Cleat Geeks

NHL’s Weekly Withdrawal Roundup: Ducks, Coyotes, Bruins 2015-16 Season Projections

With approximately 10 more weeks left until the 2015-2016 NHL preseason begins, this is the perfect time to breakdown 3 teams from around the league each week, until games once again resume. We’ll be going over some of last season’s overall statistical ratings, offseason trade and free agent acquisitions, and overall projections for the upcoming season. Sit back and enjoy the read each weeks “NHL Weekly Withdrawal Roundup,” and prepare to get your fix during what many of us dread; the off-season.









2014-2015 Overall Record: 51-24-7 (109 Points) 1st in the Western Conference

***Lost in Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7***


Anaheim Ducks: 2014-2015 Team Leaders

Notable Offseason Losses:

D Francois Beauchemin (New Team: Colorado Avalanche)

F Matt Beleskey (New Team: Boston Bruins)

G Jason LaBarbera (New Team: Philadelphia Flyers)

Notable Offseason Acquisitions:

D Shane O’Brien (Former Team: Florida Panthers)

F Chris Stewart (Former Team: Minnesota Wild)

F Brian McGrattan (Former Team: Calgary Flames)

F Harry Zolnierczyk (Former Team: New York Islanders)

F Shawn Horcoff (Former Team: Dallas Stars)

G Matt Hackett (Former Team: Buffalo Sabres)

F Chris Mueller (Former Team: New York Rangers)

D Joe Piskula (Former Team: Nashville Predators)

Main Team Stats Breakdown:

GFA (Goals For Average): 2.73 (NHL Ranking: 13th)

GAA (Goals Against Average): 2.65 (NHL Ranking: 19th)

SV% (Save Percentage): .907 (NHL Ranking: 23rd)

The Anaheim Ducks had an impressive season that came to a halt in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, against the Chicago Blackhawks. The core group of Anaheim is still in tact for the most part, aside from Beleskey. The loss of Matt Beleskey shouldn’t be an issue, as the Ducks were able to pick up Chris Stewart from Minnesota.

With the fire power Anaheim has, Stewart’s stats should look to increase in the 2015-2016 season, much like Beleskey’s; which ultimately sent him away on a moderate contract to Boston. With Chris Stewart having been known around the league to be a very streaky hot/cold player, look for him to compete for playing time if he cannot find consistency, with the likes of the other well known acquisition in Shawn Horcoff. The compete level should help to amplify Anaheim’s chances to continue to look toward deep runs in the playoffs, though goalie Frederik Andersen needs to play better in net, as Anaheim’s save percentage ranked 23rd last season. Regardless, looking at the Pacific Division, I don’t see Anaheim placing below any of the other contenders.

2015-2016 Season Projection: 1st in the Pacific









2014-2015 Overall Record: 24-50-8 (56 Points) 14th in the Western Conference

***Did Not Make NHL Playoffs***

Arizona Coyotes Leaders

Arizona Coyotes: 2014-2015 Team Leaders

Notable Offseason Losses:

F Mark Arcobello (New Team: Toronto Maple Leafs)

D John Moore (New Team: New Jersey Devils)

G Mike McKenna (New Team: Florida Panthers)

Notable Offseason Acquisitions:

F John Scott (Former Team: San Jose Sharks)

F Antoine Vermette (Former Team: Chicago Blackhawks)

F Steve Downie (Former Team: Pittsburg Penguins)

G Anders Lindback (Former Team: Buffalo Sabres)

D Zbynek Michalek (Former Team: St. Louis Blues

F Brad Richardson (Former Team: Vancouver Canucks)

Main Team Stats Breakdown:

GFA (Goals For Average): 1.98 (NHL Ranking: 29th)

GAA (Goals Against Average): 3.21 (NHL Ranking: 28th)

SV% (Save Percentage): .902 (NHL Ranking: 28th)

There’s a bit to be said about the Arizona Coyotes, but none of it seems to fair well for the team in the near future. While the short term looks bleak, the young talent they’ve recently brought in by some amazing work from General Manager Don Maloney, should have them competing long term. Maloney was able to stockpile a plethora of draft picks before the end of last year’s trade deadline. Also making noise in Arizona is the highly touted prospect, Max Domi (C), (son of Tie Domi) appears he will get playing time in the upcoming season. In the OHL, Domi attributed 93 points in just 61 games last season for the London Knights. Arizona also acquired what is expected to be another solid prospect in Dylan Strome (C); though it is unknown whether or not he’ll get a chance at playing time at the NHL level next season.

