Again this week I find myself struggling to come up with a topic worthy of a full column. With very little left to address in regards to the regular season pools there isn’t much that hasn’t been addressed already, and without knowing the playoff teams and/or match-ups, it is almost pointless to start making projections and forecasts as to their outcomes.
This leaves me spinning my mental wheels as to what I can amaze you with this week, and the result is my first ever Top 10 list.
This week’s list is called:
Top 10 Random Things I Came Up With In Order To Fudge This Week’s Column
1) How great is the Jeff Cowan story in Vancouver. The guy has some serious chemistry playing with the Sedin boys, and after his second goal the other night in Vancouver, a female fan threw her bra onto the ice. Think about how hilarious it will be if that fad catches on!!! A friend on mine, Brian Cairo, who lives out in the Vancouver area and consistently makes my “Funniest 3 People I Know” list, mentioned that his new nickname should be Cowan The Brabarian. This kind of stuff is what makes sports so damn great.
2) My pick for Stanley Cup champions remains the Buffalo Sabres, and after hearing the following factoid recently, I have more confidence than ever in my choice. When the regular season wraps up on April whatever, the Sabres will have played only 3 games outside of their time zone all year. Tell me that isn’t one of the most bizarre acts you have heard in a long time. 3 games out of 82 were played out of the Eastern Time Zone, and to make this even more favorable, the three games were played in the next door Central zone. That has gotta make a difference during the playoff grind.
3) I believe that Chris Simon had no intentions of his stick hitting Hollweg in the chin. If you want to stick a dude in the yap, it isn’t very hard to do it, and therefore I feel Simon was aiming to give him some upper chest music as opposed to the chin music that resulted. I also think his suspension was too long. On the suspension topic, I am shocked that Tootoo was suspended at all. Robidas was about to blindside him and Tootoo turned and gave him a little jab. The only reason Toots got suspended was because Robidas is a little visor wearing wuss and went down like he’d been shot. I can’t stand guys like that.
4) When it comesto playoff pools, I am a firm believer in the all or nothing approach. I decide which two teams I think are going to the finals, and then I will select most if not all of my guys from those two teams. Sure, you need to pick correct to have any chance of winning, and you may very well wallow in the middle of the pack for most of the first 2 rounds, but like in any other pool, it only matters who is winning when the last game ends.
5) As things have developed over the last month or so, am I the only one that thinks Anaheim and San Jose have no chance of making it out of the Western Conference? The Sharks can’t seem to get any sort of consistency or momentum built and the Ducks have regressed since Christmas, which is also a bad sign. My pick is still the Predators, but Vancouver and Luongo can’t be overlooked, nor can any of the other playoff bound teams in that side of the league.
6) Speaking of playoffs, I really can’t wait for those nights in mid May where it is warm enough to sit outside on a patio, and hammer back the pops while watching the games. Gives me chills just thinking about it. C’mon May.
7) Speaking again of playoffs, I have trouble recalling a season where so many playoff spots are still up for grabs and being battled for on a nightly basis, especially this late in the season. Not only are spots still up for grabs, but very little in the way of seeds have been locked up as well. It is all making for a playoff atmosphere that seemed to start in early March, and hopefully the teams that make it have enough in the tank to keep up this pace.
8) Prior to the trade deadline, I would think that many teams would not have been that concerned with drawing the Atlanta Thrashers in the first round (or any round) of the playoffs. However, the Thrashers added Tkachuk, Belanger, and Zhitnik in mid February, and have been a different team ever since. Not only have these three guys added some grit and toughness to the team, but the decision to make their moves almost a month prior to the deadline has not been given the credit it deserves. Making the moves early allowed some extra time for the new players to gel with their team, and thus put the Thrashers in a great groove while many of the other teams were working thru the hiccups of their newly acquired players in March.
9) Hopefully the meatheads in Philadelphia’s front office finally realize the importance of having a top tier goaltender in the fold. The Flyers are a much better team despite dumping most of their high priced talent, and a main reason is the play of Martin Biron. The moves also allow the Flyers young talent to gain some much needed experience in a trial by fire setting. I am so impressed with the play of this new look Flyers team that I am willing to put them in the 8th playoff spot in 2008.
10) After watching parts of the Phoenix and Columbus game last week, I couldn’t help but think that if those two teams were morphed into one, they you would have the Columbus Coyotes, and they still wouldn’t make the playoffs.
Until next week,