Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Tyler Seguin P.II

Tyler Seguin carried his momentum from the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Playoffs, that's not the only thing he carried, he brought his comparison to Joe Sakic. A great comparison but this time I want to show you how. Here it is:

- Both were similar in terms of size: 5'11'' 190lbs (when Sakic broke into the league) and 6'1'' 182lbs
- Both are strong on there skates and can put in work around the net (as seen in the playoffs and later this year)
- Both lay more finesse games but still have power qualities and move, and can play the power game
- Both were excellent skaters and has great speed and agility
- Both have/had great 2-way potential (Sakic added a defensive game around '91-'92, Tyler Seguin already started)
- Both were high IQ players and excellent passers (Seguin has been improving since reaching the 'L and showed his great passing all through his time in the OHL)
- Both could find open spaces using quick bursts and good hands
- Both execute the give and go to perfection

- Both are more north-south stickhandlers as opposed to east-west danglers (Both had/have great hands but used simple moves, such as standard stickhandling and passes more than complicated Datsyuk/Fedorov/Bure/Mogilny moves)
- Both had/have straight forward games and a trick that is unstoppable (think Staal, Carter, Spezza, Recchi style players, and the trick for Sakic was his great puck control, a burst of speed with a nasty wrister on the end, Seguin ditto)
- Both have great clappers but deadly wristers and are more wrister oriented
- If you compared Seguin's second year (AKA first year with similar playing time to Joe Sakic's rookie year) the point production is fairly similar:
Sakic: 0.33 Goals Per Game, 0.56 Assists Per Game, 0.89 Points Per Game
Seguin: 0.36 Goals Per Game, 0.47 Assists Per Game, 0.83 Points Per Game
- Last but not least, the clutch gene, Sakic was one of the most clutch players ever (nicknamed "Cap'n Clutch") and Seguin lit the lamp on 7 game winners in the regular season and one overtime game winner against the Washington Capitals

Stylistically he is almost identical to Joe Sakic and in my opinion the closest we will see while Joe Sakic is still relevant (which I hope is a long time), I doubt he'll reach the level Sakic produced at but he may hit the 100 point plateau more than once in his career. In my opinion Seguin will be around 80-90 points in his prime, 30+ goals and hit 40 around 4 or 5 times and 50 goals once, not to shabby in my opinion. Seguin is extremely speedy (something that people seem to forget about Sakic), quicker than lighting and he can take games over (he almost seems to be doing it enough to reach the 80 point mark in his third season). Tyler Seguin could already be the number 1 center on many teams, becoming the highest scorer on the reigning Stanley Cup Champs and making his way into becoming the focal point of their offense, in fact he is such a good player that certain B's fans are hoping for the B's to make a Phillyesque trade by trading B's #1 center David Krejci for someone like Bobby Ryan and moving Tyler Seguin to the first line and putting Bobby Ryan on his wing (and giving Anaheim an established regular season and playoff scorer as well as clearing room up for Seguin in a Giroux like situation as the #1 center).

Seguin matured a lot this year, and will only continue to grow as he went from not touching the corners and being pushed around in front of the net to heading to the corners more and trying to get the puck and scoring goals like his hustle goal in which he was pushed down in game 7 of the 2012 Bruins Vs Caps series in the first round, Tyler Seguin is becoming a better all-around player and it's very fun to watch. Seguin has put the puck in the net in a variety of ways, and his play and wrist shot is a little underrated by average fans and I'm thinking by the time he ends his career his wrister will be considered top 5 of all time (next to Markus Naslund and Joe Sakic, a very bold statement but I will stand by it until he proves me wrong). The Bruins compared Seguin to Steven Stamkos as soon as they drafted him, (another solid Sakic comparison, but a better one-timer than either, and they are no one time slouches), and it seems like he may one day be on their levels (I see him more on Modano's level points wise, not goals wise). Seguin can go coast to coast going by defenders with the quickest and slightest of moves, and finishing with his signature wrister from the face-off circle, grabbing points and making goalies rethink their strategies. Tyler Seguin is here to stay and has lit his career on fire in terms of being a shooting star in the NHL, here's to a bright future to someone who will hopefully be an NHL great one day, T-Segs this one's for you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

In My Opinion: Top 5 at Each Position


(The article is just a re-organized version of my last top 5, with new players added, and the players had to play at least half the season)

5. Jonathan Toews:
   When Toews first started I thought the number 19 would not be a smart choice for him, however he has proved me wrong over the past while. Toews does everything needed on the ice, make plays, score, and definitely win faceoffs but he also adds values with his great defensive play, His Stanley Cup, leadership and do-it-all-for-my-team skillset catapulted him over players who looked better on paper.