The net presence for the Coyotes looks to remain an eye sore. Acquiring Anders Lindback won’t do much to add consistency. While Lindback had a solid 16 game stretch last year for the Buffalo Sabres, (.924 save percentage) his career numbers aren’t that great (cumulative .905 SV%; 2.83 GAA). On the other side, Mike Smith has continued to decline since his outstanding 2011-2012 season when he posted a .930 save percentage and a 2.21 goals against average. Last year was no different, as he posted a .904 save percentage and a 3.16 goals against average; the worst since his playing days in Tampa Bay when they sent him packing. Defense is a huge part to this, but don’t expect much of that to change in the desert next season.

2015-2016 Season Projection: 7th in the Pacific









2014-2015 Overall Record: 41-27-14 (96 Points) 9th in the Eastern Conference

***Did Not Make NHL Playoffs***


Boston Bruins: 2014-2015 Team Leaders

Notable Offseason Losses:

D Dougie Hamilton (New Team: Calgary Flames)

F Milan Lucic (New Team: Los Angeles Kings)

F Paul Carey (New Team: Washington Capitals)

F Justin Florek (New Team: New York Islanders)

F Rob Flick (New Team: Florida Panthers)

F Gregory Campbell (New Team: Columbus Blue Jackets)

F Matt Lindblad (New Team: New York Rangers)

D Matt Bartkowski (New Team: Vancouver Canucks)

Notable Offseason Acquisitions:

D Matt Irwin (Former Team: San Jose Sharks)

F Brandon DeFazio (Former Team: Vancouver Canucks)

F Jimmy Hayes (Former Team: Florida Panthers)

Main Team Stats Breakdown:

GFA (Goals For Average): 2.50 (NHL Ranking: 22nd)

GAA (Goals Against Average): 2.40 (NHL Ranking: 8th)

SV% (Save Percentage): .918 (NHL Ranking: 5th)

The Boston Bruins were on the line, missing the Playoffs last season after 7 consecutive appearances prior. After looking at the extent of the offseason, it appears the Bruins are in some form of a rebuild. The Bruins General Manager, Don Sweeney, made some outstanding moves in the offseason, only to leave many scratching their head in confusion.

First, Sweeney had Bruins management hard at work during the draft that allowed the Bruins to attain the 13th, 14th, and 15th picks in the first round. He did this, albeit to the frustration of many Bruins fans. To acquire the 15th overall pick in the draft, Sweeney sent star defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, to Calgary. During this time, Sweeney also sent Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings for the 13th overall pick. Regardless of the contention, he had pulled off a feat that hadn’t occurred since 1968, in which a team had 3 consecutive 1st round picks in the draft. He then followed it up, only to disappoint an already angered fan base by selecting Jakub Zboril, Jake Debrusk and Zachary Senyshyn; players that weren’t projected to be selected in the first 30 picks. Five years from now, we’ll look back and see if Sweeney made the right moves, but for now it appears to the contrary.

The Bruins as a whole are a pretty solid team, especially being housed in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division. Their key deficiency is obviously offense, as they play a tight hardnosed defense and Tuukka Rask is one of the best goalies in the business. From this perspective, it seems that they should have worked harder at attaining another playmaker to replace one of the few they had in Milan Lucic (44 points). Especially since it was obvious that Lucic was bound to go elsewhere after the controversy over his lack of scoring goals throughout the season. The other major question is Captain, Zdeno Chara. At 38 years old, he has accrued a ton of miles on that huge frame and his endurance has been questioned for a few seasons now. His production of 20 points last season is also hard to look at. It’s almost surprising that with the moves made by the Bruins this offseason, Zdeno Chara wasn’t included in the departing column. After all is said and done, while looking at the other teams in the Atlantic, Boston may see a 2nd consecutive season on the outside looking in.

2015-2016 Season Projection: 6th in the Atlantic


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