Thursday? So soon?
Things have been a little nuts around here; I had the worst haircut ever yesterday (actually, second worst. In highschool I had a haircut that was so bad my computer science teacher teased me). Everyone knows, bad hair just throws the day's mojo out the window.
This week has seemed kinda big as far as hockey news. For once, I actually had MORE than 13 thoughts, but shortened my list for all of you. Please enjoy this week's 13 Thursday Thoughts on hockey stuff:
(please read responsibly)
#13 John Pohl makes his return as the Chicago Wolves take on the Toronto Marlies at the Ricoh Coliseum on Friday. For some reason I am far more anxious to see how Pohl is progressing rather than how badly Chelios is degressing. Pohl's journey to the NHL deserves a writer, a publisher and an excellent novel. Former Marlie, Tim Stapleton, also to make his return to the Ricoh.
#12 Zack Stortini earns himself a Gordie Howe Hat Trick Wednesday night as his Oilers defeated the Bolts 3-2. I find it interesting that on only two instances Gordie Howe recorded a goal, assist and fight in a single game.
#11 The Maple Leafs have been on quite the hot streak in December, winning four of five games and out scoring their opponents 19-14. Coach Ron Wilson remarked during a recent interview that all the while the Buds have had very little practice time. The Leafs have played five games in nine days, competed in the Maple Leafs skills competition and held an outdoor community practice. I say, if the Leafs can pull out four wins without practice - to hell with it!
#10 The NHL has announced that it will be planning a two day fan festival outside of Fenway park during the Winter Classic. The festival will include Bruins alumni, live musical performances, interactive hockey-themed attractions and chances to win tickets to the outdoor game to be held on New Years Day at 1pm EST (21 days & 20 hours away).
#9 The Carolina Hurricanes look to be the next recipient of a first overall pick as they sit at the bottom of the league with only 19 points, 8 behind the 29th place Leafs. The Canes have performed at a mediocre 6-7-2 at home, but have been completely obliterated while on the road (1-11-3). Could we see Rutherford wave goodbye to Maurice for a 2nd time? I doubt it, I believe there are at least 12 players who will see the door before the two-time Canes bench boss.
#8 It has been confirmed that Cody Hodgson will not be joining team Canada at the World Junior Championships this year, where the red and white team looks to defend it's 5 year winning streak. Hodgson suffered a back injury over the summer months, and released Tuesday that he will not be attending camp. Though team Canada has newcomer's Kadri, Schenn and Seguin to more than adequately fill the centre positions, Cody's experience having won last year on the world stage is an invaluable loss to the team. Team Canada does not plan to invite an additional candidate in Hodgson's place.
#7 With Kessel being dealt to Toronto for two first rounder's and a second, media and fans alike scoffed, announcing that Phil will not be nearly as effective without his former centre Marc Savard. Don't look now haters, but Kessel leads all Bruins (yes, I said Bruins) in goals scored with 10. Let's keep in mind that Phil missed October while he continued to recover from shoulder surgery. And how has Savard faired? Marc's 2 goals and 12 assists can not compare to Kessel's 10 tallies and 6 helpers. I don't think Savard's nearly as productive without Kessel. Bruins lose.
#6 While on the thought of goal scoring, the San Jose Sharks were the NHL's first team this season to register 100 goals for. On the opposite, and far more embarrassing side of the track, it's no big surprise that the Toronto Maple Leafs was the first to cross the 100 goals against mark.
#5 With the season being shortened by the Olympic break, nearly half the NHL's teams will be playing four games this week, and we can expect this pace to continue for most of the season. To be honest, you don't see me complaining. I get to take in a lot more puck instead of the Pratt's or Scott's of the Mrs. favourited Hills or One Tree Hill episodes.
#4 The North East division is currently the NHL's weakest. The NE leading Buffalo Sabres have only 36 points, eight behind the South East leading Capitals, and only one more than the Pacific's fourth place Stars. Ouch.
#3 The Flyers parted ways with coach John Stevens last week, and invited Peter Laviolette to take his place. Unfortunately Laviolette's troops responded to the change in command by falling 8-2 to Washington's Capitals, handing the Flyers their most embarrassing loss of the season. Is Philly destined to be the next Ottawa?
#2 Toronto Maple Leafs have been attempting to turn around their dismal start to the season by posting a 7-2-1 record over their last ten games, tying them for the best "Last Ten" record in the league.... with six other teams. Still, the patience Ron Wilson has demonstrated with the Leafs makes him worthy of sainthood, or at least a Nobel prize. Here's to an equally impressive record over the next ten.
#1 And what's my number one thought for the week? This rarely cherished and highly disputed position belongs to none other than MB103 - Martin Brodeur for tying the seemingly unbreakable NHL record of 103 shutouts set by Terry Sawchuk 46 years ago. As much admiration as I have for Brodeur, I just have one thing to say - Sawchuk did it without a mask.
That's it for this week. I'm considering recording my 13 Thursday Thoughts as a video blog and posting it on YouTube - it could be a fun Rick Mercer type account of the week's NHL stories (to be honest, I just came up with that idea while writing this week's thoughts). Good idea? Bad idea? Let me know!
Until next time, stay online!