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Here’s a bullet list of the things that people were saying about the Canucks prior to the series vs. Calgary:

  • The Canucks have balanced scoring
  • The Canucks have great goaltending
  • The Canucks are well coached
  • Everyone’s healthy
  • The Canucks D can’t score
  • The Sedins are well rested
  • The Canucks are resilient
  • Eddie Lack can start
  • The Canucks perform under pressure
  • Desjardins is an awesome coach
  • The Canucks seem built for a playoff series
  • We don’t need Kassian
  • The Canucks will beat Calgary in a seven game series

So where has this team gone?  What has happened to produce a brink of elimination scenario for the team that could do no wrong in Vancouver, the same team that, effectively, eliminated the L.A. Kings from playoff contention?  Here’s another bullet list, one more appropriate to the series between the Canucks and Flames, currently a 3-1 lead for the Flames:

  • The Canucks have goaltending problems
  • Canucks fans are lifeless, and Flames fans rock
  • The Canucks can’t score
  • Vrbata is not a playoff player
  • The Sedins, Bieksa, Burrows and anyone else representing “the core” is stale
  • Tortorella was right about a lot of things
  • Bonino and Sbisa for Kesler was about as bad a trade as you could make
  • The Canucks D can’t score
  • Eddie Lack is a backup goalie
  • The Canucks aren’t physical enough for a playoff series
  • Desjardins doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing/is getting outcoached by Hartley
  • The Canucks need to trade everyone
  • We need Kassian
  • There is no way the Canucks can beat the Flames in a seven game series

I don’t even know what the middle of this is in order to find the truth.  The Canucks are what they are, a hardworking, industrious and responsible team which, in my opinion, have overachieved this season just to make the playoffs.  They don’t seem to have the energy needed to make a playoff run anymore, and they don’t seem to have the energy needed to elevate their game for a best-of-seven series.  The translation here– they’re too old.

That said, do I give up on this team?  Never.  I’ll go to game 5.  I’ll cheer my lungs out.  I’ll go down with the ship, our ship, our Canucks.  After all, this might be the last we see of them.  They’ve been flawed. They haven’t learned how to take over a series.  They have always suffered through questions of whether or not they could do what was needed.  But they have been a team.  Our team.  Our Canucks.  And we’ll love them until the end.

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Kings and Pawns

The Canucks had no answer for Jonathan Quick and the L.A. Kings Thursday night at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks had no answer for Jonathan Quick and the L.A. Kings Thursday night at Rogers Arena.

The Los Angeles Kings showed the Vancouver Canucks why they are the defending Stanley Cup champions Thursday night in Vancouver.  While the Canucks were busy trying to stand up to the Kings physically, the Kings played a smart, tight and controlling road game en route to a dominating 4-0 win.

Players like Ryan Stanton have helped bolster the Canucks improved physical presence.

Players like Ryan Stanton have helped bolster the Canucks improved physical presence.

From the opening whistle the Canucks seemed determined to make a physical statement to the Kings, a team that has bullied the Canucks over the past three seasons since they met in the 2012 playoffs.  The knock on the Canucks has long been that they have lacked a physical presence on the ice.  While that problem seems to have been remedied, the Kings showed that they aren’t just a mound of meat-heads, and the Canucks will need to make further changes to the roster if they expect to contend in the future.

That said, the most notable problem for the Canucks on this night seemed to be an issue with their coverage on the weak side of the puck, down low.  It was exposed twice against San Jose and the Kings clearly watched some game tape.

The first two goals were cross ice feeds, high to low, for easy tap in goals.  That the Canucks seem to be overloading one side of the ice is one thing, but that they’re allowing exacting passes that slice through the middle of their defence to the front of the net is an entirely different problem, especially since the passes are not being made by Jeff Carter or Anze Kopitar, but rather by the likes of Justin Williams and Brayden McNabb.

After the clutchy goals of Justin Williams and Tyler Toffoli built the Kings a 2-0 lead, the game was all but over when the normally reliable Dan Hamhuis coughed up a puck to none other than Anze Kopitar, playing perhaps his best game in recent memory.  Kopitar beat the hapless Eddie Lack on the play, and the game was solved.