4. Jason Spezza:
   Jason Spezza is a passing aficionado, he sees things that no one else sees, it may have taken some time in the AHL and some disciplinary actions but it all worked out worked out for the better as Jason Spezza is one of the best players in the league and all-time. Spezza may not be the biggest goal scorer but the guy can still hit somewhere between 20-35 goals and on a down year he'll drop 30+ assists and when he's doing good he can dish somewhere between 50-70 assists, tell me he should be lower than third.

3. Pavel Datsyuk:
   Once again one of the top players in the NHL is Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk has amassed nine trophies over the years, four Lady Byngs, three Selkes and two Stanley Cups. Datsyuk is possibly the greatest puck-handler ever (along with Kovalev, Selanne, Sakic, Bure, Fedorov, Crosby, Bossy and Gretzky), to go along with the fact he may be one of the greatest defensive forwards ever.

2. Steven Stamkos:
   Stamkos is young and bursting with potential, however hes already one of the worlds best players. Stamkos' shooting and scoring are uncanny while still passing with great accuracy and playing great defense. Stamkos passion and physicality are with the best of them too, if it were not for a Stanley Cup win Stamkos might have even beat out Toews on our list. Hopefully Stamkos has a great career, the way it's going now he will be up there with Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman one day, Here's to an even brighter future to one of the NHL's elite.

1. Evgeni Malkin:
   Evgeni Malkin's athletics and handling are eerily reminiscent to a young Alexei Kovalev while his scoring and play making seem to be better, Malkin can find the net when he wants to or find teammates whenever while still being a terror in passing lanes, Malkin has 423 points in 357 games when this post was written and if he stays healthy will remain among the L's elite.Left Wing

5. Jamie Benn:
   Jamie Benn is a big bodied sniper who draws comparisons to Mike Modano, both snipers who can make plays as well, Benn is the leader of the stars, a solid defensive player and good with the puck too. This year he showed heart and improvement and that the underdog can become a good player. Jamie has some, including me believing he will be a great player.

4. Milan Lucic
:   A bruising big man who can defend better than around 90% of forwards in the league, he snapped the nylon thirty times last season and seems like in a couple of year no one will be able to defend him. Lucic has great speed and amazing speed for his side and his physicality is a weapon that not many players can defend or match.

3. James Neal:
James Neal went from solid NHL player to great all-around player, notching 40 goals (5 less goals than he had points last year) and 41 assists, not to mention the fact that he is an above average defensive player too, If I had to pick a player to put on my wing as player of the future I would pick Neal. James Neal is on his way to stardom.

2. Daniel Sedin:
   Sedin is a marvelous passer and great goal scorer. Daniel's downfalls however may have caused his team the Stanley Cup last year, he is not physical at all, his defense is horrid and he lack of PK time are terrible. If Daniel can become more physical and defensive he could be top two in this category especially when his offense is good enough to place him at number three.

1. Alexander Ovechkin
:   Ovechkin embodies what the NHL should be, an all around beast that tries no matter how his team is playing. Ovie, the slick moved, physical specimen, and top all around player in the 'L', has amazing talent but somehow has not lead  his team to the Stanley Cup Finals, if however Ovie wins the cup by the time our Top 100 Hockey Players list comes out he may boost more than a couple of spots.
Right Wing
5. Jarome Iginla:
   Iginla is one of the most consistent players in the league and doesn't seem to be slowing at age 34. He is possibly the best power forward in the NHL and is definitely one of the best forwards of the past decade. When Jarome Iginla is coming at you on the offensive end or defensive its like looking down the barrel of a nine millimeter, it sucks.

4. Tyler Seguin:
   Tyler Seguin, the player that should have been the 1st pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, a solid player who led the reigning Stanley Cup champions in points and goals and led the league in plus minus until the final weeks, Tyler has a devastating wrist shot, a great slap shot, great hands, and that burst of speed that seems to set great players apart from the good ones (in most sports, basketball, football, hockey and more), he is going to be one of the top names in the league soon and this year was great on it's one.

3. Martin St.Louis:
   St.Louis is one of the fastest skaters but his best trait is the fact that he leaves everything he has on the ice every time he leaves. MSL is a gifted scorer and terrific passer, but in someways he's a bizarro KG in the fact that you can't tell how great of a leader or player he would be if there was less talent around him.

2. Phil Kessel:
   Kessel is possibly the best young sniping winger in the league (Stamkos is definitely the best young sniper), his defensive play is getting better every year and it seems like he can hit the 40 goal plateau that he is destined for, in fact he might reach 48 goals in my opinion.

