Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wiz Wit Jason, Joe & Porter -- October 31st

Click on the title link above to listen to the October 31st broadcast of Wiz Wit Jason, Joe & Porter.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Return

Back from the hiatus of the most disappointing playoff run in Phillies and possibly Philadelphia postseason history. I was enthralled with Phillies all summer, they consumed my life.

And now it's all over.

Back to reality. Back to Silly Ville, broken sticks and stolen pucks. Back to the Flyers.

With the Flyers sitting at 3-3-1 through the first seven games, the perfect word to describe their season so far is probably..."ehh."

There's no reason to panic so far and there's little reason to be overly excited. Here's a little plus/minus of how I rank the Flyers season so far.

Oct. 7 Flyers 3 @ Penguins 2 --> +2
Oct. 9 Flyers 1 @ Blues 2 --> E
Oct. 11 Avalanche 2 @ Flyers 4 --> +1
Oct. 14 Lightning 3 @ Flyers 2 --> -2
Oct. 16 Penguins 5 @ Flyers 1 --> -3
Oct. 21 Ducks 3 @ Flyers 2 --> -1
Oct. 23 Maple Leafs 2 @ Flyers 5 --> +2

So far on the season the Flyers are a -1, which is kind of a disappointment since they had a five-game homestand and only went 2-3-0 over that span.

Much of the Flyers' early season struggles can be pinned on their lack of production on the power play. The Flyers are 24th in the league with the man-advantage, sitting at 9.1%. A number like that is obviously not going to cut it in this league, and with the talent of this team, it's sure to increase.

But how to make that abysmal number go up? Early on in the season coach Peter Laviolette has been trying a number of different players on the power play. He's trying to find the best groups of players on the PP, and I guess there wasn't enough time in the preseason to work that out so he's still doing it seven games into the season. But once he finds that group who gels together the best, the man-advantage will start clicking on all cylinders. It's only a matter of time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wiz Wit Jason, Joe & Porter -- October 24th

Click on the title link above to listen to the October 24th broadcast of Wiz Wit Jason, Joe & Porter.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Final Postseason Predictions

Eastern Conference
#1 x - Washington Capitals
#2 x - Pittsburgh Penguins
#3 Philadelphia Flyers
#4 x - Buffalo Sabres
#5 New Jersey Devils
#6 Boston Bruins
#7 Tampa Bay Lightning
#8 Montreal Canadiens           
#9 Toronto Maple Leafs
#10 New York Rangers
#11 Atlanta Thrashers
#12 Carolina Hurricanes
#13 Ottawa Senators
#14 Florida Panthers
#15 New York Islanders

Western Conference
#1 x - Vancouver Canucks
#2 x - San Jose Sharks
#3 x- Detroit Red Wings 
#4 Los Angeles Kings
#5 St. Louis Blues
#6 Chicago Blackhawks
#7 Nashville Predators
#8 Calgary Flames                     
#9 Colorado Avalanche
#10 Phoenix Coyotes
#11 Minnesota Wild
#12 Anaheim Ducks
#13 Columbus Blue Jackets
#14 Dallas Stars
#15 Edmonton Oilers

x - Division winner
These are the rankings of the conference teams from first to worst. The division winners are automatically No.'s one, two and three in the conference come playoff time.
Stanley Cup Prediction:
Philadelphia Flyers over Vancouver Canucks

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Atlantic Division Predictions

New Jersey Devils
The Good: Somehow Martin Brodeur can still make saves even after drinking his doctor recommended amount of prune juice.
The Bad: Kovalchuk hasn't yet learned the word "pass" in English.
Look for: The Devils only dressing 11 men on offense

New York Islanders
The Good: They still have the "God among men" Jon Sim.
The Bad: Sill the worst team in the Atlantic Division
Look for: Rick DePietro's over/under of games played this season...5.

New York Rangers
The Good: Lost out on a playoff spot by one point last season and got better over the offseason, bodes well for the Rags.
The Bad: Probably the most average team in the league, and average teams generally don't make the postseason.
Look for: Martin Biron's eyes, because they'll be looking for you.

Philadelphia Flyers
The Good: Danny Briere and Claude Giroux both poised for breakout seasons with Philadelphia.
The Bad: Jeff Carter shoots whenever he feels like it and Mike Richards is fat.
Look for: Ville Leino to become a household name

Pittsburgh Penguins
The Good: Still have two of the best in the league--Crosby and Malkin.
The Bad: Lost some serious leadership and experience in Guerin and Fedotenko
Look for: Aaron Asham and Matt Cooke to have the first ever teammate-on-teammate on-ice fight.

