scoring slump, no he didn't have too many points early on, but think about this. He played 82 games, and with a few exceptions he was still the Perfect Human in most of them. He lead a defense coprs that was filled with replacements, bad players, Brett Lebdas and youngsters for much of the season. Leadership and defense naturally became his first priority. He still logged massive amounts of ice time and when he started scoring he actually scored quite a lot. His point total took an upswing late in the season too. Defensively he was arguably NHL's best defenseman, only maybe beaten by Duncan Keith and if you look at his +/- it is higher than the team +/-. While the season wasn't his best, he was still a premier NHL defenseman and would have deserved to finish second, after only Keith, in the Norris voting.

The upcoming season
If I had to choose one defenseman for my team for this season and this season only (or the next 2-3), it would still be Nick. He chose to return which shows commeitment and motivation. With a better, more solid defense corps, Nick will also be allowed to think a little more offense and better offensive depth will also help out his offensive numbers, Defensively he will probably make mistakes now and then, but still so few that we get shocked when he makes one. I have a feeling this will be Nick's season. One where he shows exactly how good he still is.

What we need
This year we won't need Nick to carry the whole defense on his shoulders. I expect to see a fresher and better Rafa and this will also help him out. Hopefully the Wings will be good enough to let Nick rest a few games, but he will yet again be asked to log big minutes for close to 80 games. We need Nick as a point producer too and, while we don't need him to score at the pace he did late last seasonm we expect a higher goal total from him, the same goes for points. And with a better team, it is only fair to expect that his +/- will be even better too.

What we will get
A long summer of rest, a better team and new motivation. All these things make me very optimistic for Nick this season. He is back to take revenge for a season deemed to be his weakest in years, and with a great support cast I expect him to deliver exactly what we need. I expect him to be mentioned highly in the Norris discussion this year, and would not be surprised if he blows everyone away and takes the trophy home.

Prediction
77 GP, 12 G, 53 A, 65 Pts (0,156 G/GP, 0,688 A/GP, 0,844 Pts/GP)


Brian Rafalski
Last three seasons
07/08 - Red Wings - 73 GP, 13 G, 42 A, 55 Pts, +27, 34 PIM
08/09 - Red Wings - 78 GP, 10 G, 49 A, 59 Pts, +17, 20 PIM
09/10 - Red Wings - 78 GP, 8 G, 34 A, 42 Pts, +23, 26 PIM

Last season
It was a weird season for Rafa last year. He struggled with smaller injuries, missing a few games here and there and after a fantastic Olympic tournament he seemed tired for the rest of the season. He also had to play for a weakened defense and log time in shorthanded situations, which he usually avoids. He had a more defensive system around him than usual and this did hamper his offensive production a ittle. He did not have a bad season, but he didn't give us the stuff we expect from him either.

The upcoming season
This season I expect better from Rafa. He is well rested, should be healthy and getting Nick back as his defense partner, possibly for the last time, has to be a kick for him. Hopefully we can see him be more solid defensively and togeher with Nick he should be able to produce more up front.

What we need
We need him to log about the same number of games and amount of ice time as Nick. We need him to be defensively sound, not make Rafa vs. Rick Nash type mistakes, and continue to make our first pairing be one that no star player or top line wants to go up against. Offensively we need his numbers to go up a little and he needs to be a little better on the breakout passes.

What we will get
Rafa is over the top when it comes to full seasons of excellence, but I think he can be better than last year, be consistently good and at times give us fantastic stuff, like he gave Team USA. I expect him to be solid beside Nick and give us a slight upswing in numbers compared to last season.

Prediction
78 GP, 9 G, 42 A, 51 Pts (0,115 G/GP, 0,538 A/GP, 0,654 Pts/GP)

No preview tomorrow as it will be time for a new 25:19

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Season preview - goalies

So, seeing as the team is starting to get settled and the spots are filled, I think it's time for me to start the season previews, cause I have nothing better to do. I will in these previews try to summarize the player's last season, the season ahead of him, what the Wings need the player to achieve and what we can expect him to achieve. In the end I will also provide a prognosis of the player's stats for the season. This prognosis is made using a very advanced alogrithm that includes, among other things, previous seasons, team, teammates and a fuckload of gutfeeling. So take it with a grain of salt will ya?

