Archive for 2020

Hershey kisses regular season goodbye

Da Bears ready for playoffs



The Hershey Bears finished season 31 with 35 wins and 97 points which was good for fourth in the Atlantic division. Similar to the Washington Capitals, the Bears play in the most competitive division as the top two Atlantic teams were the top two overall teams in the WAHL. The Bears endured and ended with a +23 goal differential (a slight bump from +18 at the midway point).

Scoring. Nick Ritchie led the team in scoring with 29 goals, 223 shots, and 62 points. Five more players – Rasmus Andersson (61 points), Alexander Volkov (55 points), Michael McLeod (44 points), Morgan Geekie (43 points), and Nick Suzuki (40 points in 49 games played) – racked up at least one point every two games. Andersson had the team lead in assists (47) and Volkov led in game winning goals (5).

Various Stats. Both Olivier Leblanc and Volkov (+14) were tied with the team lead in +/- rating and were among 12 players with a positive rating. Ritchie dished out the most hits (269) and was the most penalized player (161 PIM) on the teeam. Libor Hajek blocked the most shots (86) for a second straight year. Geekie had the best winning face-off percentage (59.49%) among players who have taken at least 350 draws.

League Leaders. Several Bears shined across the WAHL including Andersson who led all defencemen in scoring, Volkov who led all players in short-handed goals (4), and Hajek led the league in shots blocked. Ritchie ranked third in both hits and shots league-wide. The Bears were a respectably top five in Goals Against, Shots Against, and Faceoff %.

Transactions. Two more Bears, Danick Martel and Adin Hilll, were re-signed.

MVPs. The MVP (Offence) is Ritchie who scored prolifically despite spending extended time in the sin bin, and the MVP (Defence) is Andersson who played a 200 foot game contributing at both ends of the ice.

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Canes still in playoff hunt despite flurry of trades

Surviving the storm



At the gates of change for the Carolina Hurricanes has come sooner rather than later for the team going into season 31. This included the departure of long time Hurricanes in Erik Karlsson and Carey Price.

"As two longtime players for our organization both Erik Karlsson and Carey Price guided our team to many playoff appearances and a finals berth in a few seasons ago, we wish them luck in both Toronto and Vancouver respectfully" said General Manager Mike McFarland.

"We were taking a look at our team overall both from a financial and future point of view, Carey has expressed interest getting a trade to his home province in the last few years and this year we were able to accommodate him this time around which saw a couple future draft picks and goaltender Brian Elliot come our way. Granted Brian didn't stay very long as he was flipped to LA for later picks" said McFarland.

"Erik Karlsson was our captain for the last few season and did a very excellent job guiding some of lesser experienced players and being the captain we asked him to be, for him it came down to a financial decision. Going into the future it was hard for us to carry a huge salary and we started to explore trade options, the lucky team that came calling was the Toronto Maple Leafs. We discussed different trade ideas settling on multiple futures and a few NHLers in Claude Giroux, Jason Spezza and Sean Walker for the services of Karlsson. Only keeping the futures and Walker, as we once again flipped Giroux to New Jersey and Spezza to San Jose in separate deals" said Mike McFarland

New Additions to the Carolina Hurricanes include: Tyson Barrie, Ryan Kesler, Tanner Pearson, Nikolaj Ehlers, Jake DeBrusk, Ryan Dzingel, Cam Fowler, Luca Sbisa, Sean Walker, Casey Mittlestadt, Shayne Gostisbehere, Tyson Jost and Michael Dal Colle.

Departures: Erik Karlsson, Claude Giroux, Jason Spezza, Brian Elliot, Stephen Johns, Martin Frk, Vladislav Namestnikov, Brendan Lemieux, Torey Krug, Jakob De la Rose.

With all of these trades we have done some how still have $10+ million in cap space, but that means were not going to spend that just means we will have a space in case some injuries come up.

"We have a solid, younger line up than we did last year and have a few picks in the upcoming draft. Overall I think we have a really good 4 lines of talent going into the playoffs and beyond" said head coach Dan Bylsma

As of right now the Hurricanes are holding onto barely 3rd place in the ultra competitive Metro division and 5th in the conference, 11th overall in the WCHL.

