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Leafs Rumour Mill for December 23rd 2008

Well, the trade freeze is in place at the moment, but the Leafs rumours keep churning.

I'm hearing strong reports that Justin Pogge will not remain as a backup to Vesa Toskala. He recently got the call due to an injury to Toskala, but the reason he got the start was more because "Burke wants to know what to do with both Joseph and Toskala, short term and long term".

Hmm. I imagine Burke is keen to figure out what Pogge's ETA is with the Leafs, and IF he's going to look for a backup to replace Joseph, for what length of contract.

Points Race Prediction 2008-2009 season: 71-80

This is an interesting bunch here in my ongoing predictions of this year's points race. I've got people jumping up and down all over the place. The ones that jump out are probably Sakic, Antropov and Cogliano. Sakic is so low down because I'm not expecting him to play the whole season. Either he will join late or get injured. I just feel that there's a higher chance of that then him actually playing a full season. Cogliano and Antropov will jump because their teams need them. If Sundin leaves Toronto, who else are they going to have turn to? Jason Blake? I like Cogliano making a jump in production this year because he's older and maturer. He's also going to be at the top of the depth chart - he is a big part of that team's future. It seems like just a few days ago that we were watching him on Team Canada.

71. S. Kozlov, 62 points
72. Cogliano, 62 points
73. Antropov, 62 points
74. Wolski, 62 points
75. McDonald, 62 points
76. Satan, 61 points
77. Boyes, 61 points
78. Michalek, 61 points
79. Dumont, 61 points
80. Sakic, 61 points

Points Race Prediction 2008-2009 season: 61-70

Back once more for my points predictions. This is the area that the defensemen start showing up. Two young guys, Phaneuf and Gagner, show up at 63 points a piece. If you think at the potential these two guys have to improve, they might end up with much more. But until then, I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

61. Lidstrom, 65 points
62. Kovalev, 64 points
62. Langkow, 64 points
63. Nylander, 64 points
64. Gagner, 63 points
65. Phaneuf, 63 points
66. Sykora, 63 points
67. Boyle, 63 points
68. Prospal, 63 points
69. Smyth, 63 points
70. Cheechoo, 63 points

Points Race Prediction 2008-2009 season: 51-60

Back again for the ongoing release of my points race predictions for 2008-2009. As you can see, I'm not giving up on Brian Rolson even though he was shipped to New Jersey. He's old, yes. He's also really good. He will be right there with Gionta and Elias on the powerplay, and will be on the first line. Good enough for me.

51. Arnott, 68 points
52. Parise, 68 points
53. Kariya, 67 points
54. Horton, 67 points
55. Gagne, 66 points
56. Richards, 66 points
57. Rolston, 65 points
58. Frolov, 65 points
59. Carter, 65 points
60. Semin, 65 points

Points Race Prediction 2008-2009 season: 41-50

Here's 41-50 of this year's points predictions. Two of this year's big jumpers are Kyle Turris and Peter Mueller. Obviously, Turris has a lot to prove coming into this year, but I think he's NHL ready and should be on a line with someone who can elevate his game. Peter Mueller is right there with him because he should be playing the powerplay with Doan and Jokinen. It's odd to look at the Phoenix Coyotes as an offensive powerhouse, but it's starting to look more that way these days. Don't forget that they have forward Mikkel Boedker, the 2008 8th overall pick, trying to crack the lineup as well.

41. Hemsky, 72 points
42. Nash, 72 points
43. Kovalev, 71 points
44. Drury, 70 points
45. Brind'Amour, 70 points
46. Sundin, 70 points
47. Turris, 69 points
48. Mueller, 69 points
49. Ra. Whitney, 69 points
50. Gonchar, 69 points

Points Race Prediction 2008-2009 season: 31-40

And we're rolling along now, on down the list. Here's the fourth installment of my points predictions for the 2008-2009 NHL season. As you may notice, I've given big ups to Nikolai Zherdev who was recently traded to the New York Rangers. We'll just have to see how that plays out. Remember, the Rangers lost Jagr. Zherdev might just get his chance here.

