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An NHL Expansion Story: Deep in the Heart of Texas

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Old 02-10-2019, 12:42 PM   #121
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Re: An NHL Expansion Story: Deep in the Heart of Texas

Aaagh!! Call the lawyers!

Hope heís not out too long. Done that once or twice in my time
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:06 PM   #122
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Re: An NHL Expansion Story: Deep in the Heart of Texas

That's a twist to the plot for sure! Atleast I've only traded for players that I thought would be good, just for them to arrive 2-4 OVR lower than what I thought they were haha.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:38 PM   #123
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Re: An NHL Expansion Story: Deep in the Heart of Texas


It is that time of year again where we look around all 32 teams and the half way mark and do an analysis as to why they are where they are. Last episode we did the red hot Dallas Stars. This episode: the tepid Houston Huskies.

There were mixed feelings on the Huskies when the season started. This is the team that finished first in the NHL and won the Presidentís Trophy. But this was also the team that was eliminated in six games in the first round. The general consensus at NHL.com was for the Huskies to be a top three team in the Central Division. On TSN, it was for them to finish out of the playoffs. The truth is that they fall somewhere in between.

Last summer, we saw a team that didnít lose any major pieces. However, the team did dump a number of key players at the deadline (Thornton, Giordano, Greiss). So, when Houston went out to sign some big name free agents in Nugent-Hopkins, Lindholm, and Malcolm Subban, they really just replaced what they traded away. And it seemed that they were on the way to the top of the Central through their first two games where they went 5-1 and 4-1 against Winnipeg and St Louis. Then in all came crashing down.

Over the next month, the team went 4-8-1, dropping to second to last in the division. To try to right the ship, GM AW chose to make a move, trading an aging Joe Pavelski to Buffalo, clearing over two million in cap (Houston retained $2.325 of salary) and putting the vets on notice. Then in mid-December, the blockbuster of the season occurred. Houston shipped out underprodiucing Anthony Duclair and Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, bringing in Jordan Eberle and Ryan Strome. Although Eberle remains injured (a fact that led to a formal complaint from Houston), the team has turned, sitting 23-16-2 and in the first wildcard position in the conference. Though currently holding a playoff spot, it is extremely tenuous as the next two teams (Colorado and Chicago) are both within one point.

So letís break it down:

THE GOOD: They are in a playoff spot, especially after where they sat only a month and a half ago. They have the second best Goals Against per Game at 2.20 (Buffalo has a 1.90), a better than average penalty kill (84.4%), and a league leading 13-6-1 home record. They are fourth in the NHL forcing the other team to take a penalty (129 times on the powerplay). They have a +12 in goal differential.

For goalies that have played more than twenty games, Bobrovski sits second in the NHL for save percentage (92.9%) and third for goals against per game (2.19). This is especially important since he has faced more shots against than any other goalie (1109). Malcolm Subban leads all goalies in save percentage (95.3%) and goals against (1.34), though he has played only six matches.

The Huskies are 8-2-0 in their last ten games. Only Winnipeg at 8-1-1 has a better record.

THE BAD: First and most important: it is questionable if this team will have the cap space to sign AJ Likens next season. The 2019 number one overall pick is still an RFA so there may be something that can be worked.

Defensive scoring is almost non-existent. Houstonís top-scoring defenseman is Kevin Shattenkirk who, in 41 games, has a depressingly low two goals and thirteen points. Ian Cole has only four which is tied for thirty-first in the NHL. Cole also leads Huskiesí defensemen with a +6, significantly lower than Hickeyís +30 from last season.

Forwards do not fare any better. Anders Lee and Yanni Gourde are tied for the goal lead with 13, making them tied for 39th in the NHL. Artemi Panarin leads the team in points (30) which is tied for 60th in the NHL. Yanni Gourde does have five powerplay goals, good for 13th in the NHL.

Do the Huskies make trades at the deadline? Maybe. They do have some depth in defense with expiring contracts that could be exciting as a loaner. The next fifteen games answer the question. I do think they need to be very careful to pickup contracts, especially when trying to resign Likens.

Do the Huskies make the playoffs? Risking going out on a limb, I say no. Even though they sit in a playoff spot, this has come at winning at a very heavy rate. The majority of the rest of their games are at home, where they have gone NHL .500.

Do the Huskies win the cup? Nope. Enough said.

Other notes: After winning the Calder Cup the last two seasons, it looked like the Arlington Bald Eagles would take a huge step back, going 2-8-0 in their first games. Since then, they have gone 21-6-4 and sit second in the AHL North Division. With the leagueís fifth best powerplay (17.5%) and penalty kill (90.1%) with a +7 goal differential, it looks like Arlington will be making another visit to the playoffs.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:44 PM   #124
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:50 PM   #125
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:51 PM   #126
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Re: An NHL Expansion Story: Deep in the Heart of Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleBattleCat
Aaagh!! Call the lawyers!

Hope heís not out too long. Done that once or twice in my time
Another NHL19ism...
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:52 PM   #127
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Re: An NHL Expansion Story: Deep in the Heart of Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpjaw
That's a twist to the plot for sure! Atleast I've only traded for players that I thought would be good, just for them to arrive 2-4 OVR lower than what I thought they were haha.
Thing that stinks is I have a 100% read on him...except the fact that his brain is so full of holes you could build an Interstate highway through it!
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:03 PM   #128
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Re: An NHL Expansion Story: Deep in the Heart of Texas

Yikes hopefully injuries to key players don't uproot the team's climb up the ladder.
I'm gonna put it out there that Huskies will make playoffs. I've got faith!
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