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  1. Coastal, I've seen the rumours on Semin a couple times, about either buying him out or retaining a bunch of salary in a trade. I am very much against doing either one of those things though. This team has too much of a history of selling players at their lowest points or paying them to score on us, as Sucka pointed pointed out. Again, this is very similar to Ward last year, which we smartly avoided doing something like giving up a high pick, and instead let him find his game again. Why was it OK for Ward to be given that chance but not Semin, especially when he seems to be trending up lately? I find the double standard there ridiculous. His play has been terrible this year, but like I said I can think of quite a few reasons that it makes sense to me. Between the injuries, surgery on the most important part of his body for his game, being placed on a short lease while trying to adjust to a new coach and system, and therefore a lack of confidence. A 30 year old with multiple successful NHL seasons has a lot harder time trying to completely change the game he's always played than a still developing 22 year old does. "Old habits die hard." Suddenly he's on a short lease (haven't seen the hammer on others like Skinner or EStaal before J came back) scratched, moved around, loses confidence, so he stops playing his game, makes the safe play that's low risk-low reward, and his production drops. Instead of following the path, we use the end result (less points) as proof that the original thoughts on him must be true (lazy, doesn't care). Self fulfilling prophecy. I thinks its quite unfair to expect him to live up to the point totals we wanted when signing him to an extension, because his role, the system, everything has changed. So you have to make the choice: do you want him playing to perfectly fit into Peters system, or do you want him playing his game where he's capable of 85 points? It doesn't make sense to expect both when the variables around him have all changed. Now, I completely agree you still have to expect some sort of production, but that seems to be sorting itself out more lately as he gets a better fit in Peters system. Again, with a short sample size its on the right track. I linked quite a few articles (there's many more out there) that break down his time in Washington, and do a great job of disproving all the BS that is tossed around at the guy. Including consistently being among the best at puck possession, even strength scoring rates even when given 3rd line duty, improving the play of those around him, and amazingly, being their best at limiting opposition chances on the PK for 3 straight years. It sure seems like a lot on this board aren't fans of the whole #fancystats thing, as whenever numbers come up showing he's doing better than we think, its shot down on here. With that in mind, I found this a very interesting read: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=754099&navid=nhl:topheads One of my favourite parts of the article points out a problem with using only the eye test and ignoring the underlying numbers, like we want to do with Semin. It mentions that there is too much info for us to keep track of and process, as well as a flaw. If you've been to a magic show, you've seen something with your eyes (like the rabbit out of the hat) that you know to not be true or possible. Sometimes your eyes alone can't be trusted. This especially lends itself well to Semin's game, which is so much different than the conventional way that people are taught to play. Letting the play come to him, not skating end to end all out can be seen as lazy or wrong, when the numbers show what he does is largely successful in the long run. Amplify that with someone watching having pre-conceived notions about the guy (lazy, doesn't care, etc) and deciding to key on the mistakes or bad parts of his game, and this is what you get. Its one thing to not agree with how the guy plays, or to think it doesn't fit on this team. Its a completely different thing to attack the guy's character and continue to spread accusations. It worth at least a discussion, as there seems to actually be a few different sides and viewpoints here rather than the one sided hate the last couple months. And if the team and fans have all given up on him already (seems pretty likely) then why wouldn't he quit by now? Most people would do the same, I can't blame him if that's the case.
