This is Week 3 of the Ask Adam column Â– I'd call it Â“AAÂ”, but that brings up some negative connotations, and not just for those who've flown American Â– and the questions are as good as ever (Thanks to all Â“AskersÂ” for their patience in waiting to see their question).
Who do you think is the most overrated player in the NHL and the most overrated team?
- Jim S., New Brunswick
Until he's on a team that makes it past the second round of the playoffs, Roberto Luongo is my most overrated NHLer. The Hockey News' Yearbook had him ranked as the 25th-best player in the league Â– ahead of Dion Phaneuf, for goodness' sake. Even if Miikka Kiprusoff got suspended for a DiPietro-ish period of time, Darryl Sutter would be run out of town if he swapped Phaneuf for Luongo. No GM in his right mind would deal Phaneuf, and two GMs in their right mind Â– OK, maybe we're stretching it a little with Mike Millbury Â– have already have dealt Luongo.
As for an overrated team, let's go with the Lightning. When I saw one columnist's prediction the Bolts would not only make the playoffs, but finish first in the Eastern Conference, I almost choked on my soup.
I've been swallowing my soup much easier since then, as Tampa Bay is currently at the bottom of the Southeast Division. They won't stay in that slot all year, but I still don't see them as a post-season team. Nothing against Ryan Craig, but when Ryan Craig is your top scorer, somethin' ain't goin' as planned.
What's up with the Flyers this season? Before the season everyone was harping on their D, saying it was too slow, outdated, whatever (and Lars Jonsson spraining his ankle in the pre-season doesn't help, although maybe Rathje's injury does). Nobody thought that their offense would be a problem. But they're scoring less than two goals a game, and only the Forsberg-Gagne-Knuble line (or whatever line Knuble gets put on) can put it in the net. Esche, who got them to the brink against Tampa before the lockout, looks like a sieve, while torn-labrum Niittymaki can't save a sinking ship all by himself, even when he does play like he did in the Olympics.
Any ideas on what's going on, and how to fix things?
Thanks, from an increasingly desperate Flyers fan,
- Dave Margolis
I wrote about the Flyers in my Screen Shots column yesterday (You can check it out HERE). From the early e-mail responses to it, I can safely say you're one of the more rational Flyers fans out there.
I do have one regret about what I wrote: after last night's Flyers-Lightning game, I wish I hadn't taken out a reference to Peter Forsberg and the injury bug we all suspected would bite him. I mean, half that column was on easy predictions, and I didn't mention El Grando Fragile? Whadda putz.
I know it's early in the season but I already have a nervous trade twitch in my Fantasy Hockey League. I have Paul Mara as one of my D's but I am a little nervous the way Boston is playing right now.
Would it be too impulsive to give up on him this early in the season or should I make a trade for another available player such as Duvie Westcott (who's hot at the moment), Ryan Suter or Matt Carle?
- Dennis Roy
If you can trade Paul Mara for Matt Carle, stop reading at the end of this sentence, go make the deal immediately, and then come back to read the last paragraph.
I definitely underestimated Carle. After his two-assist performance against Detroit last night, last season's Hobey Baker Award-winner is leading all NHL defensemen in scoring. The rookie wall might slow the 22-year-old Shark down, but he looks like he'll definitely be in the mix (along with Evgeni Malkin and Anze Kopitar) for the Calder Trophy this year.
Ask Adam appears every Friday only on The Hockey News.com. To send us your question or comment, click HERE.