1. Claude Giroux:   Giroux definitely didn't come out of nowhere but we didn't think he'd be the star that he is, Giroux put up 76 points last year and 93, this year hitting 20+ goals and 50+ and 60+ assists in his last two years. Giroux' teams his amazing playmaking with unbelievable puckhandling, a quick shot and solid defensive play, he's only going to get better which is scary considering he just hit 90+ points in his 4th NHL season.

5. Drew Doughty:
   2011 may have been a down year but Doughty is already an amazing shutdown defender and big hitter, if I need a young defender to build my team around Drew Doughty would be one of, if not my top pick. Doughty also has better than average offensive abilities when on the ice.

4. Nicklas Lidstrom:
   The 42 year old somehow finds a way to be a top D-man in the NHL every year. Lidstrom is second all time in Norris trophies won and has some of the best defensive hands ever. Lidstrom is no slouch when it comes to hitting, and his combo of vision, stick checking and skating make him go down as one of the greats. 

3. Shea Weber:
     The shutdown defense-men is the best all around D-man in the league, a captain and leader that embodies what his team stands for, and not to mention he should win more than a couple Norris trophies in his career. Shea Weber is also one of the most devastating hitters in the 'L'. Weber also owns the title as best man to man shutdown defender with Duncan Keith looming.

2. Zdeno Chara:
   Chara has size, he knows how to use it... That's a nightmare for opposing offenses. Chara not only knows how to poke check, hit and intimidate his opponents, he also has the NHL's hardest slapshot.

1. Duncan Keith:
   Duncan Keith is up there with Shea Weber as best man to man shut down defender in the 'L', He is a passionate leader that has not only won a Norris trophy but also a Stanley Cup in his short career. Keith is no slouch offensively either, his blue line shot is excellent and accurate too. Duncan Keith will stop you period.

5. Jimmy Howard
:Jimmy Howard is the bright young spot on an aging Detroit Red Wings team, having his best year of his career posting a save percentage of 92% and a goals against average of 2.12, even if Detroit is going downhill, Jimmy Howard should keep them afloat.

4. Tim Thomas
He may be old but he's Tim Thomas, he plays the goal like no one in the league, almost similar to GianLuigi Buffon in his prime, Thomas is a great goalie and easily top 5 in the league.

3. Henrik Lundqvist:
   One of  the most consistent goalies ever, you always know what your going to get with Lundqvist, he is great all around and led the league in shutouts last year, he's still got some gas in the tank and will continue to be great in the crease.

2. Pekka Rinne:
   The 2nd quickest goalie and also one of the biggest, Rinne's glove comes second to none in the current NHL. His unorthodox style is reminiscent of a modern day Dominic Hasek (Obviously not as good though), he may one day be the NHL's best.

1. Jonathan Quick:
Quick is the most agile and quickest goalie in the league, .929 save percentage and a 1.95 GAA it's no doubt he is one of the best goalies in the league, but the best? You already forgot the fact that he has been keeping the Kings in games they had no business being in and losing games only because his offense would not score, Quick posted ten shutouts and beat
the Presidents Trophy winners in the playoffs

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tupac Ressurected?!?!?!

Okay, it was just a hologram, but the best hologram ever, and they even got him shouting "What the fuck is up Coachella?" when he dies three years before Coachella started hmmmm. Let the new conspiracy theories start, meanwhile check this out!

And some Tupac from when he was alive just to let you see the similarities!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Top 10: Wrist Shots in the L'

In last years playoffs Tyler Seguin's wrist shot wrreaked havoc on unsuspecting D's and this year the same happened in the regular season, with playoffs around the corner and the wrist shot a super reliable option we thought we'd rank the best in the league.

Starting with none other than:

11.Kyle Turris
There were reasons Kyle Turris was drafted third overall, and one was his wrist shot, described as "Sakic like" hard to say I don't see similarities (Sakic's will always be the greatest though), If Turris continues to get his act together he can be a great player and constant scoring threat.

10. Jeff Carter
Although Jeff Carter may have a reputation for being brittle, fragile and soft his wrist shot is nothing of the sort, as it is one of the quickest, strongest and most accurate releases in the league. It would be higher if not for an absolutely horrid year from Carter.

9. Ryan Kesler
Keslers production may have taken a dip this year but he's still got a wrister that can find the back of the net from the top of the circle and beyond.

8. Evgeni Malkin
When you think of "Geno" the first thing that pops in your head is probably "playmaker" but "Geno" also packs one of the deadliest wristers in the game, and rode it to 50 goals this year.