"Right now our goal as a team will be to make the post season with the ultimate goal making some waves and upsets in this years playoffs. I think with our team and maybe a addition or two we will achieve this, and make our fans proud to be a member of Hurricane Nation" said Bylsma

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Canucks drowning in injuries

A Topsy Turvy Season for the Canucks



The Canucks entered the season with fairly low expectations, after a bottom 10 finish the previous season. The Canucks knew they would have a strong defense, with a decent top 6. The bottom 6 was a different story, as even the most staunch Canuck supporters expected them to get caved in every time they were on the ice. Couple this with a journeyman starter in Cam Talbot, and you could tell this would be a recipe for disaster. 

After the first month or so of the season, things were looking up. The Canucks were sitting in a playoff spot, and they had the best line in the league, featuring Evander Kane, Bryan Rust and Carl Soderberg. The trio were leading the league in just about every statistical category imaginable. It was because of the play of the first line, which caused GM MacArthur to go out and trade for perennial all-star Carey Price. 

This deal worked out well in the short term, but as injuries started to hit the defense corps, Price's play began to drop off, resulting in one of the league's worst goals against average. The Canucks were able to keep their heads above water during this time, thanks again to the top line. 

The turning point where the Canucks finally began drowning, was the long term injury to Bryan Rust. As soon as Rust got hurt, the top line was still good, but not at the elite level it had been at to buoy the Canucks into the playoffs. Over the past few weeks, the Canucks have plummeted down the standings, which has led to them becoming sellers at the upcoming deadline. 

Names rumoured to be on the way out are: Jay Bouwmeester, David Perron, Dmitri Orlov, Valterri Filppula, Cam Talbot and Korbinian Holzer. 

"We will continue to build for next season, but with the way the team is playing right now, there aren't too many players who can say their jobs are safe for next season", said the GM.

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Caps figure to be sellers as deadline looms

Disappointing run has Washington on the ropes



The year 2020 will be ominously remembered due to COVID-19. Its impacts are widespread including the hockey world with a shortened NHL season, playoff ice hockey in July and August, and the best participation prize ever (top lottery pick for a playoff loser). The pandemic's mismanagement in Washington D.C. has been well covered on top of existing chaos. In this gloomy backdrop, the shadow is also cast on the WCHL's Washington Capitals.

Winter (Season 30) – 2020 began with the Caps finishing season 30 strong and they entered the playoffs with some jump against the Philadelphia Flyers who had even given Washington the edge. Then the Broad Street Bullies sent the Caps packing with a sweep.

Spring (Off- and new season) – The team had a respectable off-season retooling via the trade market, entry draft, and to a lesser extent free agency. Season 31 started with a bang with the Caps holding on to the third spot in the uber competitive Metropolitan division, and poised for more. Sometime near the half-way mark, the team went off the tracks – an epic derailment.

Summer (Season 31) – From August 15 to August 27, 2020, or from day 48 to day 60 of Season 31, the Caps won one game and lost eleven. This included losses to league basement dwellers the Winnipeg Jets and twice to the lowly Boston Bruins. Moreover, in their previous twelve games, the Caps played .500 hockey winning and losing six, which isn't good enough to contend. Altogether, this downward spiral resulted in a drop to the thirteenth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Outlook  The organization has decided to be sellers at the deadline. Even if they win a few games, the promise of the season is lost. All players will be made available with the exception of Nick Suzuki and those with NMCs. This is not a fire sale. Prominent players in the trade block include: Steven Stamkos, Alex Goligoski, Devon Toews, Ondrej Palat, Brad Richardson (has a NTC, not NMC); Zach Hyman, Madison Bowey, Mattias Janmark, and Michael Del Zotto.

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Toronto GM issues statement; makes moves

Trades large and frequent in TO



Gentlemen.

A few weeks ago I joined to become the new Toronto Maple Leaf General Manager. 

With little warning or knowledge of how things were done, we sat back and graded this team before making any big moves.

That review is obviously over.

In the past week, the Toronto Maple Leafs have made many team altering trades that have shook the very foundation of the team.

Gone are stalwarts, Claude Giroux, Mitch Marner, Josh Morrissey and a variety of future picks. With a team steep in youth and prospects, we felt that this was something we could address over time.

New blood in include; Jacob Trouba, Erik Karlsson, Tom Wilson, Phillip Grubauer and Calvin De Haan.

While grit and defensive depth were once missing, these have been addressed and winning streak emerged. 

Further review will commence as we see where this new team takes us.

