Sunday, November 09, 2003

This week's Forecheck Four

How do you account for the slow starts of teams such as Detroit, Colorado, Anaheim and others? It could possibly be a shift in the formula for success in the NHL. As seen in last season's Cup Finals, defense turned out to trump offensive prowess. This could mean teams like the Wings and Avs, ingrained offensive powers, might be on the downspiral. I hope not, because the defensive style of hockey during last years' finals put most normal hockey fans to sleep. I don't exactly enjoy watching 5 OT games, just because everyone is hanging back waiting for the other side to make a mistake. This is probably the other side of the spectrum from the Edmonton Oilers Dynasty, which won 7-5 games regularly. The Wings play better when they're playing good teams, since these games are more offensively open, and it turns out a lot of their losses have been to less-than-good teams, who like puck stoppages and neutral zone play (ie Blue Jackets' Denis). The Ducks are bad simply because they have bad chemistry and Fedorov is not the franchise player he thought he could be for them. This is a good example of talent with no chemistry. The definition of what a Ranger is. Do you think Anaheim will become the next Carolina Hurricanes? (completely fall out of the picture after reaching the Cup final the year before) Yes. The Ducks have no team chemistry and Fedorov is a loser. He will never be the franchise player he thought he could be. They will be one of the worst teams this season. How soon do you think Detroit will move Cujo? To where? Hopefully, soon. I think his presence might be weighing on the minds of his teammates, creating an imbalance in team chemistry. At least, I hope that's what's wrong with the Wings these days, because this can be easily amended through trade. Most likely, I think CuJo will end up in the Eastern Conference, on whoever at the moment is in dire need of a goaltender. What do you think about the Allen and Weight suspensions? Is it really possible to take slashing and cross checking... etc. out of the game? No. Slashing and cross checking are inherent to the game of hockey. So is physical play in general. It's just how players use them that needs to be fixed. Respectful use of physical play has to be taught at a young level, so young Claude Lemieux's and Oliwa's can learn the right way to play hockey. Here's a good article about that: wayne karl article


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