Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Alfredsson’

Oh, Eugene…

January 23rd, 2011

I’ve never seen or heard an owner of an NHL team talk as much about doing something as Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. And despite this, nothing ever seems to happen.

The amount of crap this guy spews out is truly amazing. I understand the differences between being a fan and an owner — even though Melnyk might not — and I understand Melnyk needs to remain positive to cool a tepid fan base. But here’s the thing: no one is holding a gun forcing Melnyk to mention the “S-word.” (the Stanley Cup).

The following is a direct quote from Melnyk in a recent interview with the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch from Sunday:

“We’re going to do what it takes to bring the Stanley Cup to Ottawa, whether it takes one, three or five years. It will happen. You have my commitment.”
- Eugene Melnyk, Ottawa Senators owner and All-Star quote machine

I can’t even make this stuff up. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not an NHL owner. This is a fan with nice suits and good perks. I can’t think of another NHL owner who talks this much about doing something without any follow up actions. Eugene, your team is currently 27th in the league. Even the Leafs, the ‘bud’ of every draft joke, sit higher than the Senators. Now probably isn’t a good time to make Stanley Cup commitments.

Imagine next year’s 24/7 HBO special featured the Senators. The entire series could be dedicated to Melnyk’s “future plans.”

In this glorious interview, Melnyk goes on to say “At this time, it makes no sense to make managerial or coaching changes. We’ll let the season play itself out and look forward to building for the future.” Ummm… what?

I would argue this is a critical time for the Senators organization. This is the time for a the club to define what kind of rebuild they are going for – a massive one or a small one. I don’t think I’m alone when I say a massive overhaul is required. Even Melnyk should agree the issue with the Senators isn’t coaching. It’s the players. Four different coaches over the last four or five years should tell anyone that. I like what SensChirp said the other day: this is as close to tanking as a pro sports team can get.

Yes, this is a bit of a rant. I’ve never liked Melnyk’s bold statements. In fact I’m still “buckled up.” I’m all for owner’s believing in their teams, but Melnyk has clearly taken things to a new level. It’s one thing when your team is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, or at least a playoff bound team. It’s quite another when you are sitting at the bottom of the league. You don’t see the Islanders or Devils talking about Lord Stanley. Melnyk needs to quit the Daniel Alfredsson School of Guarantees as quickly as possible. It’s getting embarrassing for fans.

Ahhh, it’s official. It’s rock bottom for the Senators. Maybe we all just need to chill out and grab a Huge Euge. Or maybe we, fans, need to see evidence of direction. Or both. Either way…

Stay classy, Eugene Melnyk. Less is more.

Leaving notes for players at training camp

September 24th, 2010

From time to time, coaches and management will leave players notes. It’s a more personal touch than sending emails or texts… or tweets depending on which goalie you recently signed. Sometimes notes are placed on doors and walls, and other times more private messages are left in individual locker stalls.

I’ve noticed a bit of a trend in this year’s preseason: teams are leaving notes in common areas for everyone to see. And sometimes they aren’t pretty! Earlier this morning, I was able to obtain several notes that were left on team fridges! Scroll down to see them.

Here is a note left to several veteran Ottawa Senators like Ryan Shannon, Filip Kuba and Daniel Alfredsson:

A funny note for Ryan Shannon, Filip Kuba, Daniel Alfredsson and other Ottawa Senators on Stayclassy.net

Below is a note directed at a few of the Toronto Maple Leaf hopefuls including Nazem Kadri, Jesse Blacker and Tomas Kaberle:

A funny note for Nazem Kadri, Jesse Blacker, Tomas Kaberle and other Toronto Maple Leafs on Stayclassy.net

Of course there would be a message for Kyle Wellwood when the word fridge is in discussion!

A funny note for Kyle Wellwood on Stayclassy.net

Finally, the Edmonton Oilers also left notes for a few of their young stars like Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi:

A funny note for Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi and other Edmonton Oilers on Stayclassy.net

Stay classy, NHL training camp notes.