7. Marian Gaborik
Gaborik has been one of the leagues premier goal scorers for a long tim and his scorching wrister is a big reason why.

6. Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher has one of the quickest and hardest shots in the L be it wrist or slap, but his wrist was the main reason a contender like Nashville who needed offense picked him up.

5. Phil Kessel
Phil Kessel's quick and powerful wrist shot demanded a pot of gold when they were traded, and he puts it in like it's nothing.

4. Alexander Ovechkin
Ovechkin has one of the prettiest and best wristers ever, and kinda like Kobe's midrange J' it cannot be stopped

3. Ilya Kovalchuk
Kovalchuk has had 30+ goals 9 times in his career, 40+ 5 times and 50+ twice, I think it's safe to say him and his wrister are atleast top 3, not to mention he hits it off balance as easily as can be.

2. Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin's wrist shot emerged in the playoffs last year as one of the best, and used that scorcher to bulge the twine 29 times in his sophomore year, he has proven it's worth on top defenders and goalies, and by the end of the playoffs may take the crown as it looks like a mirror version of the all-time best Joe Sakic's.

1. Alexander Semin
Semin has the best wrist shot in the league, but that may change very soon due to the emergence of Tyler Seguin and Kyle Turris getting his act together in Ottawa, but atleast for now Semin tops the list unleashing beauties like these whenever he chooses to actually try.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wine Cellar Team

When asking someone if they could assemble the greatest team ever, they usually randomly spew out names "Jordan, Magic, Lebron, Malone, Shaq", with no thought they just shout out big names, I mean you can include those guys on your teams, but put a little thought into it, don't just compile the greatest players ever, choose great players that compliment each other. My Wine Cellar Team (inspired by Bill Simmons "Wine Cellar" chapter in The Book of Basketball) is 12 of the greatest players I ever saw (In Bill Simmons rules he says only players he saw, even if I didn't use certain years I saw close enough right?) who compliment each other as seamlessly as I could find (and no MJ due to the fact I only saw his Wizards games which don't count because I'm trying to forget those ever happened). So I challenge you to bring a Wine Cellar Team that could beat 12 ATLiens in a 48 minute game with the world on the line! Without further ado TheGlove_20's Wine Cellar Team!

1. Tim Duncan '03

No power forward was ever better than Tim Duncan, he needed to be double teamed at all times, could work with anyone, could play center or power forward, and could even pass well for a big, he made his teammates and better not to mention one of the top 6 greatest defenders ever.

2. Kobe Bryant '01

Since I cannot have MJ why not go with the next best thing, Kobe in '01 was not trouble with being the alpha dog, knew when his team needed major buckets, dish 5 assists a game, and killed himself defensively. In 2001 he peaked all-around, and he could take games over. One reason we had to choose '01 Kobe over say '06 Kobe is the fact that '01 Kobe could handle playing with LeBron, handle not being the focal point during the first 43 minutes and '01 Kobe would embrace it.

3. Shaquille O'Neal '00

Shaq had character which can always help bring a team together and get their chemistry up, the whole Shaq Vs Kobe thing hadn't started so they would still be the hardest combo to guard and not to mention the fact that his goofiness went away when they needed to win.

4. LeBron James '08

LeBron had just singlehandedly taken his team to the NBA Finals, thrashed the Pistons, didn't start worrying in the clutch, could play point forward, my choice of his peak so far, and have you seen him play? The guy routinely made his teammates better and took teams that should be winning between 15-30 wins to 50 and 60 wins.

5. Gary Payton '98

The greatest perimeter defender ever, had the defensive prowess of 1996 and the offensive prowess of 2000. Not only was Payton unselfish he knew when to turn it on and off taking over games that needed to be won and taking a team that had no business winning 60 games to a 61-21 record. Could pick and roll and lob (two important aspects of the teams game, he is the greatest lob thrower ever), in 98' especially (as well as the rest of his career) he wanted to make his team better, and his trash talk would have made the ATLiens cry.

So our starting 5 is

1. Gary Payton
2. Kobe Bryant
3. LeBron James
4. Tim Duncan
5. Shaquille O'Neal

No other starting five I can think of would be a better two way team, but now to fill out our bench.

Dwyane Wade '09

Now for my first man off the bench why don't I grab an MJ impersonator as a backup for my MJ impersonator, Wade might arguably be a better MJ impersonator than Kobe, so they might would battle for minutes, but Wade would come off the bench, would fit in with anyone, can pass the rock, he could handle the point, give us a blocker in the backcourt, as well as a theif, a blur at the 2 or 1, an athletic specimen as well as the fact he can take a beating get up and do it all over again.

