Flyers re-sign Lupul; publication names Stevens top coach

Forward Joffrey Lupul and the Philadelphia Flyers agreed to a four-year extension on Monday, keeping him with the Eastern Conference finalists through the 2012-2013 season. Full Story
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Dos Equis

Amherst, NH

#21 Jul 29, 2008
Bleed Black and Orange wrote:
<quoted text>
I love hockey talk. Is it October yet?
Hear,Hear. The season can't start soon enough for me.
Hey Reds, looks like the Flyers and B's are ready to go, and thanks to our little Moose Jaw interior decorator, you guys have the most decorative forums going. Nice work.
So here we sit,the entire season ahead of us (and with the ability to comment on it, heh,heh) we follow two teams that were picked to be utter crap last season, the future is bright, the pieces are in place, and we're ready to beat the snot out of the rest of the league.
We've picked our picks for who finishes where in the league final standings for next year (remember we tried this last year RW25, but we couldn't get an answer out of virtual herpes?).
So, questions:
1) Who's the toughest team (and you know what I mean by tough) in the league, and why.
2) In our teams, the top goal scorer,top points getter and the number one goalie?

It's probably off topic (and off thread) but we all need some hockey talk and I'm sick to death of this Sundin crap (Mats latest dilemna: Coke or Pepsi? News at 11:00)
Not trying to but in, but October's two months away, and I'm jonesing hard, Plus the Bruins forum sucks, all the B's fans are whining about the owner on the Boston Globe forums (like that will do anything)
C'mon, help me out folks.
Red Wings25

Philadelphia, PA

#22 Jul 29, 2008
The toughest team in the league is, without a doubt, the Detroit Red Wings. They a really deep and balanced lineup, play a great system, have a reliable, solid no.1 goalie in Osgood, and now have one of the most prolific goal scorers in the league in Marian Hossa. They seem destined to repeat as Stanley Cup Champs...but anything can happen, especially if they run into injury problems. Let's not forget, they also have, in my opinion, the most reliable backup goalie in the league in Ty Conklin. In the Eastern Conference, the toughest team will be the Penguins, despite losing Malone, Hossa, Ruutu, and Laraque. They still boast the most formidable lineup down the middle. They also have, what could be an emerging star goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury...even though he wasn't really tested in the playoffs, due to the Penguins' stellar defensive scheme. Also, the Pens got lucky with facing teams that were beat up with injuries(Ottawa and Philadelphia)...and to an extent New York. However, beside having the best centers(Crosby and Malkin) in the league and a very good goalie, they also have arguably the best no.1 offensive defenseman in Sergei Gonchar and one of the best stay-at-home defensemen in Brooks Orpik. Ryan Whitney will continue to grow as a defenseman(offensive) and Kris Letang shows alot of offensive promise as a D-man. But going back to their forwards, people say, including myself, that Hossa-Malone to Satan-Fedotenko is a downgrade...and it is. But remember that they can always use Jordan Staal as a winger and pair him with Crosby or Malkin. His numbers would inflate automatically, playing with the best playmakers in the game. Then they'd be able to put Max Talbot as a third line center.
Red Wings25

Philadelphia, PA

#23 Jul 29, 2008
Other than the Penguins, I believe Philadelphia, Montreal, and New York are the other elite teams. Philly has one of the most balanced, deep lineups in the league(boasting 3 centers(Briere, Richards, and Carter who give the team 30+ goals and 4 wingers(Gagne, Knuble, Hartnell, Knuble, even Upshall, who can give you 20+ goals...maybe 40 for Gagne if he returns to his old self before his concussions).They also have one of the most under-appreciated puck moving defenseman in Kimmo Timonen, an emerging elite puck moving defenseman in Braydon Coburn, and the speed and youth on their 2nd and 3rd lines(except Hatcher) to keep up with any offense in the league. Their goaltending is a little suspect, despite Biron's stellar performance in the first 2 rounds, but they now have a younger, faster defense that can bail Biron out and make better defensive zone plays, compared to when Smith, Hatcher, and Modry were on the team. Montreal will be better with the addition of Alex Tanguay, who will provide them a finisher that they lacked last season. If they land Sundin, they'll be favored to come out of the east, considering they have a phenom goalie in Carey Price (despite his playoff meltdown, which btw, it will be interesting to see if he recovers quickly and returns to his normal self), and would have two potent lines in Kovalev-Sundin-Tanguay and Saku Koivu, being flanked by the Kostitsyn brothers. They also have a top notch puck-moving defenseman in Andrei Markov and now have some toughness with Laraque.
Red Wings25

