Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

NHL Thoughts : Russian Tides Were Up All Sides

October 30, 2021, 8:35 AM ET [9 Comments]
Adam French
Hello Ghouls and Ghoulettes, I hope you are ready for a scary Halloween. Nothing can really be as fear dreaded as what every member of the Blackhawks Executive Team in the past month faced, but hopefully this purge will be a moment to move forward in the hockey community.

Like all of you reading, I am a fan of the game and like to verse myself in whatever I can. Whether it’s watching junior hockey, glancing at a KHL game or watching an out of market NHL game while BBQing ribs. Here are some Hockey Thoughts.

1. While not specifically writing about such things recently as I was out of commission, I have long held the belief that Alex Ovechkin will be the only 900 goal scorer in NHL history. I had a few semi-heated arguments with some HB posters this summer regarding him and while he will not score 89 goals this year (?), the fact is that OV is aging like a well distilled vodka…he is extremely consistent and apparently never expires. The joke that he would “need to focus on Howe” was always just that, a joke. Outside of 2016-2017 he has basically been scoring at a 50 goal+ pace every year. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration anymore to claim that had he not had the two lockouts and the COVID seasons derailing him, he would already be at 800 goals…easy. I feel like our mid-2000’s hate for OV should finally be put away and just enjoy watching a guy who clearly loves the game more than anything just score and score and score.

2. The New York Rangers are starting to worry me. I think the Rangers might be the most fascinating team in the league. They have…on paper…a team that should be top-5 in talent alone. They have such an amazing list of well respected names, proven names, prospect names and…well just names. This is a team that…on paper…did the rebuild right. They got established talent at market (Panarin and Trouba) and below (Fox, Zibanejad and Strome). They have high end top prospect picks like Laf and Kakko. They hit on a random goalie who is already one of the best in the league. This should be the “next one” as it were. Yet…something is off. The fact that they have a combined 5 points this season from Laf (most of them), Kakko, Chytil, Kravtsov and Andersson (ya I know he’s gone and a bust) is just…worrying to say the least. That was the upcoming core to add to the great vets, but it just isn’t working. I really don’t know what they can do to fix this situation, but the Rangers are getting a reputation of poor internal development in my opinion. Nil Lundkvist is going to be a monster though…or not? I don’t know anymore with Rangers prospects.

3. Sergei Bobrovsky…HOFer? It’s early! So, why not ask a stupid question? Bobrovsky has come out of the gate like a new man. He has been one of the driving forces behind the undefeated Panthers and is playing like one of the best in the game after the shameful first two years in Florida. I would like to play a hypothetical with you. Let’s say that Bob keeps up his great play and goes 60 games and wins something like 35-40 games. He plays as well as he has and finishes with a .930+sv%. Let’s say the Panthers continue to be great for the season. He wins the Vezina. The Vezina voting has a lot going for him. He’s a redemption arc player, a known player and if the Panthers are good, the voters love giving votes to players on good teams. That would give Sergei Bobrovsky THREE Vezina trophies. Every goalie with three or more Vezina trophies are in the Hall of Fame. If he were to win it, he would enter the realms of the Brodeur’s, Roy’s, Hasek’s etc. in terms of physical hardware. Whether he has success in the postseason or ever wins the Cup. Can they actually leave a three time Vezina winner out of the Hall of Fame? It’s not like Jim Carey (which robbed Hasek btw), it would be three separate times. I’ve always felt the requirements for goalies to go into the HOF were already too insane and scrutinized beyond measure. I don’t want it to be open to every “good” player, but goalies are held to weird standards. Tim Thomas is a HOF goalie in my opinion. I’ll leave it at that and let you feel the way you will.

4. Are the Carolina Hurricanes the best meshed team in the NHL? I have this question as I think it was fair to say everyone made fun of their decisions. From the troll job against the Habs. Letting a perceived Norris level defender walk for a reclamation project and a guy Edmonton seemed to not value as a dual replacement. Then changing their entire goaltending situation and letting a "superstar" go. I still think Rod Brind'Amour's tale of taking pay cuts and being public in helping his players, goes far beyond what we think in terms of helping a team meld. A leader taking a pay cut or even just paying their staff out of pocket is the type of "heroics" that really galvanize a team. Add to that and just Svech and Aho taking their next steps and it's easy to see another very dangerous team despite the "turmoil."

These are just some of my thoughts during this early season. If you have any, I would love to hear them.
Join the Discussion: » 9 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Adam French
» 2022 Draft Class : Star Studded Draft
» The Toronto Maple Leafs: A Team of Odds and Ends
» Hockey Thoughts
» The Prospect Blog: Byfield Looms Large Over Rossi
» U18 World Junior Tournament Disappointments