Where did Andy Dalton go?

I’m not saying that I’m some kind of NFL expert, but I am saying that I’ve never been seen in the same place as John Madden before. Interpret that how you want to, but regardless, here’s my Week 2 NFL recap.

Through Week 2 of the NFL season, a lot of teams are still underperforming. The most notable? The Cincinnati Bengals. With only 9 points through two games (yes, you read that correctly), there are already rumours swirling around the future of Andy Dalton in Cincy.

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2017-18 Bench Life NHL Previews: 25. Buffalo Sabres

Part 7 of 31 in our NHL previews where Ballantyne, Burgess and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. Each of our previews will be given to you in order of where we collectively power ranked that team. It’s not the most exciting system, but neither is Jacques Lemaire’s neutral zone trap.

Check out our other previews:
#31. Colorado Avalanche 
#30. Vegas Golden Knights
#29. Vancouver Canucks
#28. Detroit Red Wings
#27. New Jersey Devils
#26. Arizona Coyotes

2016-17 Recap

Record: 33-37-12 (78 points) 8th in the Atlantic division (26th overall) 
GPG:
2.43 (24th)
GAPG:
2.82 (20th)
PP%:
24.5% (1st)
PK%:
77.6% (25th)
Corsi For %: 47.2 (28th)

After jumping from 54 points in 2014-15 to 81 points in 2015-16, there was a lot of buzz surrounding this young Sabres team last season. A core of Eichel, O’Reilly, Ristolainen, Reinhart, Okposo,  Kane and Lehner seemed like it had the jam to breakout in the Eastern conference and challenge for a playoff spot. While it wasn’t really out of left field for the Sabres to underwhelm their way to a 78 point season, the utter and complete dysfunction that got them there was a surprise.

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2017-18 Bench Life NHL Previews: 26. Arizona Coyotes

Part 6 of 31 in our NHL previews where Waind, Burgess and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. Starting from the worst and wrapping up with the best, we’ll be giving you each teams preview with the reasoning behind our rankings. It might not make sense, but neither does Jeremy Roenick.

2016-17 Recap

Record: 30-42-10 (70 Points) 6th in the Pacific Division (28th Overall)
GFPG: 2.33 (27th)
GAPG: 3.17 (28th)
PP%: 16.17% (26th)
PK%: 77.31% (27th)
Corsi For %: 44.9% (30th)

After a promising 2015-16 season, the Arizona Coyotes quickly plummeted to the Western Conference’s basement last season. At points, this team almost looked like they’d give the Colorado Avalanche a run for their money in the futility department. The first half of the season they got off to an ice cold 13-22-6 (32 points) start. This was just five points up on the Avs and eleven back of the next nearest team in the Western Conference, not a great place to be. But a second half improvement of 17-20-4 (38 points) provided some hope that some of the kids they had been grooming at the highest level were willing to push through hard times and had the ability to succeed in the NHL. This may seem as if it was counter-productive in a rebuilding sense, but the Coyotes have done their bottoming out and are giving their kids a chance to stick. It was time for them to get their shot in the show, they just weren’t good enough.

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2017-18 Bench Life NHL Previews: 27. New Jersey Devils

Part 5 of 31 in our NHL previews where Ballantyne, Waind and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. Starting from the worst, we’ll be giving you the reasons why we ranked each team where we did. It might not be perfect, but that’s never stopped Don Cherry before.

Check out the other parts to this series:

#31. Colorado Avalanche

#30. Vegas Golden Knights

#29. Vancouver Canucks

#28. Detroit Red Wings

2016-17 Recap

Record: 28-40-14 (70 points) 8th in Metropolitan division (28th overall)
GPG: 2.20 (28th)
GAPG: 2.94 (25th)
PP%: 17.5% (22nd)
PK%: 79.6% (23rd)
Corsi For %: 47.1% (29th)

The 2016-17 season for the Devils was not a good one. They’ve always been known for playing a boring style of hockey, but in the past it’s worked for them. Unfortunately last year, even that didn’t work for them. Long gone are the dynasty days where they featured a blueline of Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski. Not to mention the fact they had arguably the best goalies of all time between the pipes for them in Martin Brodeur. To put into perspective just how far they’ve fallen, the Devils blueline now features a top pair of Andy Greene and Ben Lovejoy…

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2017-18 Bench Life NHL Previews: 28. Detroit Red Wings

Part 4 of 31 in our NHL previews where Ballantyne, Burgess and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. We’re delivering each team’s preview in the order that we collectively power ranked them. This isn’t an exact science, but unlike like Bryzgalov’s musings of the universe, it’s not a humangus big deal.

