Wednesday, January 25, 2012

random thoughts

Remember 'Making the Cut' ?  I don't know why I thought of it the other night, but for whatever, from some crevace of my mind creeped a memory of the NHL reality show, and I had to think to myself: Why don't they resurrect it?  With the wild success of 'The Ultimate Fighter' why hasn't the NHL gotten back on board with this show.  With the level of talent out there in Europe, the AHL, ECHL and College, there's got to be enough quality players to fill out a roster for the show.  I think the league should bring it back ASAP!

Next in this epic brain-dump, what the heck just happened in Montreal?  Ok, one game, especially the last game before the all-star break, does not a season make, but dropping 7 goals on a veteran savvy Wings team that still is second in the Western Conference in goals allowed is a pretty impressive accomplishment.  The team has been a massive underachievement, and they began righting the ship by firing an Assistant Coach, weeks later the Head Coach and replacing him with a non-Francophoner, and then gassed their premiere goalscorer, recooping an overpaid and oft-suspended power forward with a bad contract.  Recently, they've hung their young phenom defenseman, PK Subban, out to dry in the media, and for whatever reason, the team is finally getting it.  I can't point to anything they've done to rebound, but, quietly, the Bourque/Camalleiri swap is paying dividends, and Tomas Kaberle has stepped in admirably running the powerplay while Subban gets out of his funk and Markov rehabds...still.

Even more interesting in the Eastern Conference is the play of the Tampa Bay Lightning and their French connection, Martin St.Louis and Vinny Lecavalier.  They've won four straight games, including victories over Dallas, Phoenix, Boston and Columbus, tallying 13 goals in that quartet of Ws, a pace of 3.25 goals per game, up from the 2.6 they had averaged previous to this hot streak.  Perhaps more importantly they've allowed just nine goals in that stretch, a pace of 2.25 goals against per game, much improved over the 3.5 they had been pacing all season prior.  OK.  It's not rocket science.  The Lightning are scoring more goals, and have decreased goals against, but it's not just the numbers.  St.Louis and Lecavalier have combined for 13 points over that stretch.

These two teams were surprise members of the bottom-seven in the Eastern Conference, both playoff teams last season, the Lightning infact just one win from a finals appearance, and headed in to the All Star break the tide is turning for both franchises.

If you're like me, the 'Fantasy' Draft before the All Star Game is more exciting than the game or skills competition, but why is it called a Fantasy Draft?  It's really happening isn't it?  I for one would love to see Phil Kessel picked last again this year...why not?  Also, since the game will not feature the games two top talents, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, they should just call it the B-List Skate.

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