The Hamhuis giveaway early in the third period all but sealed the win for the hard working Kings.

The Hamhuis giveaway early in the third period all but sealed the win for the hard working Kings.

All that remained was the question of whether or not Kings netminder Jonathan Quick could stop the 19 shots the Canucks could muster all game.  Quick was up to the task, and after Canucks coach Willie Desjardins pulled Lack with 4:20 remaining, a quick empty netter deposited by Marian Gaborik completed the Kings win.

Canucks’ shooters couldn’t muster more than one shot at a time on the Kings net, as the Kings cleared the rebounds time and time again.  It seemed difficult for the team to muster any sustained pressure, while the Kings came up with timely plays seemingly whenever they needed to.

Whatever has been going on this season for the Kings seems to have been corrected, at least on this night, while the Canucks will need to hope that all the other teams they face this season prove a little more compatible to their playing style.

At the moment, the Kings asked a lot of questions of the Canucks, questions which had no answers.

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The Canucks mourned the 2011 Stanley Cup loss because they knew they'd never get a better shot at it.

The Canucks mourned the 2011 Stanley Cup loss because they knew they’d never get a better shot at it.

With a half an hour to go prior to the Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks tilt, and a mountain of my own to climb in terms of personal deadlines, I need to stop and reflect upon what has been the most memorable Canucks season in recent history, a history worth remembering for all of the wrong reasons.  Even if I was optimistically fanboying the Canucks into first place to begin the season, I did add the cryptic “if all goes according to plan”.  Well, it didn’t.  It really didn’t.  As expected, with injuries to any significant player, the team’s organizational depth was never strong enough to sustain any need to replace key roles.

Luongo's days of wondering in Vancouver are over.

Luongo’s days of wondering in Vancouver are over.

And how the team has had to replace key roles! Love him or hate him, Roberto Luongo’s contract is lengthy but it is somewhat plausible that he will play to the near end of it, as he is still, on reputation anyway, an elite all-world goalie.  Still, moving the Canadian goalie to his old stomping grounds in Florida means the team has a dubious NHL backup, a towering under-performing center and a promising junior player in Bo Horvat, who is now nursing a leg injury to show for not only Roberto Luongo, but also a second starting goalie in Corey Schneider.

Without Luongo, Eddie Lack's job gets a lot more serious all of a sudden.

Without Luongo, Eddie Lack’s job gets a lot more serious all of a sudden.

So the Canucks fans and, to a greater extent, the team must realize the fact of the matter.  He’s gone.  Swedish rookie, Eddie Lack is the Canucks new starter, as the deflated lineup still struggles to win.   When the great saviour tonight is Nicklas Jensen who, up until recently, was so far down the depth chart that the replacement call for Daniel Sedin was not Jensen but Darren Archibald you know the Canucks are stretched thin.

The Canucks organizational depth has never had such a stiff challenge from injuries than this season.  Even the proverbial cupboards are officially bare, with Hunter Shinkaruk needing hip surgery and Bo Horvat suffering a knee injury just the other night.  Brendan Gaunce has slowed down from his early season pace.

Moreover, what cannot be denied is that the move of Roberto Luongo has signified what hockey fans perhaps have failed to realize for the last three seasons, however — this Canucks team simply isn’t the same team that needed one less Maxim Lapierre taunt to win it all in 2011.

Former Alternate Captain Sami Salo was written off like so many others.

Former Alternate Captain Sami Salo was written off like so many others.

The list of names missing from that roster are now retired or fixtures on other team’s first unit power plays, penalty kills, goaltending, and situational plays.  Since the team has parted ways with players such as Raffi Torres, Manny Malhotra, Mikael Samuelsson, Sami Salo, Corey Schneider and Christian Ehrhoff, to name a few, the team has been searching for a winger who can score and hit, a faceoff winner, a veteran scoring winger and steady reliable defensemen who can move the puck on the powerplay.

It won’t be long before the team is in search of reliable goaltending, and everyone will point to the days when the team had the two best goalies in the league, too.