  2. It is pretty much the definition of an enigma, and it can definitely be maddening to try and figure out. As far as his time in Washington goes, at the end Dale Hunter coming in had a huge impact on Semin. Hunter's style suffocated offense, and Semin was relegated to third line duty, lost ice time and was asked to block shots while playing with much less talented linemates (sound familiar?). As far as everything I could dig up on him though, as seen in some of the articles I posted, he continued to be an effective player even with these restrictions in that he: A ) still remained a strongly positive possession player B ) had a positive impact on his teammates, as almost every one of them was more successful playing with him than they were without him C ) still remained among the top of his team in even strength points/60 min of ice time, right along with Ovechkin And that a lack of quality minutes, PP time, and playing with less talented linemates simply ended in less scoring chances. Even Hunter himself came out after leaving Washington and said that Alex adjusted and did everything that was asked of him, going against the "loser, bad attitude, coach killer" BS that is spread through media personalities without any evidence or second thoughts. Every in depth analysis done on the guy for years has shown that the accusations of him are wrong, yet they continue to be spread. He's called lazy, bad defensively, etc so he gets put on a short leash, his creativity is stifled and he's forced into defensive, bottom line roles and his production slips, so we use that as evidence to support our theory that he must be lazy or not care. The guy has become the ultimate example of a self fulfilling prophecy. That's why I say its unfair to expect him to change his role on the team, yet continue to live up to the numbers he was expected to have under his own role. I really wouldn't blame the guy if he's quit by this point. I like a lot of what Peters and Francis have done. Having a real 4th line instead of failed prospects is something we sorely missed, and what they've done defensively with the players available is remarkable. But I can't see how getting rid of our only elite offensive talent (see Semin, A and Skinner,J) will possibly help this team be a true Stanley Cup contender anytime. Seems like a mix somewhere between Phoenix, who never has the talent to truly be a threat, and the early 2000s Devils who played a suffocating and hard to watch style that helped lead to some rule changes. Frankly that mix sounds pretty bad to me. Obviously a lot of people on here think that Semin is a lost cause. I don't. As with Ward last year, I think the potential reward is worth the risk of keeping him around for at least one more year, where hopefully everyone can be relatively healthy to boot. It's worth at least a thought instead of the hate thats been in this thread constantly for the past 3 months.
  3. I see what you're saying about getting younger guys in the lineup if you plan on buying him out, fair enough. There is a very real chance we buy him out after this season, but I for one won't be happy if we do. We are surprisingly playing quite good defense by committee with pretty subpar players, but we can't score goals to save our lives. So we're going to get rid of one of the only legitimate scoring threats on the team, along with Skinner? I see a lot of similarities here with the Ward situation last year. Remember it was said we had to give up our first rounder just to get rid of him, and some here wanted to do it. How brutal would that move look now? Instead, we kept him around and gave him a chance to find his game. Look what happened! He has improved 10x over, and now has value FOR us, instead of against. I'm not saying Semin will rebound huge for sure next year if we keep him around. But there is at least a chance he will, where if we buy him out that goes to zero. I play the percentages on that one every time. About the money, I'll say what I've said before. If you're not a cap team, then what Alex Semin (or anyone else) makes is not important unless your name is Peter Karmanos or you have serious insecurities with your own job or wages. We bring too much emotion into this instead of logic. Why was Ward allowed a year to get his game back but Semin shouldn't be? Because Ward was here for a Cup, we like him, again, Semin not so much I guess. Most of this year has been a disaster for him, but he is trending in the right direction lately. He's looking better one the ice, and putting up more points lately, now that he is put with suitable linemates. He is helping Skinner score goals. Like I said before, how do we expect him to find a rhythm and put up points when he's constantly in, then scratched, then in, then scratched, and moved around with 3rd liners? His play at the start of the year, not skating and holding on to pucks too long sucked, but makes a lot of sense psychologically. It's over thinking, trying to adjust or do too much and ending up with nothing. Happens a lot, not just in sports. Skinner has adjusted his game a bit better (with no points as well though) and that shouldn't surprise anyone. He's 22, he is still going through his learning and development, its much easier to make changes at that age. Semin is 30, he's through those formative years. If you do want to talk about the contract though, remember when he was signed he was expected to play a certain role, be a certain type of player, and put up certain numbers to earn that money. He is not in that role anymore, he is being asked to be a different type of player than he was before, but we expect him to put up the same numbers he would in the old role? That doesn't make sense at all. Just in the same way that someone said great players can adjust their game to coaches, great coaches also adjust to their personnel. Coaching is about more than just bringing in a system, you have to adjust and manage your players. If you stay hard and fast on everything and refuse to budge, then you basically end up with John Tortorella. Again, its not fair to make him change roles but expect the old results. Do you want him completely changing his game for Peters system, or do you want him trying to do his thing where he's capable of 80 points? You probably don't get both. It may be that Peters system will never work well for him. It looks like those high end offensive types aren’t suited for what he’s brought in. Which is fine, that's not a slight against either. Sometimes a good coach and good player just don't work together. But that's a completely different problem that everyone jumping on him for being lazy.
