1. We're on twitter. I still don't know what the feck twitter is, but we're on it. Follow us, please, so that we feel someone is taking the 15 seconds to read our hockey thoughts. Or visit it here.
2. Kovalev is not playing in Buffalo tomorrow night due to injury. Does this mean that he was playing hurt since the Olympics or will we at least use that as an excuse for his lackadaisical play since the Break? Is it bad that I'm almost excited he's out because it means Chummy will draw back in and actually skate hard and try to score? Listen here, I've made no secret all season long that I was unhappy with the Kovalev signing. Sure, he's shown flashes of skill and has really driven our team's success at times, but I just don't think $5M is fair for a guy that has played as shitty as he has been in the past month. People will be quick to point out that we should have known this when we signed him - my response is that you're right and that's why I'm still pissed that we signed him!
3. I can't tell if I'm worried or relieved that Elliott has taken the reins of our goaltending graveyard. On one hand, it is nice to know that it is no longer a topic of fodder at the water cooler. On the other hand, can you really see Elliott winning a playoff series? Winning two? I hope he has shades of Emery from three years ago - just make the basic saves and give your team a chance to win.
4. The Michalek injury is going to be a huge, huge blow to this team. I know we've won two straight, but we accomplished both with just two goals for the good guys. Michalek is our leading goal scorer and if this injury lasts into the playoffs and God forbid requires surgery, we're in some trouble.
5. On Volchenkov. If you haven't listened to the podcast that the folks at 6th Sens had with A-Traing's agent, Jay Grossman, go check it out. One thing stood out to me as I see Eklund asking fans what they'd pay him. Grossman said that Anton wants to play for a contender not just because he wants to win, but because he doesn't want to spend the prime years of his career blocking shots for a losing team. He's smart enough to know that he'll really have 5 good years left before injuries catch up. Blocking shots is hard work and it is discouraging to do it for a team that can't truly use his services in their quest for the Cup. I guess that means we really need to show him that we're a serious playoff team. And if he doesn't want our money or our team, it would seem like he'd limit his suitors to contenders, unlike some other guys that just follow the money.
6. If A-Train does leave and we can't afford Sutton (please tell me he won't be looking for $3M anymore, or else he's gone), we're going to have a thin defence. I can't imagine that Cowen or Wiercioch will be ready for the big team in the Fall and Lee is still a work in progress. Like we've said before, the East is so bad this year that you can't fault Murray for going for it all right now. We'll fault him later if the plan doesn't work, but that's why he's in the hot seat and we're at home.
7. It pains me to see that there are still tickets left for the April 10th home game versus the Slugs. Why? Because fans should know about the tribute the organization is planning for Daniel Alfredsson for his 1000th game. C'mon people.
8. On headshots - I'm fine with a rule that punishes goons for stupid hits like Cooke's hit on Savard. I'm not fine with every single effing bodycheck being debated at length for what part of the hitter was used to hit what part of the hittee. There are so many bodychecks in a game with varying degrees of impact. There is such a thing as a good hockey hit that leaves the player very badly hurt. Based on the coverage this topic has received in the past few weeks, I'm a tad worried that pundits are going to start saying hard hits are actually dirty hits because the player fell over or lost his helmet. In a relates story, I love the way Andy Sutton has played in the past two games.
Week Ahead: Dec 8 to 14
4 hours ago