Tag Archives: Buffalo Sabres

New faces in familar places

Doc Emerick once said, “it’s often the third and fourth line guys”. In terms of cultivating a championship caliber team, the latter portion of your lineup often is the most important. That being said, finding the proper components is easier said than done.

In the case of the Boston Bruins, since their 2013 run at the Cup, finding those players has proven to be difficult. Recently that trend initially appears to be changing. In fact they didn’t have to go very far geographically to find them.

Both Frank Vatrano and Tim Schaller went undrafted out of the University of Massachusetts and Providence College respectively. Vatrano signed a deal with the Bruins entering 2015-16 after a strong training camp, but was assigned to the AHL affiliate Providence. From there, he was nearly a goal per game player. The East Longmeadow Massachusetts native possesses the skating ability and heavy snap shot to compete at the NHL level with ease. While short in stature, there is no lack of heart when it comes to “Frank the Tank“. Off season surgery sidelined him for the bulk of the early portion of the 2016-17 season, but since his return, he’s added another scoring threat on the power play. Also, allowing head coach Claude Julien some flexibility with his line mixing in game.

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Merrimack, New Hampshire product Tim Schaller may have raised some eye brows when he chose the Friars rather than committing to his hometown team. In four seasons at Providence, Schaller’s most productive season came in his last as a Friar tallying 23 points. While those numbers don’t jump off the page, it was enough to be signed by Buffalo. In three seasons between the Sabres and the Rochester Americans, he was far more effective at the AHL level than the NHL.

Unlike Vatrano, Schaller didn’t impress the brass with his first shot at professional hockey. So, when the Bruins signed the free agent this past off season, not a whole lot was expected of him. Especially when you consider it was only a one year deal. Regardless of the logistics, to the contract one thing is for certain, Schaller has made the best of his second shot at the NHL.

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Since being a relatively obvious choice to crack the opening night lineup, he’s posed as another cog to allow Julien some breathing room with his lineup. You don’t have to ask twice when it comes to Tim as he’ll most likely do what he’s asked of. He’s fought, gone to the dirty areas on the power play, and most notibly shown chemistry with the Bruin’s top offensive weapons.

Boston currently owns the second playoff spot in the Atlantic, with absolutely no cushion separating them from just about everyone else below them in their division. At this point of the season, every team has its laundry list of injuries, as points reach its highest premium. It’s the players like Vatrano and Schaller that need to shine brightest in order to solidify Boston’s appearance in the playoffs.

On the edge of missing the playoffs for an unprecedented third season in a row, it’s all hands on deck for Boston. Collecting 6 out of a possible 8 points on the road in four games, it’ll be a mad scramble to the finish line. With the injuries suffered to key players on the four game road trip, the previously mentioned players may be leaned on more than ever.

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There are Alternatives to Fighting, Just Not in the NHL

Take it all in, you’re witnessing the official divorce between the NHL and fighting. While it may not come as a shock to some, it’s become blatantly obvious to most.

For the Boston Bruins, looking specifically at last nights game in Buffalo, Sabres tough guy William Carrier caught David Backes at a vulnerable angle. As the unwritten hockey law goes at the next stoppage in play, Adam McQuaid seeked out Carrier to instigate a fight.

Once the gloves came off, two officials darted into the fray in a lackluster attempt to separate the two. However, in doing so they allowed Carrier to land multiple solid hits to McQuaid’s head before it was broken up. Which brings up my next critique, what was the point?

If the idea was to protect the players from themselves, why wasn’t Carrier penalized more for his free shots at McQuaid? The result was a power play to Buffalo, which is beyond head scratching. To me, the message that was sent to players was “if you’re locked up with the officials just get an arm free and continue to whale on the defenseless player”.

While the intention may have been justifiable in some sense. I can’t understand why in a similar situation earlier this month in Montreal officials didn’t step between Torey Krug and Brendan Gallagher.

No doubt in both checks would lead to extra curricular activity there was head contact. But with Boston’s match up against Montreal, the officials didn’t interject until both players hit the ground. So wheres any form of consistency? Players are sticking up for themselves because that is how hockey works.

I would have absolutely no problem with that type of behavior from the officials if it was a league wide mandate. Which clearly it’s not. Otherwise, it should be noted that as early as November of 2015-16, fighting was reportedly down 40% league wide. A trend I would imagine has only increased since then.

