New Jersey Devils Surprising 2015-16 Campaign

The 2015-16 New Jersey Devils team were projected to have one of the worst records on the NHL. As of February 21st, New Jersey has a winning record of 29-24-7 (65 points), and are 1 point shy of a Wild Card position.

The Devils acquired New Jersey raised, forward Kyle Palmieri from the Anaheim Ducks for two draft picks,  at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft in Florida, on June 26th. Palmieri had career highs of 14 goals and 31 points in 71 games in the 2013-14 season, his third of four years in Anaheim. As of February 21st, in 60 games, Kyle already has career highs in goals, 22, and in points, 39. He has been a great addition for New Jersey, and will likely to resign with the team in the off-season, for his 3 year contract will end, making him a restricted free agent (RFA).

There are a lot of young, fresh bodies in the Devils locker room. A few of those young players are forwards Joseph Blandisi and Reid Boucher, and as well as defenders Damon Severson and Adam Larsson. Blandisi was called up from Albany in mid December, and in 21 games, Joseph has had 5 goals and 12 points. Boucher, on the other hand, in 18 games, has 4 goals and 9 points. On the blue line for New Jersey, Damon Severson has 12 assists and 13 points in 54 games. 2011 4th overall pick Adam Larsson has 11 assists and 13 points in 60 games.

Cory Schneider has been one of the hottest goalies in the league. As of February 21st, he is tied for first with St. Louis Blues net minder Brian Elliot, for Goals Against Average (GAA), with 2.06. He is 5th in the league for Save Percentage (SV%), with .928. Cory is also tied for 4th in the league with Shutouts with 4. If he keeps on doing his job, he can definitely be a Vezina Trophy candidate.

If New Jersey keeps on playing with there success, they can find themselves in a Wild Card spot, and possibly even a Divisional Playoff spot.

Anaheim’s Most Underrated Player

    The Ducks, led by star players Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, are one of the best teams in the West.  Having an abundance of talent such as the aforementioned pair and others such as defenseman Cam Fowler, some key supporting players go unnoticed.  This player on Anaheim is none other than Jakub Silfverberg.
    The Swedish winger did not post very noticeable regular season numbers, totaling 13 goals, 26 assists and 39 points in 81 games.  However, he still did find himself fourth on the team in scoring.  The main reason he was chosen was his breakout playoff performance.  Jakub found himself behind only Ryan Getzlaf in production during the Ducks’ postseason ventures notching 18 points in a mere 16 games.
    Only 24 years old, Silfverberg has plenty more to prove and I would say it’s not far-fetched to see him as a legitimate top six winger scoring 50+ points in a season.  He, along with Stefan Noesen and Nick Ritchie, have proved to be excellent young acquisitions to make up for the 2013 trading of winger Bobby Ryan.

Thanks for reading.  Tomorrow I will cover the Arizona Coyotes.  Make sure to follow the The Hockey Scoop on Twitter @hockeyscoopblog.

What the Senators Need to do This Offseason

The Ottawa Senators surprisingly made the playoffs last season, when most people counted them out. To secure their spot next season, they will need to do a few things to help their roster.

First of all, they should have never traded Lehner. Even though he hasn’t proven himself yet, he’s only 23 years old. Look at what happened when they traded Bishop. The reason why I think the Senators shouldn’t have done that is because I think Hammond is just a one season type of guy. So I think they should have kept Lehner and traded Hammond.

Second, Ottawa needs to get Mike Hoffman signed. The Senators’ leading goal scorer this past season is an RFA, who is most likely going to arbitration. There were rumors of Ottawa trading him. I don’t believe that. If the Senators don’t sign him, they will lack most of the offense they had last season.

Third, the Senators should sign some veterans. Since the Senators traded Legwand to Buffalo recently, the Senators only have two veterans and both might not even be on the roster next season. Chris Neil and Chris Phillips both have been on the Senators for at least a decade and they’re both near the end of their careers. So for a young team like the Sens, they need those veterans who are guaranteed to be on their rosters to help out the young guns.

Finally, most Sens fans know what this is. I think the Senators need to trade for a top-6 winger. The Senators’ have four out of six spots filled. I know what you’re saying “Hoffman is a top-6 player”. Hoffman never seems to play well on the top two lines so I don’t count him. The Senators need to trade for a dedicated top-6 player.

These are only a few things I think the Senators should do this offseason. If you’ve got anymore suggestions, comment below.

