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Strider

2013-14 NHL SEASON

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With NHL Training Camps starting today, it's time to 'DROP PUCK'!

Last year, it was the lockout playing havoc with the season. This year, it's the Winter Olympics in Russia that will cause some disarray, although each team will still play the standard 82 game schedule.

http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-77356334/

My team, the Los Angeles Kings, have some issues to wonder about...namely, the void left by the departures of Dustin Penner (to his old team the Ducks), Rob Scuderi (also back to his former team Pittsburgh), and goalie Jonathan Bernier (to Toronto), who performed yeoman duty last season while Quick was recovering from back surgery.

After coming so close again to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, only to lose to Chicago, the Kings had a plethora of injured players by the end of the playoffs...Dustin Brown, Matt Greene, Rick's favourite ex-Sabre Robyn Regehr, Drew Doughty, Justin Williams.

It'll be up to the new blood to step up...although I'm worried if something happens to Quick. Having Bernier as a backup goalie gave one piece of mind. Now, it'll be fraught with mystery.

http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-77354428/?related=true

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10 Predictions for the 2013-14 NHL season

Kevin Allen, USA TODAY Sports
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(Photo: Michael Ivins, USA TODAY Sports)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Seth Jones will have a solid rookie season pairing with Shea Weber
  • Tim Thomas should land a job sometime during the season
  • Don't expect a lot of coaching changes this season

USA TODAY Sports hockey columnist Kevin Allen makes 10 predictions for the 2013-14 NHL season:

1. Jones pairs with Weber: Seth Jones will have a rookie season similar in impact to last season's Minnesota Wild rookie Jonas Brodin. Like Brodin, Jones will be better defensively than you would expect for a teen-age defenseman. Like Brodin, Jones could end up paired with his team's No. 1 defenseman. Brodin was paired with Ryan Suter and Jones could end up with Shea Weber. Although Weber and Roman Josi were very strong together down the stretch, the Predators are lacking in experience on the blue line. The Predators' defense would be more balanced if Weber and Josi were apart.

2. Thomas will find work: Although there appears to be no love for Tim Thomas in the marketplace right now, it's not difficult to imagine a team turning to him in-season if its No. 1 goalie had a significant injury. Although Thomas sat out last season, he looked brilliant the last time we saw him play.

3. Crosby puts up 125: Not since 2009-10 has Sidney Crosby been healthy enough to play close to a full season. He seems overdue for good luck on the medical front. At 26, he's entering the prime of his career. When you look at his numbers last season, he was scoring at about a 127-point pace.

4. Coaching a safer profession? The Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers all sporting new hires behind the bench or coaches hired during the 2012-13 season. Several other coaches received extensions this summer. At least for now, there doesn't seem to be as many coaches on the hot seat as we have had in the past. Still, would you want to be Peter Laviolette if the Philadelphia Flyers had a bad start or how about Mike Yeo in Minnesota if the Wild stumbled out of the gate?

5. Luongo vs. Quick: Fans in Vancouver have the right to argue about whether GM Mike Gillis should have kept Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider, but the truth is that Luongo might still be Canada's best option for Sochi. Let's not forget that this man has an Olympic gold medal and two World Championships titles on his resume. He's a proven winner in international competition. Plus, Canada is not rich in exceptional candidates. Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick's performance over the past two seasons clearly have moved him ahead of the Sabres' Ryan Miller on the unofficial depth chart. But no one has forgotten how well Miller played in Vancouver in 2010. U.S. GM David Poile has said the goalie choice will be made based on who is playing the best when the team is chosen.

6. No home-ice advantage: Oddsmakers and sportswriters seem to be looking at the Russians as the team to beat at the 2014 Olympics in their home country. With the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk up front, it's easy to understand that projection. It's an impressive group. The problem is that every country has an impressive collection of talent. The pressure to win could be overwhelming for the Russians. My early projection: 1. Canada. 2. Sweden. 3. USA.

7. Red Wings will soar in East: With the improvements the Detroit Red Wings made to their offense and the return of Darren Helm, they can finish second in the new Atlantic Division, just behind the Boston Bruins. The misconception about the Red Wings is that they have defensive issues, but they were actually a strong defensive team by season's end. Their issue centered on a lack of scoring depth. Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss will help eliminate that deficiency.