Line brawls are unnecessary and staged fights are soon to be ancient relics with players like Matt Martin and Shawn Thornton representing the last of their kind. With an added attention to increased scoring, made evident by having some of the best players in the league not even eligible to consume alcohol.

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Regardless of the increase of speed, finesse and scoring one thing remains. The causal hockey fan watches because its level of violence is higher than the other major sports. Similarly to how the casual baseball fan doesn’t like to watch a pitchers duel, they want 450 foot home runs every evening.

On the other hand, concussions and deaths related to trauma suffered while playing in the NHL has become a living nightmare. But when you have two players who aren’t strangers to engaging one another I say if it’s mutual, let them go. It’s only when a player gets jumped that I take issue with fighting. Something that hasn’t been seen in a noticeably long time.

 

Run Of The Miller

Seven years ago, Ryan Miller was the best American bread goaltender in the world, backstopping team USA to a gold medal showdown against Canada at the Vancouver Olympics. While the outcome was not in his favor, it can be argued it was still his crowning achievement as a professional.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at him now, but Miller was once one of the games most positionally sound goaltenders.

Buffalo’s saving grace and one of the best NCAA hockey players ever.

At 36 years old, Miller is far beyond his peak. Plateauing in the playoffs and struggling to regain his broken footing, Vancouver swept him off his feet in 2014. But in the days that followed, it’s been anything but a match made in heaven.

At every level of competition, Miller was a standout. At Michigan State, he set an NCAA record 26 shutouts in a single season. It didn’t take long for him to crack Buffalo’s roster and by the conclusion of the 2005-06 season, he was the undisputed starter.

2006-07 was dominated by Miller starting 63 games and posting a 0.911 save percentage and a 2.72 GAA.  Good enough to get the Sabres back in the Conference Finals. However, they were ousted by Ottawa in five games.

His success continued into 2012 when he surpassed Dominik Hasek’s franchise record for wins taking only 6 years to do so compared to Hasek’s 9.

Unfortunately, Miller’s stout play didn’t translate to universal success for the Sabres. Offensively being one of the most abysmal teams in the league and decimated by injury, Miller would only play 40 games during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons  with the Sabres putting up pedestrian numbers at best.

Buffalo/Boston is your fathers rivalry. Sure, the two teams went back and forth on several occasions in latter stages of the 2000’s, but it was a one sided affair.

Once Buffalo began to lose their grip on the regular season, the rivalry was all but an after thought. That was until Milan Lucic planted his own personal bench mark in history.

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Buffalo came to the Boston Garden on November 12th to take on the defending Stanley Cup champions. Lucic was sent on a break for the net when the puck got away from him at the Buffalo blue line. Miller then charged out to play the loose puck but after doing so, Lucic followed through with his hit.

Less than a month later, in a game against the Predators, Jordin Tootoo dipped his shoulder and drove to the net hard. Colliding hard with Miller, infuriated by the contact, he retaliated immediately which caused a line brawl.

This could be the beginning of the snowball effect which eventually lead to the next chapter in Miller’s career.

In early 2014, Miller was sent to St. Louis in the hopes that a change of scenery would be good for the goaltender with a lot of tread on the tires.

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Chicago ousted St. Louis in the first round of playoffs and a less than outstanding showing from Miller made him the odd man out.

Vancouver, who recently lost the services of their longtime goaltender Roberto Luongo, quickly signed Miller to a 3 year 18 million dollar contract. In the two seasons since the signing, Vancouver’s production has dipped significantly compared to the offensive power house they were once considered.

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In three playoff games in 2014-15, Miller only managed to go 1-1 with Eddie Lack coming in relief in the third game.

Briefly looking over his stats, Miller throughout his career has been extremely consistent. Aside from a few blemishes in 11 seasons, his save percentage is .916 and his GAA is 2.60. Which makes you wonder if he is the actual issue?

Early in his career, Buffalo boasted some talented teams, but they lacked the killer instinct and always seemed to come one goal shy of accomplishing their goal. Without a doubt Miller was the reason they enjoyed the success they had. It’s a shame the team around him was never able to support him. I imagine if they were able to draft a player like Jack Eichel during Miller’s peak in Buffalo, things may have ended differently.

While in St. Louis, it was too little too late. Ken Hitchcock even commented that with a player like Miller, they would have rather acquired him in the offseason. The idea being that the more time to integrate him to the game plan would mean more success he would have enjoyed.

Vancouver initially appears to be a wash. While in his first season, he was able to back stop another playoff appearance, the Canucks missed the spring tournament last season. With 2016-17 offering no relief to the aging core of players, it would take more than a Christmas miracle to qualify.