#1 Pittsburgh Penguins
#2 Philadelphia Flyers
#3 New Jersey Devils
#4 New York Rangers
#5 New York Islanders

Friday, October 8, 2010

Central Division Predictions

Chicago Blackhawks
The Good: See: 2009/10 season.
The Bad: See: 2010/11 season.
Look for: Every 12-year-old to play with them in NHL11


Columbus Blue Jackets
The Good: They still have Rick Nash.
The Bad: The only BJs most men will use the word "terrible" to describe.
Look for: The rumors of the Jackets leaving Columbus to intensify

Detroit Red Wings
The Good: A guarantee they'll be in the top-5 of the Western Conference, no matter who they have on the ice.
The Bad: Nicklas Lindstrom won't be great forever. Right?
Look for: The Wings to regain their position atop the Central Division.

Nashville Predators
The Good: Have one of the best defensemen in the league with the best shot in all of hockey--Shea Weber.
The Bad: Nashville has one of the most exciting teams in the NHL to watch, yet no one in Nashville watches.
Look for: The Preds to miss Jason Arnott more than they thought they would.
St. Louis Blues
The Good: Jaroslav Halak will  make an already good Blues team even better.
The Bad: Tough to find something except for they're in a very tough Western Conference division.
Look for: Hockey's triumphant return to the Gateway to the West.

#1 Detroit Red Wings
#2 St. Louis Blues
#3 Chicago Blackhawks
#4 Nashville Predators
#5 Columbus Blue Jackets

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Northeast Division Predictions

Boston Bruins
The Good: Second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft Tyler Seguin. 108 goals in 175 games in the OHL and GTHL. Yea, this guy's pretty good.
The Bad: Now they know what the Yankees felt like. Remember the timeout.
Look for: "All senior citizens should have Life Alert." A message from Mark Recchi.

Buffalo Sabres
The Good: They still have Jesus Christ reincarnate Ryan Miller in net.
The Bad: Sadly, you need to score more than zero goals to win a hockey game, even with Miller on your team.
Look for: One of the Sabres top six forwards to be on LTIR by the end of the month.

Montreal Canadiens
The Good: Last postseason was no fluke. Good thing they had Halak in net though.
The Bad: Wait, they traded Halak to St Louis? The Price is wrong, Bobby!
Look for: The Habs faithful to get frustrated with newly-named captain Brian Gionta before the end of the calendar year.

Ottawa Senators
The Good: Jason Spezza is still on the team. And I guess now so is Carrie Underwood.
The Bad: Sergei Gonchar no longer gives a shit.
Look for: The Sens to see what's lurking in the Northeast Division's cellar.

Toronto Maple Leafs
The Good: Dion Phaneuf will make other players's mommys cry.
The Bad: The Leafs power play will make Toronto fans cry.
Look for: The Leafs to maybe, possibly, perhaps return to the playoffs for the first time since before the lockout.

#1 Buffalo Sabres
#2 Boston Bruins
#3 Montreal Canadiens
#4 Toronto Maple Leafs
#5 Ottawa Senators

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pacific Division Predictions

Anaheim Ducks
The Good: Adam Banks's wrist is feeling much, much better.
The Bad: Russ Tyler isn't hanging out in the LA projects for the Ducks to sign.
Look for: Some key saves at huge moments from Goldberg, but if he slips, Julie "The Cat" Gaffney is waiting in the wings

Dallas Stars
The Good: I'm thinking, I'm thinking. Just give me a minute...
The Bad: Could be their worst season since moving to Dallas
Look for: Mike Modano to finish his career as a Sta...nevermind.

Los Angeles Kings
The Good: Have one of, if not the best young defensemen in the league--Drew Doughty
The Bad: Missed out on the Ilya Kovalchuk and Simon Gagne sweepstakes and traded the great Randy Jones. Big Mistake. HUGE.
Look for: Terry Murray to lead the Kings into the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2002.

Phoenix Coyotes
The Good: The Yotes are in Phoenix for at least another year! Hooray!
The Bad: Last year may have been a fluke.
Look for: Ilya Bryzgalov to compete once again for the Vezina Trophy

San Jose Sharks
The Good: Will probably be first in the West once again
The Bad: Still don't have what it takes to win a Stanley Cup
Look for: The Sharks to say, "Shoot. Evgeni Nabokov was pretty darn good. And wow, Antti Neimi sucks."

