Three topics to touch on briefly.
1. I'm thoroughly excited for the Rangers-Thrashers game tonight. It will be interesting to see how the Rangers respond to being back at home. This is an extremly important game. A win will put the series at 3-0 and put New York in a comfortable position to move on. A loss and the Thrashers gain a huge amount of momentum and could turn the tide of the entire series. Things I'll be watching tonight:
- Jagr. I think if he can have two points in this game, the Rangers win.
- Sean Avery. He was the talk of game two. It will be interesting to see how the Thrashers respond to him. If they haven't figured out how to deal with him without losing their cool, Avery will once again tip the scales in favor of the Rangers
- Lethonen (or however you spell it!). The goaltending swapping has left a lot of people asking questions. I'm one of them. Whether Lethonen lets that affect his head could very well make the difference in this game.
2. I just wanted to congratulate Nathan Davis on being named to the United States national team for the World Championships. The roster was released today, and it consists almost entirely of NHL players. However, there are two collegiate players on the roster, one of which is Nathan Davis, from Miami (Ohio) University. I'm a Miami alumnus and have watched Nathan in person over the past couple of years. I watched as he broke out as a sophomore and really came into his own, and then this past year as a junior as he truly led the Redhawks, taking them to their second straight NCAA tournament. While he definitely didn't do it alone, he was clearly the leader of the team, and often the best player on the ice. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. He's a great two-way player, a smooth skater, very level-headed and mature on the ice, and a has a nack for finding the open net or the open man. He has scored some beautiful goals and helped win some of the best hockey games (on any level) that I've ever seen. I hope his opportunity to play with NHL'ers on the national team goes well, and I hope to see him succeeding in the NHL himself in a couple of years.
3. Last, but definitely not least, I just wanted to take a moment to ackowledge the lives lost in the Virginia Tech tragedy yesterday. I don't think we will ever understand (or be able to completely stop) such senseless, inhuman acts. While I never attended Virginia Tech, I am a huge fan of the Tech football team, and was just in Blacksburg about a month ago. It boggles my mind that such a beautiful, serene place could be shattered so suddenly. My thoughts and prayers are with those who may have lost someone in this tragedy.