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Philly climbing the charts

Flyers keep flying



Greetings Philly Fans, lets put down that cheese steak for just a second.

This Week in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Flyers of the WCHL are playing some solid, consistent hockey. The team is putting multiple winning weeks together. This week the Flyers played five games, tallying a record of 4-1. The week is high lited by two games against the playoff bound Tampa Bay Lightning. The week began with 3-1 loss at the Wachovia to the "Ning". Three games later the Flyers would get revenge, again the two teams met at the Wachovia and the Flyers prevailed 5-4. The week started with two tight defensive type games. The a fore mentioned 3-1 loss to Tampa, followed by, Bishop's fourth shut out of the season in a 3-0 win against the Caps in Washington. The week ended with a 6-3,5-4 and 6-4 wins, all offensive style hockey.

Coach Claude Julien
" We are having success, whether we are in a tight defensive 
struggle or we are in a loose back and fourth contest. Finding ways to win in all situations is key to success. Things dont always go the way you plan or want, after all this is a game. What is important is your compete level and finding ways to come away with the W."

The Flyers are in some rarefied air, as the team, by the strength of their record, 31-14 for 62 points,find themselves in the thick of the race for the President's Trophy. The Flyers are 2nd in the Met, they are also 2nd in the League, one point behind the perennial top team, the New York Rangers who have 63 points. The Detroit Red Wings are tied with the Flyers at 62 points, but defer based on wins. The fourth place team which is as surprising as Philadelphia being in that position, the Arizona Coyotes have 59 points and lead the Western Conference. All teams have played 45 games.

Gm Bourque
" I am pretty sure before the season started nobody including our fans expected us to be in this position, but here we are. There is a lot of season left to play and any number of factors can change the path a team is on, trick is not getting ahead of yourselves and put in the work and the effort in every shift,every game and every game preparation, thats our focus right now."

Captain Zdeno Chara
" Its a fun team, we keep finding ways to win games, with different guys contributing, I mean when you have six scorers in the top 40 in the entire league, you are obviously getting some good offense every night, but thats only half the game, there are nights when our finish isn't what it should be or you just dont have the puck luck that night. We try not to rely on things like puck luck, our focus is work, work harder, work smarter, keep the feet moving, you do that and you can create your own fortunes."

This Weeks Games

1.(607) TBay-3, Philadelphia-1
2.(618) Philadelphia-3,Washington-0
3.(633) Philadelphia-6,Chicago-3
4.(650) TBay-4, Philadelphia-5
5.(667) Philadelphia-6,Nashville-4

....out for this week,...peace

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Caps reload for Season 31

Wheelin' and dealin' pays dividends for Washington



The Washington Capitals had a busy off-season after a quick exit from the playoffs. The Metropolitan division is the toughest in the league and we needed to shake things up. The team was retooled for season 31 by making some personnel changes in getting younger and more skilled. All available options were maximized: entry draft, trade market, free agency, waiver draft, and farm call-ups.

Entry Draft

The Caps made six selections from the 2018 NHL entry draft coincidentally only from odd numbered rounds of the draft (rounds 1, 3, and 5). Most notable from the new recruits is winger Martin Kaut who has already played in nine NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche.

Trade Market

Five trades were made during the draft – with the St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, San Jose Sharks (2x), and Montreal Canadiens – which helped to re-stock some draft picks and add key players. Those acquired include Ben Hutton, Ondrej Palat, and Devon Toews, while Nick Paul left.

Following the draft, the Caps inked three deals – with the Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, and Chicago Blackhawks – that led to the departure of Patric Hornqvist, Mikko Koivu, Craig Anderson, and Erik Gustafsson. Mike Smith returned to the District of Columbia in one of the moves.

Altogether, these moves made the team younger, created roster space, and balanced out the cap.

Free Agency

Two young free agents were signed by the Caps – defenceman Cam Lee and goaltender Kyle Keyser – which provided organizational depth for the Hershey Bears. We were also in contention for a seasoned free agent.

Waiver Draft

Washington picked-up forward Joakim Nygard while losing two Bears, Buddy Robinson and Kevin Connauton.

Call-ups

Three players – Nick Suzuki, Madison Bowey, and Christian Wolanin – were promoted to the big league. Suzuki was playing an important role upfront prior to his injury (collecting 7 points in 13 games played), while both Bowey and Wolanin are providing depth on the backend.

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Wachovia, Wachovia how I love thee!



