A few thoughts on/inspired by the games of 26 DECEMBER:
1. My Headline of the Night (which I just made up, so if you use it, you have to give me a nickel):
Fiddler Scores While Detroit Burns
Kudos to the Predators for their 3-2 defeat of the Red Wings. Given their off-ice issues (attendance, money, etc.), the fact that the Preds continue to ice decent teams year after year is remarkable. That said, the fact that they scored three goals against the defending Stanley Cup Champs is hardly worth mentioning. If you can't hang three on the Red Wings these days, you've got serious problems - Detroit has allowed three or more goals in 8 of their last 10 games. Is it because they really need Cheli that badly, or should they be in the market for a goalie? And if it's a goalie, who in the East (because no Western Conference GM in his right mind would give Detroit a goalie) has a starting goalie they'd be willing to part with? Boston's Fernandez comes to mind...
3. The Flyers arrival in the Windy City was delayed by problems on the ground which forced their plane to circle for an hour or so, which meant that they missed their morning skate. The Flyers needed more than a morning skate to avoid the beating they took. After winning five straight, Philly is 2-2-1 in their last five, and they've allowed 18 goals in those five games. Chicago, on the other hand, tied a franchise record with their 8th straight win, and Yours Truly will be watching Sunday to see if the 'Hawks can break the record against Minnesota.
4. Speaking of the Blackhawks...they're currently at the top of my list of Most Exciting Teams to Watch. Rounding out the Top Five are (in no particular order, because if you ain't first, you're last): Boston, Washington, Detroit and Los Angeles. Yes, you heard me: El Lay. They've got a bunch of talented kids out there, and if they can keep that nucleus together while adding a few pieces to the puzzle, the Kings are going to rule their division in 2-3 years.
5. No, San Jose isn't in my Top Five. I haven't seen enough of them to pronounce them, "Exciting". And now, you're wondering how it is that I haven't seen enough of them when I have the Center Ice package? The answer is simple: I don't watch San Jose much because I hate them. What can I say? I live in Dallas. I can watch the Kings, however, because they're not a threat to the Stars...yet.
That's it for tonight. Tomorrow is OGA (and families) Night at the Stars-Ducks game. The Stars' record this season when I attend games is a pitiful 2-3-2, but I take some comfort in the fact that they've won two in a row with Big Tex in the house. We'll see if they can extend the streak mañana...
Take me back to On Goal Analysis