Thursday, October 19, 2006

Around the Rink 10.19.06

It's been a while since the last update, but we're back to bring you some of the ins and outs of the hockey world, no matter how inane they may be.

The buzz is still around the Philadelphia Flyers after they got trounced 9-1 by the Buffalo Sabres. The day after, they waived Nolan Baumgartner, Petr Nedved, and Niko Dimitrokos to call up Ben Eager, Alexandre Picard, and Stefan Ruzicka. Nedved, and Dimitrokos cleared waivers and will head across the street to the Philly Phantoms of the AHL, while Baumgartner cleared, but stayed with the Flyers.

Owner Ed Snider still said there's work to be done....and will get done. The main thing about the whole 9-1 game is that the Flyers actually outshot the Sabres 38-37. It seemed like everything the Sabres put on net went in. Even with Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje, there's really no well rounded defenseman, outside of Joni Pitkanen; who's defensive zone coverage is suspect at best.

It's hard for Flyer fans who actually thought this could be a starting point to turn things around, but it seems that it turned out the be the beginning of a nightmare.

The Sabres, Minnesota Wild, and Dallas Stars are the only unbeaten teams in the NHL. Now, the Stars may not be a surprise, but the Wild and Sabres could be. Granted, the Sabres went to the East final, you wonder what the lockerroom would be like after the summer. The Wild are playing amazingly well and putting in plenty of goals, something where they were lacking.

If this trend can continue, you definitely should be on the lookout when it comes to April and beyond. These teams, Sabres and Wild, could be the finalist for the Cup; which would be scary for some, but great for these hockey markets.

Evgeni Malkin made his NHL debut and was the only source of offense for the Pittsburgh Penguins after he poked in a loose puck between Martin Brodeur's legs last night. Of course, the off-ice issues continue with Metallurg suing the Penguins and the NHL trying to get compensation for the loss of the Russian superstar.

Now, many feel this suit and the suits against the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are bunk; but we'll see how this all plays out. For some reason, with these Russian teams hiring American counsel for these suits, I don't think they would file unless they felt that something good could come out of it for their side of things. As always, we'll stay tuned for this.

Don't you think it odd that the minute that Rick DiPietro leaves the crease for the New York Islanders, they get better in front of back-up Mike Dunham?? Dunham is on a tear with a 2-0-1 record and 1.72 GAA. Sad part about this is, Ted Nolan won't pay the hot goalie even if he is leading the teams to victory.

With DiPietro coming back from a groin injury, the woes are going to continue if Deeps can't pick-up the play. I just hope that Nolan realizes who is better if Deeps struggles and Dunham keeps up the torrid pace. Plus, DiPietro will have 14 more seasons to right the ship of the Islanders.


That's all for now, but be sure to check out Face Off Hockey Show every Wednesday at 9 PM ET or anytime you want on the Podcast. Also, be sure to check out FHM's Fantasy Hockey Column every weekday with yours truly doing his part to make your team better. Plus, be sure to stop by the FOHS Message Boards for all the fun stuff happening there.

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