  4. What? Why scratch him after the deadline? What does that accomplish? Sure, lets forget he's had some legitimately good games since being paired with guys of his skill level rather than moved around with 3rd liners like Rask, Nash, and Gerbe (sorry, thats all they are on any kind of good team). Lets forget he's getting some chemistry with Skinner who now has 5 goals in his last 7 games. The guy is getting chances to play real minutes for the first time in months instead of being in and out of the lineup constantly, and looks to be making the most of it. But lets ignore that, because it's not one of our young guys like Faulk or Lindholm who is able to make a mistake and not have anyone bat an eye. No, this is Semin, who clubs baby seals when not managing his dog fighting ring. I've spent 2 months reading back on these boards but have been too p***ed off to comment because of stuff like this. I think I just hit my limit. There's some other places I found where there is real discussion to be had on the guy at least, instead of the one way hatred and character assassination here that you can find spewed by any media type. Looks like this board is the next place where we're now conditioned to just hate the guy without having any real thoughts about it. I remember a game against the Rangers a couple weeks ago where Sekera and Faulk made some horrible defensive plays to get us down 2-0 early. Nobody said anything, let alone talked of scratching them, because we like them, we can get past it. If Semin would have made the same mistake, he would have been crucified and chased out of town. The double standard is ridiculous! If he makes a bad play, he gets blasted. If he makes a great play, we either ignore it, or worse, use it in some twisted argument that it proves he has no heart because he should make the same great play every game, obviously. If stats come out showing that he's actually doing some things well, like still being the top possession player on the team, then those stats aren't reliable or can't be trusted (Remember, there was a time when assists and save% were fancy stats too, should we ignore them then?). The guy can't win no matter what he does because we can't get past our prejudices. Took me a couple hours to round up these, and there's another good one I haven't been able to find. Old articles I remember coming across, but everything they say looks familiar. http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/alexander-semin-worth-the-risk-free-agent-washington-capitals/ http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2012/07/01/tsn-trashes-alex-semin-calls-him-a-loser-and-coach-killer/ http://www.lighthousehockey.com/2012/7/7/3143770/alexander-semin-nhl-free-agent-reasons http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2012/7/7/3142627/refutation-of-stupid-semin-arguments He's the only guy I've seen where someone who has never watched him can blast him with absolutely ZERO proof, and yet other people nod and agree without a rational thought, so the misinformation spreads. Go to any article or video and you see the same comments: "Oh yeah, Semin is so skilled its too bad he never tries" -"Oh, he didn't try in all the games you saw of his?" "Uh, well, I, um... I haven't really, err, watched him.. I guess... But that's what I heard" -Of course it is. It seems like we're in the same spot here now, where before he's even made a play we see #28 on a jersey and decide whatever he does isn't going to be good enough, we're going to key on his weaknesses and him only. Forget the fact that if you intently watch anyone for a while they are going to have dumb passes, make wrong choices and sometimes not skate their hardest. Did I miss something about him "quitting", like he stopped showing up to team meetings or something? Not that I've heard. Hell, even after some improvement, when BP comes out and says he's bought in, he then proceeds to scratch him the next 2 games. What? And we're surprised the guy then regresses, or can't find a rhythm? I saw a post pointing out that Lindholm hasn't looked good with the Staals so far (he hasn't), and then predicting that BP breaks up Skinner and Semins chemistry to help the top line, and proceeds to scratch Semin the next 2 games afterwards. Wouldn't surprise me by this point, and it wouldn't cause a stir. That's just an extension of whats been going on, and it would be Semins fault somehow. I wouldn't blame the guy if he packed it in by this point. I wouldn't blame him if he stuck around the next 3 years and collected paychecks just out of spite. I'd probably do the same thing. Why not, its obvious the team and fans gave up on him long ago, should be his turn now.
