Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A mid-season evaluation of the Canadian teams

How southern US teams make payroll
Now that the new year has arrived and the season's 40-game mark is quickly approaching, it's a good time for an in-depth examination of teams' chances of success in the second half.

For some teams, the future is bright. For others, it seems bleak. So let's take an honest look at each of Canada's six teams, and how they stack up for the rest of the 2010-11 season and beyond.

Calgary Flames
The good news: Experts say the worst part of a losing season is the devastating effect is can have on the development of young players, which is great news for the Flames since they don't have any.
The bad news: Are currently on pace for an 82-point season, which would see them miss the playoffs in the Western Conference by over 50 points.
Worth mentioning: Coach Brent Sutter can't help but notice that team mascot Harvey The Hound now stands directly behind the bench at all times, takes detailed notes, and looks a lot like Bob Hartley wearing cheap novelty wolf ears.
The road ahead: New general manager Jay Feaster has been given a mandate to deal anyone the roster, which is bad news for the two or three guys who have any trade value.

Vancouver Canucks
The good news: Appear to have been inspired by the Markus Naslund retirement ceremony, which has been continuing in the background during all home games since early December.
The bad news: Daniel and Henrik Sedin continue to frustrate observers by refusing to reveal which one is the evil one.
Worth mentioning: Recently set a new franchise record by going three months without completely redesigning their jerseys.
The road ahead: May avoid the Blackhawks in the playoffs this year, which will be great news unless they happen to run into some other team that can exploit bad goaltending.

Montreal Canadiens
The good news: Carey Price has established himself as one of the best goaltenders in the league, so they should be able to get a couple of average prospects for him in the offseason.
The bad news: Sources say that recently acquired defenceman James Wisniewski has made the team's traditional off day games of charades increasingly awkward.
Worth mentioning: Are still trying to figure out how they can raise somebody's number to the rafters during the Heritage Classic game.
The road ahead: The trade deadline acquisition of Alexei Kovalev for a fifth round pick will probably seem like a good idea until they realize he now plays all his shifts wearing skate guards.

Toronto Maple Leafs
The good news: Looked absolutely dominant against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
The bad news: Have had substantially less success against teams that are still trying.
Worth mentioning: The traditional modest late season win streak that somehow convinces management that the team is on the verge of long-term success is currently scheduled for late March.
The road ahead: Brian Burke continues to insist that he won't ask Tomas Kaberle to waive his no-trade clause, although the baseball bat he's quietly tapping in the palm of his hand hasn't made any similar promises.

Ottawa Senators
The good news: Have avoided becoming national laughingstock, as nobody outside Ottawa is aware the team still exists.
The bad news: Owner Eugene Melnyk has gone on record saying the team was "going all the way this year", rudely spoiling the ending for the rest of us who wanted to be surprised.
Worth mentioning: Dynamic young defenceman Erik Karlsson leads the league in assists, or would, if not for that pesky "it only counts when it's to your own team" technicality.
The road ahead: Face a long, difficult, and frustrating road, and that's just to get back to downtown Ottawa after home games.

Edmonton Oilers
The good news: Have been decent against non-playoff teams, which bodes really well for future intrasquad games.
The bad news: Rookie Linus Omark has been sent back to the minors to work on his latest shootout move in hopes that he can more consistently land that quad toe loop.
Worth mentioning: Shawn Horcoff's six-year contract really isn't as horrendous as it seems, assuming the Mayans are right about this whole 2012 thing.
The road ahead: Look like they'll be absolutely stacked for the future thanks to Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, and a top three pick in every draft for the next decade or so.


  1. "The bad news: Are currently on pace for an 82-point season, which would see them miss the playoffs in the Western Conference by over 50 points."

    I think I woke my gf up by laughing at that one.

  2. There were so many funny parts to this blog, but my favorites had to be the continuing Markus Naslund retirement ceremony and that Carey Price would be traded!
    Keep up the good work in 2011 ! :)

  3. "Shawn Horcoff's six-year contract really isn't as horrendous as it seems, assuming the Mayans are right about this whole 2012 thing."

    Gold Jerry, gold!

  4. Sometimes you are funny.

    This time, you are not. You are forgiven. A Leaf fan is only used to bad goaltending...but the shot at Luongo was childish and stupid.

  5. Apparently Luongo is off limits. Shame on you, DGB.

  6. The shot at Luongo was the funniest part. A great post, as usual, DGB.

  7. sometimes you are funny.
    this time you were funny.


  8. The Luongo one was funny because it is accurate.

  9. I'm more a fan of your oldschool longer-winded offerings (see: Great Obscure Moments in Leafs History - Gary Leeman vs. Denis Savard), but this is one of the funniest point-formers in recent memory. Laughed out loud like 5 times.

  10. McIndoe, do the Hockeenight puckcast!