Unfortunately, more so for Miller, the market for an aging veteran goaltender is scarce. Especially one that wishes to see a significant portion of live action down the road.

What truly is unfortunate is how promising the career of Ryan Miller started out compared to how it’s going to end. I like a lot of others hope that the Canucks can right the ship and end the season as a playoff contender, but even then, nothing is guaranteed.

Despite The Numbers, You Should Be Positive About Boston

Monday night Boston took on a hen pecked Buffalo Sabres team and controlled the pace of play. Taking advantage of the mental errors and cashing in on the power play.

When the dust settled, Boston skated off with not just a 4-0 victory, but a full 60 minute effort under their belt.

Which was refreshing but the real challenge loomed on the horizon.

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Boston flat out competed with Montreal Tuesday night on the road, putting in another hard fought 60 minute effort against their arch rival.

Out shooting the opposition 43 to 23 and yet again scoring on the power play. In fact, it appeared Boston would, at the very least, take a point out of the match up. This of course was squandered by Paul Byron’s go ahead goal with just over a minute remaining in regulation.

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It was Montreal’s 11th win on the season, the back bone yet again being Carey Price.

As tough of a pill it was to swallow on Tuesday night, there are some distinct takeaways that spell positivity. For starters, Zane McIntyre looked comfortable in net for Boston, in Montreal no less. Shea Webers power play tally was a near impossible shot to stop and the eventual game winner came out of a mad net mouth scramble. I don’t blame the loss on lack of sufficient goal tending.

Secondly, the power play unit showed that the Buffalo game was no fluke. Pastrnak’s half wall bullet to tie the game at two a piece was a beautiful shot that will have the coaching staff talking.

Lastly, the blue line looks solidified. Krug was all over the ice offensively, desperately looking to chip in. Miller was moving the puck well and his unorthodox carrom off the boards resulted in a goal.

While it may appear as a defeatist attitude to look back on a demoralizing loss just to take positives away from it. This is what the Boston Bruins are now. Little victories over the course of the season will hopefully paint the bigger picture.

Standing at 7-6-0 Boston is as mediocre as you can be 13 games into the season. Not yet a force to be reckoned with in the traditional sense, nor are they kicking a can waiting for the draft. You see the problem with being average at best is that you’re more apt to remain that way you are rather than improve. That’s the nature of the beast.

With the eyeball test suggesting that things will improve over the course of the season contrasting with the only stat that matters, wins.

Unfortunately, the only hope they appear to have is improving their lackluster play on home ice. Referencing the last paragraph Monday night may be a sign of things to come.

Looking towards the future with optimism isn’t necessarily my golden trait, but in the last two games the effort has been there. After all, the Bruins were one fluke bounce away from taking two points from Montreal in their building.

Columbus awaits a hungry Bruins team come Thursday night. It’ll be interesting to see how they respond after their devastation Tuesday.

Will we see McIntyre again? Or will Rask be back?

One thing is for sure Jimmy Hayes still has a job, which irks me more than the lost to Montreal. That says a lot.

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5 Teams to Watch This NHL Season

With the NHL season kicking off on Wednesday the sports world is finally at its peak again. The NFL, NHL, MLB, and NCAAF are all playing and the NBA is not stealing all the talking points on ESPN, but that’s a topic for a different day.

We all know what teams are usually good, Blackhawks, Kings, Capitals, and Penguins, but there is about to be a major shift in hockey supremacy in the next few years, I can guarantee it. But what 5 teams might we see getting better? Well I have a list of 5 teams I want everyone to watch out for this year, and all the years to follow because they have some interesting talent to recon with.

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5. Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel is sidelined with an ankle injury to start the season, but he was very productive last season and I expect him to take even more strides forward this year assuming he can stay healthy. Some key acquisitions made this offseason were Kyle Okposo and Dmitry Kulikov, I see them having immediate impacts on this team. Evander Kane and I have this unspoken beef because I hate him and I think he is wasting his talent by acting like a punk. If Kane can adjust his attitude the sky could be the limit for this kid. Sam Reinhart, Ryan O’Reilly, and Tyler Ennis all have great upside as well. I don’t think Buffalo is a playoff team just yet due to the lack of defense and goaltending, but the offense has potential to be lethal and I think they will be a fun team to watch.

