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2021-2022 Around the League thread


MadDog2020
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47 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

Ah good. The NHL has returned to the 8 favorite teams winter classic rotation after 2 years of moving it around a little. I’m sure 2024 will be the Rags and Caps. 

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Sometimes, there's other teams out there that you can look at and think "Well, at least the Devils aren't THEM."

There's obviously issues with the Devils and we know what they are, but there's also key building blocks here (and yeah, when you get two 1OA picks and some other high picks, you friggin' BETTER have some building blocks!).  Hughes, Hischier, Hamilton, Bratt, Mercer, Sharangovich, L Hughes, Holtz...and some guys like Seves could wind up benefitting from a new coaching staff.  There's reasons for hope, even more so than last season, because there's kids who've taken clear steps forward.  Even with often brutal goaltending, the Devils are only -6 as a team over their last 27 GP (11-15-1 record).  It feels like with the right coaches and merely league-average goaltending, that this team is very close to being consistently competitive...the idea that they could have a chance to legitimately compete for a playoff spot next season doesn't seem outlandish to me.

Then there's the Flyers...they can't stop teams from scoring and unlike the Devils, they can't score much themselves either.  Over their last 27 GP they're a -36  (8-16-3 record).  Looking at their roster, there's not much youth that really excites...and for some reason known only to them, they locked up Ristolainen for another five years beyond this one.  How many prime years does Couturier have left, as he's about to enter his Age 30 season (he's signed for another 8 years after this one)?  How long before 32-year-old Cam Atkinson (3 years left after this one) starts to get fed up, as whatever remaining prime years he has get wasted?

Just feels like that franchise is in deep deep sh!t.  And I'm glad the Devils aren't in that same boat.   

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3 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Sometimes, there's other teams out there that you can look at and think "Well, at least the Devils aren't THEM."

There's obviously issues with the Devils and we know what they are, but there's also key building blocks here (and yeah, when you get two 1OA picks and some other high picks, you friggin' BETTER have some building blocks!).  Hughes, Hischier, Hamilton, Bratt, Mercer, Sharangovich, L Hughes, Holtz...and some guys like Seves could wind up benefitting from a new coaching staff.  There's reasons for hope, even more so than last season, because there's kids who've taken clear steps forward.  Even with often brutal goaltending, the Devils are only -6 as a team over their last 27 GP (11-15-1 record).  It feels like with the right coaches and merely league-average goaltending, that this team is very close to being consistently competitive...the idea that they could have a chance to legitimately compete for a playoff spot next season doesn't seem outlandish to me.

Then there's the Flyers...they can't stop teams from scoring and unlike the Devils, they can't score much themselves either.  Over their last 27 GP they're a -36  (8-16-3 record).  Looking at their roster, there's not much youth that really excites...and for some reason known only to them, they locked up Ristolainen for another five years beyond this one.  How many prime years does Couturier have left, as he's about to enter his Age 30 season (he's signed for another 8 years after this one)?  How long before 32-year-old Cam Atkinson (3 years left after this one) starts to get fed up, as whatever remaining prime years he has get wasted?

Just feels like that franchise is in deep deep sh!t.  And I'm glad the Devils aren't in that same boat.   

Agreed.  We're just going through a painfully slow rebuild.   The Flyers were aiming for these last few years to be their chance at contending with the vets like Giroux, Couturier and Vorachek in their primes being complimented by all the young defensemen, Carter Hart and Nolan Patrick.  The looked real dangerous to start the 2020 playoff and it been all downhill from there.    

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27 minutes ago, Lateralous said:

Agreed.  We're just going through a painfully slow rebuild.   The Flyers were aiming for these last few years to be their chance at contending with the vets like Giroux, Couturier and Vorachek in their primes being complimented by all the young defensemen, Carter Hart and Nolan Patrick.  The looked real dangerous to start the 2020 playoff and it been all downhill from there.    

Yeah what I love about where the Devils are is that the guys who are locked up are talented and YOUNG...and once Bratt joins them (I don't see the Devils messing around, I think he'll get signed to a fair long-term offer), you'll have a team with a 21-year-old Hughes, 23-year-old Nico, 24-year-old Bratt, and 29-year-old Hamilton on long-term deals...I'll absolutely take my chances with those guys being my long-term commitments.  It's when you get a bunch of guys locked up well into their 30s that things can go sideways in a hurry...and that's not to knock the Hamilton deal, because he absolutely filled a need, and sometimes I think you gotta make that "We really are trying" kind of move, even if it won't work out over the full course of the deal.  And the guy who logged 15 points through 19 GP has me hopeful that he'll bounce back next season...feels like he's just been off since coming back from his jaw injury.