Let's kick it off with the goalies. This is fitting seeing as I know jack shit about goaltending. This will also be the shortest one.

James Howard
Last 3 years (NHL only):
07/08 - Red Wings - 4 GP, 0-2-0, .926 save %, 2.13 GAA, 0 SO
08/09 - Red Wings - 1 GP, 0-1-0, .857 save %, 4.07 GAA, 0 SO
09/10 - Red Wings - 63 GP, 37-15-13, .924 save %, 2.26 GAA, 3 SO

Last season
Jimmah had a stellar season. He came inas a rookie and blew everyone away, taking over the job as the starter. His play saved the Wings and held them in games when they were injury-depleted. Without him the team probably wouldn't have made the playoffs. He recieved a Calder nomination for his efforts, but in a world without an East Coast bias and the retarded notion that he was too old to win it, he would have won it. And to me it is also fairly hard to understand why he didn't get a Hart nomination or at least a lot votes.

The upcoming season
All that is in the past now. Jimmah can take the confidence and good feeling from last season and ride on that, but he can not rest on his laurels. The sophomore slump is a threath and he's gonna work hard, both physically and especially mentally to avoid it. His age and experience will hopefully be there to help him, but still he has to do very well to live up to last season. This is one of the least predictable spots on the team. Will he be great? Average? Poor?

What we need
Last season was a one of a kind season for the Wings. There is no way we will be in such trouble again. There will be injuries, but not that many at the same time. And there is also more depth on the team. This will probably increase the team offense and also make them tighter defensively. Jimmah won't be called on as often to steal the game for the Wings, he will just have to keep them in it and not lose it for them. With fewer shots on him he will have to adapt to Ozzie's strenght, being sharp even in situations where he is cold and see few shots. He will also probably have a sharper backup in Chris Osgood, and Babbles will have the chance to play Ozzie more due to not being fighting for a playoff spot. So Jimmah's workload will hopefully be diminished. So it's fair to say that the Wings will need somewhere between 55 and 60 games from him, with about 38-40 wins or so.

What we will get
I think Jimmah will overcome the jinx and play well and carry his workload. His GAA will probably stay around the same due to better defense, but a more offensive system. His save percentage will be weakened a bit due to the fact that he will see fewer shots. His win total on the other hand will be around the same or a bit higher, but in fewer games, so a higher win percentage.

Prediction
60 GP (58 starts), 40-10-8, 2.31 GAA, .917 save %, 5 SO


Chris Osgood
Last 3 seasons
07/08 - Red Wings - 43 GP, 27-9-8, .914 save %, 2.09 GAA, 4 SO
08/09 - Red Wings - 46 GP, 26-9-19, .887 save %, 3.09 GAA, 2 SO
09/10 - Red Wings - 23 GP, 7-9-5, .888 save %, 3.02 GAA, 1 SO

Last season
Ozzue had a weak 08/09 season. Frankly it was truly fucking terrible. His 09/10 season was better. He had better starts, better play, but had a worse team in front of him. And when he got the flu early on in the season he lost his job as a starter. Every game he played after that, and it wasn't many, came cold and rusty.

The upcoming season
This year Ozzie goes into the season as a backup. He has promised to be better, but we have heard that before. But hopefully he can feel more comfortable in his role and since the Wings won't be in a tight playoff race he will get to play more regularly and keep warm and confident. A sharper team in front of him will help too, allowing Ozzie to be the goalie he is used to being. He's gonna need more focus and less horrible goals than last season, but I think he can do that. Ozzie's got a lot to prove and this season he fight for the right to continue his career after his contract ends next summer.

What we need
Ideally Ozzie would play so well that he good give Jimmah some healthy competition. We don't necessarily need him to be that good though. At least not if Jimmah can hold the level we expect him to be on. Then What we need from Ozzie is that he can play 20-30 games and be a solid backup winning at least half of those games. If Jimmah decides to suck.. well, that is another story.

What we will get
This is hard to say, but I'm gonna guess that Ozzie will bounce back a bit and do a decent job this year. He'll have a few terrible games, a few fantastic ones and be a good backup for Jimmy.

Prediction
25 GP (24 starts), 13-7-4, 2.58 GAA, .906 save %, 1 SO

Yes, I know this predicts a 53-17-12 season, but I am an optimist, I believe in this team. So sue me!