This Week in Philadelphia

Greeting Flyer fans, this week your Philadelphia Flyers of the WCHL had a bounce back week. The Flyers played 6 games and recording a 4-2 record. Both losses were in the Wachovia Center, in front of the home town fans. The Flyers did get an impressive win at home against the vaunted Colorado Av's, 5-1. The other three wins came on the road a place not particularly friendly to the Flyers this season. The Flyers won games in Nashville, Pittsburgh and Florida this week.

Gm Bourque
" It was nice to see the team bounce back from the disappointments of last week, even better to see the boys get things turned around on the road, a tough place to win in this league, it also looks like our offense is starting to heat up 5 on 5, our power play took a bit of a dip, but we will take that for better 5-5 scoring."

The defense should get a big boost very soon as Esa Lindell, who has been injured for weeks, having only played 5 games this season, is due back anytime now his health is at 99 %. Lindell had 4 points in those 5 games and looked like he might have a terrific season underway. It will be interesting if he picks up where he left off, that would be a big boon for the Flyer offense from the blue line, which already boasts the #1 scoring defenseman in the WCHL, Colton Parayko. Parayko has amassed 26 points in 19 games and leads the Flyers in scoring and as mentioned all defencemen in the league. The Flyers have Alex Biega ready to go, after he too suffered from the injury bug. The Flyers have hung in there amid the shortage on the blue line and the additions of Lindell and Biega are a welcome sign,that maybe the team can once again be healthy and whole. Having said that the team does not expect Cameron Gaunce back anytime soon.

Captain Zdeno Chara
" Esa has been a real loss for us, he was a big off season signing, the kid can play defense, he is a very good player, he improves us defensively, great on the penalty kill and he adds some offense, I really enjoy playing along side of him, the game is just easier when you like the guy you play along side with, thats not saying I dont respect all the guys I play with, I do, I am just excited to get my battery mate back."

Esa Lindell
" That was just untimely, I have never been out that long before, I will be working on getting back to where I was, in game shape, but playing defense with the big Z, is like wearing a warm sweater on a cold day in Finland its just really comfortable, I dont know if I will be back for the next game, but surely the one after that looks good."

The Flyers coaching staff wants Esa completely recovered before putting him back in the line up, bringing guys back have bitten the Flyers before, they are much more cautious now. But no doubt the Flyers are a better team with Esa in the line up.

This Weeks Games
1.(200) Philadelphia 3- Nashville 1
2.(216) Philadelphia 3-Pittsburgh 1
3.(232) Pittsburgh 4- Philadelphia 2
4.(243) Philadelphia 7- Florida 3
5.(260) Washington 2-Philadelphia 0
6.(273) Colorado 1-Philadelphia 5

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Flyers treading water as season gets underway

Philly looks for consistency during four game skid



This Week in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Flyers will enter the coming week with a pedestrian 7-6 record. The Flyers started strong but injuries now on the teams fourth, all to defensemen has taken its toll in the last four games. The last two acting as a microcosm of the situation, as in both games the Flyers entered the third period with the lead only to surrender three goals in the third in each of the two contests. The Flyers went 2-5 this week after going 5-1 in the first week.

Gm Bourque
" What we are learning, is that when you take this many defensemen out of your line up, nobody has that kind of depth. The circumstances are foreboding and we are trying to stay positive, but its difficult to do when you are counting on guys to play minutes they are just not ready for. We know we can compete when its an even playing field, but injury can tilt that field and makes it a constant uphill battle. Hopefully in the coming weeks we can put this injury bug behind us and get down to playing winning hockey.

There are definitely some things working in Philadelphia,the team is 7th in league scoring even after a bad week and boast the #1 power play with an impressive success rate of over 30%. The Flyers also are 3rd in the WCHL in shots, which means eventually those chances will turn into goals. The team is also 2nd in the league in hits so they are playing a hard strong game.Jonathan Huberdeau and Elias Lindholm have found some chemistry, they lead the team in scoring with 17 and 16 points respectively in 13 games. Even though Horvat and Ovechkin are off to slow starts they are still a point a game players and Colton Parayko has been excellent from the blue line, with 16 points in 13 games, which has him tied for 2nd among the leagues defensemen.

Elias Lindholm
" Hubey is really easy to play with, he has great hands and his passing skills are elite, I am sure we will have a good run together and Nealy he is a great winger with a great shot, we are playing with a lot of confidence, we just need to tighten things up defensively."

