Archive for the ‘Teams’ Category

Darryl Sutter Steps Down As Calgary Flames GM—What Now?

December 28th, 2010 No Comments

Numerous media sources are reporting that Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter is stepping down with assistant GM Jay Feaster taking over a team that has failed to produce. Many fans were clamoring to see Sutter fired during the off-season—an off-season that saw Sutter make a number of questionable moves, including the signings of Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay to contracts when they had failed to produce in Calgary before. Feaster, who won a Stanley Cup as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s GM, is expected to keep Brent Sutter in the head coaching position, while Duane Sutter’s future as director of player personnel also looks safe, for now. The Flames own a 16-18-3 record, not a disaster, but hardly what many Flames Flames expected from their club. When you look at the overall picture the Flames look to be in trouble,

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Too Many Questions Facing Toronto Maple Leafs

December 27th, 2010 1 Comment

Heading into the 2010-11 season I posted an article that featured five key questions facing the Toronto Maple Leafs. First, which goaltender would emerge as the number one goalie? Second, could Tyler Bozak rise to the occasion and emerge as a true number one centre? Third, would Dion Phaneuf be “Dion”? Fourth, Could Nazem Kadri deliver at the NHL level and finally, could the Maple Leafs improve their special teams? Admittedly, there were a heck of a lot more than five questions facing the Maple Leafs this season, but if even half of these questions could be address positively, one had to believe the Maple Leafs would have an outside chance of making the playoffs this season. Unfortunately, just days before the calendar flips into 2011, the Maple Leafs are yet to answer any of these questions—a least in a

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Dion Phaneuf Fights Ilya Kovalchuk, Helps Lead Maple Leafs To Victory

December 26th, 2010 No Comments

Heading into tonight’s exciting tilt between the 28th ranked Toronto Maple Leafs and the 30th ranked New Jersey Devils, nobody expected any fireworks. The Devils and Maple Leafs had lost a combined 39 games and own two of the most pathetic offenses in the game. Needless to say, this game had “total bore” written all over it, and it was, that is until Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf and Devils sniper Ilya Kovalchuk dropped the gloves. To be honest, it wasn’t much of a tilt, but in a season that has already seen Sidney Crosby and other super-star calibre players drop the gloves, it was interesting to see Kovalchuk trying to drop bombs. The Maple Leafs were up by a score of 1-0 at the time. In the end the fight did little to change the outcome of the game,

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Team Canada/Russia Preview

December 26th, 2010 No Comments

As Team Canada gets set to take on the Russians this afternoon just about every Canadian on the planet will be watching. The World Junior Championship has become a Christmas tradition for many Canadians and for some is bigger than the Stanley Cup. Canada’s record at the WJC is astounding. Since it’s inception in 1977, Canada has brought home a total of 26 medals, including 15 gold, seven silver and four bronze—second all-time to Russia’s/Soviet Union’s 28 medals. Canada is the only team to win five consecutive gold medals, a feat they accomplished twice—1993-1997 and, most recently, 2005-2009. The 2010 WJC ended with Team USA defeating Team Canada 6-5 in overtime. John Carlson’s overtime winner will not be forgotten by those that donned the red and white for Canada last year, nor does it sit lightly with this years Team.

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Ron Wilson: To Fire Or Not To Fire?

December 22nd, 2010 1 Comment

Throughout most of the 2010-11 season Toronto Maple Leafs fans have been calling for Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson to be fired. Wilson joined the Maple Leafs after spending five seasons with the San Jose Sharks, a tenure that, while extremely successful during the regular season, were often blemished by numerous early playoff exits, which many felt led to Wilson’s dismissal. Since his arrival in 2008-09, Wilson has led the Maple Leafs to a combined record of 76-90-31 with the team finishing in 24th overall (2008-09), 29th overall (2009-10) and currently sitting 28th overall through 33 games in 2010-11. Clearly, the Maple Leafs horrific record speaks volumes— the question is, how much of the blame should be shouldered by Ron Wilson? When Wilson took over the Maple Leafs in 2008-09 he took over a team that was going nowhere

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Alex Ovechkin: How Far Has His Star Fallen?

December 20th, 2010 1 Comment

The moment he hit the ice for the first time, there was no denying that Alex Ovechkin was a star. Few players make their way to the NHL to emerge as an instant all-star— something Ovechkin did as a rookie in 2005-06 when he scored 52 goals and netted 106 points. Since his rookie season Ovechkin has continually posted all-star-calibre numbers, accumulating point totals of 92 (2006-07), 112 (2007-08), 110 (2008-09) and 109 (2009-10). Over that time span Ovechkin registered goal totals of 46 (2006-07), 65 (2007-08), 56 (2008-09), 50 (2010-11). While Ovechkin’s career totals are impressive, many NHL pundits have been debating whether or not Ovechkin has been evolving as a player—a debate that took off last season as a result of Sidney Crosby’s strong play in 2009-10. Try as he might to avoid such comparisons, Ovechkin has long

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