8. Jets still grounded: The move to the West won't immediately help the Winnipeg Jets. They might need 96 or 97 points to land a playoff spot in their new division alignment. They seem more like an 88-point team, maybe a 90- or 92-point team if they continue to progress.

9. Toronto will be better than Montreal: The Canadiens were six points better than the Maple Leafs in the 48-game 2012-13 NHL season. But with the additions of tough, goal scorer David Clarkson and goalie Jonathan Bernier, the Maple Leafs could be a 100- or 101-point team. The Canadiens could be a point or two behind, although they could also be a 104- or 105-point team if Carey Price has an exceptional season.

10. Devils will miss the playoffs again: If it happens, this would be the first time under GM Lou Lamoriello that the Devils have missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons. Over the last 13 months, the Devils have lost Zach Parise, Clarkson and Kovalchuk. They were the lowest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference last season, and losing Kovalchuk makes that situation worse.

Edited by Strider

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I just posted on another forum that I believe Sabres first pick Rasmus Ristolainen will start up in Buffalo. Either with McBain or Tallinder. Myers and Erhoff will be the starting unit, Miller and Vanek will be Sabres for now and I am hoping for a long time. Hodgeson was just signed to a six year deal yesterday. So I am hoping that this team will surprise alot of people and play well. Miller is going to give it his all to try and make the Olympic roster. I believe in Miller. I am not sure why they gave Rolston the job and a date to circle is November 28th when Lindy Ruff returns with his Dallas Stars. I just do not like it.

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Monster brawl in Toronto between my Sabres and the Leafs. Kessel used his stick. Miller fought their goalie. Clarkson has a 10 game regular season suspension and the league is still mulling over this one.

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Monster brawl in Toronto between my Sabres and the Leafs. Kessel used his stick. Miller fought their goalie. Clarkson has a 10 game regular season suspension and the league is still mulling over this one.

:lol: Dude, that other goalie Miller was fighting was the King's backup from last season, Jonathan Bernier, who was traded to Toronto after the season. http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-77524693/

You're lucky it's a full 82 game season...10 game suspension won't hurt as much as it would have last year with only 48 games.

Will you be going to many Sabres games this season? I wanted to ask how your back holds up going to sporting events like Bills and Sabres games? Seats at sporting arenas can be very uncomfortable.

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:lol: Dude, that other goalie Miller was fighting was the King's backup from last season, Jonathan Bernier, who was traded to Toronto after the season. http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-77524693/

You're lucky it's a full 82 game season...10 game suspension won't hurt as much as it would have last year with only 48 games.

Will you be going to many Sabres games this season? I wanted to ask how your back holds up going to sporting events like Bills and Sabres games? Seats at sporting arenas can be very uncomfortable.

Much easier at Sabres than Bills. Miller did not get suspended? That I know? Yikes. Clarkson did. Say it aint so?

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Season opens tomorrow night. Remember you cable and Direct TV viewers, you will get Center Ice free for about a week. My boys open in Motown on Wed night. Miller time. He needs to lead us. We have a good mix of youth and vets like Ott and Vanek. The Leafs have to play two games back to back and they are a bitch. At Montreal and Philly back to back. The schedule maker did them no favors.

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Well it doesn't start for the Kings until Thursday at Minnesota. It isn't until NEXT Monday that the Kings have their home opener against the Rangers.

Good luck to your Sabres, Rick. Where is Ally? It's time to talk shit about Vancouver Ally!!! :P

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Well it doesn't start for the Kings until Thursday at Minnesota. It isn't until NEXT Monday that the Kings have their home opener against the Rangers.

Good luck to your Sabres, Rick. Where is Ally? It's time to talk shit about Vancouver Ally!!! :P

He is around. I have talked to him via email. He is excited about Vancouver. Like me and my boys who open in Motown tomorrow on national TV. The finnish freight train will make his debut. Rasmus Ristolanen. Go Sabres!!!! Took Toronto and Chicago tonight

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I can't find the Habs game on Center Ice.....WTF

Caps vs Hawks on NBC Sports coming up..