Check in tomorrow (I hope) for the first defense pairing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

25:19 - week 4: Olzcyk, NBC, division winners and more

Welcome to 25:19, a feature that will run every Monday for 19 (duh!) weeks. Every week I will make 5 (Nick) lists, with 5 (number of rings Nick will retire with) points on each list. Thus having 25 (DMac) points in total every week. The lists will be random hockey stuff, some rankings, other in random order. Some will be opinions, others humour. I will leave it to you judge what is what. Hopefully you will find it entertaining and/or provoking enough to leave your ideas on things I missed and what I did wrong in the comments.

Sorry that this is a day later than usual, but I was busy drinking last night, so sue me! Also, I want to acknowledge that Aaron Ward, who was on my "former Wings who can go to hell"-list in the last one has retired. Let us celebrate his career by saying this: Eat a dick you fucking assface.

1. Five games I look forward to
- Sat Oct 9th @Chicago: Seeing the Hawks raise their banner and then ice something like two and a half players from last years team and get crushed by the Wings will be fun.
- Tue Jan 18th @Pittsburgh: I just enjoy seeing Z dominate Rosby. Rosby is so cute when he is angry. (Not really).
- Wed Mar 16th vs. Washington: I always look forward to seeing Nick neutralize Ovechkin
- Wed Mar 9th/Fri Mar 11th vs. Kings/Oilers: Cause I'll be there, bitches!
- Date and opponent TBA, Stanley Cup Finals, game 5: Cause after losing one on the road to get to win at home, we get number 12.

2. Five division winners this season (Central obviously excluded, cause everyone knows who wins
- Northwest: Vancouver
- Pacific: Los Angeles
- Southeast: Washington
- Atlantic: New Jersey
- Northeast: Buffalo

3. Five things I hate about Eddie Olzcyk
- He's a homer, even on NBC, and cannot stop raving about those young Hawks.
- He's so proud of Sid and of being his first NHL coach that he nearly cums in his pants everytime he gets a chance to talk about him.
- They insist on calling him Edzo and use it every time they talk to him.
- He thinks he was a big shot player and coach, despite being a mediocre player and terrible coach.
- If you're unfortunate enough to catch him on Comcast Chicago you can hear him and his partner talk endlessly about their families, cooking and other shit you don't care about. Also, his hair is ugly.

4. Five things you just DON'T do as a Red Wings fan
- Root for the Blackhawks. Ever. The only exceptions are extreme family reasons or, God forbid, if the Wings need the Hawks to win to get into the playoffs.
- Talk a bad word about The Captain.
- Speak a bad word about The Grind Line.
- Say a good word about the turtle.
- Root for Chicago. I cannot repeat and emphasis this enough. It is historiless and bordering on treason. Sorry, but I WILL question you if you do.

5. Five things that would make NBC's hockey broadcasts better
- Mention Rosby more. It's like they don't even know he exists.
- Use Pierre's head as a drawing board to illustrate plays that just happened on the ice.
- Use autotune every time Doc says "Driiiiiive".
- Roenick vs. Milbury. Cagematch to the death.
- Shoot Eddie Olzcyk in the face. With a puck. As intermission entertainment. One shot for each time he gives a Hawks player or Sid a verbal blowjob.

Eye candy
More cute than sexy, but I had to feature her at some point:


Pretty boring, but I wanted a guy on skates:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Meech decision

After signing Ruslan Salei, the place for Derek Meech on this Red Wings team has probably disappeared. A trade of him would be necessary for cap space and between Salei and the kids, there is hardly room for another defenseman on the team. But it's gonna be a tough decision for the Wings. After all they have invested a lot of time in Meech and would have liked to get to reap the benefits. So I'm gonna take a look at the possible benefits of keeping Meech and also what he needs to get there.

It's not very easy to project exactly how good Derek Meech could become. His best aspect is of course that he is a utility player that can play both forward and defense. But it's hard to say how good he could become at each. Meech is limited by his size and skill level for sure. He's not too big and can never be a very physically imposing player. And when it comes to technical skills he doesn't have any that really stick out. He is an average skater, has average stick handling etc etc. He is pretty average in all the technical aspects of the game. And I don't see too much room for potentially improving too much on them to make them what they in baseball would call above average tools. The one I see him improving to such a level is his shot. It is heavy and booming, but right now he takes too long setting it up and it needs a bit of accuracy. But if he could work on speeding up the process and on placing it better and smarter this could develop into a very valuable above average tool for him and give him another dimension as a defenseman.

