A McKeen's MomentPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
“The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!” – Navin R. Johnson This is even better than the glorious annual arrival of the new phone book. One of the many wonderful things to look forward to with the impending onset of a new hockey season is a plethora of new preview publications. Last week, the best of all the annual preview magazines – McKeen’s Hockey Pool Yearbook – found its way into my mailbox. Gus Katsaros, James Mirtle and a cast of dozens have again put together a terrific and comprehensive publication, so my thanks and congratulations to them. If you’re in a hockey pool or fantasy league, you should definitely grab a copy. My own favorite part of each year’s edition of McKeen’s is the comprehensive, in-depth player profiles for a dozen or so players on each of the 30 NHL teams. The predictions are also fun to check out. I haven’t had as much time to devour the 2011-12 McKeen’s in its entirety as I’d like to yet, but that’s because there’s a lot going on in these parts right now. Rookie camp is underway, most of the veterans are already in town and are just days away from starting camp, a hefty stack of media guide edits stares me in the face. That said, I’ll offer a few teases from this year’s edition. Serving primarily as a hockey pool guide, McKeen’s doesn’t concern itself with postseason results. But it does predict the Caps to come in at 108 points, good enough for the 2011-12 Presidents’ Trophy. The McKeen’s prediction/projection has the Capitals winning the Southeast by 11 points over Tampa Bay and taking the Eastern Conference by four points over Buffalo. McKeen’s has the Caps with 255 goals scored and 214 goals against for the season, as compared to Washington’s actual totals of 219 and 191, respectively, from the 2010-11 season. That’s a decent bump of plus-13 in goal differential. The magazine projects a Richard Trophy (50 goals) and an Art Ross (109 points) for Caps’ captain Alex Ovechkin, and it projects bounce-back seasons for each of the other three “Young Guns” (Alexander Semin, Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom) as well as Brooks Laich. McKeen’s will occupy a spot in my travel bag all season, and I’ll consume it chunks at a time, reading about each team as they come up on the Caps’ schedule, if not much sooner. You can go to mckeenshockey.com to order one for yourself.
Just two short seasons ago, Spencer Carbery was still active as a player in the ECHL. The Victoria, B.C. native chipped in 10 goals and 29 points as a left wing for the 2009-10 South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL. Now, less than two months before his 30th birthday, the youthful-looking Carbery is