So where does it go from here?  The injury to Shinkaruk, a long shot to make the team, is more serious than the can’t-miss  prospect Bo Horvat’s, but injuries to 18 year-old rookies are not as concerning things as injuries to a veteran’s pride, as we’ve witnessed with Luongo.  Case in point, we need look no further than Ryan Kesler’s recent interest in playing for a contender and how it will only become more magnified around draft day. The media storm was palpable this time around, just imagine how much of a distraction it will become towards the 2015 trade deadline if it drags on that long.  And, just how long will it be before other veterans on the team feel that it’s now or never for a chance at the Stanley Cup?

Alaign VigneaultDespite all of this, the lineup, on paper, looks good enough to make the playoffs, but at least one other element appears to be missing from previous years of domination.  The baffling drop in production of not one or two but all of the Vancouver Canucks directly coincides with the removal of its all-time winningest coach in Alain Vigneault and the arrival of John “I don’t coach the powerplay” Tortorella.  Tortorella’s often mysterious choices have already led to a suspected divisiveness in the dressing room and dissension in the ranks.  The signs are all over the ice too.

But the signs are also there that the Canucks are suffering through what every once-great team eventually suffers.  Time catches all of us. The Edmonton Oilers have taken years to recuperate after the Gretzky and Messier led era.   After Roy, Sakic and Forsberg, the Colorado Avalanche took years to rebuild and are only now showing signs of rebounding.  Even the Detroit Red Wings, seemingly invulnerable to this effect for years, are not what they once were.

Osgood isn't better than Luongo... but he did win more cups... so far?

Osgood isn’t better than Luongo… but he did win more cups… so far?

The Canucks are no different, for the exception of one key aspect.  These other teams I mention, when they were given their window of opportunity, used it to win a championship.  They are the franchises’ untouchable names, permanently engraved on a silver ring and in all the memories of the legions of fans devoted to their respective teams.

The Canucks, meanwhile, instead of opening the window and emerging into the freedom and immortality a championship provides a player, may have used the window to leap to their sudden death.

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Welcome to What the Deuce Eastern Conference Style!!

A lot of teams are Hot and a lot of teams just went Cold. Lets start with the most noticeable Hot suprise.

The Flyers!! Who would have thought that they would be in the playoffs picture. Giroux finally woke up and and decided to live up to his huge contract and Goaltending and Defense has start playing better because they realized that their great aquisition by the name of Lacavalier is a dud. I don’t know if they can continue this pace, I see them more of slowly falling back down the standings.

Yeah...a picture is worth a thousand words

Yeah…a picture is worth a thousand words

Who is running cold in the East? None other than the mighty Maple Leaf’s. I know what Nonis was thinking when he signed Phaneuf to that stupid contract…he was thinking…hey…he is the best Defensemen available…well yes…that is true, but he is not worth the money. Why am I talking about Dion’s contract instead of what is wrong with this team? Like the Oilers of the West, there are so many problems with this team; Management, Coaching, Forwards, Defensemen, and Goaltending…I could write a whole article just on this one team, but I will not…I would rather go cut my toenails.

The reason why I am talking about Phaneuf is because he is suppose to be the Leader of this team, he wears the “C” right? and with the “C” comes great responsibilties…like actually Leading your team by your words or by example. He doesn’t do any of these things…he is just satisfied with getting his paycheck and going back to his wife. I remember when players use to care about winning and losing. You know…having some love for the game instead of having the love of the good life.

Here are the current rankings at the Halfway mark starting from number 1 – 8, while one team in the East that is not part of the playoff picture will get a: ‘What the Deuce’ from me to you.

 250px-nhl_eastern_conference_svg_

 nhl-penguins

1. Pittsburgh Penguins – Wow…got beaten by the lowly Oilers…at least Crosby final had his first goal against them. Still in first place in the East even with all the injuries shows the depth of this team.

 nhl-bruins

2. Boston Bruins – Didn’t fair very well with the California trip. If the Bruins were playing in the West, they would just be considered an ABOVE AVERAGE TEAM. Reilly Smith is a pleasant suprise as a secondary scoring threat; not so pleasant is Rask’s play as of late in net, maybe he needs a little rest.

nhl-lightning

3. Tampa Bay Lightings – St. Louis is showing why he deserved to wear the “C” for all his hard work over the years.  The fact that he is also carrying the team while Stamkos is out shows that he also deserves a spot on the Canadian Olympic Team a lot more than Nash. He has character and heart, the Olympic Team has enough large bodies on that team. What they need a a little guy running around causing havoc on the ice and on the scoreboard. Just my 2 cents.

