Posts Tagged 'H'

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.

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Canucks Goalies

From the province:

…the Canucks have dressed 27 stoppers since Jan. 2, 1998 when Kirk McLean was traded.

So lets let the naming game start…

1) Alex Auld
2) Dan Cloutier
3) Bob Essensa
4) Peter Skudra
5) Artrus Irbe
6) Roberto Luongo
7) Garth Snow
8 ) Cory Schenider
9) Curtis Sanford
10) Jason Labarberra
11) Johan Hedberg
12) Kevin Weekes
13) Danny Sabourin
14) Martin Brochu
15) Sean Burke
16) Chris McIntyre (UBC guy)
17) Felix Potvin

Give me a little help with the remaining ten please…

Jesus! That is a lot of goalies.

The problem

I am not upset with the Canucks’ 6W-6L record. I have been impressed with their new additions and the offense has produced beyond expectations. Luongo is a slow starter, however he has not been the cause of any loss, and his game is starting to pick up. His 12 of 13 saves in the shootout against Anaheim was worthy of his Captain status (still not a fan of that choice though).

The problem with the Canucks was summed up on the review of last night’s game in the Globe and Mail:

The Canucks were the best penalty-killing team in the NHL that season (2006-2007), negating almost 87 per cent of opponents’ power plays and winning the Northwest Division. They slid to 14th in the league last season and, not coincidentally, missed the playoffs.

This year, Vancouver ranked 21st heading into last night, even though it was perfect on GM Place ice, having erased the first 12 short-handed situations of the new season. But the Canucks had also permitted 12 power-play goals in just 46 opportunities on the road and that trend hit home last night.

The stats on the penalty kill this season are as follows:

  • Goals allowed – 15 (Last in League)
  • Times Shorthanded – 63 (Second most in NHL)
  • Penalty Killing percentage – 76.2% (24th in the league)

The obvious problem is that the Canucks are taking too many penalties.  Ryan Johnson said it best, in hockey-speak no less: the best way to kill penalties is not to take them.  On the surface, the Canucks have to address this issue- staying out of the penalty box.

However, looking at the statistics for the completed 2006-2007, that statement doesn’t quite work:

  • Goals allowed – 57 (5th best in League)
  • Times Shorthanded – 436(5th most in NHL)
  • Penalty Killing percentage – 86.9% (Best in the league)

The Canucks that year gave up the 5th most penalties but still managed to retain the number one penalty kill in the league!

I would expect a strong penalty kill given the make up of this team.  This team is built around strong defense, world-class goaltending and a strong third and fourth line (players who are supposed to be specialty players).  However, the penalty kill looks to be scrambling most nights and having problems clearing the zone.  Also, Luongo has not been the best penalty killer on the ice as he needs to be. 15 of the Canucks 38 goals allowed (40%) have been while shorthanded.  This percentage is too high given the talent.

So what has changed from the 2006-2007 season?

Burrows, Kesler, Ohlund, Mitchell, Pyatt, Salo and Bieksa are still there with the additions of Ryan Johnson and Edler.  Gone are Linden, Jan Bulis, Brendan Morrison and Matt Cooke.  It is strange to admit but I remember Jan Bulis being an incredible penalty killer.  He always pressured the point and was able to win the scrums along the half board and at blue line to clear the puck.  Is he the solution?  Probably not.  But interesting at least.

Anyway, probably not adding any solutions to this but just pointing out some facts.

Canucks Halloween Costumes

Vancouver Viewpoint has a sneak peak at the Canucks Halloween costumes. I have been undercover for this job, which is an explanation for my lack of postings.

Alex Burrows (just warming up here):

Cause he is a pest,(Just warming up)

Cause he is a "pest"

 Roberto Luongo:

This is cryptic costume.  He thinks he is overvalued.

This is cryptic costume. He thinks he is overvalued.

Taylor Pyatt:

 

Damn, cover his eyes

Damn, covers his eyes

Sami Salo:

Update- Sami injured himself getting into wheelchair

Update- Sami injured himself getting into wheelchair

Sedin Twins:

When you are twins you are limited to only the best costumes

When you are twins you are limited to only the best costumes

The fourth line (Hordichuk, Johnson,  Rypien):

Ace, Buddy and PJ went on to win best costume of the night

Kyle Wellwood:

He forgot his costume.
He forgot his costume.

Premature Celebration Fan

WOOOOO-OOOO-OOOO, Stanley Cup!!!!!! HERE WE COME!!!!!

So, take a left from GM Place…….I am totally skipping school for this parade

Canucks Trade

I believe this topic is worth a mention.

So coming to the Canucks is Michel Ouellet and Shane O’Brien. On their way out Lukas Krajicek and Juraj Simek.

This trade is a win for the Canucks. I like the offence that Ouellet brings (116 pts in 157 g) with limited minutes and it seems he is defensively aware given his +/-. I am wondering where he will fit in with the Canucks. I imagine him playing on the second line with Demitra and Raymond/Pyatt. This might be a problem: the line was soft enough with Pyatt, Ouellet will not add more grit. Perhaps the Canucks think that Raymond needs more time in the minors to hone his game and this move is a stop gap until Raymond is NHL ready.

The Shane O’Brien pick up is amazing. For a player that was traded for a first round pick not more than two years ago, Tampa gave up quick on him. I do like this guy, but think he would be surplus if Luc Bourdon was still around.

Seeing Krajicek out is not that big of a deal. He has the skills, just missing the NHL professionalism. Simek looked like a good prospect, but I think you have to give up something to get something back. I think Simek is that something in this trade.

Good trade, interesting to see where everyone fits in.

Where are RJ`s Posts…

If only his friends where as good looking

If only his friends where as good looking

He is writing a blog with his best friend Ferris Bueller…. Unfortunately, you do not see his number 25- McCarthy in this picture.