Saturday, April 5, 2008

End of the Season

It has been awhile since Ive posted. Ive been busy with work and other stuff.

First off I saw this on another forum and thought Id take a shot at it:

Best turn around game (positive): I think I will have to go back to the start of the season and say either the LA game when we first got Bryz or the NY Rangers/NJ Devils games. The fact that we could beat those two teams gave the guys a big confidence boost.

Best turn around game (negative): Calgary, we were up by 3 and then let them come back to win. It seemed we started getting worse from there.

Best Game of the Year: Sharks game where Carcillo got hurt. We were down and our Captain did what was needed to win the game. After that, we showed we had a chance to hang with the sharks (even beat them a couple more times!)

Worst Game of the Year: Either the Columbus game (the goal seen 'round the world) or the last Canucks/Oilers games. We didnt show up for either of those games. I think half our guys were already thinking about their summer golf outings.

Quick hits:
Best Offensive player: Vrbata (until his recent slump) and obviously Doan. Hes had an amazing season. Im wondering if playing for so long with a broken hand has kind of come back to bite him as he hasnt seemed himself lately.

Best Defensive player: Derek Morris, he really stepped up his game from last season. I hope he comes back and does that again. Z would be a close second. You don't notice him as much, but hes there quietly keeping us in some games.

Best Rookie: this is hard. Mueller and Hanzal both had great seasons. Each were asked to play different roles, so you cant compare them. Also, after the SA send down, Carcillo played well and really showed that he has the skills and he now knows it and is going to use it.

Biggest Surprise player: I would say Winnik. He has just gotten better and better as the season has progressed. Some would say Vrbata, but I had high expectations for him as he was a vast improvment over Adams. I knew we got the better end of that trade since day one.

Wow, that was hard. Trying to think back to all the games and evaluating. But it was fun to do.

Ok, and in news Turris signed with the big club! He has two games under his belt so far and you can just see the potential there. He is such an amazing passer. He shoots it high on net, something a lot of our guys dont seem to do (at least not lately).

Another signing was that of Nick Ross. He is now in SA. I hope he does well. I really liked him at rookie camp and they even let him play one pre season game. He wasnt bad but it showed he had a lot of work to do yet. Hopefully at least one year in SA will be a lot of help for him. Im thinking he will be there for at least 2 seasons, 1 seems like it would be rushing his development.

In Blake Wheeler news: he may stay at school for another year. This is what Ive been saying all along. Everyone was going on about how he doesnt want to sign and hes holding out but I had a feeling he just wasnt finished yet. If he goes back next year, he will be the captain. Why wouldnt he want to be captain? And what if they are better next year and get to the frozen four? If Wheeler wants to stay in school, I think thats great. I think hed learn more with a year in SA but ultimately its his decision and he has to do whats best for him.

The season ticket holder signing was this week. Went and got a few sigs. We only got through one table. They cut the lines off early. They said they would cut the lines at 8 but they actually did at 730 and that was about when we finally got through the first table. We went to the tables with Turris. That kid has so much energy and enthusiasm. Its refreshing and I hope a few of our guys catch it! Yandle was giving Turris/Rhino a hard time. Turris was signing my bros hat and he asked where he should sign it and my bro goes, "Right next to the great Steven Reinprecht" and Yandle looks at him and goes; "Who?". It was classic. Jovo was giving Bryz a hard time. It was hilarious. Jovo was totally joking and Bryz was getting all mad. His voice was getting all high pitched. I was laughing my ass off. The guy in front of me had a pic of bryz as a duck and Jovo goes, "that pucks going in" and bryz was like, "no its not. that is playoffs. no goals go in that game". And Jovo went, "no, no thats going in" and bryz's voice gets high pitched and basically repeats what he said before. I also got Fuhrs and Tocs autographs and a pic with Toc. When I was waiting a guy had some old school pics of toc so he was having fun with that. And he seems like a really cool guy. The guy was like I have a ton of stuff for you to sign and Toc was like Really? thats cool. And the guy was cool, hed have toc sign for him and then let who ever was waiting get a pic or autograph instead of just hogging toc. And then this lady walks up and goes, "who are you?" and Toc sticks out his hand an shakes hers and goes, "Im Rick. Im one of the associate coaches". And the lady was like oh ok! nice to meet you. haha, it made me laugh.

Last and final home game against Dallas Stars. Wow, first two periods sucked. but we came back in the third (too bad we couldnt pull off the tie, thanks jovo). I upgraded for this game. I figured last game of the season, why not. Carcillo got the team and crowd going when he took barch out with 2 punches. And i read that barch ended up with a slight concussion. The crowd was literally on their feet cheering for like five minutes. Then they cheered again when he came out of the box. Bally made up for his flub by scoring later in the third. Oh and Lisin got a goal with assists from Kapi and Carcillo. Its about time that line got some points, they have been the best/hardest working line for quite some time. Bryz was pulled and for whatever reason Jovo tried to pass when there was a Stars player right in front of him. So he passes to the stars player who has Jovo in front of an empty net. Hrmmm, yah, not that hard to put it in. So a sad ending to the home games. But, it was a great third period and kind of fitting since their home record was bad this year.

Last night they were in Dallass. And Carcillo gets a hat trick and a fight. It was awesome. We ended up cheering so loud when he was on his way to the empty netter. I liked how he carried it into the zone and right to the net. He wanted to make sure that baby went in! Too many times we shoot from too far out with the empty net and miss. But yah, he just showed how much skill he had. he totally had turco going with that second goal. Hanzal got a goal too. There was a time when i thought we were going to lose it. We let Dallas catch us too often. Im so glad I went and watched this game. AMAZING. And Carcillo was named NHLs FIRST star of the night!

Last game of the year for us agains Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. Pronger will be back. We can and will beat them. No matter if we win or lose we will end up either 6, 7 or 8 in the draft (depending on what others do). Im not worred where we pick, I have trust in our scouting department (they have found some great draft picks that are usually below others radars and in trades ie Carcillo, someone had to have an eye on him). Plus we have like 6 picks in the first few rounds. We could even trade up if it doesnt cost much. But anyway back to the Anaheim game. Its on local tv, so I will be watching it and cheereing my ass off. I predict Turris will have his moment this game. He will get either an assist or goal. Hes had a couple of games to adjust and it would be great if he got a point and then went back to school.

Also, Lisin and Yandle were sent back to San Antonio Rampage. Im glad. Lisin should get a shot at playing for the playoffs since he helped get them there. It will be good experience for him. Yandle really needs some more time to develop this year. He had far to many flubs this call up. Give him a chance to work on his defense and then let him see if he can make the big team out of training camp.

And Im excited, looks like Preds and Caps will be in the playoffs. I will be watching them. Buffalo is out. :( I dont care about anyone else in the west that made the playoffs. The east has a couple of other teams I will be interested in seeing how they do in the playoffs. So, I will hopefully be able to write some more on the playoffs once they start.

Ok, I have written enough for today. Once the season is over, I plan on doing an entry about the last game. I will also have plenty of time to go over the UFAs and RFAs on this team and evaluate each player and give my opinion on what we should do with them. (And Ive got some opinions here). I also need to look at the list of upcoming UFAs for the entire league. I havent looked at that much this year since we've been playing pretty well and there was the excitement of maybe making the playoffs.

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