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impeach estaalo 08-21-2011 09:21 PM

Anton Dubinsky's Guide to the League and the Universe
 
Every day from now until whenever I will be previewing each team in the reverse order I predict them to finish. You will notice that some days I do not post a preview, and that at some point in time I may stop posting for good before I even get to the 12th seed, but that does not matter.

15 (West). Edmonton Oilers


Quite possibly the most annoying thing about offseason predictions is the use of the phrase "a healthy [insert player's name here]." The logic behind this phrase is that a team was worse than it should have been the prior season due to Adrian Foster Being Hurt and this season they will improve greatly due to A Healthy Adrian Foster.

Prior to last season, we were told that the Edmonton Oilers were destroyed by an absurd amount of man games lost due to injury that couldn't possibly happen again. With a new season on the horizon, we are being told the same thing. Surely a team could not suffer catastrophic amounts of injuries three years in a row.

The flaw behind the "a healthy Erik Cole" thinking is the curious idea that a player will magically play a full season just because he was injured the year before. This may make a bit of sense when applied to typically healthy players who happened to suffer a fluke injury, but it does not apply to Ryan Whitney and Ales Hemsky.

Oilers fans tell us that Ales Hemsky is not injury prone, as there is nothing specifically wrong with his body and he has just suffered a series of serious injuries that have caused him to miss a substantial amount of time ("fluke injuries"). On the other hand, Ryan Whitney is also not injury prone as he has merely missed most of two seasons with the same injury to the same foot ("fluke injuries"). While these claims directly contradict each other, there is some sense behind this line of thiking---and by "sense" I mean "delusional optimism so disgusting that you'd think ChuckW/dinz posted it." Since Ales Hemsky has merely been unlucky, his bad luck will run out. And since Ryan Whitney has had surgery on his foot, the problem is fixed for good--his last surgery was just for fun.

Of course, what this ignores is that there were a number of teams significantly better than the Oilers (29, to be exact) and many of them suffered injuries. Who says they won't have a A Healthy X and Y? Who says that even if Ryan Whitney and Ales Hemsky are healthy, someone else won't get hurt? Other than the luckiest team on earth (the Carolina Hurricanes), most teams usually suffer a serious injury or two to a key player (or at least a player described as a key player by fans after the fact as an excuse for another pathetic season.)

Really, though, this is all one big smokescreen to avoid acknowledging a painfully obvious fact: even with a 100% healthy roster, the Oilers ****ing suck. Even if Ryan Whitney is healthy, the Oilers have a bottom five defense. Even if Ales Hemsky is healthy, the Oilers have a bottom ten offense. And since their goatlending is hopeless at best, the Oilers must then focus on the next most commonly used excuse: the young guns. Similar to the "everybody will be healthy!" delusion, the "all of my team's young players will take huge steps forward in their development!" delusion requires one to be a disgraceful homer.

Oilers fans may have a point in this case, though. Boasting such young talent as Sam Gagner, Robert Nilsson, Patrick O'Sullivan, and Andrew Cogliano, the Oilers have the best chance of any team to be the surprise hockey team of 2009. None of these players will underachieve or bust, and I know this because they are all first round draft picks playing for a Canadian team.

Mostly consisting of young players who may or may not help their team win hockey games within the next five years or so, the rest of the Oilers' roster is pretty much fleshed out with veteran players who have proven conclusively that they do not help teams win hockey games. Frighteningly, one could argue that Eric Belanger is one of the best actual hockey players on the Oilers--which means that in typical Oilers fan fashion he is penciled in on the 4th line behind three full lines of players who either can't locate the defensive zone or have their existence justified by the word "Corsi."

As terrible as the forward group is, the defense is the most atrocious defense I have seen since the last time the Carolina Hurricanes set foot on the ice at the RBC Center. Ladislav Smid was once mentioned as a potential Mattias Ohlund clone, and of course as a high first round pick he has fulfilled that promise entirely. No, I am kidding. He - like every Oilers defenseman other than Ryan Whitney - should not be playing more than 12 minutes a game unless the Oilers are gunning for another 1st overall pick. Which, of course, they are.

