Scott Cullen takes a look at the stories from November 22nd

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Scott Cullen takes a look at the stories from November 22nd

Postautor: blueberryjerry » 21 kwie 2017, 11:02

Scott Cullen takes a look at the stories from November 22nd through November 28th in the NHL, including The Oilers melting down, the loss of two hockey legends, the improving Islanders, Tyler Seguin, Martin Brodeur and more. Larry Fitzgerald Jersey . OILERS MELTING DOWN It’s not as though the Edmonton Oilers came into this season assured of being a playoff contender in a competitive Western Conference, but that was the hope for a team that hasn’t seen the postseason since losing in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. Losing the first five games of the season certainly put them in a hole, but they had rallied to go 6-4 in the next 10 games, showing signs of progress before their recent slide. That slide – winless (0-6-2) in eight – puts a dagger in the Oilers’ season. Their 6-14-3 record leaves them last in the Western Conference and while the natural decision for most teams in that position would be to turn their attention towards a high-end draft pick – especially in a 2015 Draft boasting Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel – patience has worn thin in Edmonton and waiting for another saviour through the draft isn’t so appealing. If there was ever a fan base to be skeptical about getting saved by a top draft pick, Edmonton is it. Here’s the unfortunate part for the Oilers: they’ve actually played better this season. Their possession rate, using score-adjusted Fenwick, has climbed from 43.5% last season to 49.1% this season. That clearly doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s a notable accomplishment, one that should generate better results. However, the Oilers have been undone by horrible percentages. They have the worst save percentage (.888) and 27th-ranked shooting percentage (7.3%) and it’s really difficult to overcome those rates. How do they get out of it? There have been more trade rumours, with the Oilers seeking an upgrade at centre and goaltender, but who would bring the kind of return that the Oilers need. David Perron and Justin Schultz might be likely candidates to be moved, but most reports seem to point to someone like Jordan Eberle if the Oilers are going to move out a part of their core. Then comes the question of whether or not the Oilers should keep the same management staff (notably President Kevin Lowe and GM Craig MacTavish) to continue this perpetual rebuild or is it time for new ideas to change the club’s direction? QUINN AND TIKHONOV Two larger-than-life hockey men died within a day of each other, as former NHL player, coach and general manager Pat Quinn died November 23, and famed Russian coach Viktor Tikhonov died a day later. Quinn played 606 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Flames before a legendary coaching career, covering 1400 regular-season games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Quinn never won a Stanley Cup, coming closest with Vancouver in 1994, when the Canucks lost in seven games against the New York Rangers. He coached Canada to an Olympic gold medal in 2002, a World Cup gold in 2004 and a World Junior Hockey Championship gold 2009. Tikhonov, was a legendary coach for Red Army and the Soviet Union, presided over a lot of successful teams, winning eight World Championships, three Olympic golds and a gold in the 1981 Canada Cup. For all his success, Tikhonov was far from beloved, considered a virtual dictator behind the bench. In the movie Red Army, Slava Fetisov suggested that any coach could have stepped in to coach Red Army in the late 1970s through the 1980s and been successful, so great was their talent. His players, justifiably, may not have appreciated Tikhonov’s draconian methods, but there is no denying that he was a fixture during a very successful era for Soviet hockey. SPEZZA SIGNS Dallas Stars centre Jason Spezza signed a four-year, $30-million contract extension, not altogether surprising considering his start to the season (4 G, 15 A in 22 GP), but it leaves a thin free agent market, especially for centres, next summer. The top-scoring centres that are slated to hit unrestricted free agency next summer are: FREE AGENT CENTRES CENTRE TEAM GP G A PTS Mike Ribeiro Nashville 22 5 12 17 Antoine Vermette Arizona 23 6 10 16 Carl Soderberg Boston 23 5 10 15 Brad Richards Chicago 22 3 9 12 Mike Santorelli Toronto 22 3 9 12 Derek Roy Nashville 22 1 9 10 Not a lot of difference-makers there, so it’s understandable that the Stars put their money into Spezza. ISLANDERS RISING Winners of five straight, the New York Islanders are currently second in the Metro Division with 32 points (16 W, 6 L) in 22 games. In the offseason, the Islanders made savvy moves that raised expectations. They signed veteran forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolay Kulemin and stabilized their goaltending with the addition of Jaroslav Halak then, shortly before the season started, they upgraded their defence by making trades to acquire Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy. Mix in some improving young players like Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome, and suddenly John Tavares has a real supporting cast. The Islanders have made the playoffs once in the past seven seasons, but indications are that this team is legit, with strong underlying numbers backing up their improved results. SHARKS SINKING In contrast to the Islanders, the San Jose Sharks spent much of their summer lamenting their first-round collapse against Los Angeles and made lots of noise about changing the leadership on the team, with rumours of attempts to trade Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau. The Sharks’ offseason moves (John Scott, re-signing Mike Brown) were not nearly as inspired as those made by the Islanders and San Jose’s supporting cast has come up short so far, leading the team to 24 points (10-10-4) in 24 games, currently leaving them fifth in the Pacific Division. San Jose’s decline in the standings is backed up by a decline in puck possession, from 55.1% last season to 51.5% this season. It’s not as though they are in an irrecoverable tailspin, particularly having played 16 of 24 games on the road thus far, but four straight losses reveals a vulnerable Sharks team. BRODEUR AND THE BLUES With word that St. Louis’ starting goaltender Brian Elliott, is out week-to-week with a lower body injury, after defenceman