“I Might Just Be A Hockey Fan In California” is a feature that is posted every Saturday here at the View From My Seats. There are plenty of things going on in the hockey world (and even the sports world); and you know everyone has an opinion. This is a place for some quick hits of the week that was.
I might just be a hockey fan in California, but:
- It might just be time to start taking the Tampa Bay Lightning seriously this year. After a strong start and a rough stretch, people weren’t sure which version was the “real” team. With their recent hot streak, superstars up front, and a goaltender to help hide mistakes by an average defense, you might want to take a second look at the Bolts.
- People say the NHL season is too long. Please, have you seen how long the college bowl season has lasted?
- An obvious statement right now would be to say, “The Flyers are good.” But think of this, Chris Pronger has been out since mid-December and they’re still one point from 1st place in the Eastern Conference—and as good as their forwards are, the team is on a completely different level when he’s out on the ice for 25 minutes per game. Yes they’re good, but I don’t think people quite realize just how good they are.
- At last check, Niklas Hagman had 17 points in 40 games played. He’s way too good to be a 35 point guy—perfect example of a guy who needs a change of scenery. Judging by his healthy scratch against the Canucks, maybe the Flames are starting to feel the same way?
- The Anaheim Ducks look like they have a good one in Kyle Palmieri. Great skill mixed in with some nastiness. He should fit right in.
- Remember those ridiculous “Jordan Staal for Alexander Frolov” rumors a couple of years ago? Think Rangers fans would be down?
- In a move that surprised absolutely no one, the International Olympic Committee confirmed that they are unwilling to pay NHL owners for NHL players to participate in Sochi. Clearly, NHL owners getting paid goes along with Bettman’s notion of it being “for the good of the game.” Why does this feel like NOTHING more than a bargaining chip for the next CBA?
- Here’s what I know about new potential Sabres owner, Terry Pegula. Actually, this is more about what I know about Sabres fans. Hopefully the new rich guy spends more than the old rich guy did.
- In a vacuum, I like the Jaime Langenbrunner trade for the Dallas Stars. Aside from the Devils, he’d make every team in the league a little better. But, we’re not operating in a vacuum; we’re talking about a team on a strict budget going through a sale. On a team where their strengths are obviously their forwards, they grabbed another forward. Will they still be able to get a Top 4 defenseman to go with Robidas, Daley, and Grossman? Will they still be able to make a run (and sign) Brad Richards? I know they want to—but we’re talking about finite dollars and a team has just added significant payroll now (Langenbrunner) and in the future (Daley’s extension).
- Jay Feaster, I hope you have a plan. A ton of no-movement contracts, cap issues, and an average prospect pool at best. If you know how to get out of this mess, you must know something that I don’t.
- The Western Conference standings are an absolute bottleneck from 4th place to 13th. But while the teams in the middle of the pack are trying to sort themselves out, the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings are starting to separate themselves as the cream of the crop. Shocker.
- Speaking of the Vancouver Canucks, when Ryan Kesler is scoring goals, I don’t think they can be beat. Seriously, if he was a goal scorer, they’d be 82-0. As it is, they’re only 26-8-5.
- Tell me that Maxim Lapierre with the Anaheim Ducks isn’t the perfect fit? I’m waiting for the day they sign Matt Cooke.
- I don’t think people understand how big of a deal the attendance spike has been for the Nashville organization. During the time that football is king in the south, the Preds have been playing to 93.4% capacity. Keep this in mind, every year their attendance jumps in the 2nd half of the season—Nashville could be a tough place to play in 2011.
- Nope. Still don’t care about comics.
- I know there was a lot of debate about Steckel’s hit on Crosby, whether it was intentional/accidental, and whether it warranted a suspension. For all of that noise, I don’t care. However, how the hell was Crosby allowed to play the rest of the game AND THE NEXT GAME before being diagnosed with a concussion? What is this, the KHL?
- So now the team with arguably the best line in hockey has a legitimate NHL goaltender? Well played Mr. Yzerman. Well played Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Speaking of the Islanders fire sale, what are the chances that impending unrestricted free agent Matt Moulson is traded? On a scale of 1-10, I’d give it about a 17.
- Not only was Michael Leighton waived and sent to the AHL, but Paul Holmgren was actively trying to trade him before the demotion. Just 6 months ago, he was leading his team to the Stanley Cup Finals—now, not only does his team feel like they don’t need him, no one else does either.
- There’s no way in the world the Devils would even CONSIDER the notion of trading Zach Parise, right?
- Gary Bettman is a pompous little person that needs to be fired for the good of the game.
Click here for our archive of past editions of our “I Might Just Be A Hockey Fan In California” feature.