  5. I'm not surprised about that at all either. It's nice that they were able to put up some points, but it was bound to slow down before long. And reading posts on the GDTs about how Jagr or Datsyuk score against us when the team needs it, its very apparent that you need big guns going to compete at this level. Now our big guys have not done that for a long time, and it seems that we may have the wrong stars on this team. But also I can never understand or agree when some on here think we should get rid of our Staals, Semins, etc for "a bag of pucks" either. What does that accomplish?? To make the team worse, just for the sake of not having to see them make more money than us for what we perceive to be less effort than we think we would personally put in for that money? As if its a personal attack on us, or that our own financial wellbeing or happiness is dependent on whether they are "earning" those millions in our eyes? Are we jealous, or have our own egos that make us prefer to have a probable worse team, as long as we're not "overpaying" for anyone? Come on, time to get off of our high horses here and let's look at the HOCKEY. Say we trade Staal and Semin tomorrow for nothing. We save around 16 million this year and more in the future. So what?? Are we as fans, or even some of you as season ticket holders, going to be receiving benefit cheques in the mail for the money we'll no longer be giving them? Of course not, so unless your name is Peter Karmanos, it doesn't matter at all. Now if you say there are some free agents this year you really want and that money is better spent on those players than Staal and Semin, then fair enough. That is a good HOCKEY reason to make moves and I'll happily discuss with you. But salary space just for the sake of having salary space is something that doesn't make sense for any fan to cheer for. That stat about Riley Nash awhile ago being first in points per dollar was cool and all, but ultimately meaningless. I want this team to be first in the actual NHL standings, not tops in points per dollar. If it was possible for the Canes to find a loophole and spend $100 million a year then I would be all for it, and so should all other fans because that would give you the best chance to put a top team together. That's what the trophy at the end of the year is for, the best team period. I'm not against trading guys like Staal, but it needs to be for a purpose. There are two gamechangers in this years draft. So if you want to trade our stars for picks, race to the bottom and try to get as much young talent as possible on the team in the couple years, that is definitely viable. Or maybe you want to trade for someone on another team who you think could work out well here. These are all potentially good HOCKEY reasons to look at making trades as well. But the whole point is to make the team better, not just to get rid of them because you don't want to see them get paychecks from this team. Don't get me wrong, I'm as happy as everyone else to see guys like Gerbe and Nash playing well, and I hope they can continue to impress. But let's not lose sight of why they are so good to have. They are great supporting players. They can be used to round out a team very well. But they aren't top guys. If you want to get rid of stars that are underachieving (Staal, Semin, Skinner maybe) and lean on those guys and the Boychuks, Rasks, Terrys, then prepare to be really, really, bad. As in like Buffalo bad. I get the argument to develop the young guys and that is definitely important for the future. But eventually you will still need some stars to compete. If you think that even after a few years developing that this team can into the playoffs with Nash, Rask, Gerbe, Nestrasil, etc leading the way and compete for the Cup because they work really hard every night and the system is good then I got some bad news. Look at all the teams that consistently compete, whether its Kane and Toews in Chicago, Crosby Malkin in Pittsburgh, Quick Doughty and Kopitar in LA and it becomes pretty obvious. Like I said at the start, its looking more like we have the wrong stars on this team. But just because we have been burned by some of our top players in recent years not performing up to expectations, doesn't mean we should abandon the idea of having high paid stars on our team in the future. Its always risk/reward. If you never give any players big contracts then you never have to worry about being disappointed if they underachieve again, so its a safe way to go. But you'll never challenge for a top spot that way either. (Just to be clear, this rant wasn't meant as an attack on any one person or post, more just some general thoughts and feelings I've seen on here over the last two months or so that I thought about responding to for a while)
  6. I see what you're saying, but Rem has a point that drafting an Eichel or McDavid doesn't stop you from drafting and developing well in the later rounds. Doing both is the best way to guarantee success for sure. Datsyuk and Zetterberg were amazing finds by Detroit, but for the sake of argument I take them out of the list you're trying to make. Scouting and projections have improved so much the last 10 or so years, and I don't see picks like them ever really happening anymore (which makes it more amazing that Detroit pulled it off twice). The others really make the most impact to me and show what an organization shoud strive for. None of them are all-stars like the first two who you would these days associate with first round picks, but as you said they are drafted to fill different needs or roles and are developed so well. That's what makes them a constant contender, they can lose players to injuries and have so much organizational depth to fill the ranks. That has been the Canes biggest failure, developing later round picks to help out on the second and third lines. I would say that at least it's getting better. Just out of curiosity, I went on the NHL site one day and looked through every Canes draft from 1998 until now. And seeing that, how this team ever won anything just amazes me. Other than backing into a few easy top picks like Staal, Ladd and Johnson, and getting Ward nicely at 25th, there was nothing to be proud of. Especially outside the first round, the amount of players that the Canes were able to turn into NHLers over a 10 year period was basically zero. It was embarassing really. At least in the last few years with guys like Faulk, Rask, McGinn, and some of the others it is getting better. The development part is where (and I expect some hate for this) when Jordan comes back, I wouldn't be against having Rask be sent down. He's definitely exceeded everyones expectations and has shown that he can play at this level to his credit. But he is still quite young and inexperienced, and has shown that at times when being overslotted. If the coaches believe its better for his long term development to play some more in the AHL, then I say for sure do it.