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4. Toronto Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews, Auston Matthews, Auston Matthews, and hmmmm Auston Matthews. That’s 4 times you read that because that’s how many goals he had in his NHL debut. The Leafs won the lottery with Matthews and he is going to lead this team back to the playoffs soon. Leo Komarov, Willie Nylander, and Nazem Kadri are his help on this squad. I see so much star potential in Nylander, I can easily see him and Matthews being a Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane soon. Love Toronto claiming Seth Griffith off waivers from my Bruins, good work Don, really loved that move.

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3. Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau resigned for 6 years and even more importantly, maybe, they signed Brian Elliot in the offseason to solidify their goaltending. I think Calgary is going to turn it around fast and squeak out 3rd place in the Pacific this season and get back into the playoffs. TJ Brodie, Mark Giordano, and Dougie Hamilton is a great unit on the back end. Sean Monahan is another young talent that I look for to make a leap this year and help carry the Flames to a great season. The youth of this team is amazing, because they all have so much experience as well, Sam Bennett and Micheal Ferland are two other players to keep our eyes on as the Flames make a run at the playoffs.

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2. Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid finally has his own team. The Oilers named him the captain and they shipped out two form number 1 overall picks this offseason in Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov. This means the Oilers now only have two former number 1 overall picks in McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. But the Oilers got better this offseason by adding defenseman Adam Larsson in the Taylor Hall trade, and signing free agent Milan Lucic. I think Lucic and McDavid and be an incredible duo in the NHL, as Lucic has experience playing with fast skaters and scorers like David Krejci and Nathan Horton. Jordan Eberle needs to be great for this team to thrive. Edmonton cannot rely solely on McDavid to bring them to the top, but he sure will try. Leon Draisaitl is another name to watch as Edmonton will finally start to claw its way out of the gutter this season and be playing meaningful games come February.

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1. Nashville Predators: The Nashville Predators are going to win the Stanley Cup in 2017. Who wouldn’t love to see that anyways? The Predators have never even made it to a conference final, but this is their year. Trading for PK Subban in the offseason was a massive move and a great one for the Preds. They also appointed Mike Fisher as captain and he has exceptional leadership qualities. The defense on this team is deep and loaded with offensive talent. Of course, Subban, but Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Anthony Bitetto, Mattias Ekholm, and Yannick Weber make up what I believe to be the best defensive unit in the league. Oh and Pekka Rinne is still the goalie down in honky tonk, so watch out. Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, James Neal, and on and on this team is incredibly deep, which is why I have them as the number 1 team to watch this season and the future Stanley Cup Champions.

 

 

Atlantic Division All-Time Greatest Rosters

I know hockey may not be America’s favorite sport, but if all the ignorant hockey naysayers would give it a chance, I am confident that hockey would eventually rule not only America, but the entire world. With that said, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a season played with all 30 NHL franchises having their best all-time teams take the ice?

If you could cross eras, having Sidney Crosby go top cheese on Patrick Roy or Wayne Gretzky receiving passes from Connor McDavid, that would be AMAZING! So why don’t we digest this a little bit more and turn this fantasy into a reality, and see the 12 forwards, 6 defensemen, and the 1 goalie that would dress for all 30 NHL franchises in the greatest of all-time season. Let us start with the Atlantic Division.

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1.  Montreal Canadiens:

Forwards:

Henri Richard-Jean Beliveau-Guy LaFleur

Stephen Shutt-Jacques Lemaire-Yvan Cournoyer

Mats Naslund-Saku Koivu-Mario Tremblay

Tomas Plekanec-Elmer Lach-Bernie Geoffrion

Defense:

Guy LaPointe-Andrei Markov

Larry Robinson-Doug Harvey

PK Subban-Serge Savard

Goalie:

Patrick Roy

The Montreal Canadiens are without a doubt the greatest and most storied franchise in NHL history, so cracking their all-time roster would be an incredible honor for sure, eh? Forwards were pretty cut and paste, these guys are the all-time leaders for the Habs on offense, and a team with 24 Stanley Cups don’t need to change much. Defense was again pretty easy, but I couldn’t not put PK Subban on this roster. He may have just be kicked to the curb (us Predator fans thank you greatly) for Shea Weber, but the impact PK had for the Habs was incredible. He was shut down on the blue line and had a slap shot of a God. Bruins fans are beyond excited to see him leave. The hardest choice of all 30 franchises was definitely the Montreal goaltender. Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden, Carey Price, Jose Theodore and Georges Vezina were all wonderful tendies, but how can you not pick Patrick Roy? He was one of the best goalies of all-time, and just watch out, we may be seeing Roy on another team’s all-time roster later on.

