Thursday, September 2, 2010

2010-2011 Colorado Avalanche Preview

The Colorado Avalanche
Wanna get rocky mountain high?
I am to hockey what Britney Spears is to music.

Previous Year's Team Stats

43 wins, 30 losses, 9 OTL, 95 points 13th overall in the league

Team Analysis

The Colorado Avalanche have been an enigmatic team in recent years. Going from one of the best franchises in pro sports for over a decade to mediocre basement dwellers. This initiated a youth movement in Denver that has become one of the most impressive in the NHL and lead to a surprise playoff appearance last season. A lot of things went right in Colorado last season but the question will be can the Avalanche repeat their unexpected success from last year and make the post-season?

The Avalanche are boasting one of the most successful youth movements in hockey with only two players over 25-years old in their top nine. Leading this youth movement is 2009 third overall draft pick Matt Duchene who is one of the most electrifying prospects in the league. Duchene will once again anchor the second line in Colorado while likely pushing to be the Avalanche's number one offensive threat this season. Anchoring the top line will be under-rated 24-year old center Paul Stastny who's quietly become one of the most consistent scoring centers in the west and will again get close to a point per game in Colorado. Dependable scorer Milan Hejduk has been the bridge between the three eras of the Avalanche and will slot in on the right wing in the Avalanche's top six. Hejduk is the only Avalanche forward over 30-years old currently on their roster.

The Avalanche saw the emergence of three young wingers last season. Former highly touted prospect turned consensus bust Peter Mueller was acquired in a mid-season trade with Coyotes last season. 22-year old Mueller exploded for 20 points in 15 games and will look to carry that momentum in Colorado's top six. 22-year old power forward Chris Stewart made the hockey world take notice as he scored 64 points in 77 games in his sophomore campaign. Look for Stewart to move between the first and second line on the right wing this season. 22-year old (noticing a trend here?) T.J. Galiardi had a successful rookie campaign last season accumulating 39 points in 70 games including a 10 points in 11 games streak. Galiardi will look to compete for offensive minutes this season and build on his decent debut.

The bottom six is led by former Oz tough guy turned hockey prodigy Ryan O'Reilly who will anchor the third line. O'Reilly is an incredible story, drafted in the 2nd round last year and making the NHL squad at 18-years old. Some observers say O'Reilly's rookie campaign last year was just as impressive as Duchene's. Look for O'Reilly to improve upon his numbers from last season and solidify himself as one of the best third-line centers in the game. Playing on O'Reilly's left wing will likely be the hard working Brandon Yip who debuted last season with 19 points in 32 games. On the opposite wing will likely be power forward David Jones who impressed with 16 points in 23 games last season.

The Avalanche's forward core will be rounded out with scrappy middle-weight Cody McLeod who had 18 fights and 18 points in 74 games last season. Defensive role player Daniel Winnik will likely anchor Colorado's fourth line. The fourth line will likely see defensive forward Kevin Porter and Czech tough guy David Koci compete for playing time.

Colorado's blueline features a solid collection of young offensive defensemen and gritty veteran defensive defensemen. Leading the Avalanche's back-end is talented two-way defenseman Kyle Quincey who led the team in ice time averaging over 23 minutes a game. Quincey will likely see the bulk of ice time again in Colorado this season. Also playing on the top pairing with be gritty defensive defenseman Scott Hannan who will once again be the de facto shut-down man for the Avalanche. 

The second pairing will likely be anchored by 39-year old defensive god Adam Foote. This season could very well be Foote's swan as he'll still get a solid 18 minutes a game and take any defensive role while Hannan is on the bench. Playing on the second pairing will likely be 23-year old offensive defenseman Kyle Cumiskey who scored 20 points in 61 games last season.

Playing on the bottom pairing this season will likely be offensive defenseman John-Michael Liles who scored 31 points in 59 games last season. Liles will be the de facto powerplay defenseman in Colorado. Likely playing with Liles will be stand-out 23-year old defenseman Ryan Wilson who scored 21 points in 61 games last season. Look for either of these defensemen to move up the depth chart on any given night depending on who's hot and cold on the back-end.