#1 San Jose Sharks
#2 Los Angeles Kings
#3 Phoenix Coyotes
#4 Anaheim Ducks
#5 Dallas Stars

Monday, October 4, 2010

Southeast Division Predictions

Atlanta Thrashers
The Good: Just five points shy of a playoff spot last season.
The Bad: They may have more fans in their arena than the Atlanta Braves did.
Look for: Dustin Byfuglien to realize he's not a very good offenseman (or defenseman. Whatever he's listed as)

Carolina Hurricanes
The Good: 18-year-old Jeff Skinner scored 50 goals with the Kitchener Rangers last season (Mike Richards career high with Kitchener? 36 goals).
The Bad: Rod Brind'Amour is no longer in Raleigh to spread l'amour.
Look for: Rex Ryan to keep his Flyers jersey on this time

Florida Panthers 
The Good: David Booth is still alive.
The Bad: They're the second best NHL team in Florida. Why Florida has two NHL teams is unanswerable.
Look for: Great giveaways! Free beer for underage kids and every fan in the stands gets a game-used jersey from that night's game

Tampa Bay Lightning
The Good: They got rid of two defenders in Andrej Meszaros and Matt Walker and got proven-scorer Simon Gagne.
The Bad: They're the best team in FLORIDA.
Look for: A great offense with Gagne, Lecavalier, St. Louis, Stamkos and dare I say it Steve Downie, but very little skill defensively.

Washington Capitals
The Good: They get to play in the Southeast division.
The Bad: Still not built to win in the playoffs.
Look for: Alex Ovechkin's Russian profanity in "24/7 Penguins/Capitals"

#1 Washington Capitals
#2 Tampa Bay Lightning
#3 Atlanta Thrashers
#4 Carolina Hurricanes
#5 Florida Panthers

Guerin Released

In a conference call this afternoon Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that Bill Guerin had been released from his tryout contract and will obviously not be playing in Philadelphia this season. Predictions are that Andreas Nodl will take Guerin's supposed spot on the roster.

Paul Holmgren said dollars weren't a factor in Guerin's departure. "We just didn't see him helping us," Holmgren said. "It had nothing to do with salary. If we felt he could have helped, we would have done something."

So what Holmgren is saying here is that the Flyers could have fit Guerin under the salary cap without a problem. It was more of the fact that the 39-year-old couldn't help a Flyers team who was within a game of winning the Stanley Cup last year. Philadelphia would much rather have 23-year-old Andreas Nodl on the team; a guy who in 48 career NHL games has an astonishing one goal and five points. He did score 18 goals in 40 games twice with St. Cloud State of the WCHA, so that's good to know.

The fact that Guerin has scored 20+ goals in four straight seasons and 10 out of the last 11 and the Flyers decided he couldn't help them is mind-boggling. Guerin could have been a tremendous addition to the Flyers' power play too, as opposed to Nodl who will see primarily 4th line minutes and not even get a sniff of special teams play.

There are people who said Guerin did nothing in the preseason to show he deserved a place on this team. Really? What did Chris Pronger do this preseason to show he deserved a spot on the team? Nothing. He didn't play. But Pronger has showed his worth for an entire career and throughout the 2009/2010 season, right? Well so did Bill Guerin. Some may forget, but he was the piece that brought the Penguins the Stanley Cup in 2009 after they lost it the previous season.

I hope the Flyers know something I don't here because from what I have seen so far, this releasing makes little sense. Guerin was very good on a terrible Islanders team, and has won two Cups. The guy knows how to play.

Bobrovsky named the Flyers' No. 2
With the Flyers sending Johan Backlund down to the Phantoms, this means rookie netminder Sergei Bobrovsky will be the backup to Brian Boucher in the NHL.

Now I already posted as to why Bobrovsky should spend an entire season in the AHL so I won't rehash that. In the conference call Holmgren said, "There's a chance he plays one of the first two games. I think he's played good."

I just feel that with Sergei up with the big club he won't get as many games to get used to the NHL-sized rink and NHL-skilled players. In the AHL he could play everyday and if it takes him time to warm up to the smaller rink, then so be it. Who cares if the Phantoms lose (especially now that they're no longer in Philadelphia). But when Bobrovsky has a bad game with the Flyers, it all gets magnified. A loss in the NHL is much bigger than in the AHL.

We'll have to wait and see how long Michael Leighton is out before we see how long Bobrovsky is up with the Flyers. I just hope that when Leighton does come back it is Sergei who is sent down for the added experience in the minors, not Boucher.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wiz Wit Jason, Joe & Porter -- October 3rd

Click on the title link above to listen to the October 3rd broadcast of Wiz Wit Jason, Joe & Porter.

The Daily Collegian Online

The Daily Collegian Online
Click the image to visit the site