Tag: polls


Polls: Tell Edmonton what to do with third No. 1 pick


In a development that must give a lot of mediocrity-haters a case of bitter beer face, the Edmonton Oilers won the 2012 draft lottery. That allowed the NHL’s second worst team to get the top pick, which really isn’t that bad – but getting the No. 1 choice three years in a row is.

Still, there’s nothing that the disapproving masses can do other than gripe on Twitter. As fun as that might be, the more intriguing questions revolve around what the Oilers should do next.

Should they even keep the pick?

When asked what he’ll do with the No. 1 pick shortly after the Oilers were announced as winners, GM Steve Tambellini was noncommittal about whether he would use it or trade the selection for a more immediate bit of help. Considering Edmonton’s lack of recent results, it wouldn’t be that crazy to imagine Tambellini moving the pick to improve the present at some expense to the future – especially if his job is in some danger.

One can imagine all sorts of scenarios. Edmonton might take advantage of a solid overall draft by swapping a little quality for quantity. Then again, maybe they could offer the spurned Columbus Blue Jackets the No. 1 choice as part of a package for that Rick Nash fella we keep hearing about.

To start things off, let us know if the Oilers should even keep the No. 1 choice.

(Note: it’s technically possible that Edmonton could trade for a roster player and picks, but just consider those choices the “focal point” of a deal.)

Who should they draft?

OK, so let’s assume the Oilers follow the script and use that pick. Who should they go after? Choose from Central Scouting’s top 15 or write in a prospect of your own in the poll below (positions listed in parenthesis):

Poll: Tell us if Steven Stamkos will score 60 goals

Steven Stamkos

Steven Stamkos broke a Tampa Bay Lightning team record with his 53rd goal of the season last night, but he obviously isn’t satisfied with that. Thanks to a beauty of a wrist shot goal that caught Tim Thomas off guard, Stamkos already hit the 54 tally mark with some time left to do more damage tonight.

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Update: Stamkos made the job much easier by scoring a second goal on Tuesday, making it 55 and thus needing five for 60. There are still a few minutes left, too, so this post will be updated if he gets a hat trick.

NBC Sports Network provided a great infographic of how his goals have broken down so far this season, which I’ll update with Stamkos’ second tally.

Total Goals: 55 (first in NHL)
Even strength: 43 (first in NHL)
Overtime: 4 (first in NHL)
GWG: 10 (tied for first)
Goals in third period: 17

Fun-killing stats nerds would argue that some of that is circumstantial – when you score 55, plenty are going to be during big moments – but the part that impresses me the most is the 43 even-strength tallies. That shows that he isn’t just milking easy power play opportunities.

Those numbers also make you wonder what he’d do with a better team around him (although the counterpoint might be that he wouldn’t feel the need to do as much, at least theoretically).

Stamkos’ schedule for 60

Anyway, enough about what he’s already done. Let’s look at what lies ahead for Stamkos in his quest for 60 goals – keep in mind he’ll need to score six more in six games plus tonight’s remaining time. For fun, I’ve included a) how many goals Stamkos has scored against a given opponent in 2011-12 and b) how many goals that team has allowed going into Tuesday’s games.

Thursday: at New Jersey (two goals in three games; 200 Goals Allowed)
Saturday: vs. Winnipeg (two goals in four games; 223 GA)
April 2: vs. Washington (three goals in five games; 214 GA)
April 4: at Montreal (two goals in three games; 211 GA)
April 5: at Toronto (one goal in three games; 239 GA)
April 7: at Winnipeg (two goals in four games; 223 GA)

As you can see, Stamkos has already scored at least once against the six remaining opponents. Four of the six final contests are against non-playoff teams, which could be good (if those teams are in low spirits) or bad (if those teams make stopping Stamkos their only real goal).

Asking for (almost) a goal-per-game is a tough task even for Stamkos – the NHL’s most prolific goal scorer during the last three seasons – but it’s not implausible looking at that reasonable schedule.

So with all that in mind, share your thoughts in the poll: can Stamkos reach 60 goals this season?

Senators take Northeast Division lead from Bruins

Ottawa Senators v Florida Panthers

Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins can’t seem to find answers for their struggles, but the Ottawa Senators have no plans to make life easier for them. The surprisingly effective team edged the Montreal Canadiens in a tight 2-1 OT win to take at least a temporary hold on the Northeast Division lead.

