The team in general was terrible against Calgary, specifically the power play. Much was made of this online, but specifically how Renney had the 4th line out against Iginla right after an Oilers goal (not a great use of home ice advantage) and how Belanger is manning the point on the power play. Renney addressed the Belanger question today in one of the local rags, saying that they need the left hand shot out there and how Belanger has a bomb. Personally, I’m not going to get too worked up how the team played in just the one game, but if it starts to become a recurring thing we might have a problem; O’Marra got called up and sent back in the past week; Apparently Lowe and Burke were going to fight in a barn…couldn’t make this shit up.
A great story in the NY Times regarding Boogaard here, found the first 2 really good, 3rd one was well done but got a little preachy for my tastes; Re-alignment was the big deal yesterday and today, see our post on that here, or yahoo’s link with a handy pic of the new conferences, and also see the nhl link about how the standings would have worked out last year (including highlighting the depressing number of points the Oilers got last year) and what it looks like this year if the playoffs were to start today; Tootoo suspended 2 games for running Miller; The internet traded Iginla, Luongo and Ryan; Dec 14th people…set your PVR’s people, HBO’s 24/7 is coming!; Was Carlyle fired last MMS? Well, he is now; And Perron returned after his year long fight with concussion symptoms.
Question of the week:
Do you think the Shanaban’s are preventing injuries, cleaning up the league or making the league suitable for a bunch of pussies?
Fight of the week:
Still surprising to see Minny as high as they are. Other than that, it’s looking like the Oilers can jump to as high as 5th with a win next game (minus those teams winning), but if they lose it’s possible to fall as far as 11th or 12th with wins by those teams. Tightly packed west as usual.
The leafs are coming back to earth a bit, however they are still in the top grouping. The big traffic jam occurs between 7th and 13th, where 5 points separate the teams. And look at the Islanders! No longer the shittiest team.
Trogdor and Gas are starting to pull away from the pack here, so maybe they’ll have picks and prospects available for players that can help them now?
Also, Norwegian Oiler does up an outstanding writeup of the past month so here it is:
With two months of the inaugural season of the FHL passed, let’s look at some of the highlights.
It’s hard to know exactly what to expect in terms of points and of the ability of any team to climb or fall in the standings, but there have been some impressive results early on.
The new leader of the FHL is Trogdor’s Burninators – a powerhouse that amassed 246 points in November. Late pick Joffrey Lupul continues to dominate alongside heavy contributors like TJ Oshie and Milan Lucic. Trogdor also enjoys a strong defensive output, with offensively driven Jordan Leopold and gritty Ryan Wilson leading the way. There is nothing wrong with his goaltending either, with MA Fleury and Josh Harding combining for a above average 27 points. The total of 303 points from his forwards is league leading.
Gas’ Rhinos dropped into second place, but still hold a commanding 450 points over two months. Having inherited rtsen’s drafted roster he continues to fight off the whispers that he is but a managerial puppet. Gas prefers to point out that his FA signing Brian Campbell is among the FHL’s most productive and thus undoubtedly proves his qualities as a GM.
The Rebels (Mlab90) and the Heatwave (Ktown) took tremendous steps in November. The Rebels separated from the bottom dwellers and rioted into tenth place, climbing nine spots in the process. The Heatwave, and I refuse to make a pun, took third place, improving seven spots from the first month. Samson’s Thunder also made progress, clawing their way up seven spots into eleventh place.
The pack of hounds let slip to create havoc on the top 3 include risers Tigers (Saevel), Lakers (haboiler), Mustangs (MrMajestyk) and Raiders (Steve-o). The Tigers creative drafting have secured them cheap point producers in Jamie Benn (23 pts), Nick Foligno (17pts) and Kris Versteeg (24pts). Coupled with talent like Tsar Datsyuk and King Party-Henke Lundqvist the Tigers may begin to nibble at the top three soon. Although he has cooled off, Phil Kessel keeps pouring points into the Lakers’ vault, making Ktown wonder where he might have been if he had retained his asset instead of moving him prior to the season. Our automation-wizard, steve-o, finds himself dropping four spots from November, but his Raiders are still in a promising position.
Quietly improving are the Panthers (Alan-NottsUK), proving that Nottinghamshire harbours a clever hockey mind. The resident “Oilers” (even after moving Shawn Horcoff and Curtis Hamilton, the Panthers own no less than 7! Oilers). Happily, the old and young combo Smyth and Nugent-Hopkins have provided the Nottingham Panthers with plenty of joy so far.