So if he could get his shot better and also get the mental/strategic dimension up to average, what kind of defenseman could he be? Probably not a top four for the Wings. Maybe for another team in trouble, but not the Wings. So we are looking at a potential solid third pairing defenseman here, which is always a useful thing to have. And considering the fact that he is cheap, seems like a good dude, is well liked by his teammates and is loyal to the club, he could be a real useful asset.
As a forward I actually like him more than as a defenseman, he is tougher, dares to crash and bang more and looks like a guy who could be a decent fourth liner if he got to spend more time there and get used to it. Those two together would make him a really nice asset.

But to get there he needs work. He has some very clear shortcomings and most of those are in his head. He seems to have been good on all lower levels, so I think the speed of the game is among the problems, which would be pretty natural for a guy who's in and out of the team all the time. He doesn't seem to think the game fast enough which leads to him being late into situations and do things just slightly after he should have done them. His positioning is shoddy to so say it nicely, so he would have to work hard on that too. He needs to learn to think fast enough to be where he needs to be in time. Last year, Meech being out of position was more the rule than the exception, especially on the PK. It got better towards the end, so there is hope though. And he also needs confidence. Another thing that is hard to get when you play occationally. He needs to feel safe as a defenseman. You can see he is not from the way he throws the puck away in desperation at times where he should take more time and make a better pass.

The answer to these problems: Some coaching on positioning and consistent ice time in the NHL. As for to develop as a forward, the same thing. And here lies the problem. The Wings would certainly like to have a Derek Meech who have reached his potential as described above. And if they were, say, the Islanders it would be a no brainer to give him the ice time to get there. But the Wings wanna win a cup. They have a great team. And frankly, Derek Meech is not a good enough player to warrant ice time on a consistent basis on this team. Neither is he good enough to be a regular player on a Stanley cup contender right now. So the Wings can't really play him as much as he needs to to become the player he could become. He could of course be used as a utility player who plays 20-40 games again, but he would take up a roster spot and cap space that would be more useful for another, younger defenseman or another forward. And quite honestly, it would be unfair to Meech to keep him back from achieveing what he could potentially achieve with his career. And we've got more talented defensemen coming up anyway haha.

So the right decision both for the Wings and for Meech would be to part ways. He's a good guy and he'll be missed and I'll definitely root for him to do well in the future with another team, but he and the Wings should soon become a closed chapter.

Monday, August 16, 2010

25:19 - week 3: McGuire, lockout, hatred and more

Welcome to 25:19, a feature that will run every Monday for 19 (duh!) weeks. Every week I will make 5 (Nick) lists, with 5 (number of rings Nick will retire with) points on each list. Thus having 25 (DMac) points in total every week. The lists will be random hockey stuff, some rankings, other in random order. Some will be opinions, others humour. I will leave it to you judge what is what. Hopefully you will find it entertaining and/or provoking enough to leave your ideas on things I missed and what I did wrong in the comments.

1. Five reasons why I hate Joe Sakic
- He was probably the best leader and captain I have seen that is not named Yzerman.
- He was a damn good two way hockey player.
- He had an amazing shot and was a clutch scorer.
- He's as classy a guy as you can ever ask for.
- He was not in the Winged Wheel, but in a fucking Avs uniform.

2. Five things NHL players can do if there's another lockout
- Try working in the media. Then they'd see how frustrating it is when they give you Crosby-ish answers
- Fighters can take work as money collectors for the mob.
- Show up every day to the NHL PR department and say their names in hope of teaching them to spell more names than just Ovechkin and Crosby.
- Certain players would wanna spend the whole year at the dentist, getting their teeth fixed.
- Make a touring all star team that can tour Europe, come to Oslo, face a Norwegian Elite League all star team and awkwardly lose.. wait... what? Last lockout you say? Nevermind then.