Chris Paul '09 (I almost went with Kidd but CP3 added better scoring and shooting)

CP3 would be shooting three's, clutch, hit go ahead buckets using his quickness, has excellent defense (except not the best jump shot defender), an otherworldly crossover and he's the evolutionary Isiah. Don't forget that he could hit clutch free throws and keep leads in the fourth.

Kevin Garnett '03

Very similar to Duncan, with better defense but less 4th quarter and even getting to the rim prowess, but we could use his intimidation factor too, would you want to play him and Payton at the same time? Talk about nervous and mental breakdowns.

Scottie Pippen '92

One  of the three greatest defenders ever, a very athletic wing who could also play point forward, if any player on any of the teams we play to keep the earth alive is getting hot it'll be either Payton, Pippen, or Garnett on them, Pippen and Payton would spearhead our defensive lineup.

Paul Pierce '06

A smart passing, solid defending, great shooting, good rebounding, great ball-handling wing who will give up shots to win? Why not?

Reggie Miller '91

One of the most clutch players ever (Along with most of this team but still), greatest three-point shooter, one of the greatest free throw shooters and one of the best talkers ever, if you even tried to foul reggie or left him open automatic points.

Chris Webber '02

C-Webb could run the floor, board, post up, defend (in a very crafty way), and was a very good passer, as long as we kept him off the floor for the final two-five minutes we would have him as an excellent force off the bench. Plus he could play the 4 or 5 and would be the key piece if we played a princeton offense.

So we're running a line-up of:
1. Gary Payton '98
2. Kobe Bryant '01
3. LeBron James '08
4. Tim Duncan '03
5. Shaquille O'Neal '00
6. Dwyane Wade '09
7. Chris Paul '09
8. Kevin Garnett '03
9. Scottie Pippen '92
10. Paul Pierce '06
11. Reggie Miller '91
12. Chris Webber '02

Now we'll go through different situations (with the 6th man)

Crunch-Time Line-Up:
1. Gary Payton
2. Kobe Bryant
3. LeBron James
4. Kevin Garnett
5. Tim Duncan
6. Reggie Miller

Best Defensive Line-Up (Small):

1. Gary Payton
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Scottie Pippen
4. LeBron James
5. Tim Duncan
6. Dwyane Wade

Best Defensive Line-Up (Big):

1. Gary Payton
2. LeBron James
3. Scottie Pippen
4. Kevin Garnett
5. Tim Duncan
6. Kobe Bryant

Best Smallball Line-Up:

1. Chris Paul
2. Gary Payton
3. Kobe Bryant
4. LeBron James
5. Chris Webber
6. Paul Pierce

Best Bigball Line-Up:

1. Scottie Pippen
2. LeBron James
3. Kevin Garnett
4. Tim Duncan
5. Shaquille O'Neal
6. Chris Webber

Best Fastbreak Line-Up:

1. Chris Paul
2. Dwyane Wade
3. LeBron James
4. Chris Webber
5. Tim Duncan
6. Scottie Pippen

Best Three-Point Line-Up:

1. Chris Paul
2. Reggie Miller
3. Paul Pierce
4. LeBron James
5. Kevin Garnett
6. Gary Payton

Best Princeton Line-Up:

1. Gary Payton
2. Reggie Miller
3. Paul Pierce
4. LeBron James
5. Chris Webber
6. Chris Paul

Best Lob-City Line-Up:

1. Gary Payton
2. Dwyane Wade
3. Scottie Pippen
4. LeBron James
5. Shaquille O'Neal
6. Kobe Bryant

Best Cooler Line-Up:

1. Chris Paul
2. Reggie Miller
3. Kobe Bryant
4. Chris Webber
5. Kevin Garnett
6. Gary Payton

Best Murderous-Press Line-Up (Small):

1. Gary Payton
2. Dwyane Wade
3. Scottie Pippen
4. LeBron James
5. Tim Duncan
6. Kobe Bryant

Now that we have the team and line-ups let's choose our coaches:

Head Coach: Phil Jackson '03

Phil is a great coach and proven with veterans like this, not to mention that he knows great mind games and can get Kobe to stay unselfish but to also get him to take games over at the helm, but we are not letting him run a triangle!

Assistant Coaches: George Karl '98 (Jackson's secret helper on our team, especially since Jackson won't have his triangle), Tom Thibodeau '10 (defensive genius), and Mike D'Antoni '05 (was anyone better offensively).