Revisiting the NHL’s “What If” TV commercials

June 29th, 2010

Remember the “What If” TV commercials the NHL ran during this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs? That was a great campaign. Well, the classic ones with Gretzky, Orr and Lemieux. Some of the newer ones – like that Mike Cammalleri one – weren’t as good. For what it’s worth, I still thought the campaign was great.

As part of my ongoing effort to help grow the sport and aid the NHL’s marketing department, I wanted to share a few of the “What If” commercials that never made it past the cutting room floor. Did you know the original campaign was supposed to cover the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Entry Draft and past the beginning of Unrestricted Free Agency (July 1st)?

True story… So without further delay, here are some of the lesser known “What If” commercials that didn’t quite make it onto your TV’s:

What If… Peter Chiarelli was more ‘savvy’ about signing long term contracts?

What If… Bryan Murray turned over Jason Spezza?

What If… Tomas Kaberle wasn’t available every draft, deadline and free agency period?

What If… The 2nd overall pick in 1993′s NHL Entry Draft remembered Alexandre Daigle?

What If… The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t believe in drafting?

What If… A star player remained a star player after being drafted by the Islanders?

What If… Darryl Sutter and Lou Lamiorello each had plans for the Flames and Devils?

What If… Peter Chiarelli knew he didn’t need to include No Trade Clauses in every contract?

What If… The Lightning hadn’t gambled on naming Rich Tocchet their head coach?

What If… Most of the hockey blogosphere actually knew who the kids drafted last weekend were?

What If… People believed Brian Burke actually had 4 or 5 “hard offers” for Kaberle?

What If… The Canucks didn’t give such generous contracts to checking wingers?

What If… Daniel Alfredsson’s guarantees resembled those of Mark Messier’s… even just a bit?

Stay classy, NHL TV commercials.

The NHL’s 2010 Yearbook

April 28th, 2010

The NHL likes to do things a bit differently than other pro sports leagues. Shortly after the end of each regular season, the league releases it’s annual yearbook complete with typical “Most Likely To” and “Classy Photo” sections. Usually, most players receive their yearbook in the last week of April.

Apparently a lot of time is put into this tradition and players themselves vote on various categories. Don’t ask how, but I’ve manage to obtain a screenshot of a few pages from this year’s NHL yearbook. I’ve cut the left and right pages into 2 separate images for your viewing pleasure (below is a link for the full version)…

The NHL’s 2010 Yearbook (left page)


The NHL’s 2010 Yearbook (right page)


I highly recommend viewing and downloading the high-res image here.

Stay classy, annual NHL yearbooks.

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The Other Captain

April 26th, 2010

Sure, a lot of great things have been said about Sidney Crosby’s stellar play in the Ottawa-Pittsburgh series. And a lot of it is well deserved. How else can you describe the dominance of a single player, and even getting away with high-sticking referee Stephen Walkom in Game 6?

Crosby is simply in another dimension. I had to chuckle reading the CBC Livestream chat during Game 6, with Ottawa fans making thoughtful, insightful comments such as “Crosby sucks”. Seems like the Olympics was only yesterday, but some of us have shorter memories than others I guess.

Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and his stomach.What hasn’t been as much in the forefront during the series is the play and heart-and-soul determination of Daniel Alfredsson. At 37 years, he played like he was somehow out of sync, yet was the only Senators player to have at least one point in every game. Turns out he was playing with a torn stomach muscle, severe enough to possibly require surgery in the off season.

How many other players would have bowed out with an injury like that? How easy would it have been for him to sit out and take care of himself instead of his team? Why fight it out against a powerful offence such as Pittsburgh when he could have simply opted out?

Torn stomach muscles are apparently extremely painful. We’re talking about shooting pain, restricted movement, muscle spasms. I only know this because I’m reading about it on the internet. Fortunately for me, I don’t have any stomach muscles to tear. Stomach muscles have names like “rectus abdominis”. That sounds painful just to say it.

The team needed him as a captain. The Senators needed his presence, his calm, his leadership. And he came through with the heart and determination worthy of his reputation.

Stay classy, Daniel Alfredsson. I hope your rectus abdominis feels better soon.