31. D. Sedin, 76 points
32. Stastny, 75 points
33. Roy, 75 points
34. Pominville, 74 points
35. Zherdev, 74 points
36. O. Jokinen, 73 points
37. Gomez, 73 points
38. Ribeiro, 72 points
39. H. Sedin, 72 points
40. Carter, 72 points

Points Race Prediction 2008-2009 season: 21-30

Here we are for part three of this seasons points predictions. I will keep giving ten new players until we hit 100, when I will go to 20 players a post. At the end I will make available a spreadsheet with all of my predictions.

21. M. Richards, 80 points
22. Briere, 79 points
23. Vanek, 79 points
24. Kovalchuk, 78 points
25. Morrow, 78 points
26. Bergeron, 78 points
27. Marleau, 77 points
28. Staal, 77 points
29. Perry, 77 points
30. Tanguay, 76 points

Points Race Prediction 2008-2009 season: 11-20

Here's the second part of my long, points race prediction list. I will do it 10 players at a time until we hit 100, in which case I will do it 20 at a time. I will try to keep it up until we reach October. The hockey season is just around the corner. :)

11. Hossa, 95 points
12. St. Louis, 93 points
13. Zetterberg, 90 points
14. Getzlaf, 88 points
15. Backstom, 87 points
16. Savard, 85 points
17. Kane, 83 points
18. Briere, 83 points
19. Toews, 82 points
20. Kopitar, 81 points

Who will win the 2008-2009 season Art Ross?

The race for this year's Art Ross is probably going to be close. Crosby is obviously the front runner, but I've got a feeling we're going to see a challenge by Mr. Ovechkin. I also think we're going to see a few youngers realy establish themselves as top ten superstars. Could it be Getzlaf? Bergeron? Backstrom? Kopitar? Roy? This is how I see the top ten playing out:

1. Crosby, 129 points
2. Ovechkin, 116 points
3. Iginla, 111 points
4. Lecavalier, 110 points
5. Datsyuk, 106 points
6. Spezza, 103 points
7. Heatley, 102 points
8. Thornton, 100 points
9. Malkin, 99 points
10. Alfreddson, 97 points

Next week I will do 11-20 in the rankings.

Let's Make Some 2008-2009 Season Predictions: Part Two

Today I feel like guessing the Western Conference standings. Last year I did quite exceptionally well with my guesses, in that I correctly guessed every playoff team and had 5 out of 8 in the right position. I'll give another crack at it, with only hopes of coming as close as last year.

My Western Conference 2008-2009 season standings predictions:

1. Detroit
2. Dallas
3. Calgary
4. San Jose
5. Anaheim
6. Vancouver
7. Chicago
8. Edmonton

9. Phoenix
10. Minnesota
11. Colorado
12. Columbus
13. Los Angeles
14. St. Louis
15. Nashville

Nashville last? Yep. I said it. I expect big flops from Minn, Col and Nashville because of lost personnel, plus deadline deals which have the future in mind over the present. The Tavares (or Schenn or Hedman or whoever) Sweepstakes are a little bit more crowded then some might think!

Let's Make Some 2008-2009 Season Predictions

I will be doing a few of these leading up to the NHL season. In this post, I'm going to give my projected standings for both the Eastern and Western conferences.

Without further ado, the Eastern Conference:

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Washington Capitals
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Philadelphia Flyers
5. New York Rangers
6. Carolina Hurricanes
7. Ottawa Senators
8. Tampa Bay Lightning

9. Boston Bruins
10. Florida Panthers
11. New Jersey Devils
12. Atlanta Thrashers
13. Toronto Maple Leafs
14. Buffalo Sabres
15. New York Islanders

Tampa in the playoffs? Buffalo second last? You heard it here first. Probably.

Stay tuned for my next edition in which I will predict the Western conference standings for 2008-2009.

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