Saturday, January 6, 2007


The NHL is starting 2007 off with a bang. Thursday night may have featured 10-2 and 9-4 games, but this sequence is unbelievable. I don't think I've ever seen this happen before.

Are you kidding? The Stars ended up winning in a shootout, but who cares? Stefan has to feel like a chump after that. Wow.

Meanwhile, we're at the halfway point (roughly), so let's look around the league.

WALES CONFERENCE. Marty leads the league with 6 shutouts and is starting to look like his old self once again, with a stellar GAA. Although the Devils have some defensive injuries (White and Oduya out, Wisconsinite Brooks filling in--where does Lou find all these Americans?), youngster Zach Parise is coming along nicely. The Rangers broke their 6 game losing streak, and are now on a 4 game winning streak. The Islanders, well, are the Islanders, and have slipped from the top spot. However, none of these Patrick Division teams look like world beaters. This must be great news for Buffalo, who leads the NHL with 29 wins, and the only threat is the . . . Thrashers?

CAMPBELL CONFERENCE. The Ducks are still on top, but have had a rash of injuries lately: Pronger broke his foot and is out indefinitely, and Giguere is day-to-day with a groin. San Jose is the scariest team out here to me, with the Predators starting to roll as well. The Wild have emerged as the best home team, which makes me wonder why Minnesota ever lost their hockey team in the first place.

The funniest news has to be the NHL All-Star Game voting. For the first time the league has decided to go "all-digital" by allowing unlimited online voting. I'm guessing that now they're probably sorry that they did this. Journeyman defenseman Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has 1 point (0G-1A in 26 games, tied for 215th in scoring amongst defensemen) this season for Vancouver, has been part of a grassroots write-in campaign to get him on the team. Voting ended Jan 2nd with him garnering more votes than EVERY DEFENSEMAN EXCEPT FOR SCOTT NIEDERMEYER, and more votes than any player in the East except Crosby.

Rory Fitzpatrick Vancouver 428,832

That's right, he has more votes are than Lidstrom, Ignila, Hasek, Brodeur, Ovechkin, Briere, Jagr, or Malkin have. I love the way the article nonchalantly says, "Oh, and by the way he's in 2nd place." What they really should say is: "Thanks, you frigging insane Canadians, for making the whole online voting process a farce. You guys are dicks."

In other news, the Penguins are considering moving to Kansas City. This is a team that has the most exciting roster of young talent in the league, and that's the best city they could choose? I guarantee that everyone there would ask "Who's Malkin?", and the NHL marketers will wonder why the KC fanbase isn't as enthusiastic as Pitt, despite all the viability studies. Obviously, the people who run the NHL still don't "get it". Bettman has to fucking go already.

Merry New Year! NHL ON NBC starts Saturday.