Ollie Weeks 08-21-2011 09:36 PM

Ollie Weeks likes this post.

Anton Dubinchuk 08-21-2011 09:42 PM

A little truer than I thought an Anton Dubinsky summary of a team would be, but still quite funny :laugh:

halleJOKEL 08-21-2011 09:44 PM

Chad LaRose could beat the Edmonton Oilers.

Stephen Goalbert 08-21-2011 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anton Callahan (Post 36101111)
Chad LaRose could beat the Edmonton Oilers.

I think he could score 35 points if he played with the Sedins, if that's what you're asking.

Anton Dubinchuk 08-21-2011 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anton Callahan (Post 36101111)
Chad LaRose could beat the Edmonton Oilers.

Along with every other team in the NHL... At the same time...

impeach estaalo 08-21-2011 10:41 PM

15 (East). Atlanta Thrashers

I am referring to this team as the Atlanta Thrashers to help remind people that this team is the Atlanta Thrashers and that they have done nothing to improve their team in any form. Sure, there is a bunch of optimism because many Canadians have an extremely dangerous coexisting persecution and inferiority complex that leads them to believe that acquiring a terrible hockey team and moving it to a terrible city is going to matter. After seeing their teams unfairly stripped away from them due to frivolous concepts such as "market size" and "money", the Canadians have finally gotten back at the Evil American Empire and its devilish leader Gary Bettman, taking away the Atlanta Thrashers Dynasty from the twelve people who care about hockey in Atlanta. Oh, such a victory. Let's celebrate.

Canadians are joyous to have "made it seven," but really they have "made it four"--that being the number of Canadian teams that will miss the playoffs every year and be completely irrelevant outside of the sensationalistic Canadian media, where things like the "World Junior Championships" and "Dion Phaneuf" are talked about as if they aren't complete jokes. Yes, the Thrashers, Leafs, Oilers and Senators absolutely blow and the Canadiens are a perennial mediocre team with the most annoying fanbase in all of professional sports, but people care and emotional hysterics and lame catchphrashes like "Canada's game" are the most important things in hockey if you're a terrible Canadian journalist desperately trying to get followers on Twitter.

The Thrashers aren't bad in any one area, and not good in any one area. Rather, they are terrible in all areas of hockey. They have one above-average defenseman, one horiffically overrated poor-man's-Mike Green, and a pile of **** behind them. They have a 50 point second liner as their best forward, whose Stanley Cup wins means as much to the Thrashers as Chad LaRose's Stanley Cup win means to the Hurricanes: nothing at all, but it's something to mention to make yourself feel better when it's the trade deadline and you are busy acquiring a 4th liner for a conditional draft pick in hopes of making a run at the 9th seed.

The Thrashers did not tender qualifying offers to Anthony Stewart and Rob Schremp, which for most teams would be addition by subtraction, but this is the Thrashers we are talking about. This is a beyond terrible team. Let's recap:

29th in goals against
27th in penalty killing
26th in shots against
25th in 5-on-5 goal differential
25th in points
23rd in face-off %
20th in goals for

Somehow they managed to compile such a terrible record not only in the East, but in the Southeast Division. If they had played in the west, it's not ridiculous to think that they would have been bad as the Oilers. But unlike the Oilers, there weren't huge amounts of significant injuries to point to, or a large number of young players to point to as ready to take the next step in their development. All there is the hype of a city getting its new hockey team, which in the end should matter as much as signing Randy Jones.

halleJOKEL 08-21-2011 10:55 PM

Chad LaRose could also beat the Atlantapeg Thrashjets.

All of them.

impeach estaalo 08-21-2011 11:49 PM

14 (West). Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been searching for a first line center and a top-pairing defenseman for years. The good news is they got one of the two. The other is James Wisniewski. And Jeff Carter is probably better at wing anyway. Oh, **** it.

