As you scramble to debate whether you should top up your RRSP contributions or buy new TV, (you might have taken your Oilers frustration out on your TV) we’ll discuss all thing NHL and the Oilers.
Let’s start with the proposed new realignment. Keep in mind the Board of Governors and the NHLPA still has to vote on this. This is just a proposal.
Elliott Friedman reported the new divisions and proposed format on Saturday.
There would be four new divisions comprising of 16 teams in the eastern conference and 14 in the west.
Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Florida. (Central)
Philly, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Washington, Carolina and Columbus. (Atlantic)
Dallas, Winnipeg, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota and Colorado. (Mid-west)
Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Anaheim (Pacific)
The top three teams in each division would make the playoffs and the final two spots would be wildcard berths from the remaining teams within their own conference.. Essentially eight east teams and six from the west would miss the playoffs each season.
Bob McKenzie tweeted how the outline of the schedule:
The western teams would play 29 games (likely 5 games v. 5 teams and 4 games v. 1 team), they’d play the other west division teams three times each (21 games) and they’d play every east team twice (32 games), once at home and once on the road.
The eastern conference would be as follows. They would play 30 games within their division (likely 4 games v. 5 teams and 5 games v. 2 teams), they’d play the other east division teams three times each (24 games) and they’d play the west teams twice (28 games), once at home and once on the road.
I like this proposal. It would ensure that fans got to see every team at least twice. They say there would be less travel, and likely so, but due to the Oilers geographical location they’d still travel more than most teams.
This is just a proposal and I’m sure some will complain that it is easier to make the playoffs in the west, but if they want less travel this works best. Keep in mind the board of governors and the NHLPA haven’t voted on this yet, but it seems likely we will see some sort of new divisional realignment and schedule next season.
- Interesting how differently people react to a bad play. When Ryan Whitney got beat by Jaromir Jagr in OT, he was ripped apart. Last night, Jeff Petry made a major mistake by inexplicably skating behind the net after getting beat one-on-one by Patrick Sharp, and that led to Marian Hossa’s OT winner. Petry got a bit of flack, but not close to the reaction Whitney received.
- Some stats guys will tell you Corey Potter is playing well. I love stats, I really do, but if your stats suggest he is playing well, I think that is proof that no statistical data is completely accurate. Please tell me what you see that makes you believe Potter is making an impact in games. I just don’t see it.
- I’d play Theo Peckham v. Dallas on Thursday. I thought he played well his first game, and surprised me with how confident he was moving the puck.
- I understand if Krueger wants to protect Nail Yakupov and doesn’t play him in tight games, but at some point he has to make a statement to his forwards who continually refuse to shoot the puck when they are in good shooting lanes. It is becoming ridiculous how often the Oilers pass up great shots and then end up missing the pass or getting no shot. It needs to stop, and he might have to do some tough love and sit guys for a shift or two.
- Nugent-Hopkins has 40 shots on net, but he’s missed the net 22 times. With only one goal it is obvious he is pressing and trying to pick the corner, but he might just need to fire one at the pads and hope for a rebound.
- Hall and Eberle have 61 shots on net, but they’ve only missed the net 14 and 18 times respectively. Gagner has 50 shots with 13 misses.
- Do you think the Oilers miss Horcoff? Salary aside, they desperately need a veteran to win some faceoffs, play solid defensively and contribute offensively.
- At some point one of the Oilers leaders is going to have to stand up and rattle some cages. You can’t always expect the coach to do it. It is time one of them stated they need to be more accountable to one another. We keep seeing the same mistakes happening game after game.
- The Bruins have only played 15 games. They will play 33 games in the next 61days, including 17 games from March 2nd to 31st. I’m curious to see how they hold up.
- In the 1995 shortened season Peter Bondra led the NHL in goals with 34. Right now only Steven Stamkos is on pace to match that, which would be 59 in an 82-game season. John Tavares, Patrick Marleau, James Neal and Tomas Vanek are on pace for 32-33, which would be great totals over a full season, if they maintain it.
- Jacub Voracek is off to a great start with 24 points in 21 games. Drafted one spot behind Sam Gagner he’s put up similar numbers to Gagner the past four seasons, 38, 50, 46 and 49 point seasons with 18 goals being his career-high. This year he already has 8 goals and 24 points. Gagner is having his most productive season as well with 18 points in 18 games.