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SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME last won the day on November 18 2018

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14,205 Gaming the system

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  1. Peters should have said what every dad/uncle/grandpa used to say, back in the day: (In all seriousness though, if the investigations confirm the allegations, Peters should be fired immediately, and he probably should never again enjoy the privilege of coaching another NHL team. Racism and player abuse have no place in today’s game.)
  2. Being an “asset” doesn’t make her an active, willing agent of the Russians (or the GOP). It’s more that she’s clearly valued by both because of her potential to disrupt and distract. There’s absolutely no question that Clinton was correct in saying that “they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.” Nobody is suggesting that Tulsi is out there in a hat and trench coat, exchanging microfilm on park benches. But it’s pretty clear that the Russians and the GOP place a pretty high value her disruptive presence in the process, and that they are providing tangible support, both indirectly, and directly in some cases, to her candidacy. I don’t really dislike Gabbard. She has actually said more than a few things that I agree with. She’s also said some things that are flat out bonkers (but no more so than several of the other candidates during this process). I don’t believe her to be a “secret agent” or “compromised” somehow. I do believe, however, that she is an asset, albeit most likely an unwitting one, of both the Russians and the GOP, and the activity (especially online) surrounding Gabbard’s candidacy to-date makes this fairly clear. I’m no fan of the Clintons, but at this point, the only part of Hillary’s statement that’s yet to be borne out is the part about the GOP “grooming” Gabbard as a third party candidate. We’ll have to see about that one. Possibly Clinton’s criticisms will prove preemptive, although I would not be surprised if we eventually see a third party run for Tulsi 2020.
  3. Trump lack of coordination will all make sense when Scooby and the gang reveal he was always a Russian agent wearing a very unwieldy, orange fatsuit.
  4. So, at what point do we have to admit that Hillary was actually right about Tulsi?
  5. Lockwood was on the “Inside Michigan Hockey” radio show yesterday and basically confirmed he had a concussion (although he never uttered the C word). He describes it as “pretty minor” but that he still had to go “on protocol” and that the training staff was taking every step to insure it was “safe” before he returned to game action. Will said he was feeling good and expects to be playing again soon.
  6. So tough to rank players, especially Dmen, at varying stages of development. Personally, in terms of upside, I’d put Rathbone above most of the players outside maybe our top 4-6 roster Dmen and OJ. But will he reach that upside? Nearly impossible to know for sure. I will say that in Jack’s draft year, among the few scouts who had really followed him and watched his games, most agreed he had first round potential, but would go later due to perception, especially as it pertained to the league he played in, and his D+1 intentions to remain with Dexter. Now, as Rathbone has entered into his sophomore year playing top pairing and 1PP for Harvard, and there are eyeballs on him every week, you see scouts saying he’s a legit top prospect, often the best player on the ice (for both teams), and really something special the Canucks have stashed away in their system. So what’s he gonna be? Well, first we gotta sign the kid. I’m optimistic we will, just unsure of the timeline (hoping for next spring/summer). Then, we’ll see how he fares in his pro transition. At the moment, it’s hard to rank him above the kids than are already proving themselves capable AHL players and NHL depth options. But when Rathbone joins their ranks, I would expect him to quickly climb the ladder to become one of our top Dmen, outside of the active roster, and maybe eventually our best LHD after Quinn Hughes. Of course, he could still bust or end up going free agent and signing somewhere else. I think the odds of both are fairly low, and the odds of the first are shrinking by the day. But we’ll have to wait and see. (EDIT: I know you asked for thoughts on ordering the D depth chart, but unfortunately, I just hate ranking prospects, generally avoid doing it, and tend to punk out whenever anyone asks me to make a list, so you get this post instead. )
  7. Just an update: Lockwood is day-to-day with an upper body injury. He got hurt in the second period of the November 8th game versus Minnesota. Was apparently bleeding quite heavily from his mouth (requiring some ice cleanup work), left the game, and hasn’t played since. This past weekend, he missed both of Michigan’s games, but he was at practice. First he was just skating by himself. Next day, he was fully participating in the drills, but wearing a non-contact jersey. I haven’t been able to find any details regarding the specific nature of the injury (I could speculate but I won’t), but seems like he’s making progress so hopefully he will return to action soon.
