I'm going to assume that the reason for the delay in officially announcing Alain Vigneault as New York's next coach is because it was Father's Day Sunday. I would guess that there would be an announcement today. I don't guess that his presence will help Brad Richards any. And Rick Nash would probably get 75 next year with any coach - no coach can get much more out of him. It's some of the other players who will benefit from a new voice in the room - guys like Del Zotto.

I do have a tiny concern over Brassard. After all, he was flying under Tortorella. Messing with that could change things (and often does).

*

Remember Bill Thomas? Never got going, as you know. He finally gave up on the NHL and signed to play in the KHL.

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Line combos last game for Boston, if you didn't catch them:

Horton - Krejci - Lucic

Marchand - Bergeron - Jagr

Kelly - Paille - Seguin

Daugavins - Peverley - Seguin (again)

These were the most common combos, per Frozen Pool. I thought Paille was fantastic. In fact, I thought he was great in the Pittsburgh series as well - not to mention that he had three points in the New York series. I remember being very interested in him as a prospect, and he actually had 19 goals and 35 points in 2007-08. But he never built on that and instead became a defensive specialist.

*

Line combos last game for Chicago:

Saad - Toews - Hossa

Sharp - Handzus - Kane

Shaw - Bolland - Bickell

Bollig - Kruger - Frolik

One loss and Coach Q bumps Bickell of the Kane line… as would any of us, given that they're running out of games to get it right.

*

No word on whether Mark Arcobello's one-year contract is a one-way deal. Generally when that news is hard to dig up, the answer is 'no'. The 24-year-old is another in a long list of small, skilled guys that I root for to get a shot. But it's not like the Oilers have a group of young forwards with high upside…plenty of room for him I'm sure. Yep.

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I heard a sports talk radio host harping on how great Corey Crawford is. And later in the segment he scoffed at the notion of Ray Emery starting and getting them this far. We can forgive his ignorance - as a sports host he needs to know about a variety of sports and thus is not exceptional in any one. But Crawford is an average goalie behind an elite coaching system. It's cut and dried - you don't need any more proof than what is staring you in the face. The radio host gave the answer outright, even if he didn't know it - Ray Emery's numbers were almost exactly the same. Why is that? They're not the same person, right? They're not equal in terms of talent, according to Mr. Radio Host. Yet the numbers match. Because it's the coaching style!

Coaching style and talent is a huge influence on a goalie. Do you think if Mike Smith went to Toronto instead of Phoenix, he would have had the same success last year? No, he thrived in Phoenix. He and Bryzgalov weren't magically turned into elite goaltenders in Phoenix. Coaching.

Nashville is another example. I mean - every goalie they brought on board was magically awesome? Chris Mason? Dan Ellis? That's why I've been able to identify good fantasy goaltenders in advance. I see the coaching system, and I see opportunities. Here are some guys I picked off in advance:

 

 

Jimmy Howard - Actually, I identified him a little early and he ended up sitting on my bench for two years before he got rolling. But at least he got there. The Red Wings were without any other options in their system, so even though he was unspectacular, I knew.

Pekka Rinne - The Preds were riding Mason and I knew that wouldn't last forever. Mason had his moments, but again he was an average goalie in a great system. I knew Rinne would be a part of that. Not to the extent that he has been, but yes I scooped him up in advance.

Corey Crawford - As with Jimmy Howard, I didn't see a competitor. It was only later that Antti Niemi came along. I had grabbed Crawford prior to Niemi.

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Opportunities that I see now:

New Jersey - You know I've been watching these prospects like a hawk, waiting for 'the retirement'. But the only one who has stood out is Scott Wedgewood.

Phoenix - If Mike Smith goes, does Mark Visentin get in? It's too early for Visentin and I didn't like how he got injured last year. Will that happen again? Smith, Labarbera and Chad Johnson are all UFA's this summer. The Coyotes will sign two goalies and I'll be watching if the starter is a Band-Aid Boy.

Buffalo - Matt Hackett. Get on him like a fat kid on a smartie. Of course, you'll get screwed if the Sabres extend Miller…

Calgary - Of course. Assuming Kipper retires, Karri Ramo and Reto Berra are the goalies

The Isles (Poulin) and the Wild (Kuemper) are other situations I'll be watching. Two weeks into free agency, I'll re-do this list with the situations much more clear. NHL teams will be playing musical goalie in July, no question.

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Did you see this? Jagr's favorite player growing up? Haha

 


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mounD said:

mounD
re: Crawford Word on Crawford is that he revamped his style, stressing patience and positioning (particularly off the rush, first-shot opportunities), emulating his style off of Henrik Lundqvist. He looks a lot more comfortable in goal, and a lot of people seem to believe he has turned a corner in his career. Like many, I believed him to be a slightly-above-average NHL net minder, but I think we could be seeing a whole new Corey Crawford.
June 17, 2013
Votes: +0

MGW said:

MGW
Crawford I've never been as impressed with Crawford as I have been the last 2-3 games. I definitely agree that be was an average goalie for his first few years but lately it seems as though he may have taken a step forward. I could be wrong but whether it's confidence or whatever there's been a change. I'd love to hear Justin Goldman's thoughts on this.
June 17, 2013
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... despite the turnovers and occasional boneheaded plays Torts always went back to Brassard who also led the club by a good margin in playoff scoring.
June 17, 2013
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Goalies Good rambling today.

Some thoughts on ramblings:
re: Crawford. Agree. Emery could've got them here too.

re: PHX goalies. I believe in the location more than coaching. No pressure in PHX. Goalies are loosy-goosy, great for their playing. If they lose, nobody cares. If you were to take that entire PHX team & organization and put them in TOR with the media & fanbase, I think you'd see the PHX goalies crumble under the pressure.

re: BUF. I'm not sure what happens with Miller, but I'm not sold Hackett will get a big opportunity. I realize they overhauled the team, but I think (especially for the fanbase), Miller needs to hold as their rock/franchise player. I'd guess there are more Miller jerseys/t-shirts in the stands than any other player.

re: CGY. I think Joey Mac will remain one of their goalies. His overall stat line isn't impressive and he was Jekyll & Hyde for them in April... but his good games were very good and pulled off some wins. With Ramo & Berra, I think they want to give one a chance to start a lot of games at the AHL level instead of split stats. I don't see a point in putting them both in the same situation.

re: Rest of NHL. Love the constant thoughts & speculation. Right or wrong, goalie musical chairs will likely be the most exciting thing to discuss this offseason.

Thumbs up.
June 17, 2013
Votes: +2

Swampdonkeys said:

Swampdonkeys
... I really dislike Marchand but even I find this impressive!
June 17, 2013
Votes: +0

Hey Robbie said:

Hey Robbie
I've heard of being double shifted but... Marchand playing both wings on L2 must be very tiring!
June 17, 2013
Votes: +0
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