nhl-canadiens

4. Montreal Canadiens – The second best hope for Canada to bring home the Stanley Cup. Does anybody really believe that they have a chance at that though? I say a couple more years and they will be primed as legit contenders once their prospects mature.

nhl-capitals

5. Washington Capitals – Ovie needs to work on his Defensive Game. A -15 just won’t do. Come playoffs, teams will not be scared that Ovechkin is scoring because they know that they can and will score with him on the ice as well. It’s not just Ovie either, for this team to go far, they will need to step up on Defense and Goaltending.

nhl-flyers

6. Philadephia Flyers – What the heck…I and most other smart people who write about hockey, but can’t play worth shit left this team for dead. Are they really this good or is it because the teams that were ahead of them couldn’t get their acts together. I will go with a little from combo A and a little from Combo B.

nhl-rangers  7. New York Rangers – Lundqvist is playing like an average goaltender right now. What is wrong with the supposedly best goalie in the world? Only he knows for sure. Whatever it is, the Rangers need to just plug away and hope that their #1 goalie can find his form again or else they might not even make it to the playoffs.

nhl-redwings

8. Detroit Red Wings – With all the injuries that have occured with this team, it is a wonder that they are still in the playoff picture at this point in the season. Could this be the year that they do NOT make the playoffs? Naw…I think they will, just need Howard to step up his game and steal some games for them while the injuries heal. Once at full strength, they will start climbing the standings again.

Get out while you can Tavares...stop wasting your time with another rebuild

Get out while you can Tavares…stop wasting your time with another rebuild

And finally I just have to say…what the deuce to the New York Islanders…Management.

What the hell were you thinking when you traded Moulson for Vanek? Moulson and Tavares had great chemistry and you blew it up! What your team needed was a goaltender!!!

Your young team was progressing just fine. Like most people, you were too impatient and havested the fruit just before it had rippened and now you are fighting for a lottery pick. You pretty much set your team rebuilding back 4 years. I don’t know how your fans are taking this, but if I were them…I would call for Garth Snow to be fired.

The reason why Raincity Predicted your Team to be second in the Metropolitan Division was based on this. I guess we should have factor in your stupidity.

Enjoy your high draft pick, ask for a trade Tavares…get out of this shit hole that is the Islanders.

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Well would you look at this…the Canucks are back in the playoff picture. Was there any real doubt? Not from us at Raincity…no sir…we Canucks fans know that they usually have a slow start, but then they ramp it up come December. While the team in Toronto is doing what we all expect them to do at the 45-48 game mark…that is leave the playoff picture.

I would like to say congratulations to all who have made the Canadian Olympic team. Lets bring home the GOLD!!! When the Olympics are here, we Hockey fans can put away from hating each others respective NHL teams and cheer for OUR team…TEAM CANADA!!

Play big minutes; shut down the oppositions top lines. +10. that's what makes a great Defenseman

Play big minutes; shut down the oppositions top lines. +10. that’s what makes a great Defenseman. Congratulations Dan. Make Canada proud

Good to see Hamhuis making the team for the first time. He is not flashy, but he will shut you down…sort of what you expect from a shutdown Defenseman. Points are not everything for a Defensemen, that’s why I thought Chara should have won the Norris last year instead of Subban or Karlsson the year before that. The Norris is suppose to be awarded to the best defenseman right? I would rather play against Subban or Karlsson all day every day over playing against Chara, and I am a Canucks fan that should not give praises to a Bruin.

Also some more good news!! Burrows is almost ready to come back from injured reserves. The Canucks sorely miss him…more so than Edler. Now the Sedins can finally play their game and all the forward lines will be as they should be. It’s funny how one player can have such impact on a team.

Here are the current rankings after the halfway mark starting from number 1 – 8, while one team in the West, usually the last place team, that is not part of the playoff picture will get a: ‘What the Deuce’ from me to you.