Potential Rookies that Could Play For the Canadiens Next Season

Jacob De La Rose:
*LW, 6’3 and 20 years old.*
 Jacob was drafted in 2013, 34th overall. He played 33 regular season games in which he scored 4 goals and 2 assists, along with 12 playoff games with the Canadiens last season. It’s a safe bet that he’ll be on the 3rd or 4th lines this upcoming season. Because Montréal is one of the smallest teams in the NHL, they could use a big body that can bring some good two-way play. While he’s not the most fancy or unique player, he does have a good relationship with his coach, which can also be a factor.
Michael Mccarron:
*RW, 6’6 and 20 years old.*
Michael was also drafted in 2013, but went 25th overall. While he is not expected to become a star, Mccarron has great intensity and determination. He isn’t very fast, but plays with an edge and had 68 points in 56 games for the Oshawa Generals and London Knights (OHL). He won the memorial cup 2 months ago, and a silver medal in the IIHF World U18 Championship in 2013.
Jarred Tinordi:
*D, 6’6 and 23 years old.*
 Drafted 22nd overall in 2010, Jarred will hopefully be a 3rd pairing defenseman next year. Tinordi was moved between Montréal and Hamilton (AHL team) this season and played 13 games in total, and was a -5. He’s a solid defensive defenseman that doesn’t have much to his offensive game. There are also rumours of Alexei Emelin getting traded, so that could potentially open up a spot for Jarred Tinordi.

The Isles Worst Trade In Recent History

I’m sure many of you will agree with me, when I say the Isles worst move in recent history was the Chara-Yashin trade.

Before The Trade:

The Isles drafted Zdeno Chara 56th overall in 1996. He played a few seasons for them, and did not put up great numbers. In 2001, the Isles had the number 2 pick in the NHL Draft. They were also highly interested in Ottawa’s Alexei Yashin. Yashin had been putting up very consistent numbers before being traded, having 94 points in the 1998-99 season, and 88 points in the 2000-01 season. After picking Dipietro first overall in the previous draft, the Isles felt as if they were on the uprise. So they decided to trade Chara, their 2nd overall pick, and forward Bill Muckalt to the Sens, for Alexei Yashin.

After The Trade: 

The Senators picked Jason Spezza with their newly acquired 2nd overall pick. Years later we understand why this was on of the most lopsided trades of all time.

  1. Alexei Yashin played 3 full seasons with the Isles, never putting up more than 75 points. He also never managed to help the Isles to a playoff series win.
  2. Spezza and Chara would develop into NHL superstars. Spezza would be part of a great Sens team who went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007. Chara developed into an elite defenseman, who won the Norris Trophy in the 2008-2009 season for the leagues best defenseman. In 2011, he led his Bruins to a Cup victory over the Canucks, and then another Cup in 2013, losing to the Blackhawks.

Summary: The Isles gave up a future elite defenseman, and a top 2 draft pick who ended up being a top tier NHL forward, for a player who was past his prime, and would only play 5 seasons (3 full) for the Isles, before leaving for the KHL.
Let me know what you think was one of the most lopsided trades in Isles history, and NHL history as well! Thanks for reading!

Calgary Flames – projected forward lines

Line 1

*All the statistics are from the 2014-15 NHL regular season.

Gaudreau, Monahan, Hudler

This line is great! Hudler is a perfect mentor on Sean and Johnny and they each boost each other’s point production. This line is the only line that will stay the same as last year.  They didn’t score much in the playoffs, but I think it was lack of experience. This line is good defensively, but I would like to see less turnovers and more physical play.

Gaudreau: 24 goals, 40 assists, 80 games played

Monahan: 31 goals, 31 assists, 81 games played

Hudler: 31 goals, 45 assists, 78 games played and Lady Byng Trophy

Line 2

Bouma, Backlund, Frolik

Bouma had a breakout year last season and I think he is a great fit in this line; he helped out a lot defensively. With the addition of Frolik, he could be a 20+ goal scorer. Backlund’s  year was cut a bit short by injuries, but I think until Bennett develops into a second line center, Backlund can keep this job.

Bouma: 16 goals, 18 assists, 78 games played

Backlund: 10 goals, 17 assists, 52 games played

Frolik: 19 goals, 23 assists 82 games played

Line 3 

Colborne, Bennett, Jones

Colborne can play center or wing.  He has a big body that can go into the corners and hold the puck. Colborne isn’t afraid to take a hit and he has a okay wrist shot. Bennett played really well in the playoffs and wasn’t scared of anybody.  He is still eligible for the Calder trophy with only one regular season game played. Once he develops, he could be a real scoring threat.  Jones is a good third liner who can put up points and help defensively.

Colborne: 8 goals, 20 assists, 64 games played

Bennett: 3 goals, 1 assist, 11 games played  (Playoffs)

Jones: 14 goals, 16 assists 67 games played

Line 4 

Byron, Jooris,Stajan

Byron proved himself last year and was great when somebody got hurt.  This year, I think he’s got a chance at a roster spot. Jooris was a undrafted pick up signing and he has turned out to be great. He can win a lot of faceoffs and despite being injured, or a healthy scratch throughout the season, he still put up the points. Stajan is a veteran who usually plays center.   I wouldn’t be surprised if they move  him to  the wing because of how much depth they have. If it’s not Stajan, it will either be Bollig or Ferland, because of all the depth they have.