Colorado's success last season could largely be attributed to net-minder Craig Anderson who was the NHL's Faust last season. Anderson who bounced between teams as a backup before taking over Colorado's starting duties is largely credited for carrying the Avalanche into the playoffs. Anderson played 71 games last season while totalling 38 wins. The question in Denver is will Anderson be able to repeat such a unexpected top notch performance? Peter Budaj will be the back-up in Colorado this season and will do an adequate job in his 15-20 games. 

Team Trending

With the Avalanche pulling off a miraculous performance last season with a roster that most experts were penciling to be bottom dwellers, it's hard to get an accurate read on this team. The Avalanche will suffer losing defensive defenseman and shot blocking machine Brett Clark this off-season and will undoubtedly face growing pains with such a young roster. However while the talent exhibited from this squad last season was a surprise, I don't consider it an anomaly. Consider the Avalanche a bubble team who could get hot in the second half of the season. Look for them to finish somewhere between 12th and 16th in the league this season. 

BVB Projected Opening Night Line-Up




Player Projections


Paul Stastny - 20 G/58A 78 P
Milan Hejduk - 28 G/24 A 52 P
T.J. Galiardi - 20 G/25 A 45 P

Matt Duchene - 35 G/42 A 77 P
Peter Mueller - 30 G/28 A 58 P
Chris Stewart - 26 G/30 A 56 P

Ryan O'Reily - 13 G/30 A 43 P
Brandon Yip - 20 G/20 A 40 P
David Jones - 19 G/20 A 39 P

Cody McLeod - 4 G/10 A 14 P
Daniel Winnik - 3 G/8 A 11P
David Koci - 0 G/1 A 1 P


Kyle Quincey - 7 G/28 A 35 P
Scott Hannan - 1 G/18 A 19 P
Adam Foote - 1 G/7 A 8 P
Kyle Cuminsky - 9 G/20 A 29 P
John-Michael Liles - 5 G/27 A 32 P
Ryan Wilson - 4 G/20 A 24 P


Craig Anderson - 32-26-10 | 2.70 GAA | .915 Sv%
Peter Budaj - 7-5-2 | 2.80 GAA | .908 Sv%

A Brunswick Confession

The Things I do to create conversation about hockey...

Hey guys, the Colorado preview will be up in a hour or two. Just wanted to relate a funny observation. It's been hell the last few days days writing these previews. As a Canucks fan to have to spend several hours focusing on the Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and the Colorado Avalanche every day for the last few days... ugh painful. I need a margarita.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks Preview

This is going to be a painful Preview for me to write, I'm not going to lie.

The Chicago Blackhawks
Sweet Home Chicagoooooo

Steve F'n Yzerman reincarnated

Previous Year's Team Stats

52 wins, 22 losses, 8 OTL, 112 points, 2nd overall in the league

Team Analysis

The Chicago Blackhawks have gone through one of the greatest transformations in in all of pro sports. Going from perennial basement dwellers in the grips of real life Mr. Burns counterpart "Dollar Bill" Wirtz, to becoming the Stanley Cup Champions by assembling arguably the best team since the lock-out. However to achieve this great transformation the Blackhawks had to do unspeakable things with the Salary Cap last season. The Blackhawks also have to work with bonuses against the cap that were agreed to in a time when they were thought to be comic relief in contract negotiations. As a result of flooring it while on empty last season Chicago lost many of it's heralded depth players and their young Cup winning goalie. The Blackhawks still have one of the finest young teams with perhaps one of the most intelligent hockey organizations behind it. The Blackhawks will also look to plug a few promising rookies into their line-up this season. The transformation in ChiTown has been borderline miraculous. However the question is how will the Hawks perform after losing nine players from their championship team?