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Burgundy’s 1st round NHL playoff predictions

April 14th, 2010

Stayclassy.net's NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

Tonight marks the beginning of the NHL’s 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Like everyone else, I’d like to make my predictions for the 1st round. Before breaking down each series, I have two things to say. Firstly, I don’t hate any of the Canadian teams, however, I don’t like Vancouver, Montreal, or Ottawa’s chances. Secondly, I’m far more interested in the Western Conference series than the Eastern Conference series. This means two things. 1- I won’t be getting much sleep for the next few weeks. 2- I’ll be on Twitter a lot and look forward to talking Playoffs with all of you!

Washington Capitals (1) vs Montreal Canadiens (8)
I read about Tomas Plekanec’s quotes from the other day. I don’t understand why he’s playing these silly games, but whatever. He better bury a few goals on Washington or egg will be on his face, goatee and turtleneck. Sure, Montreal probably has the edge in goaltending, but Theordore’s play this year has been pretty good. Honestly, I don’t think Montreal has any chance in this series. Even if Jaroslav Halak plays like he did at the Olympics, Washington will be too much for Montreal’s slow defence. Alex Ovechkin has something to prove and Nickolas Backstrom is fresh off his best season in his young NHL career.
Verdict: Washington in 5 games.

New Jersey Devils (2) vs Philadelphia Flyers (7)
This series could go either way. On one hand, you have a legendary goalie in Marty Brodeur versus 3rd-stringer Brian Boucher (advantage Devils). On the other hand, you have Ilya Kovalchuk/Zach Parise versus Danny Briere/Jeff Carter/Mike Richards/Simon Gagne and more (advantage Flyers). I like Philadelphia’s defence a little more than New Jersey’s, too. And because Chris Pronger has a strong reputation for helping teams over the hump in Playoffs, I have to side with the Flyers as my upset team in the East.
Verdict: Philadelphia in 7 games.

Buffalo Sabres (3) vs Boston Bruins (6)
Boston’s well documented  scoring troubles and Buffalo’s all-star goalie Ryan Miller combine for a tough challenge for the Bruins. In addition, the Bruins announced the possibility of Marc Savard’s return to the team no earlier than in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Given the challenges Boston has faced this year (off years for certain players and injuries), making the Playoffs is a considerable feat. I don’t think they have any chance against the well oiled machine that is the Buffalo Sabres. On a slightly different note, it should be interesting to see which rookie proves most valuable to their respective teams between Tyler Myers and Tuukka Rask.
Verdict: Buffalo in 5 games.

Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs Ottawa Senators (5)
This is a tough match-up for the Ottawa Senators when you consider a 6th place finish would have put them up against the Sabres, a team they’ve dominated for years. The obvious storyline for this series is goaltending: Brian Elliott versus Marc-Andre Fleury. As a fan of the Senators, I’m under no illusions, Pittsburgh will win this series, the question is how many games will it take. SensChirp (a blog I respect) believes Ottawa stacks up pretty closely with Pittsburgh. Some of the points are valid, but I’m not sure Ottawa’s defence is that much better than Pittsburgh’s, nor do I believe Ottawa can out-coach the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
Verdict: Pittsburgh in 6 games.

San Jose Sharks (1) vs Colorado Avalanche (8)
I really like the Colorado Avalanche and no, I didn’t think they’d come remotely close to making the playoffs prior to the 09-10 season starting. Having said that, I see the Sharks experience and grit over-powering the young Avalanche. The Avalanche strike me as a team very satisfied with their season whereas the Sharks have known all year that their Playoff results is what really matters. I like some of the role players San Jose has acquired between last season and now (guys like Jed Ortmeyer, Scott Nichol, Niclas Wallin, etc…). I believe these guys, along with Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle and Rob Blake will be difference makers in this series. Also, I’m concerned for Colorado that star goalie Craig Anderson might be a bit burned out from his first regular season as a starting goalie.
Verdict: San Jose in 6 games.

Chicago Blackhawks (2) vs Nashville Predators (7)
Most of us could make a living from underestimating the Nashville Predators. And although the Predators are a team built so well for the Playoffs, I simply cannot bet against the Chicago Blackhawks. People will question the Hawk’s goaltending and while it’s been suspect at times this season, I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It’s easily the weakest part of the Hawks roster, but that’s easy to say when you look at their forwards and defence depth. Chicago’s hurting with injuries to their defence, but I believe their talent up front will carry the load in this series. I look for Patrick Kane to lead the way in points and clutch plays.
Verdict: Chicago in 6 games.