Philadelphia, PA

#24 Jul 29, 2008
As for the Rangers, to be honest with you....i don't know how much better than Rangers are, even with the acquisition of Zherdev(who was their "best" pickup, Wade Redden, Markus Naslund, and Dmitri Kalinin. Naslund and Redden come in with huge question marks, and Naslund isn't the force he used to be (especially since he's 35). Redden may just need a change of scenery, and if that's what it is, he'll fit nicely with Roszival. Dmitri Kalinin is a suspect defenseman just because he's not really well known and apparently Buffalo fans didn't like him that much. Then we have Nikolai Zherdev....if he develops good Chemistry with Drury or Gomez, than he'll be an asset to the team. But for now, i really am not sold on the moves the blueshirts made...they still haven't signed Shanahan, who btw was their leading goal scorer last season. As for top goal scorers, Dos Equis...i'm really not sure for the Flyers. I think Gagne can break 40 goals if he plays with Briere and is his normal self again...then yea, he could be our top scorer. However, i'm going to be different and say Joffrey Lupul scores 40 goals(if im wrong, than oh well)...as long as he plays with Gags and Briere. He's talented enough to where he can lead the team in goal scoring.
Dos Equis

Amherst, NH

#25 Jul 31, 2008
Actually, for tough teams, I was refering to what team could beat anyone up, but I do agree with your Detroit/Pittsburgh analysis...to a point.

I think Detroit is the best at the puck-possesion style of play, but I also think they have some really old components and I'm not sold on the whole Osgood/Conklin thing. Osgood IS solid, but he always gave me that Mike Vernon vibe, you know, good with a good team and not-so-good with a bad team. Conklin? He was paddling in circles for quite some time before he had his one good year in the sun, I think letting Howard play back-up might have been a better investment in the future. Of course, I picked San Jose to win the cup last year because I thought Detroit was too old (I think I said " they are eligible for pre-boarding on their own team plane". oops.)

For Philly I have some far-out predictions, bear with me on this one:
1) I think Carter is going to BLAST off this year. 40+ goals.
2) I think Gagne will play no more than 55 games this season, I think Philly played it wrong trying to get him to come back early a few times last year. Richards will be the assist man.
3) I think Nitti is going to pressure Biron enough to earn about 30 starts this year. He seems to come on strong the first fade after a while, this year he learns pacing. That said, Biron is still No.1.

For Boston:
1)Sturm and Kobasew (sp?)will both have 30 goals and a tie. I think Ryder will top out at 25 goals but will redeem himself with new-found defensive play (up yours Carbo)
2) Savard will have the assists win, Bergy is the better all-aroung player, but Savard is a pure set-up man, that's his M.O.
3) For goal: Fernandez. The Bruins played this situation right, they supported him and never pressured him to try to risk his recovery,this will be rewarded. Pretty soon Boston will only have one Manny (and can you beleive what's up with the Sox's Manny? What a freakin' head case!). Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Thomas fan. He has heart, speed, loyalty and guts, but he can still make me nervous once in a while (like when he tries to handle the puck. Yikes.)

For tough teams: In the east it's Boston and Philly. No contest.
Out west, I think Pheonix is looking to run teams out of the building, they gooned up nicely. They'll still miss the playoffs, but they'll miss it with panache (they do need a cool nickname though, something like "Dogs of war")

So that's the picks, praises and put-downs.
Whadda' ya' think?
Red Wings25

Philadelphia, PA

#26 Jul 31, 2008
Dos Equis wrote:
Actually, for tough teams, I was refering to what team could beat anyone up, but I do agree with your Detroit/Pittsburgh analysis...to a point.
I think Detroit is the best at the puck-possesion style of play, but I also think they have some really old components and I'm not sold on the whole Osgood/Conklin thing. Osgood IS solid, but he always gave me that Mike Vernon vibe, you know, good with a good team and not-so-good with a bad team. Conklin? He was paddling in circles for quite some time before he had his one good year in the sun, I think letting Howard play back-up might have been a better investment in the future. Of course, I picked San Jose to win the cup last year because I thought Detroit was too old (I think I said " they are eligible for pre-boarding on their own team plane". oops.)
For Philly I have some far-out predictions, bear with me on this one:
1) I think Carter is going to BLAST off this year. 40+ goals.
2) I think Gagne will play no more than 55 games this season, I think Philly played it wrong trying to get him to come back early a few times last year. Richards will be the assist man.
3) I think Nitti is going to pressure Biron enough to earn about 30 starts this year. He seems to come on strong the first fade after a while, this year he learns pacing. That said, Biron is still No.1.
For Boston:
1)Sturm and Kobasew (sp?)will both have 30 goals and a tie. I think Ryder will top out at 25 goals but will redeem himself with new-found defensive play (up yours Carbo)
2) Savard will have the assists win, Bergy is the better all-aroung player, but Savard is a pure set-up man, that's his M.O.
3) For goal: Fernandez. The Bruins played this situation right, they supported him and never pressured him to try to risk his recovery,this will be rewarded. Pretty soon Boston will only have one Manny (and can you beleive what's up with the Sox's Manny? What a freakin' head case!). Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Thomas fan. He has heart, speed, loyalty and guts, but he can still make me nervous once in a while (like when he tries to handle the puck. Yikes.)
For tough teams: In the east it's Boston and Philly. No contest.
Out west, I think Pheonix is looking to run teams out of the building, they gooned up nicely. They'll still miss the playoffs, but they'll miss it with panache (they do need a cool nickname though, something like "Dogs of war")
So that's the picks, praises and put-downs.
Whadda' ya' think?
Wow, Carter with 40 goals...i think that maybe tough for him to get since he'd be playing behind Mike Richards and Briere...but he's definitely as pure a goal scorer as they come, so i could see that. As for Gagne...i'm hoping he can play at least 60-65 games. If he can't and doesn't produce enough in the games he does play, then that will give the Flyers reason to trade him away...so we can free up cap space for a younger, healthier, talented star left winger. We'll see what happens.
Red Bandit

