Each Friday throughout the season,I'll provide you with my predictions on whose stock is on the rise and whose is failing miserably like an American bank. It's a neat little segment entitled Buys and Sells. There are a few teams/players/issues to buy and a few to sell.
So, we're now all of eight nights into this new season (if you don't include the side trip to Europe) and it's time to make sweeping generalizations about the early season contenders and pretenders with only a small sample size to judge from. What could better than snap judgments to stir the pot of fan emotion? OK, probably a lot of things. But this could be a fun little exercise. And without any further banter, here are your Buys and Sells of the week.
Buy: Start the Barry Melrose Job Watch.
Oh boy. We're only four games into the season and things aren't looking good for Barry and the Bolts down in Tampa. They haven't won yet and their new coach isn't trying to make friends in the locker room. Judging by how fast the NHL coaching carousel seems to be turning so far this season, it might not be long until we start speculating about Melrose's future in Tampa Bay. And you know how much the media loves unadulterated speculation!
Strong Sell: A Slow Start in the Iladelph.
While I could just come out here and give a big "I told you so" to Flyer fans, I'm going to do the opposite and give them something positive to chew on. Yes, right now it does not look good. Your team started 0-3-1, dealt with the whole [Name Censored] puck dropping fiasco and will have to play their next four games against San Jose and New Jersey. Things will get better (you still have to play the Islanders!). Marty Biron is not this bad. His GAA will not stay at 5.75. Danny Briere will put pucks in the net and Mike Richards is producing, even if he isn't getting a lot of help. Now if only we could fix that defense up a bit...
Sell: The Ducks Will Right the Ship
Through four games, the Ducks are 0-4 with a -11 goal differential. OK, so we know they're not this bad. They're not 2000-01 Islanders kind of bad. But you have to wonder how much bigger the hole is going to get before they start to climb out of it. They will make a run at some point, it's really just a matter of when. But losses to Phoenix (at home) and Los Angeles to start the season? Hoo boy. It's going to be a bumpy ride.
Hold: Are the Rangers for Real?
I mean, are the boyz from NYC fo real real homie? While it's hard to imagine Aaron Voros and Brandon Dubinsky being 1.2 ppg players, it's a huge plus for Ranger fans to see these kids stepping up. King Henrik is playing out of his skull right now, and he'll come back to earth a bit, but not by much. You just have to hope that all those rumors about his knees are false. Then again, it's probably just Larry Brooks trying to sabotage the organization.