December 28, 2008

Puttin' On the Foil - A Weekly NHL Recap 12/28

MONOLOGUE
Should the Winter Classic become an annual event for the NHL? Yes.

I've been a strong proponent of hockey taking New Year's Day from college football. January 1 is no longer all about football like it was years ago when majority of the bowl games were played on that day. This year there's only five games on tap and two in direct competition with the Red Wings-Blackhawks game at 1pm ET. Why should the NHL shy away from a day that used to be about college football?

Weather is obviously a huge concern for holding these games, but the more and more times the league holds the Winter Classic, the better the technology will be to help keep the ice conditions in top shape.

So I look forward to seeing hockey played at Yankee Stadium (new or old), anywhere in Minnesota, Beaver Stadium, Michigan Stadium, and any other interested city willing to host hockey's new annual tradition.

WEEK THAT WAS
Marian Gaborik was told to take two games off and rest his groin. Let the trade rumor-mill heat up.

Rookie-of-the-year candidate Derick Brassard of the Blue Jackets is done for the year after separating his shoulder during a fight.

The Phoenix Coyotes are struggling so bad financially, that the NHL has stepped in and is helping out the club.

The ice at Wrigley Field will be speaking to the NHL's ice guru, Dan Craig.

John Tavares was atop the scouting poll in a survey done by TSN.

The Capitals will retire Mike Gartner's No. 11 Monday night before they take on the Maple Leafs.

EXCELLENT ELEVEN POWER RANKINGS
11. Vancouver Canucks
10. New Jersey Devils
9. Calgary Flames
8. Montreal Canadiens
7. New York Rangers
6. Philadelphia Flyers
5. Washington Capitals
4. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Detroit Red Wings
2. Boston Bruins
1. San Jose Sharks

LET'S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE
This week's Coach's Corner with Don Cherry.


Chicago Mayor Richard Daley tours the Winter Classic site.


12 Days of Christmas: Bruins-style.


PLAYER OF THE WEEK (12/21-12/27)
Bryan Little, Atlanta Thrashers
3 GP, 5 G, 5 PTS, +1, 3 PPG
Who's Bryan Little is likely what you're saying. At the moment, he's Atlanta's fourth leader scorer. His 17 goals lead the Thrashers and he's also one of the few members of the team who's a plus for the season.

GAME OF THE WEEK
Washington Capitals at New York Rangers 12/23
It was a comeback led by their best player, Alex Ovechkin. His wacky goal midway through the second period was the catalyst and his interception in the third led to the game tying goal. Ovechkin loves playing on the big stage, especially one as big as Madison Square Garden. After the Rangers took a 4-0 lead, you would have thought Washington was ready to quit, but poor defensive play and too many turnovers by New York helped the Capitals back into the game.

Highlights:


UPCOMING GAME OF INTEREST
Thursday, January 1, 1p.m. ET
Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks
The second Winter Classic is setting up to be another memorable event for the NHL and a very important two points are up for grabs in the Central Division. The two teams will have a dress rehearsal, indoors in Detroit, on Tuesday night, which could set the stage for any lingering feelings from this Original Six rivalry. With the skyline in the outfield, the setting of Wrigley Field will be much more beautiful than Ralph Wilson Stadium a year ago.

GRATUITOUS PITTSBURGH PENGUINS RELATED AWESOMENESS
Do the Penguin Dance with Tux, the mascot of the Wilkes-Barre Penguins.


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3 comments:

7th Woman said...

Weather not withstanding, the Winter Classic MUST be an Annual event! How else do we get hockey on the map in main stream USA! And the Noon air time is perfect as most adults are still recovering and curled up in a ball on the couch moaning.

I will be sitting in a bar way up north with an Irish coffee (or three) and enjoying every minute of it.

Ovechkin is amazing. HE should be the face of the NHL! Although not as pretty a face as Crosby.

JPFDeuce said...

Technically the Winter classic became an annual event after they repeated the novelty of it.

Personally? I'm all for it. Sean you pointed out a great reason why New Years day is an optimal time to have the game: College football has decided to spread it's bowl game schedule out over several weeks instead of lopping all games (marquee and otherwise) on New Years Day. There should be a marquee/novelty sporting event of grand proportions, and if the NCAA and BCS want to concede this ground -- the NHL is wise to jump all over it.

I can see Denver (Invesco field), Calgary, Toronto (Skydome) and even non-NHL cities hosting the game.

Cornelius Hardenbergh said...

any other interested city willing to host hockey's new annual tradition.

Bruins @ Fenway. Gotta happen.