Bethlehem, PA

#27 Aug 1, 2008
Gangne is symptom freee and has been in off season training. Back in April they noticed that his neck was out of alinement. They gave him some type of shots over a few weeks and realined his neck. He has stated that he feels great and can't wait to get back playing. He has also beefed up some and is working out with a guy who is Canada's strongest man?
Dos Equis

West Lebanon, NH

#28 Aug 1, 2008
Hey RB, what do you think of the rest of the questions?
Gagne, in my opinion, is going to have the same issues as Bergeron: They are working out, skating hard, biking, hiking, and heavy cardio- but that can't simulate 250-260 lbs. of equipment and player smashing you into the boards at 20 MPH.
Those first hits of the season are going to make my heart skip a beat, and probably will to about the half-season mark.
Unfortunately the B's and Flyers are in an identical situation, both lost significant portions of their offensive power last season, both teams will benefit from these players returns, and both are going to be watchful as hell for all hits.
I'ts going to be tense for a while.
Red Wings25

Philadelphia, PA

#29 Aug 1, 2008
Yea i understand what you're saying Dos Equis...it's really frustrating for flyers fans because, for some reason, the Flyers never handle concussions the right way. They always try to rush their players back into the lineup (Lindros, Primeau, Roenick, and now Gagne). They should have learned after Primeau was got his concussion, that they have to be more careful. With Lindros, he kept his head down alot and teams began to take notice, with him ultimately paying the price, which pretty much ended his career in 2000 when he was leveled by Scott Stevens. I just hope that the Flyers can handle this the right way, now that Holmgren is the GM. See, the Bruins handled the Partice Bergeron situation the right way by keeping him out for the entire season after being hit, so we'll see what happens with that.
flyersfan12

Oakville, Canada

#30 Aug 5, 2008
Red Wings25 wrote:
Yea i understand what you're saying Dos Equis...it's really frustrating for flyers fans because, for some reason, the Flyers never handle concussions the right way. They always try to rush their players back into the lineup (Lindros, Primeau, Roenick, and now Gagne). They should have learned after Primeau was got his concussion, that they have to be more careful. With Lindros, he kept his head down alot and teams began to take notice, with him ultimately paying the price, which pretty much ended his career in 2000 when he was leveled by Scott Stevens. I just hope that the Flyers can handle this the right way, now that Holmgren is the GM. See, the Bruins handled the Partice Bergeron situation the right way by keeping him out for the entire season after being hit, so we'll see what happens with that.
They did gagne was sidelined for an entire season and off season they handled it well i thought
Red Wings25

Philadelphia, PA

#31 Aug 5, 2008
flyersfan12 wrote:
<quoted text>
They did gagne was sidelined for an entire season and off season they handled it well i thought
Well, remember when they brought him back too early in november? He was injured in a game against Florida, then they tried to bring him back against Pittsburgh but he didn't feel right so they put him on the shelf again and then brought him back in early-mid January, and he was fine for awhile, until he was hit by Jordan Staal of the Penguins, so he had to shut it down for the rest of the season. What they should have done is put gagne on LTIR and then trade Picard for Prospal or someone else that would work well with Briere, so they wouldn't have to wait until the day before the trade deadline. Then, Gagne could rest up the whole season and get better. Patrice Bergeron is an example of handling a concussion well. Now, according to reports that I read, Gagne should be all ready to go because of the shots he took back in April or whatever, his symptoms are gone, and he's well rested....so it'll be interesting to see how this works out for Gagne this season.

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