Vancouver Canucks (3) vs Los Angeles Kings (6)
Alright Canucks fans, don’t hate me for saying this, but I think the Kings are going to beat the Canucks. Don’t get me wrong, this is the best team (by far) the Canucks have put together in years. But with all the pressure on them, their injuries at defence and Roberto Luongo’s inconsistencies, I don’t have a good feeling for the Canucks. I know the Canucks beat the Kings three times this year, but I think the Kings move pucks better and faster than Vancouver and have a quick transition game that will burn the slower Canucks defence. I know Jonathan Quick’s play recently hasn’t been good, but I don’t see that as a factor in this series. Simply put, the Kings are loose and Vancouver know they need a solid post-season run this year.
Verdict: Los Angeles in 7 games.

Phoenix Coyotes (4) vs Detroit Red Wings (5)
This might be the most intriguing 1st round match-up this year. Like I said with the Avalanche, I believe the Coyotes are satisfied with their season and won’t have the same drive the Red Wings will. Ilya Bryzgalov shed his reputation of burning out down the regular season stretch from previous years, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s at all fatigued from this season. He’s finally gotten used to playing 60-70 regular season games per year, but that’s without playoffs. I think Detroit are too strong and too experienced for the young up-tempo Coyotes. And with Jimmy Howard’s play over the second half of the season, he looks poised to have a great Playoff performance. I don’t like betting against this Phoenix team, but dislike betting against Detroit even more.
Verdict: Detroit in 6 games.

There you have it. These are my 1st round predictions. What are your predictions?

Stay classy, NHL Playoffs.

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Shaving chests and the Calgary Flames

April 7th, 2010

When it comes to my friends and I, we’re usually one drink away from a bad decision. Something Dion Phaneuf can probably relate to. So after an evening of cold ones and trying to one-up each others stupid bets,  you know something regrettable is about to happen. It always works that way.

And because I’m writing about it, it’s obvious that this regrettable incident happened to me. In saying that, this story doesn’t have to be about me and only me. As you may have guessed from the title of today’s blog, this story also involves the Calgary Flames. Oh, and shaving chests. I can’t believe I didn’t mention that sooner.

Some back story you should know. I carried around a pretty hairy chest for a few years. Carried. Imagine George Parros’ mustache spanning from my neck down to my belly button with the tenacity of Daniel Alfredsson’s old curly blond locks. This picture should help fill the gaps.

George Parros-Daniel Alfredsson

Left- George Parros; right- Daniel Alfredsson

Last Saturday night my chest hair was shaved into an inverted arrow pointing downwards. Basically the arrow was all hair. And while it wasn’t some clever metaphor about the Flames decline over recent years, it very well could have been. Then last night the combination of the Flames losing against the Sharks and the Avalanche shootout win over the Canucks killed Calgary’s 2010 post-season hopes.

With the Flames officially eliminated from this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, it means all aspects of the Flames organization should and will be thoroughly evaluated… much like my chest was once all the hair was shaved off on Saturday. In a weird and slightly disgusting way, the failed 2009-2010 season is the Flames version of a shaved chest. All the excess hair and noise can be trimmed, cropped and completely reduced to create a better foundation. Then with drafting, development and key free agent signings, a properly molded chest can grow and be cultivated. And this will take some time too. A full rebuild is needed in Calgary.

Personally, I’m glad the Flames missed the playoffs. It’s not that I don’t like the Flames. It’s that I don’t like the Sutters and I don’t believe they understand the new NHL. I believe they’ve made some very bad trades/acquisitions over the years. It’s possible the full organizational shuffle that might happen now that the Flames have missed the playoffs might not have happened if Calgary lucked their way into the final Western Conference playoff position. Again, I think that’s a good thing for the long term future of the Calgary Flames.

There isn’t a moral to this story. Come to think of it, this is more of an example of how stupid my friends and I are, more than a explanation behind a miserable Flames season. But hopefully for the sake of Flames fans you can take some comfort in knowing someone else did something even dumber than making bad trades, building a bad hockey team and missing the playoffs. Anyone up for a drink?