With Wisniewski and Carter in the fold, the Jackets now have three players who belong with in a mile of a top powerplay unit. With the supporting cast around them, they could reasonably wind up in the top 25 in both powerplay percentage and goals for.

With sheer mediocrity on defense and at forward, the fortunes of the Blue Jackets will depend largely on their netminding. If Steve Mason plays like he did for the first twenty games of his rookie season, the Jackets could make the playoffs if everything goes right and Rick Nash stops being the most overrated player in the NHL and actually scores more than 70 points for once. If Mason plays like he has in the other 150 or so games, the Jackets are a lottery team. But don't count Mason out. Not only is he a Good Canadian Boy, he also is motivated over his repeated failures for the last several seasons. Mason's actual ability is nothing that should be questioned; any player in the NHL who fails always succeeds again merely by trying, regardless of talent level.

If Mason falters, the Blue Jackets can turn to Mark Dekanich, who may or may not be a real person. General manager Scott Howson said that Dekanich was someone who he had been keeping an eye on for years and really wanted as a back-up, which in GM speak means "Mark Whoever was willing to sign for league minimum and we're ****ing broke because we just spent thirty-three million dollars on James Wisniewski."

Tragedy struck in mid-July when noted abysmal hockey player and point collector Kristian Huselius suffered a torn muscle while lifting weights for the first time ever and was projected to miss 4-6 months while recovering. Scott Howson sprung into action, signing noted abysmal hockey player and point collector Vaclav Prospal, who will suffer a season-ending injury at any moment now. Some have said that Prospal will help the powerplay a lot, and obviously those people have never watched hockey or looked at his career powerplay numbers. At some point in time, "soft, skilled forward with major skating issues" was incorrectly translated as "good on the powerplay" and it stuck. If you've always wondered why players are described as "good PP guys" despite producing nothing on the PP and their team's PP being terrible, you have your answer.

The Jackets do have some quality prospects on the way. Ryan Johansen - best known for being demanded by delusional Oilers fans in exchange for Ales Hemsky - could eventually give the Jackets a good one-two punch at center and someone to complement Rick Nash, since we all know he and Carter won't fit together. John Moore has a nice name and probably did something at the WJC at some point in time, though maybe not. Nobody really cares. Nikita Filatov was traded for a 3rd round pick, thus making him the second best Columbus first round pick of all time. Jeff Hamilton is from Ohio.

In short, the Blue Jackets are a team so bad that maybe one day they will be relocated to Canada.

Brock Anton 08-22-2011 12:26 AM

But Canada doesn't respect the Blue Jackets....

TheBigKahuna 08-22-2011 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anton Callahan (Post 36102387)
Chad LaRose could also beat the Atlantapeg Thrashjets.

All of them.

I only wish he WERE on the Jets roster.

impeach estaalo 08-22-2011 12:30 AM

14 (East). Florida Panthers

1. Trade all of your mediocre veteran players for scraps, free up money for next year.
2. Spend all of that money overpaying for mediocre veteran players
3. Replace Tomas Vokoun with Jose Theodore.
4. ???
5. Profit.

The Panthers could have reached the cap floor by signing UFAs to one-year deals, or hanging onto terrible players on expiring contracts like Bryan Allen instead of moving them. Instead, they chose to overpay a ridiculous number of mediocre UFAs to long term deals that will certainly hamstring their franchise for years to come.

Ed Jovanovski, Tomas Fleischmann, Sean Bergenheim, Scottie Upshall, Tomas Kopecky, Marcel Goc, Jose Theodore. No, that is not a list of the upcoming waiver wire. Those are the free agents the Panthers overpaid for that have some hockey pundits predicting that they will contend for a playoff spot. Obviously, those people are retarded and should be ignored.

It will be another depressing year for Panthers fans, whose highlight of the season will be their sellouts when the Canadiens come to town. After missing the playoffs for the eleventh consecutive season, the "Hurricanes are divers" and "Remember 1996?" cheers will no longer console them. They will become detached from the sport of hockey - which they clearly don't understand anyway - and the yearly "this is Florida's year" threads will disappear from the main board forever.