(EDIT) found the Habs game.....just in time to see Orr waving the trainers to come in to help Parros

Edited by zepscoda

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I can't find the Habs game on Center Ice.....WTF

Caps vs Hawks on NBC Sports coming up..

(EDIT) found the Habs game.....just in time to see Orr waving the trainers to come in to help Parros

I watched it. 700's on Direct TV. My Sabres on National TV tomorrow vs Wings. CBS

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Have you guys checked out the new rule changes?

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=684940

  • Keep your Helmet on : That's ridiculous , just plain stupid.
  • Shollower Nets : Great idea, the Stars just tied the game up with a pass from behind the net.
  • Goalie Equipment : Smaller pads, I've got no problem with that.
  • Hybrid Icing : If this rule saves just one player from being injured on the boards , I'm all for it.

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Rangers vs Coyotes tonight ! I'm seeing a bunch of Ranger blue in that Phoenix crowd.

Well that turned out great didnt it? Just like Millers 46 saves and we lose with one minute left because of bone head Weber

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Flyers have fired Peter Laviolette and hired a goon turned coach, former assistant with Philly and Florida. 0-3 and the poor bastard gets the pink slip.

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What the hell is going on with your boys, Rick? Sabres haven't won a game yet!

Ally's Canucks starting strong.

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Rangers are getting a beat down again......their down 6-0 going into the 3rd........get this west coast trip over with already!

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What the hell is going on with your boys, Rick? Sabres haven't won a game yet!

Ally's Canucks starting strong.

Rebuilding is an understatement. Why has Dallas only played two games?

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On the eve before Lindy Ruff's return its a sad night in Buffalo. Thomas Vanek, our best player has been traded to the NY Islanders for Moulson, plus a first and second round pick. CBS thinks the Sabres won this trade big. But that is only if you assume he would have walked at years end. I hope he makes it to Minny to join Jason. Draft pics are little consolation now. I am sure someday it will pay off. But I loved Thomas Vanek. Miller is most likely next

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On the eve before Lindy Ruff's return its a sad night in Buffalo. Thomas Vanek, our best player has been traded to the NY Islanders for Moulson, plus a first and second round pick. CBS thinks the Sabres won this trade big. But that is only if you assume he would have walked at years end. I hope he makes it to Minny to join Jason. Draft pics are little consolation now. I am sure someday it will pay off. But I loved Thomas Vanek. Miller is most likely next

The Sabres tough start to the season caused this trade Rick but I agree, he was most likely gone next year anyways. Don't be too upset though. This Moulson kid is a hell of a player and even though those draft picks don't help immediately, this trade has to rank as a very good one for the Sabres. Trading Miller soon, should be the next priority for Darcy. Yeah, every GM will know that he'll be gone at the end of the season but, this season is young and Miller is capable of backstopping a good team all the way to the cup. IMHO Darcy would get a ton for him !

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The Sabres tough start to the season caused this trade Rick but I agree, he was most likely gone next year anyways. Don't be too upset though. This Moulson kid is a hell of a player and even though those draft picks don't help immediately, this trade has to rank as a very good one for the Sabres. Trading Miller soon, should be the next priority for Darcy. Yeah, every GM will know that he'll be gone at the end of the season but, this season is young and Miller is capable of backstopping a good team all the way to the cup. IMHO Darcy would get a ton for him !

I agree and he had better get a ton or not let him go. He could win a cup for a team on the brink, including your Canucks. I know you like Luongo, but I believe that Miller is better and would get Vancouver the Cup. And the Sharks and even the Red Wings and that is probably where he would love to go. If not California where his wife is

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I agree and he had better get a ton or not let him go. He could win a cup for a team on the brink, including your Canucks. I know you like Luongo, but I believe that Miller is better and would get Vancouver the Cup. And the Sharks and even the Red Wings and that is probably where he would love to go. If not California where his wife is

Do you know the way to San Jose ;)

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Rick, is Buffalo throwing in the towel on the season already? I can't believe they would think of trading Miller. The season has barely begun...there's still plenty of time to overcome the bad start. Plenty of teams have done it before.

If Buffalo gives up on the season so soon, will you give up on Buffalo, too?

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