It's Time for NHL Midseason Grades, FEH!
Philadelphia Flyers (23-21-3): They fired their coach, got a new one who is under the impression they'll listen when he tells them not to fight as much, have managed to win more games lately, but still find themselves at the bottom of the Atlantic division. Granted they're only 1 point out of 8th, but this team still has some work to do. Even before going on IR, Ray Emery clearly wasn't the answer. They need a better goalie, and they could probably do better without their #1 goon Daniel Carcillo. For a half-a$$ed season to this point, they get an EHH.
Phoenix Coyotes (28-16-5): Heisenburg's uncertainty principle said nobody knew what the hell was going on with this team over the summer, and because of that, Wayne Gretzky stepped down as head coach. This team, however, has been a very pleasant surprise despite all the issues surrounding them. They're tied with Nashville for 4th in the West, and are still chugging along. I applaud this team for not letting the questions get in the way of their game. MM-HAH!
Pittsburgh Penguins (30-19-1): They've had a couple of losing streaks, but their recent road trip may have helped. Despite all the injuries they've been sustaining, this team just keeps on truckin'. Despite the fact that their PP is lousier than Ryan Leaf's NFL career (or lack thereof), they're still in good position to make the playoffs. I doubt they'll overtake Brodeur and company for the division crown, but they're still looking good overall. Oh did I mention Sidney Crosby has 30 goals and is tied for 2nd in the league in that category? MM-HAH!
San Jose Sharks (31-10-8): As usual, they only have 4 regulation losses on home ice, are 9 points ahead of Phoenix for the Pacific division lead, and just 2 points behind Chicago for the most points in the NHL. They're always one of the greatest regular season teams, but fall asleep after game 82. This isn't about playoffs yet though, so for now, they still easily get a MM-HAH!
St. Louis Blues (21-19-7): This team is pretty darn good on the road, but they're God awful on home ice, their 17 overall losses (3 in OT) in St. Louis is the most overall home losses in the NHL so far this year, talk about home ice disadvantage! If Anaheim got a FEH, and everyone below them in the West got a FEH, there's only one possible grade for the Blues...FEH!
Tampa Bay Lightning (18-19-10): They're trying to improve, but this team still stinks for the most part. Add up their regulation and OT losses, and they're exactly .500 at home, and absolutely pitiful on the road. Steven Stamkos is having a great year, but overall this team is amazingly lousy, and they're not going anywhere come the second week of April except the golf course. FEH!
Toronto Maple Leafs (16-24-9): They managed to climb out of the cellar in the East, but their performance is still below the Mendoza line. This team is still a laughing stock, and still very much in the running for the #1 draft pick, which they won't have because they traded it away to get Phil Kessel. They're very capable of ending up with the worst record in the league by the end of the year. FEH!
Vancouver Canucks (28-18-2): They're tied for second in the Northwest division, and Luongo is having another great year, no surprise there. The division title could go to them, the Flames, or the Avs at this point, it's a crapshoot. I thought this might be the toughest division in hockey, and with the top 3 teams separated by 2 points after 48 games (49 for the Flames), they're living up to that prediction. MM-HAH!
Washington Capitals (30-12-6): Who's ready for the next round of Crosby v. Ovechkin? The two will finally meet for the first time this season Thursday night in Pittsburgh. The Caps are currently atop the Eastern Conference with 66 points, and have a stranglehold on the Southeast division with a 17-point lead over the Thrashers, the biggest lead for any of the 6 current division leaders. They should easily win the Southeast, and will be a tough out come playoff time once again. MM-HAH!
So there you have it. As you can see, some teams are firmly in control and are going to cruise into the playoffs, some are in a fight for their playoff lives, and a few can already start scheduling tee times for Monday, April 12. It's going to be a great second half on the ice, and I'm looking forward to some great action!
BK over and out