 

imagesCA5J02GY

nhl-ducks

1. Anaheim Ducks – Best in the league. With that first, second, and third line…this team is deep…deeper than a Chicago deep dish pizza.

nhl-blues2. St. Louis Blues – Hit’em Hard…Hit’em Fast. The Blues are playing such a hard nose game. They will make you their forest bride. Don’t know what that is? Look it up.

nhl-blackhawks3. Chicago Blackhawks – I am surprise that Corey Crawford didn’t make the Olympic team, I would have chosen him over Smith any day. Does a Stanley Cup and consistency mean nothing to the Olympic Selection Committee? Maybe there was a quota for the amount of players that you can select from one particular NHL team. If this has the case, then this makes sense. I would choose Sharp and Toews over Crawford. Oh wait, I was suppose to say something about this team…ok…they will make the playoffs.

nhl-sharks4. San Jose Sharks – This seems like the right place for them. Not the best, but still an elite team. Let’s see what they can do in the playoffs. Like the Canucks, Playoffs or bust.

nhl-kings5. Los Angeles Kings –Backups coming back to earth and they are fighting tooth and nail for a playoff position. This team is built for the playoffs, but you have to first make it there. All and all they might just squeak in this year like before.

nhl-avalanche6. Colorado Avalanche – This team is showing that their fast start was no fluke, they are still in the playoff picture. Fun Fact: most teams that are in the playoff picture at the halfway mark of the season tend to still be there when playoffs actually start.

nhl-canucks

7. Vancouver Canucks – Last minute breakdowns are hurt my team badly. Mental Lapses or Brain Farts…whatever you would like to call them. Mental toughness is what you need for the playoffs…if they keep playing this way…they might not make it to the playoffs. Lucky for them, the teams below them in the standings are stumping. It’s sad though when your only chance to make the playoff is to wish and hope that the teams below do worst than you. PICK IT UP BOYS!!!

nhl-wild8. Minnesota Wilds – They are in…they are out…they are in again. Like the story of my life, but unlike the Wilds…I could be in if I wanted to, I just choose to be out at the moment.

The WINNER for What the Deuce West is!!!! The Nashville Predators. What has happened to this team, oh wait…Rinne happened. They have taken

No Rinne; No Playoffs

No Rinne; No Playoffs

a big step back ever since Pekka’s injury and the team does not have the consistent scoring to get the job done. Shows you what an elite goalie can do for a team. Take note Oilers Management…you need an elite goalie to compete in this league…or should I say in the West. If you don’t have that, it doesn’t matter how good your forwards or defensemen are.  You need to build from the crease out.

 

 

 

 

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I know that our Canucks are on the outside looking in right now, but I have to say…(this is a Canucks dedicated website after all)…I like the new looking Canucks. Thanks Torts for making this team exciting again and also the fact that you are good with protecting your players from the press. Don’t think that this has gone unnoticed by us at

Exciting hockey is what this man brought back to our fair city

Exciting hockey is what this man brought back to our fair city

Raincity Hockey. Your dynamic coaching style has gotten this team playing hard till the game ends…the majority of the games I have seem at least. So we from Raincity Hockey welcome you to the Canucks.

Ok, enough of this mushy stuff…I don’t like it and John doesn’t like it either because we are both Alpha Male types. And no John, I will not ask you for permission to call you John because that’s what us Alpha Males do.

The Western Conference, especially the Pacific Division, has been eating the East alive and is the toughest Conference in the League period. Any team; with the exception of the Alberta teams have a chance of making the playoffs. I like you Calgary and hope to see you in the playoff picture sooner rather than later. Oilers…you can eat a fat one.

Here are the current rankings after the quarter mark starting from number 1 – 8, while one team in the West, usually the last place team, that is not part of the playoff picture will get a: ‘What the Deuce’ from me to you.

imagesCA5J02GY

nhl-ducks1. Anaheim Ducks – Wow…were we ever wrong about this one AGAIN!!! What is wrong with us? We can’t seem to see the birds from the trees even when there are no leaves on those said trees…but there are still pretty little birdies around though. Great Goaltending, forwards that can score…and…a Defense that has Scott Niedermayer as a coach? Yeah…we messed up, but I don’t think the Ducks fans are too mad about that…the rest of the conference might be though…

nhl-blackhawks2. Chicago Blackhawks – Ready to defend their Stanley Cup title like a true champ. This team is good…are they as good as last year’s team? They are very close to it…and hey…all the players went to the White House and were smiling. It good to see players putting the team before themselves.

