Sunday, March 8, 2009


Weekend Results: Revolt of the Downtrodden and the Bolts take over 29th Place
The Islanders picked up four points, beating the Devils and Phoenix Coyotes. Tampa Bay moved squarely into the race with a miserable outing against Carolina. The Thrashers had two home wins against Canadian teams to fall (climb) to 28th.

Most Meaningful Meaningless GameThis Week: Atl @ Col March 10

What's At Stake: The team finishing 30th( last) receives a 48.2 % chance to obtain the first draft pick in the NHL Entry Draft and a 100% chance of picking second if they fail to pick first. The 29th place finisher has an 18.8% chance of picking first and a 42% chance of picking second. The 28th place finisher receives only a 14.4% chance of drafting first. Given that the list of top prospects has been dominated by the two-headed monster Tavares/Hedman for more than a year, obtaining one of the top two picks has taken on added significance this year (has anybody ever heard of Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi, ranked third by the ISS?). Also at stake is the mythical (because, frankly, it doesn't exist) Kansas City Scouts Memorial Trophy*, named after the franchise with the worst winning percentage in NHL history.
* This trophy was formerly named the "Top of the Bottom Trophy". The name was changed by the NHL because Gary Bettman was squeamish about discussing the anatomical significance of the trophy's name with his young daughter.
Tavares/Hedman Watch:John Tavares scored a hat trick on Sunday to become the OHL's all-time leading scorer with 215 goals. Victor Hedman's season is over as Modo failed to qualify for the playoffs. But Hedman is already garnering post-season honors with one Swedish publication saying he was an "easy choice" for Rookie of the Year and predicting an imminent departure for the NHL.
The Little Three
Atlanta Thrashers: Kari Lehtonen awoke from a recurring trade deadline nightmare which featured Al Strachan screaming "Lehtonen to the Flyers" over and over. Relieved of the possible pressure to perform up to expectations for a playoff contender, Kari turned in two outstanding efforts. Time to start Johan Hedburg. To make matters worse (better) the Thrashers defense showed signs of improvement despite trading Nic Havelid. Will Don Waddell regret winning 3 of the 4 meetings with the Isles earlier in the season?

New York Islanders: Despite the good (bad) news about a possible season ending injury to Trent Hunter, the Isles third leading scorer, and the trade of Bill Guerin, the Isles showed signs of awakening from their slumber and have been 5-4-1 in the last 10 games. A six game road trip starting this week should fix that.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Traded "Wrecking Ball" Mark Recchi, their best defenseman Steve Emiger, and spiritual advisor Olaf Kolzig. Combine that with Mike Smith's walkabout and the results were the worst record in the NHL over the last ten games. The Bolts control their own ill-fate with games remaining with the NYI and Thrashers(2). I have a hunch that Mike McKenna will start those games.

No comments:

Post a Comment