Well give me a long weekend and I'll have a few odd thoughts.
-What the Hell is up with the Rangers. I mean, idiots like me were saying that Sather was just doing things the old Rangers way back this summer. But I never thought it'd actually come to pass. By that I mean just signing big names without a thought of how they'd fit or what the chemistry would be like. He even left a couple of holes, despite spending up to the cap.
I think that any changes need to start behind the bench. Most of the older players are either untradable or have NTC's, so almost any trade would involve trading youth. If I was a Rangers fan, I wouldn't want that to happen.
-Pittsburgh has not had trouble scoring since Idneysay Rosbycay was injured. If the Pens don't go belly up, it will be a huge credit to their coach, Michel Therrien and their corps of young players. Evgeny Malkin has really continued to step up his game and Jordan Staal has shown flashes of his rookie form.
If Ty Conklin can stay even close to as hot as he has been, the Pens should be able to weather the storm.
-Riley Cote is showing that the Philadelphia Flyers might not need an enforcer after all. Cote manhandled Ottawa's Brian McGratton Sunday night in a first period battle and he has held his own against a few other top shelf pugilists.
-The new Patrick Sharp deal has had people expressing shock and predicting the collapse of the NHL. Sharp is a good two way winger, who has now had back-to-back 20 goal seasons, is a dynamo on the PK and has no issue throwing his body around and will even drop the gloves if called upon.
I think this was a good signing by Dale Tallon and the Blackhawks. I called Sharp one of Bob Clarke's worst trades a couple of months ago, and I stand by that assessment.
-Now that the Maple Leafs saw their 3 game winning streak snapped by the Devils, is the JFJ deathwatch back on?
-Does Bruce Garrioch like to screw with Toronto fans or just the Toronto media? He sure did both with his rumor that the Flyers were ready to offer Jeff Carter and a first rounder to the Leafs for Mats Sundin. There's so many reasons that that rumor is ridiculous that I was amazed anyone took it seriously. Even for a minute.
-Why does Versus do a national game, featuring the Pens and the Caps, with all the young talent those two teams have, and send Joe Beninati to do play by play? That would be akin to hiring CC DeVille to play with Yo-Yo Ma.
-Great ceremony honoring Willie O'Ree before the Bruins-Rangers game. Mr O'Ree had a lot of heart and guts, not just by being the first black NHLer, but because he played 20+ years of pro hockey while blind in one eye. The breaking of the color barrier is impressive and deserving of all honor, and it took great men like Mr O'Ree and the late, great Jackie Robinson to handle it with class and grace.
One thing the NHL under Garry Bettman has done right is making sure that Mr O'Ree has a place in the game as ambassador and inspiration to every aspiring player, black, white, whatever. Congratulations Mr O'Ree, and thank you.