Hello and welcome all you fine ladies and gents to the second installment of Blackhawk Down Low previews the 2011-2012 season. I’m here to talk about the Pacific division also fondly known around my apartment living room as the “BUT WE DID SO WELL IN THE REGULAR SEASON!” gang.
San Jose Sharks
Additions: Martin Havlat, Michal Handzus, Andrew Murray, Brent Burns, and Jim Vandermeer
Subtractions: Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi, Ben Eager, Jamal Mayers, Kyle Wellwood, Kent Huskins, Ian White, and Scott Nichol
I find it hard to hate on the Sharks too much -- them choking is something I’ve come to count on. They are the poster children for showing how good a team can be in the regular season and then completely crumble when it comes to the playoffs. I know, I know… you’re over there thinking, “but Hattie, the Sharks got farther than your beloved Blackhawks did!” and to that I say, You’re right! They DID! YAY FOR YOU! But remember, the Blackhawks DID win the cup the year before, which if I recall included a sweep of the Sharks. Even though the Sharks thought it would be cool to pick up a Stanley Cup Champion goalie, they forgot… you also have to play defense.
As you can see in the additions and subtractions area, it’s obvious GM Doug Wilson is sick of the same old story. They added some speed (I guess) with the addition of Havlat, but at what cost? Trading Heatley and Setoguchi to the Wild along with a top prospect and a pick? I don’t know, Doug, sounds like you got the raw end of that deal. I guess that’s why you get paid the big bucks, though.
The Sharks will still be contenders in the West. Hell, they might even pull through and win the division again, but the only thing I’m banking on is watching Jumbo Joe and Co. choke again.
Additions: Andrew Cogliano, Jean-Francois Jaques, Kurtis Foster, Matt Smaby, Jeff Deslauries
Subtractions: Todd Marchant, Andreas Lilja, Ray Emery, Jarkko Ruutu
I’m sorry to break the story to you all, but the Anaheim Ducks have foregone the upcoming season in favor of allowing Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf to put all their energy into the next installment of "who won the Olympic gold medal vs. who won the Olympic silver medal" for the NHL awards... even if the Olympics were two years ago. Teemu Selanne has commented by saying he will delay his announcement to partake in said shenanigans for yet another week. Note: Corey Perry is pissed because he had picked himself for his fantasy team.
But hey, thanks for Ray Emery (I will inevitably retract this statement when he pisses me off in a few weeks.).
Additions: Mike Smith, Alexandre Bolduc, Boyd Gordon, Raffi Torres, Curtis McElhinney, Justin Pogge
Subtractions: Ilya Bryzgalov, Ed Jovanoski, Eric Belanger, Andrew Ebbett
Hey look at what we have here, a team everyone thought was going to be moved, still alive and kickin’ down in Glendale, Arizona.
Wait? They’ve been sold? No? Okay I can continue.
Bryzgalov wasn’t going to wait to be moved to a place without any parks and was picked up for a ridiculous amount and term by the Flyers. Or maybe he left for the Eastern conference because he was sick of the team in front of him bending over and taking it from the Red Wings. Regardless, that’s a big hole to fill between the pipes. Hopefully Dan Carcillo has been brought up to speed and knows that a few Canucks have been picked up by the ‘Yotes. Additionally… Raffi Torres is a piece of shit.
Are you sure they haven’t been sold yet?
While it doesn’t look like the Coyotes gave up much and added some centers this summer, I think they’re going to have to deal with losing Ilya for longer than they plan to once the season starts. The good news, though, is all of this will be overshadowed by the continued mumbles and grumbles of the team being sold and moving.
Los Angeles Kings
Additions: Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, and Colin Fraser
Subtractions: Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Ryan Smyth, Michal Handzus, and Alexei Ponikarovsky
Whew, plastic surgeons you can thank John Scott for that one.
The Los Angeles Kings picked up a line from the Philadelphia Flyers fire sale, and Mike Richards probably doesn’t have to worry about the existence of a “Dry Island” in La La land. They still haven’t signed Drew Doughty, so I’m sure that’s all Kings fans are thinking about as the season draws closer and closer... I like to imagine the jaws theme as background music while I read that last statement.
Taking a closer gander at the possible top six, the Kings probably have the best shot at continuing the tradition of a team winning the Pacific division and then shitting the bed once it comes to the playoffs. So, you’ve got that going for ya. Plus, if they ever get that situation ironed out with the Oilers regarding Colin “Frazzle Dazzle” Fraser they’ll have another player to umm... take up space on the bench.
Additions: Michael Ryder, Jake Dowell, Radek Dvorak, Vernon Fiddler, Eric Godard, Adam Pardy, and Sheldon Souray
Subtractions: Brad Richards, Jamie Langenbrunnerm Karlis Skrastins, Jason Williams, Jeff Woywitka
New coach, lots of new guys, looks like another season of "maybe they will, maybe they won’t" down in Dallas. If the Blackhawks want to NOT be up by three goals, give up the lead, and then lose in a shootout anytime this season while down in Dallas, I’d be a happy human.
I don’t know if I can say much more here than a big “Thanks!” for losing to the Minnesota Wild in the last game of the 2010-2011 season.
There you have it.
We’re only a week away from pre-season kids.
Honestly, watch out for the Sharks this year. The sole reason for the Havlat/Heatly trade is because Havlat becomes Jesus Fucking Christ in the playoffs.
The Dallas Stars: so irrelevant that nobody can even find a picture to make fun of them. Remember when they were in first in the division at one point last year? That scared the bejeezus out of me. Thought the apocalypse was upon us.