Stay classy, Calgary Flames.

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Classy Olympic Predictions

February 16th, 2010

With the men’s Olympic hockey set to start in a number of hours, there’s no better time for us to roll out our tournament predictions. Especially when you consider that we’ve been talking about this tournament for about 2 full years. Below are each writers Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal predictions. Of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts (you know, if you agree with us or not), predictions and more. Folks, get ready for the greatest hockey tournament you’ve ever seen!

Burgundy’s Olympic Predictions
Gold- Canada; Canada might just have the most well rounded team in this tournament and they’ll need to be firing on all cylinders to defeat Sweden in the Gold Medal game. I believe Canada will move pucks better than any other team and their talent mixed with grit will put them over the edge. I predict Sidney Crosby to be the dominating force Canadians hope he’ll be.
Silver- Sweden; Team Sweden is one of the older teams in the tournament and I believe their experience (and Henrik Lundqvist) will get them through to the Gold Medal game. However, as smart and as well coached as the Sweden team is, I don’t think they’ll be able to keep up with the pace Canada will set in the Finals. Plus, for whatever reason, Crosby always scores a few goals on Lundqvist… yeah, you heard it here first!
Bronze- Russia; No one is giving Finland any love whatsoever, so I’m predicting the Fins meet Russia in the Bronze Medal game. Given the depth the Russians have, I believe they’ll win the Bronze medal by defeating Finland in a closer than expected game. I think the Russians won’t win their semi-final game because their defense and goaltending isn’t good enough. In fact, when you consider the talent they carry in forwards, their defense isn’t even comparable (aside from Markov). This will be the #1 thing that hurts Team Russia in 2010.

Fantana’s Olympic Predictions
Gold- Russia; There’s too much offense on this team to be able to contain it all. If you manage to shut down Ovechkin and Semin, players like Datsyuk and Kovalchuk will step up and lead the way. Their defense isn’t the best in the tournament but I think their goaltending is strong enough to bail the D out.
Silver- Canada; Canada is sending a great team to the Olympics this year and they will definitely make up for the disaster in Turino 4 years ago. Having said that, I don’t think they quite stack up against a strong Russian squad, though it will be close. 2nd place is no shame and I think this is where Canada, as a country, needs to learn that it’s no longer our game.
Bronze- Sweden; In the Bronze Medal game, I think you’ll see a great match with the U.S. and the Swedes going head to head. Both teams are lead by solid goaltending and exciting young players who are emerging as superstars around the world. In the end, I give the edge to Sweden because they’re a little bit older and a little bit more experienced on such a large stage.

Champ’s Olympic Predictions
Gold- Russia; What can we say, the Russians have more fire power than the US army. These guys will just come wave after wave with speed and all out talent and will embarass a good number of teams. This will be the year the Russians return to the top of hockey internationally.
Silver- Sweden; The Gold Medalists from 2006 return with a very strong team and will benefit from players currently playing well for their respective teams such as Daniel Alfredsson. Good goaltending and good defence will help this team do well throughout the tournament.
Bronze- USA; Team USA is going to surprise a lot of teams riding Ryan Miller throughout the tournament. I would be surprised if Tim Thomas or Jonathan Quick even see any action. Look for team USA to be a very fast team that many will under estimate.

Notes: What about Canada you ask? As I said I believe the “jinx” will unfortunately hit the men’s hockey team as well as I believe they will be “shocked” in the quarterfinals once again. My heart truly hopes this does not happen as Champ would love nothing more than to celebrate a gold medal like in ’02, but my gut tells me it will be for not. Let’s hope I’m very very wrong!

Baxter’s Olympic Predictions
Gold- Canada; All round best team. Motivation to win at home should be enough to be a difference maker. Watch for other forwards to capture the limelight as Crosby will be a marked man the entire tournament.
Silver- USA; Ryan Miller will steal games for the Americans. Offense is not much to write home about, but his stellar goaltending will be good for a few key games.
Bronze- Russia;  Surprise upset prediction. Goal scoring will be not an issue, but preventing goals against will be their challenge.