  8. I’ll have to check but I think McDonough is now at 6 points (3G 3A) in his last 5 games, after being scratched for opening weekend and then going pointless through his first few games. Kid really seems to be rounding into form now, and has been a mainstay on the top-six, and is starting to build some chemistry with Madden and the other top players. Our college kids are all pretty exciting. Rathbone is absolutely killing it as a sophomore and starting to look like the player I hoped he’d be in college (especially when Fox left and opened up a vacancy as Harvard’s PPQB/#1OD). Madden is also looking like an elite sophomore who could put up some very nice totals (and ones that project quite well to the NHL). McDonough starting to heat up and possibly looking like he might be our newest late round gem in what’s becoming a nice little tradition of finding “out of nowhere” NCAA/USHL top tier prospects. And Jack Malone has had some moments, albeit in limited minutes on Cornell’s 4th line, chipping in some scoring. Fun group to watch, and would really be something if we could get 3-4 more NHLers out of this group, to join Gaudette (who is really starting to take the next step with the big club). Only “disappointment” in the college ranks might be Will Lockwood, who like the rest of the Wolverines has struggled to score, and now is out with an injury. Hopefully he can pick things up when he gets back into the lineup, and help lead Michigan out of their current funk. I still have high hopes for Lockwood and really like him a lot as a prospect. Thankfully, our other college kids are more than softening the blow, when it comes to Lockwood not quite having the start I’d hoped for in his senior year. Only issue with all these NCAA prospects might be contacts, as we may very well need to sign 3 of these kids as early as the spring. Nice problem to have though.
  9. Funny thing is, the criticism you’re making about Green is the exact same criticism that was often made against AV when he was here. People said he wasn’t able to adjust his systems/game planning/playing style to strategically match his opponents and the league. They said he was a good coach as far as preparing his teams through practice to play the game a certain way, but that he failed to make in-game adjustments, and was poor in head-to-head game strategy, especially against the league’s “good” coaches. Some even said he was just an AHL/QMJHL level coach, but out of his depth against true NHL coaches. I think we can all agree (now) that AV was, and is, a very good NHL head coach. But at the time, AV took a lot of flack in Vancouver. And much of that criticism paralleled what we hear directed at Green these days. Also, I have a much different take on the quality of coaching league-wide. I think NHL coaches are much closer in quality than the individual players and the overall team rosters. As in, if you were to take any team right now, and swap out the coach for one of the 30 others, you’d likely see that team achieve, on average, very similar results over a season. Now take any of the 31 head coaches, and have him coach each of the league’s teams, and he will get dramatically different results, depending on the quality of the rosters he’s given. If there was a WAR stat (wins above replacement) for coaches (EDIT: and one that actually measured results achieved by coaches under similar conditions, in terms of roster quality), I suspect the numbers would be much smaller than the range we see among players. Simply because the difference in results any given coach can get out of a particular roster is, IMO, fairly small. Sure, we see coaching changes occasionally spur dramatic turn arounds with teams. And sometimes we see seamless fits between roster construction and coaching style, which yield great results. Same goes for terrible fits (see Tortorella 2013-14). But for the most part, you can swap any of the league’s coaches onto another team, and the bulk of them will get pretty much the same results out of the players they’re given to work with. This isn’t to say that coaches are unimportant. Just that there are only 31 head coaching positions, so the talent pool is the absolute elite of that profession, and the guys that make it to that level are all absolute “rock stars” at their job. But coaches are the first to be blamed for a team’s performance, and tend to be the first to be changed out when teams struggle. And honestly, I think a fair amount of the “insanity” in this league (as in doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) occurs when teams expect coaching changes to fix roster problems, instead of focusing on changing/adding players to improve a team, or changing a GM, if he proves unable to achieve results with the rosters he’s putting together.
  10. So Jack didn’t quite hit 60 shots tonight. But the night’s still young. Maybe after the game, he can take Madden and McDonough out for drinks, and still hit that 60 shots target. (All three played in Providence, RI tonight, Rathbone versus Brown, and Madden and McDonough vs Providence College)
  11. Rathbone has an assist tonight with Harvard leading 4-1 in the third. Also leads all skaters with 13 shots (6 shots on goal). EDIT: and that’s the final, 4-1 win, Rathbone finishes with 1 assist, 13 shots, 6 SOG, +1
  12. Madden ties the score 1-1 in a game the Huskies really didn’t deserve to still be in, getting outshot nearly by a 3:1 margin. But it’s Madden from McDonough, and the Huskies are still in it, halfway through the third period.
  13. Three minutes into tonight’s game and Rathbone already has three shots. Will be interesting to see if he finishes with 60 shots.