In today’s compilation of notable posts from the NHL blogosphere: 2010-11 was the first “year of the goaltender”…Scott Hartnell as trade bait?…Getting over Dany Heatley…Can the Lightning handle the loss of Mattias Ohlund? …Predators coach sees room for improvement…Figuring out why Al Montoya’s getting the starts in goal for the Islanders…Can the Coyotes properly develop forwards?…Thoughts about the LA Kings European Vacation…Humorous analysis of the opening week of the season.
COPPER AND BLUE: Derek Zona examines the goaltenders since the lockout who helped their teams to the Conference Finals, and determined the 2010-11 season was the first true “season of the goaltender”, with three goalies who finished in the top ten in save percentage – Tim Thomas, Roberto Luongo and Antti Niemi – carrying their teams to the Conference Finals.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of interesting questions raised by Zona’s piece. Don’t take my word for it, go read it yourself.
FLYERS FAITHFUL: “Marcello D” examines the pros and cons of the Flyers trading Scott Hartnell, and arrives at the conclusion it should be done only as a last resort.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed, Hartnell is the type of player every team wants to have in their roster.
SILVER SEVEN: Peter Raaymakers asks if it’s time for Senators fans to get over their hatred of Dany Heatley.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d say yes, but the way he brought about his departure will burn in the memory of Sens fans for a long time, and since he plays in the Western Conference, they won’t get many opportunities to vent at him directly.
RAW CHARGE: John Fontana believes the Lightning can weather the loss of Mattias Ohlund to knee surgery, believing there’s enough depth to cover for his absence.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree, and this could perhaps give Victor Hedman the opportunity to step up his performance this season.
SMASHVILLE 24.7: Ryan Porthat reports Predators head coach Barry Trotz still sees room for improvement, even though his team won its first two games of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s why Trotz is one of the very best in the league. He’s always on the lookout for weaknesses and how to correct them.
THE GOALIE GUILD: wonders why Al Montoya has started the Islanders opening games over Rick DiPietro and Evgeni Nabokov, and arrives at the conclusion Montoya has earned the trust of head coach Jack Capuano.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bingo! You don’t go with the guy with the biggest contract or the most experience, you go with the guy who is playing the best and has earned your trust. Keep riding Montoya all season long if that’s what it takes. The Isles need a winning season, and if Montoya is the go-to guy in goal most nights, then use him.
HOCKEYBUZZ.COM: Adam French wonders if the Coyotes can properly develop their forwards, focusing upon Mikkel Boedker. French is of the opinion coach Dave Tippett’s defensive game may be hurting young players like Boedker.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll have to see how this season unfolds, but the fact Turris and Boedker haven’t developed as hoped thus far has to be troubling for Coyotes followers, and does raise questions.
BATTLE OF CALIFORNIA: Rudy Kelly looks back at the Kings recent “European vacation”.
DOWN GOES BROWN: present a “unique” analysis of the season-opening systems for the 30 NHL teams.