With a network as vast as ours here at SB Nation, we figured we'd put our fine hockey bloggers to good use. You've got questions every week. We know. And we're here to help.
Each Monday at noon ET we'll take your questions on Twitter at @SBNationNHL. Our NHL Blog Council (made up of different bloggers from around the SBN hockey network) will meet and consider your queries. Later in the week we will render our verdicts to the masses.
Without further ado ...
Blog Council: COMMENCE
John Fontana, Raw Charge: Your whole goal right now is to fight to make it to the playoffs, where anything can happen because everything that has happened in the course of the regular season is now moot (unless it’s bad blood between two teams playing against each other). Where the Cats are standing right now, they got a pretty good shot at the playoffs and most any club who gets that far has a legit chance of going further.
Can they get to the Finals or go all the way? Remains to be seen … the talent and experience is there though, and it’s not by illegitimate means they’re showing themselves as contenders.
Dan Bradley, On The Forecheck: Not this year, but crazier things have happened. They have the mobile defense, the big centermen and the playoff goalie. That's been the formula used for cup winners as of late. If they choose to make some silly deadline deal, they may have a shot at getting to the conference finals. But if the measuring stick is a healthy Washington or New York Rangers, that's a big task for them to take one. But full credit to the Panthers for rebuilding better than Edmonton or Colorado so far.
Brendan Porter, Five For Howling: In 2011-12, the Coyotes made it to the Western Conference Finals despite a 49.9 Score Adjusted 5v5 CF% in the regular season and a dismal 43.8 Score Adjusted 5v5 CF% in the playoffs. They did it thanks to Mike Smith, who posted a .936 5v5 save percentage that regular season and a .952 5v5 save percentage in the playoffs.
This year, the Florida Panthers have a 48.3 Score Adjusted 5v5 CF%, while Roberto Luongo has a .943 5v5 save percentage. I wouldn't expect this to last over a long period of time, but the Panthers just need it to last for at most 28 playoff games.
Laura Astorian, St. Louis Game Time: I don't see why not. Any team that strings together a 10-game winning streak in today's NHL has a shot at it. It's just a matter of consistency and a matter of them being able to maintain a high level of effort and play. I'd be thrilled to see them in the SCF.
- Roberto Luongo gets 2011 Tim Thomas hot
- Everything breaks just the right way
- They continue to fly high on PDO
- Everyone else gets hurt, and they're all healthy
- They don't overpay for a not-good player at the deadline
- Jagr remembers how to bury a damn puck in the playoffs YEAH I SAID IT
If they do all of those things, then maybe. But I still wouldn't put my own money on it. Besides, you know they're doomed to failure because Steve Simmons wrote a column about the Panthers being "a special team" just the other day.
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@SBNationNHL if Drouin gets traded, where is he likely to land? Could you see him being packaged with Stamkos if TBL drops out of playoffs?— Ryan Dever (@RyDeve) January 4, 2016
John Fontana, RC: Wherever Jonathan Drouin lands, the GM has to be tolerable of Allan Walsh and be ready to deal with their own drama with Drouin if he doesn't like how some aspect. While interest is being expressed far an wide by fans, the complications of costs and of dealing with Walsh do factor in. I don't see him staying in the Atlantic Division in a trade unless the club that proposes it is giving up much more than Drouin is worth.
The Lightning aren't looking to move Steven Stamkos unless they can’t sign him to an extension. Even then, if the Bolts wanted to unload him then Stamkos holds a lot of sway in where he’d go – he’s got a no-move clause, and you’d have to expect him to want to go to a contender before hitting the market as a free agent. At the same time, being out of contention doesn’t dictate moving Stamkos in a sell-off. Tampa Bay isn’t going to give up the franchise player because of a season marred by roster injuries and inconsistent play.
Now the idea of packaging Stamkos and Drouin together in a deal is a little out there, to say the least. With how fans alone are proposing wild things for Drouin, which clubs out there actually have the assets to pay the ransom it’d take to land both Drouin and Stamkos? Then factor in trying to sway Stammer to lift his NMC and you’ve got basically no one who can accomplish both feats in swaying Steve Yzerman and sway Steven Stamkos at the same time.
Dan Bradley, OTF: How about Colorado? They've been known to overpay in a trade to get "their guy," and Patrick Roy knows Drouin. It's not like the Avs are a great threat to do anything this year as-is, and they can swap a prospect or a cheaper defender in order to clear cap room for Tampa. Matt Carle is the most expensive defender for Tampa, and he's been scratched lately. Colorado could use the help. And as coy as Yzerman has been, he knows how to win a trade.
Brendan Porter, FFH: The Drouin situation in Tampa is bizarre on so many levels. I suspect Steve Yzerman would prefer to trade him out of the conference if possible. Arizona has been mentioned as a possible destination given the team's glut of forward prospects and lack of center depth, but I don't think Arizona is going to be willing to part with enough of its own prospects to trade for a guy who, for whatever reason, hasn't been able to lock down a regular top six job. If he gets moved, I would guess Vancouver, a team with a need at center.
I can't imagine an NHL GM willing to offer enough for a Steven Stamkos rental along with Drouin. The New Jersey Devils have enough cap space right now to not need to move around too many roster players, so maybe they could try it. But are Stamkos/Drouin enough to put the 27th ranked scoring offense over the hump? I don't know if it's worth it.
Laura Astorian, SLGT: If he's packaged with Stamkos, it's going to have to be to a team that can afford it. Drouin's affordable, but Stamkos is going to require some cap clearing, especially if the team's intent is to sign him and keep him around.
TB apparently has been chatting with the Rangers, and I have a sneaking suspicion that's where Drouin winds up. They need a boost, and he's not exactly high risk. Maybe he thrives in a different system.
Cornelius Hardenbergh, SCoC: Not the Bruins. Maybe Nashville? They are screaming for a trade right now. Probably the Blackhawks, because life is grim and nothing good ever happens. I still think Stamkos re-signs in Tampa, personally. But then, I thought Tyler Seguin would be a Bruin for longer than three years. So what do I know?
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If I eat myself, do I become twice as big or disappear completely? @SBNationNHL— Blackhawks Breakdown (@HawksBreakdown) January 5, 2016
John Fontana, RC: I become a vomitous mass of hunger and disgust because I wouldn’t get that far in a self-meal. At least that'd happen without garlic and a nice marinara sauce to make the self-ingestion more appealing. Add a nice Chardonnay to wash it down and I’d become a vapor cloud that’d be appealing in Italian restaurant.
Dan Bradley, OTF: Eventually you would disappear, as the energy required to continue eating would lessen your body mass over time, and gradually your body would diminish if the process was repeated. Plus, since 60 percent of the human body is water, there aren't enough nutrients to rebuild your body properly.
Brendan Porter, FFH: I like to think you'd create a Mobius Strip of Consumption that never begins and never ends.
Laura Astorian, SLGT: Ask Ken Hitchcock.
Cornelius Hardenbergh, SCoC: Per the best reference on the topic, "Hungry Mungry," you disappear:
Then sitting there in the cold dark air,
He started to nibble his feet,
Then his legs, then his hips
Then his neck, then his lips
Till he sat there just gnashin' his teeth
'Cause nothin' was nothin' was
Nothin' was nothin' was
Nothin' was left to eat.