Introducing a new feature on Spector’s Hockey, in which I post up a roundup of the most interesting posts each day, culled from various NHL hockey blogs.
In today’s blog beat, how Brendan Shanahan can avoid failure as league disciplinarian, Crosby and concussions, suggesting Matt Duchene for Avalanche captain, why the Devils will make the playoffs in 2012,and debating the best teams furthest from the salary cap.
IN LOU WE TRUST: John Fischer offers suggestions on how new league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan can avoid the pitfalls and controversies that marred the tenure of his predecessor, Colin Campbell. He suggested hiring someone from outside the game in an advisory role, who could then establish a framework for discipline, and reviewing past incidents which required supplementary discipline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen how Shanahan handles his new role and how much improvement there might be, but in my opinion he can’t do any worse than his predecessors, and being a well-respected personality as he is, I’m optimistic we’ll see at least some improvement in league discipline.
HOCKEY INDEPENDENT: Adrian Fung weighs in on the thin line between optimism and pessimism regarding recovery from concussion, particularly that of Sidney Crosby. Fung commends the Penguins for their caution in how they’ve handle Crosby’s recovery, but he also wondered if Crosby will be the same player he was prior to his injury, noting the decline of Pat Lafontaine, Eric Lindros and Paul Kariya following their concussion injuries.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good points by Fung, though I would also suggest part of the reason for the decline of Lafontaine, Lindros and Kariya was concussions and recovery from post-concussion symptoms weren’t well understood over ten years ago. Hopefully, the caution being used by Crosby and the Penguins in his recovery might have a different outcome from what happened to those three.
BLEACHER REPORT: Kevin Goff suggests Matt Duchene, who’ll be entering his third NHL season, as a good candidate for captain of the Colorado Avalanche. Goff acknowledged Duchene’s youth and inexperience, but pointed out Duchene’s skills, versatility and work ethic have earned the respect of his teammates. If named captain, he would be the fourth-youngest in NHL history.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ultimately, it comes down to leadership ability and respect of your peers. Some, like Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, has it despite their youth and league experience. If Duchene has those qualities with the Avs, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give him the “C”, but that’s ultimately up to the coaching staff.
HOCKEYBUZZ.COM: Todd Cordell believes the New Jersey Devils will bounce back and not only make the 2012 playoffs, but could also “make some noise” in the post-season. Cordell believes the Devils as a team will be motivated, plus a full season with scoring stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise playing together gives the Devils the scoring punch needed to make the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Team motivation and healthy scoring stars are certainly two critical factors, but how well the Devils perform for new head coach Peter Deboer, the overall performance of their blueline, and of course, the play of aging future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur could be more determining factors.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT HOCKEY BLOG: Ryan Porth and Anthony Curatolo square off to determine the best team furthest from the salary cap, with Porth suggesting the Nashville Predators, while Curatolo counters with the NY Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both guys make excellent points, but I give the nod to Porth, as the Predators have outstanding goaltending, a strong defense corps, are well-coached, well-managed, and have more experience than the promising, but still rebuilding, Islanders.