 

nhl-sharks3. San Jose Sharks – the Sharks are the Sharks, good in the beginning, but they are starting to tail off a bit. They need to pick it up again, but I really don’t want them to. Not because they own my Canucks as of late…the last 2 years…I don’t want to see what Joe Thorton would do if he won the Stanley Cup…I mean if he was gonna pull his dick out and whack it if he were to score 4 goals in a game…imagine what he would do if he won the Stanley Cup? I wouldn’t want to be the person with the white gloves that has to handle it after he was done celebrating with it…yeesh…

nhl-coyotes4. Phoenix Coyotes – I guess a new lease on life in the desert was what this team needed to playing hockey. The addition of Mike Ribeiro and the emergence of OEL also had a lot to do with this. Mike Smith is giving Luongo a run for his money for the Olympic team. All the pieces seem to be there for a good team. I wouldn’t put them in as an Elite Team just yet though.

nhl-avalanche5. Colorado Avalanche – The Mike Holmes of the NHL. “Build it Right”

 

 

 

nhl-blues6. St. Louis Blues – Alexander Steen is in the lead for the Rocket Trophy? What gives? I thought the Blues were a defensive first kind of team? I don’t know if Steen and his team can keep up this pace for the whole season, but with Nashville faltering…anything is possible. This guy is liking what he sees in this team though.

nhl-wild7. Minnesota Wilds – Urgh…do I seriously have to write about this team? Ok…need to find something about this team to write about…hmm…Josh Harding…yeah…ok…I know I had a thing against you in the past about you not being that great and stuff, but how was I to know that you were sick and shit? In a relationship there needs to be communication…jeez man…ok…good luck to you, but not your team. Cheers

nhl-kings8. Los Angeles Kings – the definition of a grinding team, they are still a team to contend with that will play the body hard. Not a lot of blow out games for them, but a win IS a win…they don’t have to be pretty…like Yakupov’s manicured eyebrows.

The WINNER for What the Deuce West is!!!! The JUNIOR team formally known as the Oilers!!!!…looks like it’s time for another Oil Change…speaking of the shows…does the team get any money for the show? Does anyone know? It has been like 5 seasons of this show already right? Do they play this show in other countries like they do with shows like Friends,

Would rather watch this than the Oilers play

Would rather watch this than the Oilers play

Fraser, and Night Court? Man I use to love watching Night Court…

…yeah I am talking about syndicated television in other countries…it’s better than talking about a crappy team like the Oilers because I wouldn’t know where to begin…should I start with the Owner? The GM? The Coach? The Forwards? The Defense? The Goaltending? The Waterboy? Everything sucks except for the Waterboy…he is cool…that is all.

 

 

 

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Welcome everyone to the What the Deuce?!?

This is where I go through what has been happening throughout the NHL, some might call it a “Power Ranking”, but I just call it a ranking…you know from 1st place to “Oil Change” in each conference…yes I used this last year, but hey…why mess with a good thing. And besides I like to humble the once great franchise known as the Oilers a little bit…well not actually just a little bit.

I am going to compare the current ranking of teams to the 2013-2014 Predictions that Sandro and I made. You can see our predictions for this season if you follow the white rabbit into the Rabbit Hole…

We will look at the East first because…you know…the league and the teams on the east think that they are the only teams that matter. I like how the players in the east are complaining about the travel they have to do now…we in the West have been doing this for years you whiney little bitches…get over it.

Roughly a Quarter of the way into the 2013-2014 season and Raincity’s Predictions have been good. What have we missed? Well there IS 1 team in Florida that caught us by surprise…but are we really surprised? Yes and No…here is why…No real Goaltending…but they have a guy that goes by the name of Stamkos…like a true Superstar…following in the footsteps of people like Cher, Clooney, and Niedermayer…is known by only one name…yes there is only one Niedermayer that matters. Back to the topic; Stamkos and the Lightings…we didn’t think that the Lightings would go anywhere with their defense and goaltending, but like Crosby, Malkin, Lundqvist, Brodeur, and only a few others in this league…he can literally carry a team on his back and win games on his own.

