Best of the Nation – 2.10.13

Lots of good stuff after the jump – trades and transactions, NHL expansion, Craig MacTavish on his old team in Vancouver, Olympic speculation and more. Plus – a special look at the (highly impressive) results of our Jets Nation casting call.

Transactions of the week: Jan. 28 – Feb. 3. This regular feature tracks all those minor moves that happen all over the league and explains what they mean and why they matter. [NHL Numbers]

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Alex Burrows and Max Lapierre are two of the most hated players in the NHL. [Canucks Army]

Should the NHL expand, contract or relocate? [Leafs Nation]

Oilers senior vice president Craig MacTavish sounds of on the unique way Mike Gillis runs the Vancouver Canucks. [Canucks Army]

Miikka Kiprusoff is day-to-day, prompting all sorts of talk in Calgary about what the Flames should do if he gets seriously hurt. [Flames Nation/Flames Nation/Flames Nation]

PDO Numbers by team, as of February 4. Team shooting percentage generally normalizes over the course of a full season, but in the short-term a slump or a streak can make clubs look way better than they are. Which teams look way better/worse than their likely true talent level? [NHL Numbers]

Undrafted Mark Arcobello, a 5’9” forward who started his professional career by signing a free agent contract with an ECHL team, played his first game in the NHL this week. Great story. [Oilers Nation]

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Phil Kessel’s early-season goal-scoring slump is the single most analyzed shooting percentage story of the early season. [Leafs Nation/[NHL Numbers/NHL Numbers]

Which Canucks should make Canada’s 2014 Olympic team? [Canucks Army]

Special Jets Nation Section

A little while back, Kent Wilson put out a casting call for help at Jets Nation, and the response we received was extraordinary. Now we’re auditioning a very talented group of writers, and we’re eager to know what the rest of the Nation thinks.

The prolific Swindle managed to crank out four pieces this week, dealing with the need to stick to the plan and avoid fear-based decisions, Mark Scheifele’s start to the season, the rise of defenceman Paul Postma (just two points back of Justin Schultz in the league’s rookie ‘D’ scoring race) and the interesting parallels/differences between Blake Wheeler and Milan Lucic. [Jets Nation/Jets Nation/Jets Nation/Jets Nation]

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Travis Hrubeniuk writes about the highlights and lowlights of the Jets’ season at the ten game mark, and about a previous mistake the Jets made that may have led to them being extra cautiousi n how they handle Mark Scheifele. [Jets Nation/Jets Nation]

Jerconjake writes about the year of the restricted free agent, breaking down the guys the Jets need to resign this summer and listing some comparables; he also talks about why the Pavelec contract is problematic for the team. [Jets Nation/Jet Nation]

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Brett Martin breaks down the best Jets of all-time by position and interviews a current season-ticket holder. [Jets Nation/Jets Nation]

Kevin McCartney explains why it isn’t time to panic on Mark Scheifele in a balanced appraisal of both the choice of Scheifele on draft day and a rational look at where he is now; he also writes about phenomenal Tampa Bay rookie Cory Conacher. [Jets Nation/Jets Nation]

Brendan Adams looks at Winnipeg’s farm team and asks what’s going wrong. [Jets Nation]

Alex Daniel Lehr chronicles Alexander Burmistrov’s slump, but also looks at what the player is doing well. [Jets Nation]

  • yawto

    With the Oilers on a five game losing streak and exciting last place hockey once again imminent, perhaps it is best that OilersNation focus on what is happening with other Canadian NHL teams if for no other reason than for purposes of retaining our sanity.

    The light at the end of the tunnel to playoffs is becoming dim. The young stars are in neutral while many of the vets are quickly regressing. Yes, there have been injuries, but every team in this truncated 48-game schedule will experience their share of injuries.

    Goaltending doesn’t appear to be a problem. Other than for Whitney and Potter, the defence is holding its own. Haven’t seen any complaints about the coaching (yet). What is troubling is performance of the forwards is definitely lacking as it appears the ongoing mismatch of balance continues to impede the rebuild. Two holes at centre, lots of skill but short on size and physicality, over-the-hill veterans.

    When does football return?