The Blackhawks front office really does deserve praise for the way they've built this team. The forward group will see something of a miniature youth movement this season as three rookies will likely be getting full time roles in Chicago. The most interesting of these will be WHL villian Kyle Beach. Beach will undoubtedly be the subject of much e-ink and controversy during his pro career however he offers one of the most unique talent packages of any prospect inbound on the league. Beach is already notable for getting into three fights while accumulating one point in the four days of the Blackhawks prospect camp. Look for Beach to shift around the Blackhawks top nine and snap like Happy Gilmore at least once this season. There's been much ado in the Second City about the departure of the most over-rated player in the NHL Dustin Byfugelin. However Byfugelin's big body presence will be replaced in the line-up by 6-4 Bryan Bickell. Bickell spent parts of his 16 game NHL debut last season playing on the top line and will look to be Chicago's power forward. This season will also be the opportunity former seventh overall pick Jack Skille has been looking for to get a full time job in the NHL. Skille will likely bounce back and forth between the third and fourth line this season. 

The Blackhawks boast some of the finest talent in the league in their top six. Chicago is led by 22-year old hockey god Jonathan Towes who is one of the finest two-way players and captains in the league.  Look for Towes to eclipse the point per game ceiling this season. Playing on Towes wing will be franchise winger Patrick Kane who's been as controversial as he has been talented. Kane defined himself as an elite talent last season scoring 88 points in 82 games at just 21-years old. Look for him to build on those numbers and take over the throne as the best right-winger in the game this season. Behind Kane is one of the most complete players in the game Marian Hossa. After three dramatic attempts, Hossa finally won the Cup last season and will likely play out the rest of his career in Chicago. Hossa will provide another point per game performance provided he can stay healthy this season. Hossa's center will be elite penalty killer and talented two way center Patrick Sharp. Centering the third line will be elite defensive center Dave Bolland. There hasn't been enough good things said about Troy Brouwer and the gritty game he brought to Chicago last season. Brouwer contributed 189 hits and 40 points for the Blackhawks last season and made Andrew Ladd largely redundant. Look for him to have another quiet excellent year and get significant time on the top line with Towes and Kane. The Blackhawks will have veteran Tomas Kopecky in their bottom six. Viktor Stalberg who the Blackhawks received in a five player deal with Toronto will look to compete for a full time role. The Blackhawks also signed ulcerative colitis pitch man Fernando Pisani to round out their depth this off-season. 

The Blackhawks feature one of the best defenses in the league. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last season largely on the shoulders of the best defensive pairing in the NHL. Duncan Keith exploded in a Norris trophy winning 69 point performance from Chicago's blueline last season. Keith is arguably the best defenseman in the league right now and remains a fantasy deity to be taken in the first round. Keith's partner is big defensive defenseman Brent Seabrook. While not a first tier fantasy defenseman, Seabrook compliments Keith's game perfectly and will again average close to 25 minutes a night. The San Jose Sharks threw a significant monkey wrench into the Blackhawks plans this off-season signing RFA Niklas Hjalmarsson to a four year $14 million dollar offer sheet. The Blackhawks matched and are now looking at Hjalmarsson to be the defensive presence on the second pairing and to fulfill his destiny as a talented two-way defenseman. Playing with Hjalmarsson this year will likely be offensive defenseman Brian Campbell who will collect a point every other game from the blueline. Campbell has been both hero and goat in the Windy City but remains one of the best offensive defensemen in the game. Chicago's bottom pairing will likely feature Jordan Hendry, who's about as generic as an NHL defenseman can get. Playing alongside him will be long time NHL vet Nick Boynton. Also look for tough guy John Scott and prospect Shawn Lalonde to get time on the Blackhawks blueline this season.

Chicago has lost it's young Stanley Cup winning goalie Antti Niemi as a cap causality. However they've replaced him with talented veteran Marty Turco. Turco has been the substance of much debate and skepticism from the experts however I'm still buying in Turco. Turco has been stuck on a Marc Crawford team for the last few years and I've watched first hand as Crawford has decimated any semblance of defense and shattered the goalies on his teams. I believe playing behind the talented defense in Chicago, Turco could have a bounce back year. Look for him to get 60-70 games in Chicago while being a very strong number two fantasy goalie. Backing up Turco will be long time AHL goalie Corey Crawford. Crawford will likely provide adequate relief in his 10 to 15 appearances this year. 