Then they will move to Canada. The ghosts of Olli Jokinen, Jay Bouwmeester, Robert Luongo and Nathan Horton will haunt the Bank Atlantic Center. The rats will forever rain down on the ground on which the ice used to lay. The cries of "what does icing mean?" will echo throughout the building. Somewhere in the annals of the BAC, Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner will continuously dive over and over for all eternity. But what was once the storied Florida Panthers franchise will never return.

impeach estaalo 08-22-2011 12:46 AM

13 (West). Vancouver Canucks

If terrible teams can be predicted to improve because they will be healthy, then logic says that good teams can be predicted to fail due to injuries.

Kesler, the Sedins, Hamhuis, Bieska, and Salo will all miss significant time. This will be Bettman's way of punishing the city of Vancouver and its neanderthal inhabitants for the riots that disgraced the sport of hockey, though it should be noted these actions did not disgrace Vancouver as it had already long since been disgraced merely by being Canadian.

With the team in front of him greatly weakened, Roberto Luongo will be exposed for the overrated piece of trash that he is. The Canucks' pathetic support players like Higgins and Samuelsson won't be able to make up for the absence of the three good forwards on their team.

Despite this, the Canucks will still be nominated for every award and win most of them. "They were injured!" will shout biased journalists who lack any sort of objectivity and only serve to cheerlead the team they cover, thus making the NHL awards voting process a total joke. Henrik and Daniel Sedin will both be nominated for the Hart despite playing a combined 53 games. Alex Burrows will win the Norris despite not being a defenseman. Alain Vigneault will be a runner up for the Jack Adams despite a 31-42-9 record. Luongo will be the first goaltender with a GAA above 7.00 to receive first place votes for the Vezina.

The threads pimping the Canucks on the main board will not stop. No, they will increase. The only thing that drives Canucks fans to post meaningless drivel on the main board more than winning is losing, because clearly there is a conspiracy at work. Did a ref shoot a dirty look at Alex Burrows? 30-page thread. Did the Canucks have a goal waved off and upheld via video review? Three complete threads demanding the entire War Room be promptly fired and executed. Did the Canucks trade for Chad LaRose in a last ditch effort to save their season? New thread pimping Chad LaRose. Are fans trashing the Canucks? Create a new rule that issues an infraction to anyone mentioning the Canucks in a negative fashion because Canucks fans can't handle criticism and start a flame war any time someone mentions Roberto Luongo without acknowledging that he is the greatest goaltender of all time.

Of course, all of this will result in the Canucks selecting a player first overall that their fans will overrate for the next ten years before being forced to admit that he is, in fact, a total bust.

smi 08-22-2011 02:16 AM

Amazing.

Carolinas Identity 08-22-2011 03:43 AM

Bravo sir, well done =)

impeach estaalo 08-22-2011 04:05 AM

13 (East). Ottawa Senators

Isn't it ****ing adorable to see Senators fans complain about Jason Spezza's lack of quality linemates when people mention his point totals? It's not like they spent years furiously pimping Spezza while refusing to admit that his TWO ELITE ALL-STAR LINEMATES had anything to do with his inflated point totals. No, that was all Spezza. He made them better. Cheechoo is going to score 30 goals with Spezza, mark my words.

And remember when the Senators signed a 36-year old Daniel Alfredsson to a four-year contract extension, and Sens fans acted like he would never decline? :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh:

The Senators are a sad, sad hockey team. Looking at their forward lineup makes me want to take my own life. I'm not sure this team can score 200 goals.

On defense, they combine the best of both worlds: overrated young players who blow at playing defense and past-their-prime veterans who blow at playing defense. Chris Phillips blows, Filip Kuba blows, Erik Karlsson blows, Brian Lee blows and Sergei Gonchar blows.