Filip Kuba scored the game-winner after Colin Greening tied the game early in the third period.

Here’s how the Boston-Ottawa standings situation looks right now:

Ottawa: 84 points, 10 games remaining, 37 wins, 32 in regulation/OT
Boston: 83 points, 12 games remaining, 40 wins, 33 in regulation/OT

Here is a quick look at how their schedules pan out:

  • The two teams have one game left against each other: an April 5 match in Ottawa, which will be one of the final contests of the regular season for each squad.
  • Ottawa plays its next two games at home, then plays four of five on the road before ending with two of three at home. Overall, they have five home and road contests left.
  • The Bruins play their next two games at home, then have a California trio of road contests. After that, it’s two home games against Southeast Division teams, two away contests against New York squads, then the Ottawa skirmish sandwiched between two home contests against teams who might be fighting for playoff seeding (Pittsburgh and Buffalo). Overall, the Bruins play six more games in Boston and six contests away from Beantown.


The Bruins’ games in hand give them an obvious leg up, but their four-game losing streak – all in regulation – doesn’t inspire the same confidence. Ottawa most likely will need to finish the season with one more point, although the regulation/OT tiebreaker isn’t out of reach.

It could very well come down to that April 5 game in Ottawa, but either way, it should be fun (except for especially nervy Bruins fans, perhaps).

With all that in mind, who do you think will take it?

Poll: Will the Maple Leafs make the playoffs?

Brian Burke

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is likely relieved that a quality — and familiar — coach like Randy Carlyle was available at this point in the season. But even so, firing his buddy Ron Wilson probably ranked pretty low on his “wish list”, so the gravity of the situation must be settling in.

That said, this decision came down to Burke saving his job and the Maple Leafs’ fading playoff chances.

So will it work?

Before you vote, here’s a look at the situation at hand.


8. Winnipeg (inactive tonight) – 70 points, 16 games remaining
9. Washington (active tonight) – 69 points, 18 games remaining
10. Buffalo (inactive tonight) – 66 points, 18 games remaining
11. Toronto (inactive tonight) – 65 points, 18 games remaining
12. Tampa Bay (active tonight) – 64 points, 19 games remaining as of this writing


Of the Maple Leafs’ 18 remaining contests, eight will be at home while 10 are on the road. (Home record: 16-12-5; road record: 13-16-2)

Toronto’s toughest stretch comes in mid-March during a five-game road trip, six of seven away from Toronto all told. The Leafs will be in a good spot if they can fight through that run,  they’ll rotate a home and away game before playing four straight at the ACC.

The odds

Sports Club Stats gives the Maple Leafs a 12.6 percent chance to make the postseason, placing them in 10th behind Winnipeg (35.4) and Washington (56.6). Toronto doesn’t have any games left against the Jets and will visit the Capitals on March 11.

The poll

Now that you’ve had a moment to look at it from a bunch of perspectives, share your stance. Will they make the playoffs or will Burke’s gamble come up short?

Poll: Does Jeff Carter make the Kings a playoff team?

Jeff Carter, Vinny Prospal

Just about every pundit used the word “desperation” when describing the Los Angeles Kings’ side of the Jeff Carter-Jack Johnson+first-rounder blockbuster trade. Kings GM Dean Lombardi’s under a lot of pressure, no doubt, but does that necessarily make it a bad decision?

(Personally, I’d give the Kings the slight edge, although Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson deserves some kudos for making lemonade out of Carter’s lemons, but that’s just me.)

If nothing else, the addition of Carter’s scoring touch and knack for generating general fan distaste should make things awfully interesting in Los Angeles. Considering the presence of his buddy Mike Richards and another former teammate in Simon Gagne, Darryl Sutter could trot out an all-Philadelphia Flyers trio as his second/1b line. (Justin Williams could also fit the bill as a former Flyer in Gagne’s place, although that feels a bit like cheating.)

It’s an entertaining situation, but is it enough for the Kings to overcome some tough odds and hold onto a playoff spot? Tell us what you think by voting in the poll and sharing your illuminating comments.