As the year comes to an end I figured I wouldn't wait to start the debate as to the highs and lows of the 2011-12 hockey season.
Let's start with biggest team disappointment:
There were a few contenders including Anaheim and Tampa Bay. Anaheim is a one-line wonder and Tampa has a crappy defensive core and mediocre goaltending. So that leaves me with......
Washington. The Caps went out and signed Vokoun, Brouwer and Ward to help shore up their offence and then they forgot how to score. The Caps may still make the playoffs as the Leafs continue to fall but Washington was expected to finish near the top of the conference.
The biggest team surprise:
Minnesota came out of the gate with limited scoring and lights out goaltending, but seems to be catching up with them. Florida went out and spent money but I think their position is due to Washington sucking.
But in the end I think St. Louis has been the biggest surprise. After a crap start they turned it around with Hitchcock and are only 4 points out of 1st in the conference.
A lot of contenders even at this time of year. I am sure the definition of MVP is as debatable as the player chosen. Giroux, Toews, Thomas and Kessel probably all deserve votes at this point. But as I see it, the MVP is the guy who carries his team and if went down the team would soon follow.
So as I see it then, the MVP would be Malkin. No Sid for most of the year and yet Pittsburgh continues to stay near the the top of their conference. I don't know if that would be possible without the Russian.
Fuck you Tim Thomas. Having said that, he is probably the best goalie.
Bold Predictions for the New Year:
Toronto will find a way to miss the playoffs. The same goes for Nashville.
Detroit and Chicago will meet somewhere in the playoffs, it will go seven games. Who the fuck knows who will win.
Vancouver will resign Cory Schneider. And then trade him in the off-season.
Aaron Rome will complete the hat trick and break his hand for a third time this year.
Have fun telling I am wrong.