Time once again for a disjointed, scatterbrained preview from me. Fortunately, most of the games played in the Pacific Division are on so late that nobody can watch and see how I may or may not be wrong. Probably will be wrong.
Now that I have that and the Chevy Chase as Land Shark references out of the way… The real meat of the issue for the Sharks is getting several guys who have excelled in the past, like Jonathan Cheechoo and Patrick Marleau to come around and not suck as bad as they did last year. Shouldn’t be a huge deal right? Absolutely not with JR in town! Oh, and Joe Thornton can still get it done. San Jose is certainly a good team, but can they be a great team? Yes.
What’s new: Rob Blake, Dan Boyle, Brad Lukowich. Um….. How was your summer?
Questions that Need Answering: Shouldn’t Thornton be getting more love? Aren’t the 90’s over? Isn’t it time to drop the teal?
The Ducks are everyone’s favorite professional sports franchise named after a major motion picture, outside of the Seattle Mariners.* Brian Burke is still captaining this ship, so it’s really just a matter of time until they teach Francois Beauchamin to be a complete asshole. The Ducks will only be successful as long as George Parros continues to live life with a big bushy moustache and long flowinghair. And by “successful” I mean tolerable. But honestly, I fell asleep for 45 minutes working on this. Ryan Getzlaf is good, but so very dull.
* – Not true
What’s New: Brendan Morrison replaced Burke’s former Canuck fix as Todd Bertuzzi took off. Marc-Andre Bergeron, Mathieu Schneider also took off. Teemu Selanne has already stated that he is coming back next year. so that’s nice.
Questions that Need Answering: Can the Ducks possibly keep up with their pace of the past couple years? Will they employ the knucklepuck?
Cleveland had their hearts ripped out when the Browns moved to Baltimore. Seattle felt the sting when the Supersonics fled to Oklahoma City. Minnesota…. has gotten over the Stars. Norm Green isn’t in control anymore, and frankly, Mike Modano is just dreamy.
At this point, Marty Turco has gone from unreliable youngster to grizzled veteran, which means nothing, except that he’s older. If the Stars put everything together though, that’s going to be a hell of an offense. Mike Ribeiro led the team in points lest year, but there are about 5 guys on the team that could carry that mantle this year. Also, Texans are big fans of dudes in the fashion industry, right?
What’s New: Oh, not much. What’s new with you?
Questions that Need Answering: Will Sean Avery fit in? Just kidding, of course not. Will Brett Hull provide the steady leadership in the front office that the Stars need? Again. LOL. Did you know that Jere Lehtinen was still alive?
For years, the only thing that the Coyotes made me wonder is it Kai-yote-ees or Kai-yotes. Now I wonder if Olli Jokinen can walk down the streets of Phoenix unmolested. This season, they went out and nabbed Jokinen to compliment Shane Doan. But seriously, the Coyotes main page features Derek Morris. The Coyotes are going to be bad, is what I’m trying to say.
What’s New: Jokinen. Todd Fedoruk. Trying.
Questions that Need Answering: Can you believe that Radim Vrbata was the second leading scorer last year? Do you think that Winnipeg really misses this team?
The Kings went out this offseason and traded away some of their top players, like Mike Cammalleri and Lubomir Visnovsky, getting in return a buttload of draft picks and Jarret Stoll. They still have Alexander Frolov, Anze Kopitar, Patrick O’Sullivan, and, if things go right, 1991 Wayne Gretzky.
What’s New: Rob Blake, Cammalleri and Visnovsky are gone. Anze Kopitar got a new lightsaber!
Questions that Need Answering: How many years out are the Kings? 2 years? 3? Can we expect the Kings to spend more time on the IR than the rest of the Pacific Division combined?
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BallHype – Your Obligatory Pacific Division Preview