To quote the guys from PTI (Pardon the Interruption) “Happy Trails Yannick Weber” The Montreal Canadiens defensemen seems to be at the end of his time with the team. The twenty-four year old Swiss defenseman has possibly played his last game in Montreal on January 27th (2013). He had 10 minutes of ice-time with no shots or points recorded. Why does it seem like the end for him? It is pretty simple, in Montreal there are eight defensemen on the team and Weber is 8th on the depth chart behind Thomas Kaberle. Weber has played 110 games for the Habs over the span of 5 years and in only two seasons he has played more than forty games in the 2010-11 season with 1 goal and 11 points and in the 2011-2012 season at 60 games with 4 goals and 18 points. Weber is not the strongest defensive player, but he can hold his own and has a good offensive upside. Unless injuries start to plague the Canadiens again, Weber is most likely finished, but not in the NHL he is as mentioned only twenty-four years old and could easily land a job on another team in the NHL, only time will tell when the Canadiens will do something about Yannick.
Moving on to the Anaheim Ducks (was it not funnier when they were Mighty and a Disney gimmick?). Just like in Montreal there is a slight possibility that there could be a full-time changing of the guard between the goalies on the Anaheim team. It is too early to completely assume, but Jonas Hiller may have lost his starting job this season to Viktor Fasth. Fasth is in his first full NHL season at the age of 30, just like his partner Hiller, but unlike Hiller whose record is 3-2-1 with 872 save percentage and 3.69 goals against average (before Tuesday the 12th of February) while Fasth is 5-0 with a shutout, 1.72 goals against average and a 932 save percentage. If he keeps up the good work he could permanently take number one goaltender spot and if he can keep up the great goaltending the Ducks could be a contender come April. Shout out to Saku Koivu who has 4 goals and 13 points, many Hab fans still miss Saku, hope he keeps up the good work in Anaheim.
Now back up to Canada where we continue the goalie talk in Vancouver. It seems the rumors about Roberto Luongo may be over for the time being as he has played lights out hockey for the Canucks while Corey Schneider, who was supposed to be the starter this season has been pretty good too. In 6 games Schneider is 4-2 with a GAA of 2.36 and a 921 SV% (again stats are before Tuesday) and Roberto Luongo lost a game in regulation with a 3-0-2 record with a 1.53 GAA and a 940 SV%. Vancouver is in a great position goalie wise as they can easily get a great return for either goalie if the price is right, although Luongo’s record says that the Canucks would get more in return than with Schneider. However, right now both goalies are playing great hockey, with Luongo playing just a bit better than Schneider. The trade saga in Vancouver will not end until one of these goalies leave, but for the time being I do not expect either goalie to leave Vancouver anytime soon and maybe not even this season. Stay tuned for that saga.
Speaking of sagas (warning angry sport fan rant) WHAT IS UP WITH THE @)$*(@)$& NHL REFEREES?!?!… I mean seriously they seem to be the most affected guys coming out of the lockout apparently and who the heck thought that would have happened?! Yes I realize all sport fans, or at least most at one point or another despise the refs and feel as though they are always making bad calls, but this season it seems like it is truer than a fans bias. Clearly the refs should have all been working in the AHL while the lockout was going on so they could have at least stayed warm. Yes I know new rules etc… blablabla and that these rules get in the way every now and then and the refs are only human and they are not perfect and they do not see everything on the ice, but honestly it has been pretty awful watching hockey on some nights and watching the refs blow many calls on both sides and I am not the only Hockey fan who thinks that.
So after that angry rant I think it is time to finish off on a positive note! Every year the rookie scoring race has the expected players scoring and playing good hockey like Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov and Just Schultz and Montreals Alex Galchenyuk, but there is also the surprise rookies and this season definitely does not disappoint. Tampa Bays Cory Conacher, Montreals Brendan Gallagher and Vladimir Tarasenko have so far come out of nowhere and they have played impressively and have very bright futures in the NHL. Personally, I hope all these rookies keep up the good work throughout the entire season because it is really exciting to see these players do so well because it means that teams like the Oilers, the Lightning, the Canadiens and the Blues, just to name a few, have very good futures ahead of them. Hope you enjoyed my hockey related blog; I plan on doing this kind of blog here and there throughout the rest of the NHL season so stay tuned and enjoy!
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