Brian Lee is the most intriguing of the many terrible human beings who will be impersonating defensemen for the Ottawa Senators next season before they are mercifully traded out of that godforsaken hellhole. Midway through last season, Lee was waived and cleared, and deemed a bust because he was a puck-moving defensemen who couldn't move the puck and had a pathetic shot and kind of blew defensively as well. Then Lee played two or three games in which he actually hit people and did not suck and he became a Top 4 Physical Defensive Defenseman. You may think I am exaggerating, but I am not. Senators fans are really this delusional.

Sens fans pretend that their team was dismantled due to "the cap", which is a euphemism for "our team was horribly mismanaged, but if there was no cap we wouldn't have had to make any hard decisions and could have just kept everyone since we are such a high revenue team and always sell out, right?"

impeach estaalo 08-22-2011 04:27 AM

12 (West). Colorado Avalanche

Not satisfied with trading Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk for No. 1 Overall Bust Erik Johnson, the Colorado Avalanche decided to move their guaranteed lottery pick in exchange a brittle goaltender with no real track record as a starter. This is a franchise clearly trying to destroy itself from within.

Up front, the Avalanche are an interesting team. At forward, they don't have any good players. On defense, they also don't have any good players. This team offends me. I find them obscene.

How much more mundane and bland can you get than Paul Stastny? He may have however many points at the end of a season, but has any Avalanche fan ever said "I have too much money, I want to waste large amounts of money to go see Paul Stastny play a game because he's boring and slow"? No. He is a waste of time. The diet iced green tea of NHL players.

Matt Duchene is not better than John Tavares and anybody who ever claimed otherwise clearly has a problem with looking at the big picture and should refrain from posting on the internet.

Milan Hejduk should have retired twenty years ago.

Aside from bust and future Erik Johnson, there's not much on defense. I am not sure who Matt Hunwick is and why he even exists. Shane O'Brien is a pathetic waste of life, and clearly would be beating his girlfriend in a trailer park somewhere if he wasn't mistakenly afforded the opportunity of playing hockey by some misguided soul. Kyle Quincey is another loser who HF nerds overrate because he was drafted by Detroit, as if Detroit doesn't have hundreds of busts just like every other team. Seriously, give it up, Jonathan Ericsson will never be a top-pairing defenseman.

The Avalanche play in the Pepsi Center, which is a perfect representation as both Pepsi and the Colorado Avalanche cause cancer.

I don't like this team and neither should you.

Boom Boom Anton 08-22-2011 07:11 AM

:laugh: Great stuff. Can't wait to read your write-up on Carolina.

geehaad 08-22-2011 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boom Boom Anton (Post 36107179)
Can't wait to read your write-up on Carolina.

Since he's counting down from the worst teams, you shouldn't have to wait long.

My Backstrom Hurts 08-22-2011 10:15 AM

Just wanted to say this is hilarious. Some great stuff in here. :handclap:

Boom Boom Anton 08-22-2011 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by geehAAB (Post 36108681)
Since he's counting down from the worst teams, you shouldn't have to wait long.

Yep....I expect it will be soon

impeach estaalo 08-22-2011 10:36 AM

12 (East). Quebec City Islanders

"I have a dream that one day a team will be judged not by its record over the last thirty games, but by the content of its character" - Martin Luther King Jr.

The only thing more annoying than pointing to a team's injuries last season is pointing to a team's record over a cherry-picked portion of time. If an argument requires you to completely disregard over half of a sample size in question, it is probably a worthless argument. You would think that after watching Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs every year, people would learn that second half records do not matter.

Much like second half records, the New York Islanders do not matter. A vote was held in Nassau County over a new arena that would have ended up costing taxpayers about $50 each (currently the price of a gallon of gas) and it was voted no by a margin of 99-1, which is a complete fabrication but I feel it accurately shows how irrelevant the Islanders are.