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2. Boston Bruins:

Forwards:

John Bucyk-Patrice Bergeron-Cam Neely

Ken Hodge-Phil Esposito-Rick Middleton

Wayne Cashman-Milt Schmidt-Terry O’Reilly

Brad Marchand-Peter McNab-Dit Clapper

Defense:

Ray Bourque-Bobby Orr

Brad Park-Zdeno Chara

Eddie Shore-Don Sweeney

Goalie:

Tim Thomas

Numbers never lie folks, so that is why you may not recognize a handful of these names. There are a few factors to consider when picking the all-time greatest team, factors being the era in which they played and how the game has evolved. Would Dit Clapper have 228 goals in today’s game? Absolutely not, but he is an all-time Boston Bruins great for what he did in his era. New meets old on this roster, as I have Patrice Bergeron centering the first line of the all-time Bruins team. This is a testament to Bergy’s incredible way to control the game, his impeccable defensive effort, and his consistency in the faceoff circle. Defensively, this team is a juggernaut. Ray and Bobby as the first unit, they might score more than any forward line combined. My head hurts just thinking about the damage that duo could do. Goalie was a tough one for me, but a no brainer at the same time. Timmy T is only fourth on the Bruins all-time wins list, but he did not even play 400 games for the Bruins, like the top 3 all did. He had a 2.48 goals against average and of course, single handily won the Bruins the Stanley Cup in 2011. Thomas’ athleticism and competitiveness made it an easy choice for him the represent my Bruins as the goalie on their all-time roster. Look for the Bruins to finish in the top 2 of the Atlantic Division in an all-time greatest season.

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3. Detroit Red Wings:

Forwards:

Henrik Zetterberg-Steve Yzerman-Gordie Howe

Alex Delvecchio-Sergei Federov-Brendan Shanahan

Ted Lindsay-Pavel Datsyuk-Norm Ullman

Gerard Gallant-Igor Larionov-Johan Franzen

Defense:

Nicklas Lidstrom-Reed Larson

Red Kelly-Niklas Kronwall

Chris Chelios-Gary Bergman

Goalie:

Chris Osgood

WOW. What a team this is. They will be competing with Boston and Montreal for first place in the Atlantic Division with this team. Goals with be scored left and right, I can see this team averaging 4-5 goals a game with this forward unit. The ceneter core of this team features Yzerman, Federov, Datysuk, and Larionov…dear God that’s astounding. Defense is a force to be reckoned with as well, Lidstrom, Larson, Kronwall make up an extravagant defensive core. Goalie was a slam dunk for me with Chris Osgood, and he was very good. He had the funny helmet and all, and he was a great net minder for the Wings. I like the Wings to compete with the best of the best in an all-time league and to make it into the playoffs out of the Atlantic.

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4. Toronto Maple Leafs:

Forwards:

Francis Mahovlich-Mats Sundin-Darryl Sittler

Doug Gilmour-Dave Keon-Ronald Ellis

George Armstrong-Ted Kennedy-Phil Kessel

Bob Pulford-Auston Matthews-Lanny McDonald

Defense:

Borje Salming-Tim Horton

Tomas Kaberle-Ian Turnbull

Bryan McCabe-Red Kelly

Goalie:

Felix Potvin

This all-time roster will not be winning the Stanley Cup for the city of Toronto, but that’s expected when it comes to the Maple Leafs. The Leafs haven’t won a cup since 1967, that’s pretty embarrassing to say the least. There are some great players on this team, Mats Sundin and Doug Gilmour are two of the better players the NHL has ever seen, but no cups for either of you with the Maple Leafs. Phil Kessel gets to leave, and he wins a cup immediately in Pittsburgh, what a shocker there. The biggest surprise on this roster has to be Auston Matthews because the kid hasn’t even played an NHL game yet and he made their all-time roster. Why? Because he has so much potential, the Maple Leafs would be insane to not try him out for this team if this were reality. Goalie was tough, but Felix Potvin was my choice because I have seen him play, and he is a trustworthy option between the pipes. The Maple Leafs all-time team isn’t winning Lord Stanley anytime soon, but look for them to compete for a playoff spot.

