@Buccigross will Brodeur request a trade if the Devils aren't in the hunt at the deadline?Popcorn (@MikeDavie8) November 19, 2013
@Buccigross: This is an interesting topic. First, I don't think Martin Brodeur would ever request a trade. The atmosphere for such an occurrence would have to happen organically when the environment was right for the discussion (Devils fall out of Metro/wild-card hunt). Then the onus falls on the Devils to delicately approach Brodeur with the scenario. I do think this will happen.
I don't think the Devils will make the playoffs. After seeing teams play for 25 percent of the season, here is how I see the playoffs in the East breaking down:
3. N.Y. Rangers
Montreal and Tampa Bay
Brodeur's numbers this season are surprising. His goals-against average is the lowest since he was 25 years old. He could definitely help a team with more than just playing net. He's won three Cups and four Vezina Trophies. He's a legend.
There is no doubt he could help numerous teams with his presence, experience, calm attitude and ability to provide depth. But, in the end, I don't think it will happen.
@Buccigross: I don't know if this is what you specifically mean, Frank, but it's something that I've thought when hearing analysts or announcers say similar things. I believe sometimes you can be too close to something. Sometimes the back ref can see something better than a referee 6 feet away from an infraction. The closer you are to something the more detail you see. That can trick your mind. The "panoramic" view of the back referee sometimes offers a better perspective.
@Buccigross: They do? The Penguins need more defense, not less. That being said, I really like 19-year-old defenseman Olli Maata. Good size (6-foot-2, 206 pounds), good stick and, if you watch him, he is always skating, always moving his feet. He looks like the kind of player who will play for 15 years. He was the 22nd player taken overall in the 2012 draft. I think a couple teams drafting before that will be regretting not taking Maata.
@Buccigross do you think the Islanders can make a legitimate playoff run this year or are they still a couple pieces away?Zach C (@ZCity4) November 19, 2013
@Buccigross: Twenty-five percent into the season, the Islanders are giving up too many goals to make the playoffs. Maybe goaltender Kevin Poulin can be that guy to carry the torch of goal prevention. This is the chance of a lifetime. He signed a one-year, $577,000 deal over the summer. He's 23 years old. His team can score, but the Islanders stink on the penalty kill. That's where he can start his Superman act.
@Buccigross why is josh Harding not getting much mention for an Olympic spot with team Canada?Tom Hoen (@thoen88) November 19, 2013
@Buccigross: Well, we did the East above, so here is how I see the Western Conference breaking down for the playoffs:
2. St. Louis
2. San Jose
3. Los Angeles
Colorado and Phoenix
So, as you can see, I do not have Dallas in the playoffs right now. But, the Stars will be in the picture all season and could sneak in.
The Tyler Seguin trade was a franchise-changing deal for Dallas. The lopsided deal will benefit the Stars for years to come. Seguin will evolve into a top 10 NHL center over the next two years. His faceoff percentage is brutal, but most young centers' faceoff percentage is substandard and they usually improve over time.
Seguin and Jamie Benn give the Stars that five-star first line, but the NHL is a second-line league. One NHL GM told me last week that only six teams or so have that high-impact second line that separates them from the rest of the league. Dallas doesn't have that right now. The Stars need to construct a high-level second line and upgrade their defense. They have a franchise goalie and a franchise first line. Now they just have to fill in the gaps.
@Buccigross: Absolutely. The Hawks are shaping up as the team of decade. This is the golden era of Chicago Blackhawks hockey. All things go, all things go. Let it wash over you, Chicago. It's never been this good before and might never be this good again.
@Buccigross: As long as they keep filling stadiums, yes. The idea of a business is to raise revenues. I think we will see some erosion in television ratings of these stadium series games, but as long as they fill the stadiums and the profit margins are strong, then the league will keep doing it. The regular season is too long, we all agree with that. We could find the proper 16 teams to quality for the postseason in half the games. The rest is raising revenue to pay everybody in the business -- owners, players, management, coaches, broadcasters -- a fortunate salary to enable the purchasing of Cuban cigars, ceramic tile and a spa pool.
Coming up with events to tickle interest and spark curiosity is the most important thing to do during the regular season.
@Buccigross who has been the most impressive freshman in college hockey this seasonMatt Deflorin (@Mdeflow) November 19, 2013
@Buccigross: Well, the top three freshman scorers in NCAA hockey are Sam Anas of Quinnipiac, Mike Szmatula of Northeastern and Matt Carey of St. Lawrence.
The updated BucciMane Top 10 #cawlidgehawkey Power Rankings:
3. St. Cloud
7. Boston College
9. Notre Dame