  7. I gotta disagree with some of the points on this post. I don't think there's much likelihood of Semin going anywhere, mostly because he has 4 years left on his contract. If he were in his last year, I think he would fetch a few nice draft picks from a playoff team wanting to take that final step, but I don't see it here. And to trade him for nothing just to dump salary doesn't make sense, unless you have a real shot at signing another impact player with that money. Top, I have to disagree with you about Calgary being re energized after escaping from Iginla. For one I don't think he ever under performed, he has been one of the most consistent 30 goal guys in recent memory, but he had no help in Calgary at all. Also, they have been just as bad, if not worse than us ever since losing him. They are starting to improve with their young guys, but spent most of the time post trade being non competitive. If we are going to get rid of Eric under similar assumptions, we are accepting that we won't be competitive for another few years at least. Both Eric and Semin catch a lot of criticism on here for not performing up to their salaries, but they are still performing and putting up points. They are both extremely talented and the team is better with them than without. The fact is that either of them at 70-80% is more talented and will make them team more competitive than Nash and Rask at 100% - even if that's hard for fans to live with. That's why having a team full of hard working no names - as some have stated they want - won't work at this level. We saw that with the injuries to our big guys. Our AHL team could work as hard as possible, but they didn't have the talent to seriously and consistently compete. You need those big skill guys, both for their production and to slot your less talented hard workers down to a situation where they can succeed. I've been trying for a long time to find a link to this article from Justin Bourne of theScore - son of Islander Bob Bourne, and also played some good hockey himself - where he says that fans really have become bad with overestimating the impact of "value players" http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2014/03/06/the-new-obsession-with-value-players-and-remembering-why-talent-still-trumps/ He makes the point that fans have become obsessed with value and that makes them blind to actual contribution. Take Riley Nash vs Eric Staal at center. Say Eric gets 70 points while making 8.25 million, and Nash puts up 40 points at 575k. Yes it sure looks like Nash is a much better value at points per dollar, and many would point out that Staal is under performing and Nash is over achieveing. But why are we focusing on any of that relative value?!? Fact is, 70 points is more that 40, by quite a margin. 30 more points would equal more goals for this team, and more wins as an extension. If you want to compete, you need those big talent players, and fact is that in this market you will probably have to overpay for them. If Carolina and Chicago are going after a player and both offer equal contracts, the player probably picks Chicago more often. So to attract those guys here, you end up over paying a bit or adding things like no trade clauses. So I think we need to start focusing on what players bring on the ice, rather than if we think they are overpaid for that contribution.
  8. Whooaaaa boy, how quickly things can change. Before the Winnipeg game there was a lot of positivity, even with the losses. One 3-1 game and suddenly the sky has fallen and we need to start trading right now...? No thanks. Yes it's been pretty bad at times to start out this year, but looking to trade right now does nothing but hurt our long term. Yes it sucks that its been so long since this team has made the playoffs already, and it sounds painful to say be patient, but the best thing we can do is just that, ride this out. This team is not one veteran or winger away from being a top contender, so trading away any part of our future for that player does nothing but drop our draft position by a few, or maybe we make it to the playoffs once every few years(like the mediocrity of the last 7 years again). To be consistently strong, teams need to build from within, which means keeping our picks and prospects. Pretty much everybody's value is low right now, and knee-jerk reaction trades never work out well in the long term, which is where we should be looking to. Extreme example here, but how much better does this team look with Andrew Ladd? Or how about Brandon Sutter AND J.Staal? You know what this team would have needed to do to make that happen? Nothing. Not a thing, no big fancy moves or GM work, the pieces were already in place if we would have just waited (particularly in Ladd's case, I will make the assumption that J. would have still looked to sign here following Pittsburgh). And I don't feel like watching a pick or prospect we trade away tomorrow become another guy like that on another team so that we can continue with more years of not quite terrible all over again. That's why I like the fact that Francis is staying the course right now, not overreacting. Now I agree with most of you that we should have been more active in the off season, and picked up a winger when it didn't cost us anything. That was a mistake, but overcompensating for it by making a bad trade now is a bigger mistake. Let's please not make a trade just for the sake of saying we did something. That's exactly where I'm at right now. I don't think this season was ever going to be very easy - especially when the injuries began. With a new coach and so many young players, there's going to be growing pains and adjustments all season long. The important thing is for this team to have a direction and be building a strong future. And I'm not usually one for the rose coloured glasses. Heck, I joined this page because I was so sick of the underachieving and implosions of the past couple years and wanted somewhere to vent with others. This is the first year in a long time that we could miss the playoffs and I'd be OK with it. Don't get me wrong, I'd love this team to succeed this year. If they can start winning games and make the playoffs I'll be as happy as the rest of you. But if not then at least this is a really strong draft year, if this team can play excitiing hockey and develop the kids we should be in good shape going forwards.
