February 28, 2012

by Dobber Sports


I think we can all agree that it was the worst Trade Deadline Day ever. But was it really that bad? I put it mildly worse than last year. We still got our 16 deals and 31 players moving. We just had high expectations. If Nash went, would it have gone from the worst to the best? What about if Nash went, and Ott went? Would that have done it? I say yes. If those two deals went, it would have been the best trade deadline ever. So the difference between best and worst lie there. Imagine how bad the day would be had Hodgson/ Kassian not happened!


Many Canucks fans are very upset about the moves, but I like them. You know that Hodgson and the Canucks weren’t buddy/buddy just from how things went down two summers ago. And kudos to them for keeping it behind the scenes all this time, because most had forgotten all about it. But Hodgson’s value is the highest it has been since the drafted him, so waiting to that value to build was a smart thing. And getting a top power forward prospect is exceedingly difficult. Adding Gragnani, who is almost an Ehrhoff clone (if you remember what Ehrhoff’s track record was when he first joined the Canucks) also helps.


And one more thing Canuck’s fans. Jeff Angus pointed this out to me in an email last night – the big winner is Ryan Kesler. “Hodgson was playing really, really sheltered mins. Kes was playing tough mins. Pahlsson takes all of those tough mins, and kes will see way more offensive opportunities”. Very good point.


I had exactly 2000 readers join my live chat yesterday. Great number, but actually 700 fewer than last year, if that’s not an indication of perceived lack of deadline excitement I don’t know what is. But it’s also because so many other sites are having live chats now, so more competition, plus the fact that I tried to occasionally bury the chat off the front page headline.


I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that there were 28 shots in the Rangers/Devils game. Total. New York had 15, New Jersey had 13.  Eight shots combined in the first period and again in the third.


This is unbelievable – the Devils gave up 46 shots on Brodeur over the last three games. Or about 15 per game. They lost all three. He gave up seven goals, making 39 saves.


As Zidlicky continues to go pointless into his New Jersey tenure and is a minus-3. Granted, two goals against are via empty net, but isn’t that worse? Giving up a shot when you have an extra player advantage? I dunno….myself, I would have let it ride with Taormina. He was getting a point each game (small sample size, granted) and I would like to see how that plays out before scratching him.


Carl Hagelin has four points in his last two games and through half a season he has proven to be a 50- or 55-point player. Great start for the 23-year-old, but wonder if he has the upside for 65? Still, what a great scoring option for the third line, occasionally second line.


The Preds won an important game, shutting down the Kings. The winners of Deadline Week in my opinion. Gaustad and Gill add great size. Kostitsyn, who didn’t get into the lineup last night, will give a good ‘pop’ on the offense.


Patric Hornqvist is being used sparingly. I don’t know if he’s just being eased back in from his injury (probably) but he’s been getting about 12 minutes per game.


So what I’m seeing is – and I’m only saying – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been back for two games and has a point in each of them. Sam Gagner is pointless in those games. Edmonton line combos: RNH with Hall and Hemsky; Gagner with Smyth and Eberle; Horcoff with Eager and Jones. Very nice. When healthy, this team will win more than it loses. The problem with this stage of a rebuild is depth – no ability to handle a couple of injuries.


PP unit was Gagner, Hall, Eberle, Horcoff. Other unit was Hemsky, Jones, RNH, Smyth. Four forwards for each unit.


Patrik Berglund has points in three straight, and six of his last seven. Just a last minute surge so I don’t look quite as bad with my preseason prediction, which I think was somewhere in the low 60s.


Steve Downie joins Colorado and has yet to be held to one point. He’s not getting a ton of ice time, either. Only about 15 minutes per game. But he has seven points in three games with his new team. I refer to “post-trade adrenalin” but this is ridiculous.


The Avs – and Semyon Varlamov – have peeled off three wins in a row. All because of Downie?


Peter Mueller was back in the lineup. Line combos: O’Reilly with Downie and Landeskog; Duchene with Hejduk and Stastny; Olver with Mueller and Jones.


The Habs have recalled Blake Geoffrion from the minors to replace Kostitsyn. Now we can see how he fares on his new team. But I’d like to see Eller with an increased role. I like his outlook for the future. Louis Leblanc has been reassigned.


The Red Wings have recalled Brendan Smith and he is expected to be in the lineup tonight. Both Lidstrom and Quincey were absent from practice and both are day-to-day.


Jordan Eberle, roof daddy:




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