Holding a very similar record are the Rattleheads (Crott). The Rattleheads’ defensive corps is the FHL’s most productive at 153 points, driven by Chara, Kronwall and the south-east duo of MA Bergeron and Dimitri Kulikov.
Whereas the Youngbloodesque Mustangs keep up with the leading pack, the Bombers are surfing the wave of mediocrity so far. Though they have risen two spots since November, they are only 20 or so points out of the mire of the table. Erroneously crediting Al Montoya with no less than 10 shutouts in November caught up to him and the netminders accurate and more modest 6.5 points hasn’t been enough to propel the Bombers into a top 5 role yet. Even though Racki’s defense regressed in terms of points, his forwards took a giant step and improved a healthy 59 points in November. While David Backes exploded for 22 points, the rest of the Bomber warriors distribute points relatively evenly throughout the lineup.
Further toward the bottom of the standings we find some of the greatest underachievers of November. The Chiefs (Zackman35) held fourth place in November, but have dropped like a deuce after kebab-night. Zackman’s fine start is being undone by his players’ inability to improve in the second month (184 in the ‘short’ October month, a mere 177 in November). Losing starting netminder James Reimer has only helped MG10, who owns his backup, Jonas Gustavsson.
Another angry GM will be iCanada, whose Flares fell 8 spots into 14th place. Crosby’s late return in November could not stop him from taking just seven more points in November than October. While Brad Marchand produced a superb 26.6 points, several of his supporting cast failed to improve in November. Trade bait?
Also near the middle of the pack are friends Jfrizzio77, MG10 and rhbdken, whose teams Militia, Serpents and Ice Dogs haven’t done sufficiently well to crack the top 10 after two months. The Serpents (MG10) fell seven spots (due also to a miscalculation of the October stats), despite positive performances from clever picks like Nick Leddy and Ryan McDonagh. While Evgeni Malkin, Stephen Weiss and Loui Eriksson have assembled a solid amount of points, rhbdken is being let down by a weak defensive corps. Injury to offensive d-man Tobias Enström has added to the problem. His Ice Dogs remain in seventeenth place. The Milita (Jfrizzio77) has improved modestly all over the board and jumps two places in the standings. Clearly led by Jonathan Toews, Jfrizzio needs his secondary scorers to provide more. These teams may still break into the top of the standings, but it will require some players to perform to their ability and perhaps overachieve as well.
In eighteenth place you’ll find the glorious, supremely ruling, villainous, pillaging, (self-)destructive Vikings (NorwegianOiler). The Vikings improved significantly, from 144 to 210 points, but did not cut into the table by more than a couple of spots. With the Bruins winning, the foursome of Bergeron, Horton, Peverley and Paille have contributed more. The Vikings are still desperately awaiting Berglund, Seabrook and Luongo to get their games going. They also traded forwards Blake Comeau (who had a whooping 0 points in twenty-some games before being waived) and Darroll Powe for Blackhawk forward Marian Hossa and his ugly contract…
Although the Bulldogs (gr8one) have a very reasonable roster, they have yet to crack 200 points in a month and find themselves in nineteenth place with 350 points. Andrei Markov’s absence may account for some of the troubles, as can Getzlaf’s lack of goals. This is a team that has potential to rise significantly in the next few months.
Below 19th, there is a gap of 35-40 points to the bottom group of teams. Bostonoiler’s Tanners picked themselves up from last place in November, but have not found their stride yet. Not being around to activate producers like Petr Sykora doesn’t help either. Their management now resembles the Oilers scouting staff in the late 90s. Managing from his country house in Massachussetts isn’t aiding the bleeding Tanners right now. Their fans cry for some leadership, and soon…
Chucker’s newly re-branded Stingers play with high shoulders and fail to improve in the second month. Without Johan Franzen’s fantastic 25 points his Stingers would be dead last. Bruce Boudreau couldn’t outlast Ovechkin. Can Chucker?
Mrgod2u is leaning towards atheism now that his Devils have dropped 6 spots into second last place in the FHL. Having dealt top forward Marian Hossa for some depth scoring, can the Devils lure their way up again? Mike Smith’s continued stellar play is a key. If the netminder can keep up his tremendous point total (24 pts) he may help the Devils climb. Having the Studley Wonderbomb injected into his lineup should help as well.
Unfortunately the Wildcats (Splat) find themselves in last place after two months, though just a mere five points from 20th. The dismal production from All-Stars Eric Staal and Ilya Kovalchuk have betrayed the Wildcats’ chances of contending for a better spot so far.
Thanks for reading. Keep up the good work gentlemen!