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6 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

🤣

Not like we we're not in that same boat 🤬

Though I'd say right now, these Flyers are not that far off from where the 2015 Devils were.  The current Devils are a bad-record team with considerable upside that can score and be quite entertaining when things are clicking for them.  The Flyers are a bad-record team that is...simply very bad.   

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When I was at the game in Lehigh Valley versus Utica a couple weeks back, I checked out some of the players on the LV team.  While they did beat Utica, none of them looked impressive at all and looking at some background it seemed worse.

They did have Nick Lappin though lol.

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27 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

When I was at the game in Lehigh Valley versus Utica a couple weeks back, I checked out some of the players on the LV team.  While they did beat Utica, none of them looked impressive at all and looking at some background it seemed worse.

They did have Nick Lappin though lol.

Hey man how was that?  I've been to that arena once before, but not for hockey.  Almost went that night with my daughter...forget now why we didn't go.  I know the Comets were up 2-0 before losing 3-2. 

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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Not like we we're not in that same boat 🤬

Though I'd say right now, these Flyers are not that far off from where the 2015 Devils were.  The current Devils are a bad-record team with considerable upside that can score and be quite entertaining when things are clicking for them.  The Flyers are a bad-record team that is...simply very bad.   

We can still point and laugh at them 🤣

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9 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

We can still point and laugh at them 🤣

Within two years for sure.  I look at where they are and they just reek of “Time to detonate”.  It could take them 2-3 years just to get to where the Devils are now.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Within two years for sure.  I look at where they are and they just reek of “Time to detonate”.  It could take them 2-3 years just to get to where the Devils are now.  

Hopefully they don’t win the lottery next year though. The top two picks are franchise cornerstone players in Bedard and Michkov. I don’t need either of those guys accelerating any potential Flyers rebuilding project. 

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17 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Sometimes, there's other teams out there that you can look at and think "Well, at least the Devils aren't THEM."

There's obviously issues with the Devils and we know what they are, but there's also key building blocks here (and yeah, when you get two 1OA picks and some other high picks, you friggin' BETTER have some building blocks!).  Hughes, Hischier, Hamilton, Bratt, Mercer, Sharangovich, L Hughes, Holtz...and some guys like Seves could wind up benefitting from a new coaching staff.  There's reasons for hope, even more so than last season, because there's kids who've taken clear steps forward.  Even with often brutal goaltending, the Devils are only -6 as a team over their last 27 GP (11-15-1 record).  It feels like with the right coaches and merely league-average goaltending, that this team is very close to being consistently competitive...the idea that they could have a chance to legitimately compete for a playoff spot next season doesn't seem outlandish to me.

Then there's the Flyers...they can't stop teams from scoring and unlike the Devils, they can't score much themselves either.  Over their last 27 GP they're a -36  (8-16-3 record).  Looking at their roster, there's not much youth that really excites...and for some reason known only to them, they locked up Ristolainen for another five years beyond this one.  How many prime years does Couturier have left, as he's about to enter his Age 30 season (he's signed for another 8 years after this one)?  How long before 32-year-old Cam Atkinson (3 years left after this one) starts to get fed up, as whatever remaining prime years he has get wasted?

Just feels like that franchise is in deep deep sh!t.  And I'm glad the Devils aren't in that same boat.   

The Flyers record drafting players over the last 10 years has been pretty awful. 2015 was the last time you would say they had a successful draft (Obviously not passing judgment on the most recent draft). 

We have posters who are unsatisfied we drafted Nico, imagine being the flyers with Patrick (I regularly give thanks that they didn't draft Makar second). They had two first round selections in 2018 and 2017 and then one First and three second round picks in 2016. And they had 27 picks across those three drafts as well. 

They seemed to commit to a rebuild and then all of a sudden pull out of it. Looking at their cup checklist they don't have anyone on their team at any position that is playing at or projects to be at an elite level. The Devil's have nearly all of their key players at that top end. 

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15 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Hey man how was that?  I've been to that arena once before, but not for hockey.  Almost went that night with my daughter...forget now why we didn't go.  I know the Comets were up 2-0 before losing 3-2. 