Team Trending

I'm probably going to be in the minority but I think the Blackhawks could do just as well as they did last season if not better. Chicago will return eight of their top penalty killers, seven of their top ten powerplay skaters, will add some prospects looking to make a name, and a solid veteran goalie who's looking to win it all. I think it's likely they'll challenge for the Western conference title again. Look for them to come in somewhere between 1st and 5th in the league. 

BVB Projected Opening Night Line-Up




Player Projections


Jonathan Towes - 33 G/50 A 83 P
Patrick Kane - 38 G/63 A 101 P
Troy Bouwer - 27 G/25 A 52 P

Marian Hossa - 30 G/35 A 65 P
Patrick Sharp - 23 G/35 A 58 P
Viktor Stalberg - 17 G/17 A 34 P

Kyle Beach - 20 G/20 A 40 P
Dave Bolland - 25 G/25 A 50 P 
Fernando Pisani- 13 G/17 A 30 P

Tomas Kopecky - 10 G/10 A 20 P
Jake Dowell - 3 G/10 A 13 P
Brian Bickell - 12 G/10 A 22 P


Duncan Keith - 15 G/50 A 65 P
Brent Seabrook - 6 G/30 A 36 P 
Brian Campbell - 9 G/33 A 42 P
Niklas Hjalmarsson - 4 G/18 A 22 P
Jordan Hendry - 3 G/10 A 13 P
Nick Boynton - 0 G/6 A 6 P


Marty Turco - 43-17-7 | 2.38 GAA | .918 Sv%
Corey Crawford - 7-4-4 | 2.65 GAA | .906 Sv%

Niemi goes to Sharks

Backstopping the post-season warriors
In a move that makes uber-sense for both parties the San Jose Sharks have signed former Stanley Cup winning goalie Antti Niemi to a one year two million dollar deal. Look for Niemi to have a big year backstopping the west coast powerhouse.

Bill Guerin to Philly?

I'm a freakin' hockey god
Rumor from is that Bill Guerin has been working to get a try-out with the Philadelphia Flyers. We here at BVB are big Bill Guerin fans so we hope this is true.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2010-2011 Carolina Hurricanes Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes

