In today’s medley of notable posts from the NHL blogosphere: Debating if Tampa Bay’s “1-3-1” system is harmful to hockey…A suggestion for the league to address the fallout from the Flyers reaction to the Lightning’s 1-3-1…The early rise of the Florida Panthers…Assessing Brad Richards early performance with the Rangers…Sharks could have a logjam in goal…Comparing Predators rookie Craig Smith to the rest of this season’s rookie class…Proposed subjects for NHL Original Productions…A look back at the war records of Conn Smythe and Hobey Baker.
TOM BENJAMIN’S HOCKEY BLOG: Tom weighs in on the subject, suggesting if the league decides to step in and take action regarding the Flyers recent reaction to the Lightning’s system, perhaps it might be best for league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan to quietly tell Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, ““Don’t make us do something, okay? Your point is made. Give it up.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The “1-3-1” system has been around for some time. The only reason why it’s now become an issue was the Flyers reaction, on national television, to how the Lightning were playing that system in that particular game. The Bolts were missing two regular defensemen, and were hoping to compensate by having the forechecker hang back near the Flyers blueline, and their own lone defenseman hang back deeper than usual in their own zone. Essentially, no one on the Lightning was pressing the forecheck, leading Laviolette to publicly call them out by not having his players advance the puck out of their own zone, essentially daring the Lightning forechecker into their zone. I have no problem with the “1-3-1”, provided the team playing that system is forechecking more aggressively than the Lightning were in the first period of that game. If that sort of thing starts to become prevalent, the league needs to address it. We don’t need another “Dead Puck Era”.
THE HOCKEY WRITERS: Mark Williams looks at why the Florida Panthers are currently first in the Southeast Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Williams points out several key reasons why, but for me, the key factor is they’re a deeper, experienced team this season. So far, GM Dale Tallon’s overhaul of the roster this summer is panning out.
BLEEDING ALL BLUE: Michael Gleich takes issues with TSN’s recent negative assessment of Brad Richards’ performance thus far with the Rangers, pointing out his positive influence on young Rangers like Derek Stepan and Michael Del Zotto.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s assessment was based on his offensive numbers, and less on his influence upon the roster. I think right now, the Rangers are a better team with Richards in the lineup than without.
FEAR THE FIN: Matthew Taylor on the options Sharks GM Doug Wilson could face with his goaltending when Antero Niittymaki is ready to return to the lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: To me it’s a no-brainer: trade Niittymaki at the first opportunity.
ON THE FORECHECK: Dirk Hoag compares Predators rookie center Craig Smith to the rest of this year’s rookie class thus far, suggesting he’s in a “three-horse race” with Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog.
PUCK THE MEDIA: Steve Lepore offers up seven subjects for the NHL’s new Original Productions. Among them: Eric Lindros, Theo Fleury, and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d certainly be keen to watch documentaries on those three subjects.
CANUCKS ARMY: remembers the military career of Toronto Maple Leafs owner and general manager Conn Smythe in the First and Second World Wars.
NHL HISTORY GIRL: remembers the hockey and military career of US amateur star Hobey Baker.
GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: Joe Pelletier offers up “Four Hockey Stories for Remembrance Day”.