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T&P_Fan

2013-2014 NHL Discussion Thread

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Well another season is here. The season officially kicks off tonight with three games. The Leafs will be at the Habs, the Caps at the Hawks and then Winnipeg at Edmonton.

This should be a pretty interesting season. The divisions have been changed and realignment is now complete. For those who have forgot, here are the new divisions:

Eastern Conference:

Atlantic:

Buffalo

Boston

Detroit

Florida

Montreal

Ottawa

Tampa Bay

Toronto

Metropolitan:

Carolina

Columbus

New Jersey

NY Islanders

NY Rangers

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

Washington

Western:

Central:

Chicago

Dallas

Colorado

St. Louis

Nashville

Winnipeg

Minnesota

Pacific:

Anaheim

Calgary

Edmonton

Los Angeles

San Jose

Vancouver

Phoenix

There is also a new playoff format:

Top 3 seeds from each division are automatically in the playoffs. Each conference will be allotted two wild card playoff spots, which will be distributed to the two teams who had the highest point totals amongst non-playoff qualifying teams, regardless of division. The wild card teams will be matched against the teams with the highest points.

This will result in the following formatting per conference (I am just giving the Eastern Conference format here):

Atlantic Division

*No. 1 seed in division vs. Wild Card team

*No. 2 seed in division vs. No. 3 seed in division

Metropolitan Division

*No. 1 seed in division vs. Wild Card team

*No. 2 seed in division vs. No. 3 seed in division

The winners of those series will face each other for the division championship. The two division champions will then compete for the conference championship and the right to battle for the Stanley Cup against the winner of the opposing conference.

Should be a fun season, really looking forward to it.

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This is where I post a picture of Donald Sutherland pointing and screaming.

Theres no "kind of" hockey fans lately, it seems. Either they are hockey freaks, or couldnt care less.

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Theres no "kind of" hockey fans lately, it seems. Either they are hockey freaks, or couldnt care less.

I'm definitely a "kind of" hockey fan. I will not watch every game, or even anything close to every game. I choose to pick my televised sports battles in my house. Hockey, in addition to baseball and football, is just too much for some members of my household.

But I will follow how the wings are doing. I won't care much about what the other teams in the league are up to.

Once the regular season starts to wind down, I will pay closer attention so I can get a feel for the team heading into the playoffs.

I'll probably go to 2-3 games.

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I will probably watch 70 Leafs games and 50 wings games. The only battle I have when it comes to sports watching is deciding to add a 3rd TV to the current 2 TV side by side set up. The 2 seem to work pretty dang well.

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TP, thoughts on the Kessel deal? I can't decide how I feel about it.

I have Kadri and Lupul on my fantasy team again so I'll be taking in plenty of Leafs games at work.

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8 years at $64mm is right around what I expected Kessel's market value to be. However, for the deal to work out well for the Leafs, Kessel will need to continue to evolve as an all-around player. He's not one-dimensional like he used to be but he has to keep getting better. If this is his peak (and I'm not saying it is), it's not a contract I'd want to take on.

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TP, thoughts on the Kessel deal? I can't decide how I feel about it.

I have Kadri and Lupul on my fantasy team again so I'll be taking in plenty of Leafs games at work.

I have to say, I am pretty excited about the Kessel deal. There are a few things to consider:

-The cap is going up, $8M won't seem like a huge hit in a few years...it is market price for a player of Kessels ability.

-Kessel just turned 26, which means he will be 33 when this 8 year deal expires, which again is reasonable.

-Kessel is Toronto's best player, regardless of any limitations, the guy can play. It would be a step backwards to lose a top 10 player (in my opinion) to free agency

-Kessel is a legit PPG player, if the cap goes back up to $72M when he hit the market I bet he would fetch north of 9 mil per

-Only two players have finished top-10 in league scoring in each of the past two seasons: Steven Stamkos and Phil Kessel.

-Since the Leafs traded for Kessel only 6 players have more goals than Kessel (Stamkos, Ovechkin, Perry, Marleau, Iginla, Kovalchuk) and in the last two years only Stamkos, Malkin and Giroux have more points.

-With this extension the Leafs top forwards are set for at least 5 years. Kessel, Lupul, Clarkson, JVR and Bozak all under contract for the next 5 seasons. I really like cohesion, especially in hockey.

For these reasons, I support the Kessel deal, 8 years at 8 per really isn't that big of a hit considering his production. Kessel is a really good player, one who makes the team he plays for better. He doesn't whine and he doesn't cause any problems.

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I liked the way Kessel handled all the b.s aftermath from fans and media about the trade from Boston. And he can out the puck in the net. This is no hometown discount by Kessel but it is not outrageous at all and one the Leafs had to make. Thornier I expect are the current negotiations between the Canucks and the Sedins.

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I really hope HBO does the 24/7 lead up to the winter classic. Grew up a leafs fan in wings country, would be cool to see that.

Kessel looks good early, physical game to start.

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Leafs go up 1-0. Had a long powerplay and then Phanuef takes a stupid penalty. He is one of the stupidest players I have seen play. Within seconds of the Leafs penalty the Habs tie it up.

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Plus/Minus is a pretty useless stat. Kessel was flying in the 1st period. The Leafs looked sloppy defensively though, Phanuef changed the momentum single handedly, I really dislike him.

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Plus/Minus is a pretty useless stat. Kessel was flying in the 1st period. The Leafs looked sloppy defensively though, Phanuef changed the momentum single handedly, I really dislike him.

It sure is a useless stat, was amusing to me he got off to a quick -2 though.

And your favorite goes and ties it up with a goal!

Decent fight between Parros and Orr earlier, I had no idea Parros was a Hab.

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It sure is a useless stat, was amusing to me he got off to a quick -2 though.

And your favorite goes and ties it up with a goal!

Decent fight between Parros and Orr earlier, I had no idea Parros was a Hab.

Phaneuf did snipe that one. Lots of special teams play. Parros was a priority signing for the Habs, they needed some physical presence, only if it is thinly veiled by an enforcer.

Lot's of action in this game.

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Leafs with a 3-2 lead after two periods. Shorthanded goal by Bozak puts the Leafs ahead.

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George Parros being taken off the ice on a stretcher after a fight. Looks like he hit his head on the ice. I hate fighting. A guy like Colton Orr serves no purpose in hockey, only to fight and possibly injure someone. Really, really hate it.

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Game in Montreal might as well be played in a morgue after the Parros injury, crowd is sullen right now. Fights don't serve a purpose any longer.

I wonder how the Division will react to the Wings, who don't really fight. All the teams in the division have multiple fighters on the team.

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Yeah, Roy seemed to let himself get pretty loose last night, not sure how long he will be able to keep that up.

Leafs won again last night, nice to have a 2-0 start with both games on the road. The Leafs schedule is full of back to backs this season, with the 2nd game usually coming on the road against a team that didn't play the night before.

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