It was the first time at the arena for myself and my wife.  We got Club Seat tickets at center ice for $40 each after fees and the parking was $7 in the garage attached to the arena.  The club seats granted us access to the Morning Call club which was alright, but nothing special.  They had private bathrooms, tables with seating.  They did have a private bar and food stand, but you had to pay extra for that.  I felt that was kinda weird since everywhere else that I have heard that sells club seats the food and soft drinks are included.

The arena is nice overall and quite modern.  Food options were better than the Rock considering they only have 1 concourse.  The food quality was also miles better.  The concourse around the club side is quite narrow and with the wood paneling you feel like you are in a court house than an arena.

Game itself was fun and they were doing Hispanic Heritage night.  They had an in-game host who entertained throughout all stoppages of play and "TV timeouts."  I thought the Comets overall looked good but they kind of took their foot off the gas after the first period which is why they lost the game.  They were also missing Daws as Smid was just so-so while their goalie (Sandstrom) was keeping the Phantoms in the game.  Zetterlund and Holtz were the best of the bunch but I thought overall Zetterlund looked better.  Holtz has a wicked shot but I am pretty concerned about his skating.  He really needs to work on his foot speed and he was often the slowest player on the rush.  

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9 hours ago, mfitz804 said:

 

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It's still very early for him, but his rate numbers didn't improve at all...

2020-21 (per 82 GP):  17.5 G, 13.1 A (13:53 ATOI)

2021-22:  17.1 G, 11.3 A (13:55 ATOI)

Not equating him directly to Andreas Johnsson, but equally concerning about Laf is that he doesn't seem able to generate many shots on goal...in 11 out of his last 17 games, he's been held to a single shot or less...he came out flying to start the season (21 SOG through his first 8 GP, scoring 3 goals), but just 73 SOG in 64 GP since (for comparison, Mike McLeod has 75 SOG in 69 GP).  The one time that he got "hot" (5 goals in 9 games, from late Feb through early March), he needed to shoot 31.3% to do it...that suggested "fluke" more than "figuring things out", and sure enough, he's managed 2 goals in 20 GP since.  For his career, he's managed an abysmal 1.26 SOG per game to date.

The good news for the Rangers is that they haven't needed him to produce to win games...but even if I'm a reasonable Ranger fan who's willing to be patient, I'm starting to become concerned about my 1OA's top end.  Every player is different, but Hughes showed clear progress from Year 1 to Year 2 to his third season, with the third season being the obvious "OK, that's what a 1OA looks like!"    

 

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1 minute ago, DevsMan84 said:

It was the first time at the arena for myself and my wife.  We got Club Seat tickets at center ice for $40 each after fees and the parking was $7 in the garage attached to the arena.  The club seats granted us access to the Morning Call club which was alright, but nothing special.  They had private bathrooms, tables with seating.  They did have a private bar and food stand, but you had to pay extra for that.  I felt that was kinda weird since everywhere else that I have heard that sells club seats the food and soft drinks are included.

The arena is nice overall and quite modern.  Food options were better than the Rock considering they only have 1 concourse.  The food quality was also miles better.  The concourse around the club side is quite narrow and with the wood paneling you feel like you are in a court house than an arena.

Game itself was fun and they were doing Hispanic Heritage night.  They had an in-game host who entertained throughout all stoppages of play and "TV timeouts."  I thought the Comets overall looked good but they kind of took their foot off the gas after the first period which is why they lost the game.  They were also missing Daws as Smid was just so-so while their goalie (Sandstrom) was keeping the Phantoms in the game.  Zetterlund and Holtz were the best of the bunch but I thought overall Zetterlund looked better.  Holtz has a wicked shot but I am pretty concerned about his skating.  He really needs to work on his foot speed and he was often the slowest player on the rush.  

Yeah I went to the arena for a Monster Truck Rally (someone I knew had a couple of extra tix, so he took his soon and I took my daughter), so I know the building from that...only time I've been there.  Yeah I remember the food being of solid quality too.  It is a nice "lil local" arena for sure...I do want to see a Comets - Phantoms game there in the near future.

Yeah we probably have Holtz as being more of a future sure thing than he really is...I'm definitely very happy that he's scoring in his first pro season here, but lots of guys who can beat AHL goalies and defenses who can't do the same in the NHL.  We'll be finding out about Holtz soon enough.  

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