Scott Niedermayer

Hall of Fame Ring…another well deserve accolade. One of the best ever

Speaking of Scott Niedermayer, I would like to congratulate him on a great career and a bright future as an assistant coach in Anaheim. A lot of the kids in the NHL can learn a lot from former players like him. You can be this good and still be humble. He has won everything under the sun when it comes to Hockey. Talking to kids like Yakupov, Kadri and Evander Kane…you cocky little pricks have not won anything yet…so you shouldn’t be walking and talking like you have. You earn your ice times; it is a privilege to play in this league. Yes you have tons of money because your GM’s are stupid…you have to ask yourself, why you play this game? Is it for money or Stanley Cups? Because if it is for money…then at the end of your careers…you won’t even be a footnote in the history of hockey. You will just be a bunch of Iverson’s…practice? Yes I am talking about practice…

Ok…back to the Eastern conference Standings and Rankings where we are 5 out of 8 in our predictions thus far. Here are the current rankings after the quarter mark starting from number 1 – 8, while one team in the East that is not part of the playoff picture will get a: ‘What the Deuce’ from me to you.

 250px-nhl_eastern_conference_svg_

nhl-lightning1. Tampa Bay Lightings – St. Louis deserved the “C” for all his hard work over the years. Their goaltending has been enough off the opposing teams’ offense so that Stamkos can do his best and his best is quite pretty to look at. Too bad he is out with a major injury, but the team is still winning without him. How long will this last? Who knows, but lets just say the team will not be at the #1 position the next time I write the next What the Deuce article.

nhl-bruins 2. Boston Bruins – Big Bad Bruins, they are not going anywhere with key players signed for the long term. They are playing gritty hockey, they may not be dominating other teams like in the past with the lost of Horton and Sequin, but hey…the teams in the soft East still have no answer for the Western Conference style of play that this team plays on a daily basis.

nhl-mapleleafs3. Toronto Maple Leafs – A lot of key injuries down the middle and it is starting to show. Tinker all you want Carlyle with the lines, but your team is not that deep. Some good things to say about this team…hmmm…thinking…thinking…oh yeah…glad Mason Raymond found a home and good call on not making Dallas Eakins your coach when you had the chance…now I need to take a shower…I feel so dirty after this…

nhl-redwings4. Detroit Red Wings – Now that I am squeaky clean after a 2 hour shower…Well would you look at that, Detroit in the playoff picture surprise…surprise…even in a sort of rebuild and cap issue season they still are contenders. East, take some advice from us Westerners; the Red Wings DON’T rebuild…they RELOAD.

nhl-penguins5. Pittsburgh Penguins – Still goaltending and defensive issues to work out…plus secondary scoring as well. If you shut down Crosby and Malkin…what then? They really miss Jordan Staal as their 3rd line centre.

 

nhl-capitals6. Washington Capitals – Ovie goes…so do the Caps…like every year…Green is out, but that doesn’t really matter because he hasn’t scored while he was in the lineup anyways. When your second leading scorer is Joel Ward…you are in trouble…and I like Joel Ward too. I just don’t think that he should have more goals than Backstrom and Green.

nhl-canadiens7. Montreal Canadiens – Not living up to theirs or our expectations. They think that they are a better team than this…as our predictions shows…we thought they would be worst than this. Like buying stuff in a Turkish Bazaar…let’s barter and meet in the middle.

 

nhl-rangers8. New York Rangers – Was a little worried about this team in the beginning, but the team seems to finally understand the complex system of coach AV. You will see this team move higher in the standings as a result of this. Good luck Alain Vigneault, looks like you landed on your feet.

And finally I just have to say…what the deuce to Buffalo. HAHAHAHAHA this is what happens when you have Hodgson as your #1 Centre…just

I know that the US has loads of talent in net, but my vote is still for Miller time!

I know that the US has loads of talent in net, but my vote is still for Miller time!

doesn’t work. I feel sorry for Ryan Miller, he gives this team a chance to win pretty much every game and they reward him by hanging him out to dry. I know my word means nothing the US Olympic Committee, but my vote is for Ryan Miller in net. He deserves it with his play on this team.

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