  9. I hope that there isn't too much on the table, because I will probably lose that bet. I have no doubts that Eric would be on the table, as well as quite a few other veterans if that were the scenario. Same case as this offseason where we were listening to all offers. But Staal and the others will have to put a better year together to up their value more to the other 29 teams, and Toronto will have to be in a solid playoff position where they feel Staal puts them over the top. If they're out of the postseason race as well, I think the deal disappears. Your absolutely right with Dreger's usual accuracy and the fact that Toronto is a place Eric may be willing to waive to. However I think there's quite a few things that may have to fall into place, and that coupled with the way Eric likes Carolina and talks of the possibility of his brother Marc coming here as well, there's just too many ifs in this scenario to make me believe there's a strong chance of the deal actually happening. Now that doesn't mean I've written it off as impossible or that I wouldn't be open to entertaining offers, it's always a good thing to look and try to find ways to improve the team. There's a lot of the season left to go and we'll have to see how it plays out.
  10. I don't think that Eric is going anywhere. I see a lot here of "if this team is way back at the deadline, then we'll be selling off the Staals, Semins, Wards,etc" but how is that going to work? Most of these guys have no movement clauses, and Eric especially seems like he doesn't want to go anywhere else. Jordan just signed a 10(!) year deal here, and not long ago Eric was talking about what it might take to get Marc to come to the Canes as well http://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/599887 What are the odds that he convinces all his brothers to play for this team and then spoils the reunion himself by leaving? Not that likely. While most hockey minds seemed to write us off before the year even began, Eric hasn't bought into that and still wants to be a part of a competing team here. And who's to say he is wrong, none of us have seen this team at full strength yet. But there is a lot of year left, and as Law-Dawg posted if things really go down hill, Toronto may be a place he's willing to go to. Maybe in a perfect world he nets us Bozak, Gardiner, a 1st liner, convinces Marc to sign here this off season anyways, then comes back himself in 2 years time (at a reduced rate from 8.25 of course). Things never work out that well though do they?
  11. Thanks, been following the boards on and off a little all summer, thought now would be a good time to log back in. And good luck out there, should be a good time. Completely agree, Gerbe keeps looking better every shift. Fast, dangerous, and creating a lot of chances. Add Lindholm to that list too. Seems he's gotten a lot stronger and more confident. He will keep on getting better the next couple years, and with his hockey sense his upside is huge.
  12. Yeah I had only caught parts of the previous few games. This team looks fast, relentless, and I love how the D are stepping up into the play.There's always risks with that and we will have to see how some of the young guys hold their own against top competition over the course of the season, but overall Peters seems a lot better at matching situations and strategies to the players strengths. More of a round hole/round peg finally, if you will.
  13. Nice to hear John's commentary while watching a game again, been too long. Too bad to see Larose out so quick in those circumstances, would have liked to see what he is still capable of bringing over the full course of a game.
  14. I'm way late on this, but congrats! I know one of the girls on that team, she lived really close to me and I played on a team with her growing up. Everyone here was very excited for her.
  15. HURRICA... oh damn, right let's try this again. Coming from a Saskatchewan kid, there sure aren't many up here that will be cheering for the Habs haha, but that's alright. I always like an underdog, and I'd love to see Columbus go on a good run, an expansion team that's really had no success thus far. Seems like it would be a great atmosphere there if they ever had something to cheer about. I never get tired of seeing Philly beat out Pittsburgh either, so I'll cheer for that match up as well.
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