Chris Butler fell on his leg, the Blues are looking at a veteran backup to support Jake Allen. It appears as though they are going to give Martin Brodeur a chance to continue his career. The all-time leader in wins and shutouts, Brodeur is a 42-year-old whose game has, naturally, slipped in recent seasons. Maybe he’ll be a suitable fit as a veteran backup, but it’s not a role that Brodeur has ever really played and recent performance suggests that he’s not going to be able to handle a more significant role. BIG WEEK FOR ST. LOUIS Rangers right winger Martin St. Louis returned to Tampa Bay, where he enjoyed great success from 2000 through 2013, scoring 953 points in 972 career games, winning a Stanley Cup in 2004, scoring titles in 2004 and 2013 as well as a Hart Trophy as MVP in 2004. The reaction was, understandably mixed, as St. Louis accomplished a lot with the organization, but fans tend not to take kindly to players who ask to leave a team. St. Louis was applauded when the Lightning showed a tribute, but booed at other times throughout the game, which was a 4-3 win for the Lightning. By Friday, St. Louis hit a milestone earning two points against Philadelphia to reach 1,000 for his career, the fifth active player to hit that threshold. Not a bad career for an undrafted free agent out of the University of Vermont. MALKIN MAKING MOVES Penguins centre Evgeni Malkin has been re-establishing his place among the league’s elite offensive performers, posting 11 points (5 G, 6 A) during a six-game point streak. That surge has lifted Malkin to 28 points in 21 games, leaving him three points behind Sidney Crosby in the points race. SEGUIN SCORING As Malkin climbs the points race, he’s now tied with Tyler Seguin for third in the league and Seguin has taken over the league’s goal-scoring lead, putting up 10 goals in the past nine games to give him 17 goals in 21 games for the season. Seguin, a career 12.0% shooter, is finishing on 20.0% of his shots this season, so it’s fair to expect his pace to slow, but slowing down from a 66-goal pace is expected. But, Seguin is averaging a career-high 3.86 shots on goal per game and that ability to generate shots would allow him to reach 50 goals if he could shoot 16.0% for the season. FRANCHISE VALUES Every year Forbes releases their latest NHL franchise values and, every year, they are decried as inaccurate because they don’t get the exact sale price whenever a team goes on the market. However, it does provide reasonable approximations and three NHL clubs were valued at a billon dollars or more – The Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.3B), New York Rangers ($1.1B) and Montreal Canadiens ($1.0B). The Florida Panthers ($190M), Columbus Blue Jackets ($200M), Carolina Hurricanes ($220M) and Arizona Coyotes ($225M) are at the low end of the spectrum and the Panthers (down 21%) were the only franchise to lose value over the past year. The New York Islanders (up 54%) and Chicago Blackhawks (up 32%) have the biggest percentage gains over last year’s valuation. The rest of the Canadian teams: Vancouver Canucks - $800M Edmonton Oilers - $475M Calgary Flames - $451M Ottawa Senators - $400M Winnipeg Jets - $358M Interesting to keep these franchise values in mind as the NHL considers expansion options in the years to come. Marcus Cooper Authentic Jersey . Left-handed reliever Boone Logan agreed to a $16.5 million, three-year contract on Friday, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. Carson Palmer Womens Jersey . Signs of a turnaround have emerged in this series at Minnesota. Brian Roberts had three doubles and a triple for the first four-extra-base-hit game of his 14-year career, and the Yankees used their bullpen to preserve a 6-5 win over the Twins on Friday. . Pretty good hitting, too. Dan Haren pitched six innings and sparked the go-ahead rally with a single, leading Los Angeles to another win over the skidding Atlanta Braves, 4-2 on Tuesday night.BERLIN -- Hamburger SV thrice came from behind to salvage a 3-3 draw at home to Stuttgart in the Bundesliga Sunday, maintaining Bert van Marwijks unbeaten start as coach. "When there are six goals its always fantastic for the fans but the coaches will be annoyed because there were so many mistakes," said Stuttgart sports director Fredi Bobic. The visitors took a three-minute lead through Alexandru Maxims fine strike before Tolgay Arslan set up Pierre-Michel Lasogga to equalize in the 22nd after a mistake from William Kvist. Stuttgart reclaimed the lead 15 minutes later when Christian Gentner got his head to Maxims dangerous free kick, only for Maximilian Beister to score in the 55th with Arslan again involved. Rafael van der Vaart, Jonathan Tah and Beister all came close for Hamburg, but then Vedad Ibisevic forced Johan Djourou into an own goal against the run of play in the 64th. "It was a very crazy game," Maxim said. Beister set up Van der Vaart to equalize for the third time three minutes later, ensuring fellow Dutchman Van Marwijk is undefeated after three games in charge, though Hamburg remains just one place above the relegation zone. Stuttgart defender Antonio Ruediger was sent off late on for punching Van der Vaart in the stomach. &quoot;We were jostling, I pushed back, he punched me. J.J. Nelson Womens Jersey. That was that," said Van der Vaart, who collapsed as if seriously wounded. Wolfsburg came from behind to snatch a 2-1 win at Augsburg in the late game. Tobias Werner gave the home side a deserved lead in the 10th, scoring from a rebound after Halil Altintop and Matthias Ostrzoleks initial efforts were saved by Diego Benaglio. Werner should have scored again minutes later but miscued his shot with only the goalkeeper to beat from close range, and he missed another chance, as did Altintop, before Maximilian Arnold equalized with a long-range effort in the 35th. "You could see there was uncertainty there for the first 20 minutes, but after that, the team showed what it can do," said Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking. Luiz Gustavo was left unmarked to meet Ricardo Rodriguez free kick for his first Wolfsburg goal in the 42nd. The Brazilians last goal was also against Augsburg, in May, while playing for Bayern Munich. Augsburg pushed hard for an equalizer in a gritty second half but the visitors held on for their first away win of the season. "You need effectiveness in the Bundesliga. We didnt show it today and so deserved to lose," said Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl. 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