Check out our other previews:
#31. Colorado Avalanche 
#30. Vegas Golden Knights
#29. Vancouver Canucks

2016-17 Recap

Record: 33-36-13 (79 points) 7th in the Atlantic division (25th overall) 
GPG:
2.41 (26th)
GAPG:
2.98 (26th)
PP%:
15.1% (27th)
PK%:
80.8% (16th)
Corsi For %: 48.5 (23rd)

Last season was a bit of a let down in the Motor City as the Red Wings ended Detroit’s famous record breaking playoff streak at 25 seasons. Their legendary core from earlier this decade has slowly but surely decayed to the point that 36 year-old Henrik Zetterberg is now the last man standing. The underwhelming Wings seemed to struggle at both scoring and preventing goals which is generally not a recipe for success. Read more

2017 Looks to be the Year of the Rookies

It’s been a long offseason, but the NFL is back, which means I’ll be busy every Sunday from now until February. Every Tuesday I’ll post an article to recap what happened over the weekend, keeping you up to date with some of the biggest storylines from around the league.

After Week 1, one thing looks very clear: This years group of rookies looks to be the real deal. Starting on Thursday night, we saw Kareem Hunt (148 yards on 17 carries, 5 receptions for 98 yards, 3 total TDs) head into New England and almost single-handedly beat Tom Brady and the Patriots 42-27. Cleveland and Houston are hoping that DeShone Kizer and Deshaun Watson can turn into their franchise QBs. Leonard Fournette rushed for 100 yards and 1 TD in his debut, and Christian McCaffrey rushed for 47 yards on 13 carries.

And how about this for a story? Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards on Monday night, setting a Vikings franchise record. The previous record holder? Adrian Peterson, who was on the other side of that field playing against Cook that night. AP was the face of the Vikings since being drafted by them in 2007, but looked out of place in his debut with the Saints, rushing for only 18 yards on 6 carries. Read more

2017-18 Bench Life NHL Previews: 29. Vancouver Canucks

Part 3 of 31 in our NHL previews where Waind, Burgess and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. We’re delivering these preview in the order that we collectively power ranked them. It’s far from perfect but then again, so are the Canucks.

Check out our other previews:
#31. Colorado Avalanche 
#30. Vegas Golden Knights

2016-17 Recap

Record: 30-43-9 (69 Points(Nice))  7th in the Pacific Division (29th Overall)
GPG: 2.22 (29th)
GAPG: 2.96 (24th)
PP%: 14.1% (29th)
PK%: 76.7% (28th)
Corsi for %: 48.2 (26th)

The 2016-17 season was a complete waste for the Canucks and their fans. It reminded me a lot of those pre-Shanaplan Leafs years. A below average, high payroll team spinning its wheels trying to squeak into a final playoff spot. It just felt that there was no real light at the end of the tunnel. The Canucks quickly found themselves out of the playoff hunt last year, which made the mismanagement of their situation that much more glaring. Midway through last season they were at a crossroads.

They gave the Sedin’s another chance to lead a “playoff” team but, at age 36, they dropped off in a major way. Management swung for the fences and signed Loui Eriksson to a big contract to play on their wing… and he was awful. They hoped that the likes of Alex Edler, Erik Gudbranson and Ryan Miller could protect the net and carry them for one more run. Unfortunately it just didn’t happen. 2013 first round pick Bo Horvat was essentially the lone positive with a nice breakout season.

The Canuck’s 2011 Cup Final appearance really wasn’t that long ago, but after last season’s poor performance, it is clearly time to reset.

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