December 26, 2013

steve laidlaw


Merry Christmas everyone!


How did you spend your day? I got together with my brother and father to exchange gifts and then watched basketball all day. In fact, I’m watching basketball as I write this. My dad explained to us that the Leafs playing on Christmas Day used to be a tradition. Apparently that stopped in 1972, so that dates him pretty well.


My brother gifted me The Game by Ken Dryden, which was such a genius gift that this marked the second time in the past three years he picked it up for me. Oh well, this time he got me the 30th anniversary edition with a foreword by Bill Simmons. Looks like the local library is getting one book richer.




So you know, I am posting early on Wednesday night so I can get to early and wakeup for the Canada game at the World Juniors.


With that in mind, you absolutely must download (and read) Dobber Prospects front man Brendan Ross's preview for the 2014 World Juniors. I can't imagine the time and effort that went into it so please, please, please support the work. It demands your attention.


While you are at it, you can also login to the forums and sign up for our yearly World Juniors pool. It's free and it's fun – the two big Fs! More details to be found here. Deadline to enter is puck drop of the first game so depending on when you read this there may still be time!




Matchsticks and Gasoline considers the regression of Sean Monahan:


I’m a big fan of Sean Monahan and yes, I’d much rather see him in the lineup than Blair Jones or Paul Byron or Ben Street but in terms of his development I still believe the Flames did, and continue to, make a mistake with him. Admit it and prepare for next year. Last year when I watched Monahan at all of the Red/White WJ tryouts he was way behind the curve and looked completely out of place. Am I to believe that he went from that to a regular NHL top 6 forward in a year? It’s possible but unlikely. I’m not even sure at this point that he’s making the Flames a completely better team and certainly not to the point that it’s worth him staying in Calgary with Bob Hartley.

There was no doubt in my mind that Monahan would fall off after his hot start. All rookies do. In one-year leagues I wouldn't even bother with him at this point. The Flames are going to get worse – not better – as the year goes on because pending UFAs like Mike Cammalleri and Lee Stempniak are sure to be on the move. That means Monahan should continue to see minutes but they are unlikely to be all that productive.


It certainly doesn't help that Monahan spent much of the last game on skating on the fourth line:


Games between 2013-12-23 and 2013-12-23