Posts Tagged 'Avalanche'

A proposal to change the Draft Lottery

This year’s race to the #1 draft pick has underlined the fact that teams do their best to improve their chances at getting the #1 pick. Case in point- Tampa Bay lightning icing Vincent Lecavalier with an eighth of the season to go. With the playoffs out of reach, Tampa decided it was best to schedule their best player for surgery so that he has time to rehab for next season. I don’t see it as that, I see it as a way to improve their chances to the #1 draft pick. I think this tanking of your team is against the idea of sport, a slap in the face to your fanbase and just generally uncool and square.

What do I propose? A playdown for draft seeding. This would happen immediately after the regular season and involve the teams that missed the playoffs. It would take a week to complete and allow the playoff bound teams some rest before the grind of the playoffs.  Seeding would be based on how teams performed in the regular season and home ice advantage would always default to the team with the worst  record.  When everything is said and done the draft positions would be based on how far teams made it in the playdown.

The bracket would set up in an eastern and western bracket and teams would be reverse seeded based on how they finished in the regular season. This is what I propose with teams for the 2009 season to show the seeding (click on image for larger view):

NHL DRAFT BRACKET

NHL DRAFT BRACKET

A draft playdown has some great possibilities:

  • Gives fan bases of poor teams something to cheer for
  • Opens up hockey to a fanbase that loves brackets
  • Reduces the risk of teams tanking it and resting their best players to get a good draft seed
  • Gives all non playoff bound teams a chance at the # 1 pick
  • Generate more revenue for non-playoff bound teams
  • Allows teams to try-out prospects in their farm system
  • Gambling potential!!!

I like it and I hope you do to.

Rock on.

Speaking of injury problems

canucks_big.gifprt1997.jpg

When you are intensely focused on the fortunes of your own team, it is easy to view various circumstances as somehow particular to it.

Take, for instance, injuries. The other day, I noted that the Canucks were/are hampered by a number of injuries on the blue line. By implication, I wanted to suggest that the Canucks could hardly be expected to win at the pace necessary to keep up the playoff chase when suffering from this misfortune.

The problem with this, however, is the implicit assumption that the Canucks are somehow unique in this regard. The fact of the matter is, many teams suffer from injury troubles that presumably affect their competitiveness, especially at this time of the year.

Consider, for example, tonight’s opponents: the Colorado Avalanche. For some time now, the Avs have been without their two best players (Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth) and young star Paul Stastny. You might think this would spell doom for the Avs’ playoff aspirations, right? Wrong. The Avs have not only managed to tread water; they have been winning a lot of hockey games and now find themselves second in the Northwest division and sixth in the Western conference.

The moral of the story: injuries or not, a good team must find ways to win hockey games in adverse conditions. The Canucks have not been doing a lot of this lately.

Let’s hope Thursday’s win against Atlanta was a step in that direction, and that the Canucks defeat their Northwest rivals tonight on Hockey Day in Canada.

A welcome reminder


Not to put too much stock in one game, but last night’s 4-3 victory over Colorado was a welcome reminder of how successful the Canucks can be when they stick to the game plan instituted last season by Alain Vigneault.

(Sound defensive positioning, intense pursuit of loose pucks, excellent goaltending, and offence generated mainly by exploiting mistakes made by the other team was a hallmark of last year’s team. More to the point, it is a formula tailor-made for a team that is blessed with one of the best goalies in the world and a reasonably responsible defence corps but, admittedly, little offensive talent to speak of.)

For the first time since they racked off three victories in a week against Calgary and Edmonton at the beginning of the season, the Canucks looked difficult to beat against the Avalanche. They made plays, won a lot of battles for the puck, moved the puck well, and made few errors in play without the puck. That, and Roberto Luongo was back to his stellar self.

Hopefully, a step in the right direction.

What would John Garrett say?

Don’t look now, but the Canucks are now 4-0 against Northwest division rivals. Considering the fact they will play 32 games against teams in their own division, this bodes well for the Canucks’ hopes of retaining the division title. I think 32-0 is an attainable expectation. Oh, and what do you know? Next up for the Canucks, Calgary. Hello, two game winning streak!