3. Five things that are good about Pierre McGuire
- He's small, so even I could say shit into his face and get away with it without getting beat up.
- He can't be on more than one broadcast at the time.
- He has never killed, raped or molested anyone. As far as we know...
- The hours per day he can speak and be annoying is limited because he spends so much of the day with Toews' and Crosby's dicks in his mouth.
- His head is so polished an arena can be lighted by only one lightbulb and the reflection his head gives of it when he is attendance, which saves money.

4. Five NHL team names we might see in the future
- Arbitrators - few things are as scary to hockey players as arbitration, this would have a nice fear effect.
- Biebers - this would be a great way to reach out to kids in America and gain new American fans
- Crosbys - not enough Crosby in the media. Only way to change that: Name a team after him
- Concussions - this team will feature players who have been matched against Matt Cooke and Mike Richards. Eric Lindros will be the owner.
- Cap hitters - Catchy name, right?

5. Five former Red Wings who can go to hell
- Sergei Fedorov - the king of selfish douchenozzles
- Aaron Ward - Asshole. Makes little girls cry
- Marian Hossa - Whores were never my style
- Anders Myrvold - First the coke. Now he beat someone up with a hockey stick on his birthday. A shame to an otherwise FANTASTIC first name.
- Jason Williams - I honestly couldn't come up with someone for this spot, and no one's gonna notice anyway. It is after all Williams.

Eye candy
For the guys:

Maybe not everyone's cup of tea and little too much clothes, but both I and a few readers love her, so sue me!



For the ladies:

Monday, August 2, 2010

25:19 - week 2: Rule changes, ugliness, DMac and more.

Welcome to 25:19, a feature that will run every Monday for 19 (duh!) weeks. Every week I will make 5 (Nick) lists, with 5 (number of rings Nick will retire with) points on each list. Thus having 25 (DMac) points in total every week. The lists will be random hockey stuff, some rankings, other in random order. Some will be opinions, others humour. I will leave it to you judge what is what. Hopefully you will find it entertaining and/or provoking enough to leave your ideas on things I missed and what I did wrong in the comments.

1. Five rule changes I wanna see
- Goaltender interference: Needs to either be a good goal or a penalty. And it should be a much higher bar than now for it being ruled goalie interference
- Delay of game: Pucks sent over the glass has no buisness deciding games
- The instigator penalty needs to be removed. The only fights it hinders are the good and reasonable ones.
- The trapezoid needs to go away.
- Forwards (like Homer) should be allowed to do to defensemen what defensemen are allowed to do to them.

2. Five people Chicago can sign to fill up their roster
- Snookie. We already know she and Toews have chemistry. And she is just dumb enough.
- Lindsay Lohan. Her and Kaner would be perfect together, seeing as they are both brats who think they are above the law.
- Chris Chelios. He'd probably take minimum wage to be able to stay in the NHL. And he has experience from the team that won the Hawk first cup in 1934.
- Mike Sillinger would probably be willing to do a cheap comeback just to add another team to his list.
- Wade Redden. He would be the yearly fuck up contract.

3. Five ugly as fuck hockey players
- Mike Ricci http://www.uglymales.com/wc/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/mike_ricci.jpg
- Rob Blake http://top2bottom.net/Rob%20Blake+1.jpg
- Ryan Smyth http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2007/writers/darren_eliot/07/30/lowe.letter/tx.smyth2.jpg
- Tyler Kennedy http://cdn.nhl.com/penguins/v2/photos/mugs/8471311.jpg
- Scott Hartnell http://threeriversphilosophizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/scott_hartnell.jpg

4. Five essential DMac moments
- He beats Claude Lemieux to the ground during the Fight Night
- He scores the 1997 cup winning goal on one of the leagues all time great plays
- He scores a hat trick against the Avs in 2002.
- He completes his recovery from alcoholism and substance abuse by lifting the cup for the fourth time in 2008.
- He gets called out as a homer during a Versus telecast in 2010 and replies: "I have four reasons to be a homer".

5. Five ways to decide a game that would more fair and graceful than the shootout
- Coin toss
- Gary Bettman decides the winner, out of "league interests"
- Line brawl. Line 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3, 4 vs 4 and goalies vs. goalies. Last man standing. The team that wins the most matchups win.
- Television poll after the game.
- The captain and assistant captains of the teams engage in a game of Cluedo for the victory at center ice.

Eye candy

Click the picture to see the whole thing:



The girls should probably ignore the anti-candy in the background.