In net, the Islanders are backstopped by....no, this can't be right...Al Montoya? You see, much like "the New York Islanders will be a good team because they had a good second half record" argument, "the Al Montoya will be a good NHL starting netminder despite being a terrible AHL starting netminder over five full seasons" argument requires one to take a gigantic leap of faith. Luckily, they also have Evgeni Nabokov who was terrible in the KHL last season and Rick Dipietro who is terrible at all times, though fortunately for the Islanders he is frequently hurt.

On defense, the Islanders will be getting Mark Streit back from injury. Yeah, good. I don't care. The Islanders had Mark Streit for two full seasons and their defense still was atrocious and will again be atrocious..

Up front, the Islanders boast a number of players who were in the AHL for a long time and would still be in the AHL if not for a team like the Islanders being bad enough for them to get ice time and inflate point totals. It's unfortunate that last season's Islanders didn't exist in Keith Aucoin's heyday, because I'm pretty sure he'd be on their first line.

Other than John Tavares, there is not much to speak of on this team. Michael Grabner had the flukiest of all fluke seasons ever. He'll score 20 goals at best next season. Kyle Okposo, who like Chris Stewart was often compared to Jarome Iginla for reasons I can not figure out, is at an interesting stage in his career where he isn't really very good but people act like he is because of his draft position. This usually happens between the age of 20 and 35 and continues for the duration of that timespan on HF.

The Islanders are bad and will miss the playoffs and eventually move.

tarheelhockey 08-22-2011 03:59 PM

And if all that wasn't bad enough, their new alternate jersey is just as blindingly horrible as their hockey team.

Stephen Goalbert 08-22-2011 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anton Dubinsky (Post 36106541)
Matt Duchene is not better than John Tavares

Yes he is. *Cue multi-fan base flame wars*

KINGS17 08-22-2011 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anton Dubinsky (Post 36109473)
12 (East). Quebec City Islanders

"I have a dream that one day a team will be judged not by its record over the last thirty games, but by the content of its character" - Martin Luther King Jr.

The only thing more annoying than pointing to a team's injuries last season is pointing to a team's record over a cherry-picked portion of time. If an argument requires you to completely disregard over half of a sample size in question, it is probably a worthless argument. You would think that after watching Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs every year, people would learn that second half records do not matter.

Much like second half records, the New York Islanders do not matter. A vote was held in Nassau County over a new arena that would have ended up costing taxpayers about $50 each (currently the price of a gallon of gas) and it was voted no by a margin of 99-1, which is a complete fabrication but I feel it accurately shows how irrelevant the Islanders are.

In net, the Islanders are backstopped by....no, this can't be right...Al Montoya? You see, much like "the New York Islanders will be a good team because they had a good second half record" argument, "the Al Montoya will be a good NHL starting netminder despite being a terrible AHL starting netminder over five full seasons" argument requires one to take a gigantic leap of faith. Luckily, they also have Evgeni Nabokov who was terrible in the KHL last season and Rick Dipietro who is terrible at all times, though fortunately for the Islanders he is frequently hurt.

On defense, the Islanders will be getting Mark Streit back from injury. Yeah, good. I don't care. The Islanders had Mark Streit for two full seasons and their defense still was atrocious and will again be atrocious..

Up front, the Islanders boast a number of players who were in the AHL for a long time and would still be in the AHL if not for a team like the Islanders being bad enough for them to get ice time and inflate point totals. It's unfortunate that last season's Islanders didn't exist in Keith Aucoin's heyday, because I'm pretty sure he'd be on their first line.

Other than John Tavares, there is not much to speak of on this team. Michael Grabner had the flukiest of all fluke seasons ever. He'll score 20 goals at best next season. Kyle Okposo, who like Chris Stewart was often compared to Jarome Iginla for reasons I can not figure out, is at an interesting stage in his career where he isn't really very good but people act like he is because of his draft position. This usually happens between the age of 20 and 35 and continues for the duration of that timespan on HF.

The Islanders are bad and will miss the playoffs and eventually move.

Don't you understand that if Terry Murray had a clue that Matt Moulson would be scoring 40 goals on Kopitar's wing. Well, so say myopic Kings' fans. I think you hit the bullseye though.


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