Previous Year's Team Stats

35 wins, 37 losses, 10 OTL, 80 points, 24th overall in the league

Team Analysis

It was a rough campaign in Raleigh last season as the Hurricanes came in 11th in their conference while going through the painful process of switching from a veteran team to a youth movement.  Last season also saw the end of legend Rob Brind'Amour, along with a string of costly injuries it turned out to be a largely dissatisfying season for the Carolina faithful.  The Hurricanes have a lot of questions about their talent level and haven't done much to address them this off-season, however the franchise will enter this season mostly healthy while looking to some of their young players to contribute.
Up front the Hurricanes offense is carried by superstar Eric Staal who is absolutely an elite center, but has struggled from time to time due to the lack of talent surrounding him.  However Staal still managed to put up a point-per-game performance last season and will look to improve on his numbers.  Behind Staal this season will be Brandon Sutterwho had a breakout season by scoring 40 points in 72 games during his sophomore campaign.  Look for him to improve again this upcoming season and make his name as a solid two-way center.  The second most deadly weapon in the Hurricanes arsenal is streaky sniper Jussi Jokinen. Jokinen has found his place in Carolina and brought home the bacon by having a career year in 2009-10.  While it would be rather optimistic to expect Jokinen improve on these totals, look for him to repeat his numbers as he will likely play with Staal and get a significant amount of offensive minutes.  To say that Tuomo Ruutu has had a rocky career is being generous, but the gritty Finn was much heralded when he entered the league and its his injury woes that have held his career down; essentially keeping him from gaining any momentum through an entire NHL season.  Even as I write this, he is listed as questionable for the start of Hurricanes training camp with a shoulder injury.  Simply put, Ruutu remains a high risk fantasy option. Speaking of walking wounded power forwards, Erik Cole has been cited as one of the best in the league (when healthy).  While that hasn't been the case in a few years now, Cole will look to slot in a top-6 role for the Hurricanes this season, but he remains a very shaky option for fantasy owners.
The Hurricanes will also be looking to two young players to fill in on the wings this season; Jiri Tlusty and  Zach Boychuk.  Tlusty, a Maple Leafs refugee, signed a one-year, one-way contract from this Hurricanes this off-season and will look to make his mark on the NHL from Carolina's third line.  The Hurricanes are also looking to Boychuk to play his first full season and contribute in an offensive role, something that he more than capable of doing.  Hurricanes fans have given a lot of praise to grinder Chad LaRose likening his game and progression to that of ECHLer turned NHL first-liner Alex Burrows.  LaRose found himself playing on the top line with Staal last year and could very well find himself there again if the 'Canes offense hiccups.  Rounding out the forward group is young center Riley Nash, versatile center Patrick Dwyer, gritty middle-weight Tom Kostopoulous, and Russian train wreck Sergei Samsonov.  Also look for recent draftee Jeff Skinner to get nine games with the Hurricanes this season.
The Hurricanes defense looks to be a talented group in the offensive zone but somewhat suspect in the defensive zone.  Carolina does boast one of the most underrated blue line in the league.  Joni Pitkanen is one of the best offensive defensemen in the league and puts up elite numbers every season.  He is a strong fantasy defensemen and ofter overlooked, or drafted well below his fantasy value.  The Hurricanes have also improved their defense by returning to the fold solid defensemanAnton Babchuk who is back from the KHL after defecting due to a dispute with management before the 2009-10 season.  Babchuk is a talented, big defenseman who can play in all situations and will see minutes on both of Carolina's special teams.  Tim Gleason will likely carry the second pairing and is considered a good all-around minutes eater who will look to get the bulk of short-handed minutes for the squad.  Likely playing on the second pairing with Gleason will be rookie standout Jamie McBain.  McBain exploded from the back-end last season with 10 points in 14 games and he makes for a great pick in the mid-rounds of your fantasy drafts; he is also being called a dark horse candidate for the Calder Trophy.  Also brought in this year is retread and offensive-minded Joe Corvo to round out their D corps.  The final spots will go to one of their youngsters; Jay Harrison, Brett Carson, or Bobby Sanguinetti. 
The Hurricanes are blessed to have perennial top-10 goalie Cam Ward minding their net.  Ward had a disappointed season last year winding up with a losing record for the first time in his career and sustaining a costly back injury, however he has (reportedly) fully recovered from the injury and is prepared to open the season in the familiar role as number one goalie.  This is the year where Ward must bust through his top-10 label and define himself as an elite goalie in the league.  The back-up this season in Carolina will be surprising youngster Justin Peters, who played in Ward's absence last season and did a very respectable job posting a 6-3 record in nine games.  Look for Peters to get ten to fifteen starts this year and win about half of those games.

Team Trending
The Hurricanes will use this year to develop their youngsters and see how far their core can carry them.  It would be pretty lofty to consider the Hurricanes a playoff team right now with the talent they have on paper and the significant injury history in their forwards group.  However, the franchise boasts a few elite players and will hopefully get 70 games of Ward, making them a team that could look to surprise.  I'd look for Carolina to come in somewhere between 20th-24th in the league. 

BVB Projected Opening Night Line-Up




Player Projections


Eric Staal - 35 G/50 A 85 P 
Jussi Jokinen - 26 G/30 A 56 P
Tuomo Ruutu - 17 G/26 A 43 P

Brandon Sutter - 27 G/30 A 57 P
Zach Boychuk - 14 G/20 A 34 P
Erik Cole - 20 G/22 A 44 P

Riley Nash - 10 G/15 A 25 P
Chad LaRose 15 G/17 A 32 P
Sergei Samsonov - 15 G/15 A 30 P

Patrick Dwyer - 8 G/8 A 16 P
Nick Dodge - 3 G/5 A 8 P
Tom Kostopoulos - 6 G/11 A 17 P


Joni Pitkanen - 9 G/38 A 47 P
Anton Babchuk - 11 G/20 A 31 P
Tim Gleason - 4 G/18 A 22 P
Jamie McBain - 8 G/26 A 34 P
Joe Corvo - 5 G/12 A 17 P
Brett Carson - 1 G/11 A 12 P


Cam Ward 33-30-7 | 2.43 GAA | .919 Sv%
Justin Peters 7-4-1 | 2.77 GAA | .907 Sv%

Boston Still Shopping Savard?

