Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dallas Stars 2011-12 Preview

How will the Dallas Stars cope with the loss of Brad Richards? Will Jamie Benn be able to break through?

With the departure of Brad Richards in the off-season, wheels of change have been turning in Dallas.  Veterans such as Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro and newcomer Michael Ryder will compliment the burgeoning core of Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson.  The Stars boast some talent up front, but their bottom two lines do not appear to be as versatile as the front runners in the Western Conference.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Columbus Blue Jackets 2011-12 Preview

Will Jeff Carter give Nash enough help to vault the Jackets to the playoffs?
Can the Blue Jackets compete in the Central Division?

Some hockey fans only see what Rick Nash can truly offer when he’s playing for Team Canada. With Jeff Carter’s arrival in Columbus via Philadelphia, we may finally see what Nash can do with a similarly talented player entering his prime.

Aside from Nash and Jeff Carter, Columbus will rely upon forwards Derick Brassard, RJ Umberger, Antoine Vermette, Kristian Huselius, Matt Calvert and Ryan Johansen.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Colorado Avalanche 2011-12 Preview

Can the Avs stay healthy and compete in the ultra-tough Western Conference?

Duchene to lead by example?  Last season, the Colorado Avalanche started the season on fire, only to fall flat on their face and stumble mightily the rest of the way.  Some trades, namely the deal sending Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk to St. Louis for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement, has been criticized widely.  Will it pay off?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chicago Blackhawks 2011-12 Preview

Will Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks regain their 2010 Stanley Cup form?

New Additions give ‘Hawks new Life. After a whirlwind off-season as Stanley Cup Champions, the Blackhawks found themselves without a lot of their role players.  Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, and Kris Versteeg just to name a few.  The result was far too much thrust upon the likes of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.  Marty Turco faltered and the Hawks seemed incapable of holding a lead. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Carolina Hurricanes 2011-12 Preview

Can Jeff Skinner avoid the sophomore slump and help Eric Staal lead the Canes to the playoffs?

Last season, Jeff Skinner surprised most of the hockey world by acclimatizing to the NHL game quickly and winning the Calder trophy.  Tuomo Ruutu enjoyed a career year as well, but it was not enough for the Canes to make the playoffs. 

This time around, Carolina’s hopes will be tied to the success of Brandon Sutter and newcomer Anthony Stewart, who hope to develop more fully and realize their potential. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Calgary Flames 2011-12 Preview

Does Jarome Iginla have a supporting cast to get the Flames into the playoffs?

What is the Calgary Flames identity? Former GM Darryl Sutter forged a rugged team build around superior goaltending and sound defensive play.  When that didn’t pan out as desired the past few years, Sutter was out and Jay Feaster was in.  Feaster seems to prefer a more offensive style, as evidenced by attempts to sign Brad Richards, among others. 

This season, the Flames will hope to stay healthy and showcase some new-found depth at forward.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Buffalo Sabres 2011-12 Preview

Will the Sabres' influx of talent blend quickly enough to compete with the beasts of the East?

Does Buffalo have what it takes with their new additions? With injuries to some of the Sabres’ top forwards like Derek Roy, their season took a downturn, but optimism reigned supreme in the off-season with the acquisition of D Christian Ehrhoff, D Robyn Regehr, and F Ville Leino. 
Improved depth on the blueline and up front will mean the Sabres should reach greater heights this season.  They’ll be competing in a mediocre division with two teams (Toronto and Ottawa) that should struggle. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Boston Bruins 2011-12 Preview

What do the Bruins have in mind for an encore after their epic Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks?

Thomas, Bruins hungry for another Stanley Cup? After one of the greatest goaltending performances in Stanley Cup Playoff history, Tim Thomas hoisted the Conn Smythe trophy and the Stanley Cup. 

With the majority of the Bruins’ roster intact after their surprising Stanley Cup championship run last spring, can they repeat? 

Tim Thomas appeared invincible, and Zdeno Chara seemed smothering.  Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand were tremendous as well, but can they repeat?  Fatigue may set in, as will the inevitable Stanley Cup hangover, but this team has what it takes to get back to the dance. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Anaheim Ducks 2011-12 Preview

Can the star power of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry push the Ducks to the elite of the Western Conference?

Bring the Mighty Back to Anaheim?  With Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer long gone, and Teemu Selanne on the verge of retirement, the Ducks have struggled to retain their spot near the top of the Western Conference.

While Corey Perry emerged as a legitimate star in the league, the Ducks were still far removed from the team that hoisted the cup in 2007. The 2011-12 version of the Anaheim Ducks will continue to re-build and to improve upon their performance last year. A healthy Ryan Getzlaf will center a dynamic top line with Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan. Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne will lend some secondary scoring but likely will leave the Ducks wanting should injury strike. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rick Rypien Found Dead

Current Winnipeg Jet and former Vancouver Canucks forward Rick Rypien was found dead.  Both the Winnipeg Jets and the Vancouver Canucks issued statements expressing their condolences to friends and family of the NHLer.

As TSN is reporting, Jets' captain Andrew Ladd and Michael Grabner offered statements via traditional channels and twitter.