Captain Zdeno Chara
" We need to stay positive we are really early in the season, streaks both positive and negative are part of the game, yeah we have had some bad luck with the injuries after a terrific start, but this too shall pass we just need to keep at it, put the reps in, focus on our jobs, it'll all work itself out."


This Weeks Games

1.(103) Carolina Hurricanes (2) vs Philadelphia Flyers (4)
2.(117)  Philadelphia Flyers (1) vs Ottawa Senators (2)
3.(132) Calgary Flames (3) vs Philadelphia Flyers (6)
4.(153)  Philadelphia Flyers (2) vs New Jersey Devils (5)
5.(156)  Pittsburgh Penguins (3) vs Philadelphia Flyers (2)
6.(173)  Philadelphia Flyers (3) vs Carolina Hurricanes (4)
7.(186)  Florida Panthers (6) vs Philadelphia Flyers (4)

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Blast from the Past Bradley takes the helm

A day that may live in infamy



July 8 2020 may be a date long remembered in Senators history. For the fans sake hopefully it will be remembered fondly. Ownership has gone thru the history of the WCHL and hired one of the original GMs Andy Bradley.

Thankfully the League Board of Governers have poor memories and Bradley himself refuses to comment, so we're not sure if he was shit-canned, ran out of town, tarred and feathered or simply slipped out quietly on his own over 10 years ago.

What we know of the 'new' GM is that he's more known for icing powerhouse teams and not so much for being present on draft day. When asked about this reputation, "My priority is always the entertainment value for the fans and a commitment to the players that post season success is the ultimate goal," seemed his mission statement.

The start has raised some eyebrows as Head Coach Naserdine was given his walking papers today. Expect to see a more NHL quality Coach announced shortly. Bradley claims that discussions went south with the Coach when discussing icing Draisitl on the Wing and how Barzal playing third line seemed to be a waste in talent. "More experience is needed behind the bench, as well as a GM that can grow with our younger players and give our vets the responsibility they deserve," said the new GM.

"This is a solid team, I need some time to see how they perform before I think about changes to the on ice product." The win last night was a great step forward for this team. It will be interesting to see if over the next few games they can string together some wins to move the team closer to the playoffs.

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Flyers off to hot start

This Week in Philadelphia



The first week of Season 30 is in the books and the Flyers played some fine hockey this week. Your Philadelphia Flyers went 5-1,with a 3-0 record at home and 2-1 on the road. New Flyer goalie Ben Bishop turned in a perfect record at 5-0, while back up goal tender Jake Allen took the only loss of this part of the schedule. At one point Zdeno Chara the ageless sensation lead the Flyers in scoring with 4 assists in 4 games. However the team lead is now held by Bo Horvat with 8 points, while Colton Parayko has 7 points. Four other players, Lindholm, Huberdeau, Ovechkin and Zuccarello are all at a point a game pace with 6.

Ben Bishop
" It was the kind of start you want as a goal tender when you come to a new team, you want the boys to know they can rely on you to give them a chance to win every night, Jake and I, thats what we are all about."

The Flyers both pro and farm team were hit hard by injuries in the first week of play. Down on the farm for Lehigh Valley, both Ryan Donato and Danil Yurtaykin missed considerable time and up on the Pro team in Philadelphia, half of the starting top six, were injured, as Dimitry Kulikov is getting ready to return and both Alex Biega and newly acquired top defender, Esa Lindell have been sidelined for a month.

Gm Bourque
" Its a tough way to start the season, when half your top six go down less than a week into the season. Injuries are a part of the game, sometimes its a failure on the part of the player to make sure they are physically ready and other times its just the roll of the die, shit happens as they say. Claude will work the team with the players we have, this is an opportunity for some guys to step up and play to their potential and a chance for a new guy to show he belongs with the big club."

The injuries have forced some line up juggling on the both squads as call up were the word of the day. Defense-man, Ashton Sautner is the latest to get a chance on the blue line, Colin White who spent extended time last season with the big club was called up once again, its really just a matter of time before White is an everyday pro roster player.