"I Get No Respect"
Word out of ESPN Boston is that Bruins center and offensive dynamo Marc Savard is still being "actively shopped." However Savard's $4 million cap hit has been slowing the process down. No word on potentially interested teams. As you would've read in the BVB Boston Bruins Preview from a few days ago, this might make sense as Boston is overloaded with talented Centers and a little light on the back-end. Savard for a defenseman would make uber-sense for the Bruins.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Zajac leaving New Jersey?

Uncle Lou don't love me no more.
It's being reported in the NY Post and on Yahoo Sports! that there's a strong rumor going around the league that New Jersey Devil center Travis Zajac could be traded soon to make way for Ilya Kovalchuk's new 15 year 100 million dollar contract. Seems kind of stupid to me to trade your first line center when you've got a couple of million dollar boat anchors like Rolston, Salvador, and the expensive Zubrus on the team, but I just report what I hear.

2010-2011 Calgary Flames Preview

The Calgary Flames
The NHL's Official Alzheimer's Research Center
The Finnish Superman

Previous Year's Team Stats

40 wins, 32 losses, 10 OTL, 90 points,

Team Analysis

Things have gotten progressively... weirder over the last few years in Calgary. This strange hockey ride culminated in the ultimate bad trip for Flames fans last season. The Flames just missed the playoffs finishing in tenth place amid controversy and a strongly dissatisfied fan base. Flames general manager Darryl Sutter seemed to be the exact opposite of King Midas last season as many of his moves were considered questionable. Darryl Sutter brought in brother Brent Sutter to be head coach, traded controversial premiere defenseman Dion Phaneuf, traded Olli Jokinen amid strong rumors that he was a cancer in the locker room, waived talented winger Nigel Dawes, re-signed Olli Jokinen in the off-season, all while saying some very strange things and having some pretty heavy rumors coming out of Calgary. However Sutter did make a good move hiring veteran hockey mind and former Stanley Cup winning GM Jay Feaster to be his assistant. The Flames have a strong core of players and will look to be a playoff team this season.

The Flames offense in a single word last season was "anemic." The Flames have been blessed to be endowed with arguably the best player of the last decade in Jarome Iginla. Iginla has been the very definition of elite and has been Gordie Howe reincarnated since arriving in Calgary. However Iginla began to show signs of age last season as the Flames relied on Iginla to carry the offense. Iginla was only able to score 69 points and looked like the Manchurian Candidate at times for the Flames last season. The Flames badly needed to get talent to play with Iginla. This need led to the controversial trade which sent Dion Phaneuf to the Maple Leafs in a seven player deal which saw the Flames get Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers to fill our their forward group. This also led to Sutter signing free agent Alex Tanguay this off-season. Matt Stajan was brought to Calgary to be Iginla's pivot and add depth down the middle. Stajan is a good two-way center and will have an excellent opportunity to define himself as a top-six forward this season. Look for Stajan to be paired with Iginla again by mid-season. Niklas Hagman provides a gritty antagonizing game for the Flames and will add solid scoring depth... a phrase I'm sure Flames fans aren't sick of hearing. Hagman will likely be shifting between the second and third line and will pop a point every other game. Jamal Mayers was asked to gather his things and leave quietly. The Flames brought in re-tread Alex Tanguay on a moneypuck contract with the promise of top line minutes. Tanguay is prime to have a bounce back season and score 50 points playing with Iginla. One of the bright spots for the Flames last season was the emergence of versatile forward Rene Bourque. Bourque will likely break the 60 point ceiling on the second line if he can stay healthy for 82 games. Olli Jokinen has been the substance of much e-ink over the past few years. Going from potential savior, to judas, to destroying the Rangers post-season hopes, to returning to Calgary in one of the biggest head scratchers of the off-season. However Jokinen looks to be in a good situation as he will be a fixture in the Calgary top six and have depth to play with. If Jokinen can stay low profile, look for him to have a respectable season. The Flames also will look forward to the full time debut of much heralded prospect Mikael Backlund. Backlund has been on several top ten lists and will likely be looked at to anchor the third line and provide some offensive punch. The Flames also feature dependable center Daymond Lankow who's faced some injury concerns this off-season but will look to slot into an offensive role. Curtis Glencross enjoyed finding a permanent role late in his career in Calgary as scoring depth and a solid two-way player. Filling out the Flames up front is veteren center Craig Conroy, youngster David Moss, tough guy Raitis Ivanans, middle-weight Tim Jackman, and Czech Brick Ales Kotalik

