03 October 2009

Russo Confirms Huge SOTSOH I told you so!

Star Tribune Wild Columnist/Blogger Extrordinaire Michael Russo confirmed my opinion that Lemaire's resignation was pre-emptive as he expected to be fired by Riseborough.


"Last winter, GM Doug Risebrough came very close to firing coach Jacques Lemaire. It was told to me from an impeccable source, and if you read between the lines, confirmed by Risebrough. All he had to do was deny it. He didn’t. He just said it was “irrelevant” what he might have done last season because neither is here anymore."

SOTSO Hockey - 13 April 09

"Despite vague shows of support, I think Lemaire was going to end up the scapegoat for the Wild's underachiving this year, and I'm glad he's leaving under his own terms."


"Despite vague shows of support, I think Lemaire was going to end up the scapegoat for the Wild's underachiving this year, and I'm glad he's leaving under his own terms."

Looking Back, I think Lemaire did Leopold a favor. Had Lemaire waited for Dougie to fire him, Dougie might have been able to save his own skin with Leopold. Lemaire choosing to walk out on Riseborough may have clairified to Leopold where the problem was.

Game One of the new era tonight, in the same place where the old era ended (Columbus).

Enjoy Everyone!

01 October 2009

One Line NHL Predicitions...

The State of the State of Hockey is back!

The NHL's regular season opens tonight on Versus. Washington and Boston are just about underway, Joe Sakic will have his number retired in Denver later tonight. Real quick let me get my regular season predictions on the record.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
(C) Central, (N) Northwest, (P) Pacific

1> (P) San Jose - Heatley and Thorton make this offence very potent, though they probably overpaid. Still the Pacific division will again prove to be quite weak. Whether this tranlates into playoff victory or another early exit is the area of speculation
2> (N) Calgary - Bowemeister makes an already good D the best in the division. If Kippersieve plays better the Flames could run away with this.
3> (C) Chicago - The first team not called the Detroit Red Wings to win this division since 2001.

4> (C) Detroit - A year older and sans Hossa, this is the year they get eclipsed.
5> (C) St. Louis - They're still improving and should hang in the race a while, just not quite as many weapons as DET or CHI, yet... A good deadline deal could really make the Blues scary.
6> (N) Vancouver - Might challenge the Flames for the division.
7> (P) Anaheim - A ton of forward depth, especially with S. Koivu, but key losses on D and still a G contraversey.
8> (N) Minnesota - Perhaps a homer pick, but I think they've improved enough for a team one point out last year. But these last two playoff spots will be hotly contested until the bitter end.

9> (P) Dallas - Lot of optimism around this team post-Avery, but I say they still land out.
10> (C) Columbus - Could be in the hunt until the end.
11> (P) Los Angeles - They could be just a season away from the playoffs.
12> (C) Nashville - It's been too long since they've made the playoffs, but the Conference has passed the Preds by, and they play in the leagues toughest division.
13> (N) Edmonton - Not getting Heatly, Comrie's return, this looks to be a team destined for another season of turnover, the microscopic Canadian media won't help anything here.
14> (P) Phoenix - Uncertain summer hurt this team a bit, but they appear set to stay in the desert for a while
15> (N) Colorado - Tonight is Joe Sakic night, sadly, that will prove to be the highlight of their season.

PLAYOFFS
San Jose over Minnesota
Calgary over Anaheim
Chicago over Vancouver
Detroit over St. Louis

San Jose over Detroit
Chicago over Calgary

Chicago over San Jose

EASTERN CONFERENCE
(A) Atlantic, (N) Northeast, (S) Southeast
1> (S) Washington - This team will be great
2> (A) Pittsburgh - Remember they took 5th in the East last year
3> (N) Boston - Should still win the division, but will come a little bit back to earth (at least I'm not picking them 12th this season)

4> (A) Philadelphia - They could nip the Pens, but I'll just put them in a solid second for now.
5> (S) Carolina - Last seasons cinderella will take fewer teams by surprise this regular season
6> (A) New Jersey - I'm not as down on the Devils as most
7> (N) Montreal - Season 101 will be marginally better
8> (N) Ottawa - Ended up still getting a really good deal for Heatley

9> (A) New York Rangers- Surprise, early indications from broadway is Gabroik's already struggling to stay healthy.
10> (S) Florida - They again will be in the playoff race until the end.
11> (N) Buffalo - Another year's experience for this young team, wouldn't be shocking if they sneak in the playoffs
12> (N) Toronto - Most of the hype surrounding this team is from a xenophobic Canadian media. They're still firmly rebuilding for a while. Yet they will probably sell more tickets than most of the teams above them (except Montreal).
13> (S) Atlanta - Kovalchuk's impeding free agency is the big question, will they do well enough to try and sign him, or will the Thrash begin rebuilding. Still looking for playoff victory #1.
14> (S) Tampa Bay - Maybe they won't fire their coach after a month this year.
15> (A) New York Islanders - Still a ways from the top, but Tavares should be an exiting first building block.

PLAYOFFS
Washington over Ottawa
Pittsburgh over Montreal
New Jersey over Boston
Philadelphia over Carolina

Washington over New Jersey
Pittsburgh over Philadelphia

Washington over Pittsburgh

STANLEY CUP FINALS
Washington over Chicago