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5. Buffalo Sabres:

Forwards:

Richard Martin-Gilbert Perreault-Miroslav Satan

Dave Andreychuk-Don Luce-Rene Robert

Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Craig Ramsey

Dale Hawerchuk-Pat LaFontaine-Alexander Mogilny

Defense:

Phil Housley-Alexei Zhitnik

Doug Bodger-Gerald Korab

Michael Ramsey-James Schoenfeld

Goalie:

Dominik Hasek

Buffalo is a franchise still searching for its first Stanley Cup but this team has potential to compete for a playoff spot in an all-time greatest season. The first player off this roster is Jack Eichel, I wanted to put him on this team so badly, but just couldn’t replace Pat LaFontaine with him just yet. I love the offense for the Sabres all-time team, but the defense is the grey area for me. Phil Housley is the best defender the Sabres have ever had, so he would be relied on heavily to hold down the blue line. There was a two goalie battle for the starting job for this team, Dominik Hasek and Ryan Miller were the two options, but come on, it is Dom’s net every time. And as a man named Kelley once told me “You better watch out for them Sabres, they are like sneaky average a lot.”

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6. Tampa Bay Lightning:

Forward:

Vincent Lecavalier-Steven Stamkos-Martin St. Louis

Vinny Prospal-Tyler Johnson-Brad Richards

Freddy Modin-Chris Gratton-Nikita Kucherov

Ruslan Fedotenko-Alex Killorn-Dave Andreychuk

Defense:

Dan Boyle-Pavel Kubina

Victor Hedman-Roman Hamrlik

Anton Stralman-Paul Ranger

Goalie:

Ben Bishop

Another young team here in Tampa Bay, but loads of talent up front. This first line is great but I don’t know how the other three lines will stack up with the other teams with more history in this division. The defense is week for the fire power that some of these teams have but I can see them surprising a few people with their offensive group. Goalie was a close one as Ben Bishop and Nikolai Khabibulin are both phenomenal goaltenders, but Bishop gets the nod cause of his size, he’s a giant standing at 6’7”. Some of these guys like Bobby Orr and Jean Beliveau have never seen a goalie of this size so that may make it difficult for them to find the twine. This team goes as Bishop goes, if he can fluster the all-time greatest scorers then there is a chance, and I mean slight chance that this team backs its way into the postseason.

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7. Ottawa Senators:

Forwards:

Dany Heatley-Jason Spezza-Daniel Alfredsson

Radek Bonk-Alexi Yashin-Chris Neil

Milan Michalek-Mike Fisher-Marian Hossa

Nick Foligno-Kyle Turris-Martin Havlat

Defense:

Wade Redden-Erik Karlsson

Chris Phillips-Zdeno Chara

Filip Kuba-Jason York

Goalie:

Patrick Lalime

Ottawa joined the NHL in 1992 through expansion, so they have no chance of winning the big one in an all-time greatest league. But nonetheless, could you imagine this roster in its prime? Some great stuff from that first line for sure. We see Zdeno Chara making his second appearance on this list, and I think a few more of these guys will be revisited later as well. Patrick Lalime is my choice at goalie because he is the franchise leader in games played, wins, etc. Ray Emery was so close to getting the nod for me because of his cup run he took Ottawa on back in 2007. Speaking of 2007, Dany Heatley. “50 in ‘07” is now a lifestyle for hockey players, and that’s an incredible impact to leave on such a beautiful game. This Ottawa all-time team might be my favorite to watch of any team in this division, but that does not mean they will be winning a lot, just too young of a franchise to have a chance against the Bruins, Canadiens, and Red Wings.

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8. Florida Panthers:

Forwards:

Nathan Horton-Olli Jokinen-Scott Mellanby

Pavel Bure-Stephen Weiss-Radek Dvorak

Jonathan Huberdeau-Viktor Kozlov-Ray Whitney

David Booth-Rob Niedermayer-Bill Lindsay

Defense:

 Jay Bouwmeester-Ed Jovanovski

Robert Svehla-Brian Campbell

Aaron Ekblad-Dmitry Kulikov

Goalie:

Roberto Luongo

This is a rough all-time roster to say the least. Some of these guys should never appear on a list like this, but when on the Panthers anything is possible. All these picks were obvious because of the lack of time and winning that has gone on in Florida. Maybe as time moves forward Aaron Ekblad will become a household NHL name and he will skyrocket to the first defensive unit, but for now line three is where he is at. Roberto Luongo is a great guy to have in net for your franchise but he definitely is not the best goalie of all-time. Olli Jokinen wins best name in NHL history, but this team will finish at the bottom of the barrel in the Atlantic Division.