In today’s roundup of interesting posts from the NHL blogosphere: The health of Jonas Hiller…Matt Cooke may not be so new and improved after all…Dismissing the suggestion officiating cost the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final…A response to several tweets from a Philadelphia hockey writer…The possibility of a breakout season for Max Pacioretty…Evgeny Grachev may have found a home with the Blues.
HOUSES OF THE HOCKEY: Jonathan Willis suggested the Anaheim Ducks have too much riding on the health of goalie Jonas Hiller, who was sidelined for the second half of last season with vertigo-like symptoms.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’re taking a chance, no question, for if those symptoms resurface, they may not be fortunate enough to find another quick-fix goalie to keep them in the playoff race, as Ray Emery did last season once it became apparent backup Dan Ellis wasn’t up to the task. If Hiller stays healthy, the Ducks are a playoff team. If not, they’ll be in big trouble unless they can find a suitable replacement again.
PUCK DADDY: Harrison Mooney reminds us of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke’s off-season promise to change his ways, then shows a clip of Cooke boarding a player during a recent Penguins-Minnesota Wild game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I know, it’s probably unfair of me to prejudge Cooke, but this recent incident suggests, if not an unwillingness to change his ways, some difficulty in adjusting his style. He’d better adjust more quickly, because he’s become the poster child for blindside hits to the head, and will be closely watched from now on.
TOM BENJAMIN’S NHL BLOG: Tom rejects the notion the Vancouver Canucks got on the wrong side of the officiating in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final and paid for it as a result. He prefers to believe the Canucks ultimately lost because they ran out of healthy bodies.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree, plus the fact Tim Thomas outplayed Roberto Luongo, and the Bruins got timely offensive contributions from throughout their lineup. That’s not to dismiss the Bruins championship, which was well earned, but I have to wonder if the outcome might’ve been different had it been the Bruins hobbled by injuries, rather than the Canucks, or if the latter could’ve iced a healthier lineup.
BROAD STREET HOCKEY: “Eric T.” responds to some recent “tweets” on the Flyers by Philadelphia Inquirer hockey beat reporter Sam Carchidi, plus employs an impartial third party in the discussion: a coin flip.
HOCKEY INDEPENDENT: Fred Poulin looks at the stats of Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty prior to his season-ending injury, as well as his preseason play, and suggests Pacioretty could be ready for a breakout performance, perhaps a 30-goal season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Pacioretty has made a full recovery from his injuries, and picks up from where he left off prior to being sidelined last season, a 30-goal season isn’t out of the question. In preseason thus far he’s been, in my opinion, the Canadiens best forward, which bodes well heading into 2011-12.
ST. LOUIS GAME TIME: suggests June entry draft acqusition Evgeny Grachev is making a strong case in preseason for sticking with the Blues when the season begins.