Crashing The Net: 10 Burning Questions
Way back in September, before the NHL season even began, I wrote a piece titled "10 Burning Questions." In the article, I posed 10 questions to myself and gave my answers to each query (I know a little narcissistic). With about 70 percent of the NHL season complete, how do my "answers" look? Read on to find out.
Henrik Sedin was in the league lead for points for a while, but he has since ceded the spot to
Have you ever seen this man skate? One of the few players in the game that can bring the crowd to their feet, the issue with Gaborik is always health -- not his skill or production. Marian has been hurt a couple of times this season, but he has still appeared in 58 of the Rangers' 62 games, and the results have been spectacular: 35 goals, 34 assists, 23 PP points and a +10 rating. Overall Gaborik is tied for fourth in goals and third in power-play tallies 13), and in his last 75 games he has 48 goals and 44 points. He is what he has always been, and that is an elite level scorer.
Can I have a d- over? I guess the pressure is technically off of Phaneuf since he is no longer a Flame, but this plan certainly didn't play out as GM
Hey, no one is perfect. Price has an awful record (12-18-4), is working on a second straight season with a goals against average in the 2.80's, and though his save percentage has rebounded (.911) to pretty much match his career mark (.912), it's far too little to placate the Habs fan base or Price's fantasy owners. The Canadiens don't want to give up on Carey, he is just 22 years old, but there is little debate that he has been vastly outplayed by Czech netminder
This was a home run. The Blackhawks are currently second in the Western Conference and third in the NHL in points with 87 (the Capitals lead the way with 90 while the Sharks have 89). As for Kane, who is playing the Olympics for Team USA in Vancouver, he has 25 goals and 67 points in a mere 61 games. The goals tied a career best, while he is just five points from his career-high in that category. Add in that he is a +19 after being a (-7) skater his first two years in the league, and it's clear that Kane is on the cusp of superstardom.
Finally. Kipper has returned to the elite status which he belongs in, though an odd thing has happened. Last season Miikka won 45 games to lead the league, but his ratios were terrible at career worst levels as a starter (2.84 GAA, .903 save percentage). This season his ratios have sparkled (2.18 GAA, .925 save percentage), but unfortunately his record has suffered (27-19-9). You can't blame Kiprusoff who on most night has been very sharp -- it's his teammates that have often let him down by failing to put enough pucks in net at the other end of the ice.
Lauded as not only the most talented skater on the Devils (until the acquisition of
Uh, not so much. I can take some solace in the fact that about 90 percent of all "experts" thought a breakout was coming from this American blueliner, but alas, it just hasn't happened. As a rookie in 2007 he scored five goals with 28 assists in 69 games. After missing 2008 due to a lost battle with a golf cart (I'm not kidding), he has returned to the ice this season and provided nearly identical numbers (6g, 23a in 60 games). Still only 21 years old, the future is bright for this right-handed shot, though it certainly appears that we misjudged just how quickly that "future" would arrive.
This one seemed obvious to me, but there were some that felt Heatley might end up being distracted from his scoring duties once on the ice. Teaming for a large portion of the season with
The preliminary rounds of Olympic competition are complete. For a review of how they went, including a review of the failures of Canada and the success of Team USA, give James Duplacey's piece,