Centre of Confusion

Steve Dangle
July 26 2012 06:42AM

It's late July, and I'm a very bored hockey nut. Today I did what I always do around this time of year: Bust out a pencil and try to figure out what the Leafs' opening night lineup is going to be.

I am now thoroughly confused.

Unless I'm missing something, or unless the Leafs still have a trade up their sleeve, this is going to be one weird-looking Leafs lineup in October.

Here's how the process went...

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Leafs Nation Podcast: This is how sad James Wisniewski is

Leafs Nation Podcast
July 25 2012 06:25PM

 

In this week's podcast, Cam Charron, Danny Gray, and I chat about the recent Shea Weber situation, the Rick Nash deal, and get into the likelihood of the NHLPA being back to work this October.

After a while, things degenerate into ripping the Blue Jackets, and comparing them to terrible Futurama situations. You should check it out.

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Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer

Cam Davie
July 25 2012 09:57AM

 

I really love being a Hockey Dad. Since I didn’t play hockey as a kid, I relish the experiences of life at the rink as I watch my oldest daughter plays her favourite sport (and mine). There are some crazy hours and early mornings and there can be a lot of driving, but it’s all worth it. I don't suppose that makes me different at all from any of the other hockey parents. We all love watching our kids play and are proud to help them do so.

What does make me have a different perspective on watching my kid play hockey is that my 10-year-old hockey playing daughter is a cancer survivor, who lost her kidney to cancer surgery one week after her fifth birthday.

Luckily for us, our daughter fought back and conquered her cancer. Now, our family does what we can to raise money to help the fight against cancer. So when I first learned about Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer, a dawn-to-dusk fundraising event centred on a massive road hockey game, I jumped at the chance to volunteer and fundraise.

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A gruelling assessment of the 2012 Columbus Blue Jackets

Cam Charron
July 25 2012 08:54AM

So where on earth do the Columbus Blue Jackets go from here?

Why, it seems like only a year ago we were looking at the prospects of a new future in Columbus. The team were spending money on good players. They got James Wisniewski and Radek Martinek, two solid defencemen, along with Vinny Prospal, to complement a new core bolstered by the acquired Jeff Carter.

For once, the Blue Jackets were going into the year with a bit of hope. They still had their captain Rick Nash and with Carter, had two franchise players up front for once. They had two good checking centres in Antoine Vermette and Samuel Pahlsson, along with a couple of home-grown defencemen in Marc Methot and Fedor Tyutin. All in all, this was a roster that had some good pieces, and a couple of stars to bring it together.

What followed was not pretty, and general manager Scott Howson dismantled their entire group before it even got started.

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Dion Phaneuf and Jake Gardiner, comparing matchups

Cam Charron
July 24 2012 08:12AM

I might need to preface everything I say about Jake Gardiner thusly: I think he's a talented, exciting defenceman who will be a good Top Four option in the NHL one day. The other thing I need to say is that it just won't be now.

Young defencemen, particularly those who score a few pretty goals (such as the one after the jump), have a way of making us dream. The harsh reality is that defencemen develop a little slower than forwards and their actual impact on an NHL team won't be felt for some time.

Again, here are Gardiner's advanced numbers for this last season via Behind the Net:

  TOI/GP Corsi ON Rel QoC Ozone%
Jake Gardiner
(Team rank out of 7)
17.11
(3rd)
0.28
(2nd)
-.328
(6th)
56.0%
(7th)

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