Colin White
" I am excited every time I laced em up for the Flyers, I belong here and I will keep working to prove that point and make it hard for them to send me down. Playing with Gaborik is a blast, he's old enough to be my father, but he plays a lot better than my Dad....hahaha"

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Capitals set lines for Season 31

Washington ready for action as season gets underway



The Washington Capitals are pleased to announce our forward lines for season 31:

Line 1 – Beast Line: Vladimir Tarasenko (LW) Steven Stamkos (C) Brent Burns (RW)

All three are beasts in every face of the game – hard-hitting, lightning quick, and gifted offensively. Tarasenko is the quintessential Russian first-line winger that's been making Caps fans drool for years. Stamkos is the pivot who can score in his sleep and anchors the line, while Burns is the wise veteran who doubles on D, when needed, playing a 200 foot game.

Line 2 – Eagle Line: Rickard Rakell (LW) Nick Bonino (C) Ondrej Palat (RW)

Their eagle eye instincts and vision is second to none and includes a solid ability to score with about a +10 per more defensive skill. Bonino plays a 2-way centre game – collecting assists merely by winning the draw and keeping the puck out of the defensive zone on the penalty kill. Both Rakell and Palat provide potent and fearless secondary scoring who can each jump up to the first line on a dime's notice. Palat and Stamkos have a history of playing together.

Line 3 – Bear Line: Zach Hyman (LW) Nick Suzuki (C) Mattias Janmark (RW)

Every season, the Caps ice a Bear line which is made up of players who have come up from our system – either drafted by the organization and/or developed in Hershey. This season's iteration might be a first in that all three players are Caps' draftees. They can each chip in offensively, are mostly responsible defensively, and can move up or down the line-up as needed. We'll keep an eye on Suzuki's performance in the big league.

Line 4 – Beaver Line: Derek Grant (LW) Brad Richardson (C) Scott Laughton (RW)

The Caps are rounded out by an industrious and hard-working group of Canadians. These guys grind away at their opponents, love to hit, go into the corners, and retrieve the puck in enemy territory. This year's iteration includes a particular ability to score more consistently.

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Ducks dig in for redemption

Anaheim looks to rebound after strong season doesn't result in playoff success



Anaheim Next Season Line combos

1st Line (C) Patrice Bergeron ------(LW) Pavel Zacha --------- (RW) Ryan Couture
2nd Line (C) Ryan Strome -------(LW) Alexander Radulov ---- (RW) Anthony Duclair
3rd Line (C) Mikeal Backlund ---(LW) Michael Grabner --------(RW) Jonathan Drouin
4th Line (C) Curtis Lazar ------- (LW) Sven Baertschi ----------(RW) Richard Panik

Defensive Pairings

1st Pair Victor Hedman -------- Ryan Graves
2nd Pair Sami Vatanen --------- Jake Muzzin
3rd Pair Sea Theodore --------- Marcus Pettersson
4th Pair Victor Hedman --------- Kevan Miller

FORWARD LINES

The 1st line has great offensive potential with the ability to play defense when needed. They have youth sandwiched between our two top veteran forwards. This is our go to unit.

The 2nd line has great speed with youth and a healthy dash of veteran presence. This line has scorers that have good puck handling and passing abilities. This group has some bite and can sneak up and bite you in the ass.

The 3rd Line Has a little of everything They have a Defensive specialist along with forwards that have scoring, passing, and puck handling ability. Two of these players are capable of playing on the 1st or 2nd lines if need be.

The 4th Line Is made up of players that can hold their own against almost any line. Their main purpose is not to give up any goals and to score an occasional goal themselves. We feel they are more than capable of doing just that.

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

1st Pair, Has a Star defenseman and a shutdown defenseman. Hedman can jump in the play and carry the mail knowing that Graves has his back and will be there to shutdown any attempted breakaways by their opponents. Both have good speed, size and a strength.

2nd Pair, This defensive pair know each other well. They have been playing together as a pair for several seasons with the Ducks. They are both great all-round defensemen that can move the puck for breakouts and play good defense. They are always there for their goalie and seldom leave their goalie out to dry.

3rd Pair, These guys have lots of offensive skill and they play their best defense by playing offense and keeping the puck in their opponents end on the ice. They also have enough speed to get back on defense when needed.

4th Pair, Our top defenseman logs extra minutes with the 4th Pair. Hedman does everything he does so well on the 1st Pairing when paired with Miller who is capable of playing the role that Graves fills on the 1st Pairing.

All in all, most of the faces are the same as last seasons but this is the season for the young players to step up and show their stuff.

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