August 09 2012 02:09PM
The key to the Stanley Cup rides high
Photo by JulieAndSteve via Wikimedia Commons
Sifting through the futures odds to win the Stanley Cup for the 2012-2013 NHL season, it is no surprise that the Los Angeles Kings currently sit atop the chart as 8/1 favorites. Coming off a 16-4 playoff record, the team will return an identical roster to the one that defeated New Jersey 6-1 in game six of the Stanley Cup Final. GM Dean Lombardi has been relatively quiet this offseason, focusing on retaining his key contributors and role players. Since the team figures to look stunningly similar on opening night, projecting the Kings’ season success will best be accomplished evaluating last season’s roster moves and results to determine
how many rings they’ll win in the next five years what we can expect this year.
August 09 2012 08:00AM
In 2012 the Dallas Stars missed out on the playoffs for the fourth straight year. After being eliminated in the final game of the season in 2011 by the lowly Minnesota Wild, the Stars were spared some of that heartache by missing the cutoff by six points in 2012. The Stars were 17th in Fenwick Close, and when you finish in the middle of the pack in possession the chances of your season ending early increase.
Despite missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year, the Stars weren't a disaster under first year head coach Glen Gulutzan. They have their issues going forward, but the club has a solid developing core of young players that should carry the team back into contention at some point in the near future.
This offseason was the first in several years where the Stars organization had some money to spend and with that infusion of wealth they set their sights on three key areas: special teams, depth, and possession.
August 08 2012 06:13AM
Bet on Benn to be even better in 2012-13
Photo by Resolute via Wikimedia Commons
The 2012 season saw Jamie Benn start to get national recognition for the type of player he has been developing into over the course of the prior two seasons. He was the Dallas Stars best player on most nights into 2011-12 despite being one of their youngest. The Stars offseason activities are going to further thrust Benn into the spotlight in 2013.
The question is "Can Jamie Benn actually be better?".
The answer is a resounding yes. Benn, despite already being an elite player, is primed for a significant breakout season next year.
August 07 2012 07:24PM
Once again, it's up to Getzlaf to carry the Ducks offense
Photo by Arnold C, via Wikimedia Commons
I'm not going to lie to you: the Anaheim Ducks were a bad team last year. And they're probably a year or two away from getting substantially better. That's the kind of stuff that happens when you swap out Lubomir Visnovsky for Sheldon Souray, your best players have mostly peaked or are past their prime, you have to fire your Stanley Cup-winning coach mid-season, and the youngsters are not quite ready.
Yet, at the same time, this is an exciting team for me. I love watching Jonas Hiller and Teemu Selanne play; ditto Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf. I have a great appreciation for how Toni Lydman and Saku Koivu play the game, and Cam Fowler and Devante Smith-Pelly can be fun guys to watch on the ice.
But what makes up these 2012-13 Ducks, coming off a dismal 22nd-place finish in Fenwick Close? And why could they be slightly optimistic?
August 07 2012 06:19AM
The universe - it's not so static.
Photo by NASA, Public Domain
It was one of those moments that you live for in research. A shocking result popped out of the analysis. "Holy crap, this is going to change the game," I thought.
But that's not the story here. The real story is what happened next.