Ice Chips: Taking Delight in the Misery of Others
First, the bad news.
Just when will the sleeping New York Rangers wake up? How can Jaromir Jagr have one goal in nine games? How can Chris Drury have one goal in nine games? How can no one on the team have more than two goals? If not for the stellar play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the slumping team might actually be even worse than their brutal 3-5-1 record.
Colorado Av Paul Stastny, who started the season on a tear, is also starting to return to earth, goalless in his last five games. Sidney Crosby is also in a bit of a funk, with just three goals and nine assists on the season. Because let’s be honest. If you’re an NHL player with your own fashion line, you’re going to be held to a very high production standard. Alexander Ovechkin has nine points (five goals and four assists) and that’s enough because he doesn’t design clothing.
Conversely, how can Mike Cammalleri already have 10 goals? He’s almost a third of the way toward last season’s career high of 34. Anze Kopitar, his L.A. King linemate, is sure feeling the benefits of a hot streak, piling on eight assists so far this season.
Over in Boston, where sources report there’s some sort of baseball thing going on, they’ve got an interesting goalie system in place. Tim Thomas, ostensibly the back-up goalie, is sporting a league-leading .962 save percentage and 1.20 GAA over five games. Manny Fernandez, brought in to start, is struggling along with an .832 save percentage and 3.93 GAA over four games. So while it seems pretty obvious Thomas maybe deserves the starting role, coach Claude Julien seems to be keeping Thomas on an insanely short leash. If the numbers continue this way, though, you have to believe Thomas will get a more regular role.
In Toronto, Mats Sundin is putting up huge numbers (three goals and five assists in the past four games and 18 points on the season) despite vague rumors the Leafs might be looking to dump him in an attempt to go younger.
If you’re anything like me, you haven’t seen or heard anything about the Chicago Blackhawks since Bobby Hull left. But if you don’t know the name Patrick Kane, you’ll probably know it by the end of the season. The rookie has 13 points. Meanwhile, Yanic Perreault, signed for his Nicholas Cage/John Travolta-esque faceoff skills, is now struggling to crack the Chicago lineup. Perreault, on his fifth team since 2004, might not want to make any long-term plans in the Chicago area. I’m guessing he’ll move sooner rather than later.
The Week Ahead
- Saturday, after nine games on the road, the Devils, playing in a new New Jersey town, in a new arena, play their first home game of the season. In between reintroducing themselves to their families, collecting mail, and catching up on TiVo, the Devils will try and find time to play the Ottawa Senators.
- Monday, Pacific Division mates Dallas and San Jose meet for the first time this season. The Sharks have yet to play anyone in their division. You’ve got to love that NHL scheduling. Nothing builds a rivalry like a game every few weeks.