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NHL Insider: Quick Hits from week 1

The 4-0 New York Rangers were my pick to come out of the Eastern Conference this season and even though it’s early, they look much improved from last season. The Rangers have great team speed and their power play has more puck movement than it did with Jagr at the helm. They like to move Wade Redden into the slot and give the opposition different looks. So far, so good for Markus Naslund who looks rejuvenated in New York. The Rangers have been phenomenal defensively and rank #1 in the league on the penalty kill (100.0%)
Phoenix, a team on the rise is 2-0. Rookie Kevin Porter is a player to keep an close eye on this season
The Vancouver Canucks are playing shutdown defense and surprisingly have scored 11 goals in two games. They have been a bit of a surprise thus far but it is very early.

The 2-1 St. Louis Blues are currently boasting the league’s top power play (55.6%). Where the Blues need improvement is keeping the puck out of the net.
Zach Parise is a absolute steal with a cap hit of only $3.1 million for the next three years. Parise has consecutive 30 goal seasons and if he was playing in a up tempo system he would net close to 40 goals a season. Parise is one of the league’s most under-rated players
Andrew Alberts will not solve the Flyers issues on defense. Upfront the Flyers can matchup with just about any team in the league but they are going to have problems against teams like Pittsburgh, Montreal and NYR who are strong down the middle.
Ryan Malone has 17PIM in three games with the Tampa Bay Lightning and he needs to go out and play his game instead of trying to be the teams bodyguard for Steve Stamkos.
The Penguins are lucky to have three points and it is probably too early to panic but the Penguins need to upgrade their wingers. The Penguins were able to get away with Mario Lemieux playing with below average wingers but Lemieux and Crosby are totally different players. Crosby is a playmaker and needs elite wingers to fulfill his potential. Trading for a rental player is not the answer and the Penguins know that. The Penguins are currently targeting young wingers with upside that have reasonable salaries. They need a winger that will be here for the long haul. They have the player to make that kind of deal

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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