Stay classy, Olympic Hockey.

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NHL Classy Power Rankings – Week 18

February 1st, 2010

Here we go, week 18 of the NHL Classy Power Rankings! This week, there’s a new number one team with huge jumps from the red hot Ottawa Senators, Vancouver Canucks, and the high flying Los Angeles Kings.

The result of the Senators, Canucks, and Kings pushing into the top 10 means a few slides for the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators. The New York Islanders are among the week’s biggest drops with a current 5-game losing streak.

NHL Classy Power Rankings – Week 18

30.  Edmonton Oilers (last week: 30)
29.  Toronto Maple Leafs (last week: 29)
28.  Carolina Hurricanes (last week: 28)
27.  Columbus Blue Jackets (last week: 27)
26.  New York Islanders (last week: 20)

Virtually the same bottom 5 as last week, with the addition of the New York Islanders, who slide 6 spots after dropping 5 straight games. Of these bottom teams, there’s a few things to note since last week. First of all, Sheldon Souray fractured his hand on Saturday night. The Oilers obviously won’t be able to trade Souray at the deadline. And of course, the big news from Sunday morning – The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired J.S. Giguere and Dion Phaneuf by swapping out 6 players.

25.  Boston Bruins (last week: 22)
24.  New York Rangers (last week: 19)
23.  Tampa Bay Lightning (last week: 25)
22.  Montreal Canadiens (last week: 17)
21.  Atlanta Thrashers (last week: 26)

Cue the Vincent Lecavalier rumours… it appears the Lightning are in the process of being sold to a new owner and whispers suggest the new owner may (I stress may) want to cut payroll. Instantly, Lecavalier to Montreal/Los Angeles stories are popping up. I highly doubt this. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins continue to slump with bad goaltending and little scoring. They are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games. For the Rangers, they may (again, I stress may for multiple reasons) get a boost in scoring as a trade with the Calgary Flames has been reported but not yet completed (or may not happen at all).

20.  St. Louis Blues (last week: 24)
19.  Anaheim Ducks (last week: 15)
18.  Philadelphia Flyers (last week: 16)
17.  Florida Panthers (last week: 23)
16.  Minnesota Wild (last week: 21)

The Anaheim Ducks signed Jonas Hiller to a 4-year extension on Saturday and the Florida Panthers got a big boost to their lineup as David Booth returned in Sunday’s win against the Islanders (Booth recorded an assist in his return). The Minnesota Wild have reportedly terminated their 1-year contract with Peter Sykora after he didn’t report to the AHL.

15.  Dallas Stars (last week: 18)
14.  Calgary Flames (last week: 14)
13.  Detroit Red Wings (last week: 13)
12.  Nashville Predators (last week: 10)
11.  Colorado Avalanche (last week: 5)

The Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators slip out of the top 10 because of sub-par weeks and big winning streaks by other teams. It will be interesting to see how the Calgary Flames look with 4 new players in their line up. For the record, the Leafs/Flames don’t hook up again until next year… unless they meet in the Stanley Cup Fina… wait. Nevermind. I’ll stop there. They’ll next meet in the 2010-2011 season.

10.  Ottawa Senators (last week: 12)
The red hot Ottawa Senators have won 9 games in a row against some impressive teams. They’ve really set themselves apart from the 6th-13th seeded teams in the Eastern Conference and are 3 points back of Pittsburgh for 4th in the Conference. It’s not all great news for the Senators – Nick Foligno is out for 6-8 weeks with a broken leg after blocking a shot on Saturday.

9.  Pittsburgh Penguins (last week: 8)
It’s hard to knock the Pittsburgh Penguins. For the most part, they play like an experienced playoff team with a pretty deep roster. I’m interested to see what they do between now and the March 3rd trade deadline (some rumours suggest they are looking at Toronto’s Alexei Ponikarovsky).

8.  New Jersey Devils (last week: 4)
The New Jersey Devils have hit a bit of a rough patch lately – they are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games and Martin Brodeur has been showing some signs of shakey goaltending we saw during the conclusion of the Hurricanes/Devils playoff series from last year.