The Flames boast one of the better defensive cores in the league. The Flames signed elite defenseman Jay Bouwmeester last season to a large 6.7 million dollar contract last season. However Bouwmeester's numbers disappointed with just 26 points. Bouwmeester will look to have a bounce back season this year as Calgary's number one man and silence his critics. The Flames also received surprise stud defenseman Ian White in their trade with Toronto. White absolutely broke out in his 83 games between Toronto and Calgary scoring 38 points last year. White will look to build on these numbers and establish himself as Calgary's number one offensive option on the back-end. Robyn Regehr doesn't get enough credit around the league for being one of the best defensive defensemen in the game. Regehr plays some of the toughest minutes in hockey will be the de facto shutdown man in Calgary once again. Playing on the second pairing this year will be Mark Giodano who had a career year last season scoring 30 points. Giodano remains a solid fantasy option in deep leagues. On Calgary's bottom pairing will be venerable defensive-defenseman Cory Sarich and world class golfer Steve Staios. Adam Pardy will again look to fill in as Calgary's seventh defenseman. Also look for rookie Matt Pelech to get injury replacement time in the Flames line-up this season.

Just about every word of praise that could be said about a hockey player has been applied to Flames Goaltender Miika Kiprusoff. Kiprusoff who was acquired from the Sharks for a 2nd round pick in what might have been the steal of the century has defined himself as a top three goalie in his time in Calgary. The Flames would have been a lottery pick team last season if Kiprusoff didn't carry the team through stretches where the team's offense was non-existent. Look for Kiprusoff to again be an elite goalie tending Calgary's net this season. Backing up Kiprusoff will be Swedish import Henrik Karlsson. Karlsson received rave reviews from SEL fans last season playing for an under-achieving Farjestads club. However Karlsson will largely be a non-factor with Kiprusoff getting the bulk of games.

Team Trending

The Flames have added significant scoring depth and look to be a good team on paper. However this team has significantly crashed and burned down the stretch the last few years. Also there's strong questions among the Flames faithful about the quality of head coaching and the integrity of the organization. While the Flames are one of the more talented teams the questions this club needs to answer this season are about their mental toughness. I personally think there's enough talent in Calgary to get this team into the playoffs. Look for the Flames to come in somewhere around 13th-16th in the league.

BVB Projected Opening Night Line-Up




Player Projections


Jarome Iginla - 39 G/40 A 79 P
Matt Stajan - 18 G/45 A 63 P
Alex Tanguay - 15 G/40 A 55 P

Olli Jokinen - 27 G/34 A 61 P
Daymond Langkow - 17 G/30 A 47 P
Rene Bourque - 25 G/30 A 55 P

Niklas Hagman - 20 G/23 A 43 P
Mikael Backlund - 14 G/25 A 39 P
Curtis Glencross - 14 G/20 A 34 P

Craig Conroy - 2 G/10 A 12 P
David Moss - 10 G/11 A 21 P
Raitis Ivanans - 0 G/3 A 3 P 

Ales Kotalik - 9 G/12 A 21 P


Jay Boumeester - 9 G/30 A 39 P

Ian White - 10 G/25 A 35 P
Robyn Regehr - 2 G/16 A 18 P
Mark Giordano - 8 G/21 A 29 P
Cory Sarich - 2 G/12 A 14 P
Steve Staios - 0 G/6 A


Miikka Kiprusoff - 38-26-6 | 2.38 GAA | .922 Sv%
Henrik Karlsson - 4-6-2 | 2.95 GAA | .900 Sv%