Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sports Illustrated picks the Flames to win the Cup

So says The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek today.

"Why Calgary? Because they have the most dynamic player in the game in Jarome Iginla," Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Farber said in an interview. "Because they seem to be able to win without a true No. 1 centre. Adding [Roman Hamrlik] will boost the power play, which should make goal scoring easier. And we're taking a leap of faith on goalie Miikka Kiprusoff — that he isn't a one-year wonder.

"Let's face it. We struggle with this, too. It's a tough year to pick a winner."

Fine by me. Of course, Farber offers up a few other gems:
Sports Illustrated is also picking a quartet of traditional powers -- the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars -- to miss the playoffs.
Only Dallas is in jeopardy of missing the playoffs.
They have Colorado at 18, two places behind the Chicago Blackhawks and Leafs at 20, just behind the New York Islanders.
Wait a minute — the Blackhawks are 16th? I think not.
The most controversial choice might well be the Florida Panthers, who were rated No. 10, after missing the playoffs for the past four years.
Replace Duhatschek's 'controversial' with imbecilic and I'll agree.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this whole thing is that there's hockey coverage in Sports Illustrated. Who knew?

On a related note, I ordered my long-overdue subscription to The Hockey News today. The magazine is having quite the giveaway promotion at the moment, and with the start of the season a week away (as of tonight!), it's a good time to be getting the weekly copies. It's $50 for a year-long subscription, so you can't go wrong.


At 6:19 p.m., September 28, 2005, Anonymous Kevin said...

I gave up on the Hockey News when it got to the point where I was consistently getting it at least a week away. It's not like I'm in Europe.

At 8:11 p.m., September 28, 2005, Anonymous David said...

Man, I'm confused - I too am surprised SI has anything related to hockey inside it - but the confusing part is that I agree more with SI than James Mirtle. I definitely think you'll be eating your words about their Florida pick, but I guess we just have to wait and see...

At 12:46 a.m., September 29, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I'll be eating my words saying the Florida Panthers won't be the 10th best team in the NHL?

Whew, I'll take that bet any day. Unless every club gets an entire-team illness like the Blue Jackets, it ain't going to happen (a year from now, perhaps).

At 8:06 a.m., September 29, 2005, Anonymous David Johnson said...

Florida will be marginally improved but I still don't think they are a playoff team. Take a look at their defense. Jay Bouwmeester, Sean Hill, Branislav Menzei, Mike Van Ryn, Alex Karpovtsev, Eric Cairns and Joel Kwiakowski. Yeah, not very good. It's no wonder Luongo faced more shots than any other goalie in the league. And it's not like they have a bunch of highly skilled superstar forwards to offset their weak defense.

My pick to surprise in the east is the Atlanta Thrashers who I think could challenge Tampa for the division title. If they can sign Kovalchuk that is. They are going to score a ton of goals, they have an improved defense, and I think goalie Lehtonen will win the rookie of the year.

Sports Illustrated does have the Rangers 30th overall so at least they will have something right.

At 11:43 a.m., September 29, 2005, Anonymous David said...

While I won't put my money on 10th, I think referring to the choice as "imbecilic" is a bit strong.

I am super high on the Panthers. It's a Keenan team built right IMO, and a very good mix of age and youth, grit and skill with solid goaltending. It's a playoff team, so I guess I see it as top 16 (theoretically it could be lower with a higher west team, but you get my point). I'll take a friendly Panthers-make-the-playoffs bet. A few injuries could slaughter me, but I think you take that risk with most teams.

I haven't seen many outside of Toronto put the Leafs in the playoffs. As a NYer (if you're curious about my possible bias): I haven't seen anyone (sans Jagr) put the Rangers in the playoffs and the Islanders and Devils seem to have pretty mixed reviews.

At 2:44 p.m., September 29, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's a Keenan team". . . enough said.


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