7.  Los Angeles Kings (last week: 11)
The Los Angeles Kings just wrapped up a road trip that saw them go 5-0. They’ve won 6 games in a row and are really starting to gel as a team. Rumours continue to name the Kings as one of the frontrunners for Ilya Kovalchuk, but as of now (Yeah – I sort of buy some of it), there doesn’t seem to be much to the stories.

6.  Phoenix Coyotes (last week: 9)
The Phoenix Coyotes had a nice week topped off by a win in Dallas on Sunday night. It was Dave Tippett’s first time in Dallas  since being fired by the Stars last year. The Coyotes have won 5 of their last 6 games and are starting to get contributions from a few of their young kids.

5.  Buffalo Sabres (last week: 6)
After going winless on their 4 game Western road trip, the Buffalo Sabres turned in 2 straight home victories against Eastern Conference teams. Good timing for the Sabres who now hold significantly reduce 5 point lead on the Northeast Division.

4.  Vancouver Canucks (last week: 7)
The Vancouver Canucks are one of the hottest 3 teams in the league! They’ve just set out on a NHL record 14 game road trip (making way for the Olympics) and are firing on all cylinders. The only question I have for the Canucks right now (beyond what, if any moves they may or may not make at the deadline) is if they are peaking too early in the season.

3.  Chicago Blackhawks (last week: 3)
With Dave Bolland scheduled to return to the line up this week (per Harken), the Chicago Blackhawks will be as close to 100% health as ever. It’s arguably the deepest roster in the NHL, so it will be interesting to see how the players and coach Joe Quennville handles it. Of course there is trade speculation, but we’ll have to see. The Hawks are 6-4 in their last 10 and currently hold a 15 point lead on the Central Division. The team is only 3 points back of the NHL lead in points.

2.  San Jose Sharks (last week: 1)
It’s pretty amazing a team (Capitals) can win 10 games in a row and still not lead the NHL in points. The reason for that is the 8-0-2 record of the San Jose Sharks over their last 10 games. The Sharks have quietly been winning nearly every game they play. In fact, they’ve only lost 10 games all year (in regulation). I’m pretty sure the Edmonton Oilers have dropped more games than that in 2010 alone…

1.  Washington Capitals (last week: 2)
The Washington Capitals are the hottest team in the league with 10 straight wins! The bad news is Mike Green was suspended for 3 games after a bad elbowing incident. In the same game Green suffered a knee injury, however, Capitals insider Tarik El-Bashir believes the injury isn’t too serious.

Stay classy, NHL Power Rankings.

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The Senators toying with everybody all this time?

January 26th, 2010

Oh how quickly things can change in today’s NHL!

Afternoon sportsfans, Champ here feeling the winds of change (insert mandatory Scorpions plug here) in the Nation’s capital with the Ottawa Senators suddenly rolling over opponents like a fat kid at the all you can eat buffet (chubby & blimpy kids association please send your hate mail to the following email address mantooth@stayclassy.net).

Daniel Alfredsson - Ottawa Senators

Daniel Alfredsson has a lot to do with the Senators recent success. Classy.

The Senators, winners of 6 straight, are looking like the Harlem Globetrotters of the NHL right now. With Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek, and Jason Spezza now all back in the fold, they really look to be pushing for a top 4 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Goaltending, which was horrendous for about a 10 game stretch (almost Red-Light Rocicot-ish), is suddenly quite solid and providing the Sens with a chance of winning every night. Even the powerplay is putting pucks in the net – something Senators fans haven’t seen all season long.

The are even reports that Bryan Murray will be an active buyer at the March 3rd NHL trade deadline. Murry has made no bones about wanting to add additional scoring depth to this seemingly potent lineup. It’s believed he’s looking for a top 6 forward (Carolina’s Ray Whitney or Edmonton’s Andrew Cogliano come to mind) without changing the current roster.

It should make for an interesting conclusion to this hockey season after the Olympics. Either the Senators will keep plowing through teams or will suffer another bi-polar episode and go on a losing streak of epic proportions. It will surely keep fans glued to their televisions to see how this season plays out.

Until next time,

Stay classy, Ottawa Senators Fans.

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