Byron: 6 goals, 13 assists, 57 games played

Jooris: 12 goals, 12 assists , 60 games played

Stajan: 7 goals, 10 assists, 59 games played

Other players possibly playing

Ferland: 2 goals, 3 assists, 26 games played

Bollig: 1 goal, 4 assists, 62 games played

*My opinions

Top 5 Calgary Flames Prospects

#5 Andrew Mangiapane was selected in the 5th round of the 2015 NHL draft.  He could be a potential steal. Andrew finished in the top 10 for OHL points.  The only reason he fell so low is because of his size.  At 5′ 10″, weighing 170 lbs, this guy’s a sniper! With 43 goals and 104 points in 68 games,  you don’t see this kind of player every day.

#4 Emile Poirier spent the season with the Adirondack Flames (AHL).  He played six games, only getting one assist. Poirier may may not be NHL ready but is a speedy power forward who can drive the net and  score very easily. He put up 19 goals and 42 points in 55 games with Adirondack. Emile was selected 22nd overall by the Flames in 2015. (RW)

#3 Mark Jankowski has taken some time to develop, but it looks like it will be worth it. In the 2014-15 season, Jankowski won the national championship with Providence. Jankowski has 28 goals and 70 points in the 110 games played with Providence where he will be going into his senior year.  Mark was the 24th overall pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft. (C)

#2 Hunter Smith is a very good two-way forward.  With his 6’6″ 210 pound body, he can hit, screen, tip in and block. He also has a offensive upside to him.  In the 2014-15 season, with the Oshawa Generals, Smith had 23 goals and 49 points in 57 games played. He does have some discipline issues to work on; he racked up 122 penalty minutes throughout the season. The Flames drafted him 54th overall in the 2013 NHL entry draft, and signed him to a entry level deal this off-season. (RW)

#1 Oliver Kylington is a smart, fast skating defenseman that plays a two way game. Oliver split the 2014-15 season between Farjestad, of the Swedish Hockey League, and AIK, of Sweden’s second division. He also suited up for ten games with Farjestad’s junior team.  Internationally, Kylington has played for Sweden at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He couldn’t  to play in the 2015 World Junior Championship because of injury. (LD)

*My Opinions

Stars Acquire Sharp

The Dallas Stars have acquired Patrick Sharp and defenseman Stephen Johns from the Chicago Blackhawks, for Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt. This comes as a surprise to most because the Flyers were front runners for Sharp. Sharp should add to Dallas’s high scoring offense, but the loss of Daley means that the young defense gets even younger.

USA Suffers Disappointing Loss To Finland

        Team USA was shutout yet again today against Finland.  The final score was a huge 5-0 win by Finland to capture the bronze medal.  I thought the first period was quite exciting and showed value of an entertaining game including the penalty shot by Patrick Kane coming off of the play in which Kimmo Timonen (FIN) shot part of a broken stick at TJ Oshie while he was controlling the puck.  I found it quite surprising that Bylsma chose Kane to shoot rather than shootout hero TJ Oshie.  Kane had quite the attempt, getting Rask down low but was at too bad of an angle and couldn’t lift the puck and bury it in the net.  In the second period Finland scored a pair of goals early into the period and began to dominate.  USA took 12 penalty minutes which lead to some key powerplay time for Finland.  The third period lead to even more domination and USA just wanted the game to end.  “They played like they had something to win, and we just kind of shut it down. … It wasn’t a good effort by us.” – Zach Parise’s comments after the game.  Here are the stats for the game.

 

Shots On Goal

USA-27  FIN-29

 

Penalty Minutes

 

USA-12  FIN-4

 

Powerplay Goals

 

USA-0 FIN-2

 

Time On Powerplay

 

USA-4:00  FIN-9:30

 

        Teemu Selanne had a game to remember with 2 goals.  If he had gotten one more goal he would have tied for the most career goals by any hockey player in the Olympics with 25 goals.  Tuukka Rask also had a great game with 27 saves to record a shutout.  Finland has medals from the past 3 Olympic games with a bronze here in Sochi, a bronze in Vancouver and a silver in Torino.  Finland ultimately deserved the medal and had a great Olympics this year.  Is Bobby Ryan intense enough for Team USA now?  I think so.

Finland vs. USA Game Preview

Today we get to see the bronze medal match-up between Team USA and Team Finland.  Both teams were eliminated yesterday and will want to at least bring home the bronze for their countries.  For Finland, Tuukka Rask will be starting in-goal after being out for their game against Sweden with an illness.  For USA, Jonathan Quick will earn yet another start.  After the heartbreaking loss to Canada USA might be too distracted to focus on the game and may lose as a result.  That’s why if I were Dan Bylsma I’d be starting Ryan Miller, who is most likely in a better state than Quick.  Finland may also be shaken up from their loss to Sweden.  Rask however, wasn’t participating in that game and should play with his ordinary dominance.  A key to USA winning this game is for players who just haven’t been able to score like Patrick Kane to step up and contribute.  For Finland they must keep solid defense and learn to play the way Canada did to shutout the U.S. previously.  Another note is that this is Finland’s captain, Teemu Selanne’s last Olympic hockey game he will ever play in.  I’ll have a post with the scores and an analysis after the game.