Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend's events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
Starting tomorrow, it's time for Olympic hockey. That long break is great news for a lot of guys in the NHL that are trying to work through injuries (I'm lookin' at you,
or people like me, whose favorite team seems to go out of its way to infuriate you. Tomas Holmstrom (notes))
And it's also great news for those clueless members the sports media who will for once be forced to discuss hockey as though they somehow care about or understand it, and in doing so make themselves look quite foolish.
But as we all know, this is a time for predictions, and as the internet's most brilliant prognosticator (I'm currently on pace to finish about 16 for 20 on my NHL season predictions), I figured I'd throw my hat into the ring with some daring predictions as to how the next two weeks will go.
Of course, I'm not interested in where everyone ends up at the end of the tournament, because that isn't as fun as examining how everyone will get their feelings hurt along the way.
( Coming up : Crazy old man Noel has a few tricks up his sleeve; emerges Victor-ious; Turco's on one of his runs; professional journalists have apparently lost their minds this weekend; the Roast of the Canucks; Adam McQuaid (notes) comes to play; and another three-team trade proposal, because everyone loves those.) Cam Barker (notes)
will be the best player at the Games now that he doesn't have to defend 3-on-0 breaks. Ryan Miller (notes)
foot will actually fall off at some point. Peter Forsberg's (notes) Adrian Dater will steal it and keep it under his pillow when he sleeps.
will continue to show up for his Dinamo Riga practices, and one day work up the courage to mention to Martin Prusek that the rink is awful empty these days. Prusek will say "Shut up, Arnason, and get me another Gatorade." Tyler Arnason (notes)
will make it to Vancouver after all, only as Mike Green (notes) hair adviser. Jaromir Jagr's (notes)
5. Sid Crosby wins two medals, bronze with the men's team and gold with the women's. (That joke's for you, Pens fans!)
6. The Oilers' two representatives, Russia's
and Slovakia's Denis Grebeshkov (notes) will actually find out what it feels like to win a game and experience happiness. Lubomir Visnovsky (notes),
7. Several Finns will silently wonder what the hell
is doing there. Janne Niskala (notes)
8. Vancouver cab drivers breathe a sigh of relief when
tells the media he was thrilled to learn his 20 American cents is worth about 21 Canadian cents. Patrick Kane (notes)
9. Ron Wilson will have some amount of success as a coach. No I'm just kidding.
will regale the Norwegian team with stories about what Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (notes) is really like. Jan Hejda (notes)
11. Switzerland will shock the world. By revealing that Hnat Domenichelli is still alive.
12. No one that works at the
Montreal Gazette will be able to make eye contact with the German team.
13. The Russian power play will run around 45 percent and will actually make one opponent's goaltender cry.
14. The Swiss team is accused of trying to slow down the game because they use the NHL ice to their advantage and don't leave the neutral zone. Tip your waitresses, try the steak.
15. The Czech Republic and Slovakia turn heel, reunite as the superpower tag team Czechoslovakia, and hit Canada with a steel chair. They will be managed by
Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
16. Sweden will lose its first game, prompting Rangers fans to demand that they trade
Henrik Lundqvist (notes).
17. The Canadian team will disappoint its home country, and all members will be forced by a new law to carry pieces of the
defective pillar from the opening ceremonies as a mark of shame.
18. Every Canuck at the Games will annoy their teammates by starting all restaurant suggestions with, "
That place? You don't wanna go there. Let me take you somewhere better..." We get it, you live here. Christian Ehrhoff (notes),
19. It will be universally agreed upon that Norway defenseman
Tore Vikingstad has the coolest name ever.
20. The entire tournament will be canceled in
favor of ice dancing because more women watch the Olympics than any other sport. WHAT WE LEARNED - If you're a Ducks fan and were able to Anaheim Ducks sit through that game against Calgary on Saturday, well, I'm sorry. - If, for some reason, you had heard the rumor that the Thrashers were going to be bought and moved to Winnipeg, Atlanta Thrashers don't you worry your pretty little head. - Adam McQuaid pretty well handed it to Boston Bruins Just throwing bombs. Victor Oreskovich (notes). - After giving up two power play goals in the first period to Carolina (of all teams) on Thursday, the Sabres' power play was Buffalo Sabres amazing against the Sharks for the second time this season, holding it 0-for-4. - It's a sad state of affairs in Calgary when they don't feel terrible about Calgary Flames heading into break eighth in the West. - Now that the Olympics are here, there are a lot of guys getting sent to the AHL so they can get actual games over the break. The Canes Carolina Hurricanes sent down three such players, but also activated one from IR and think two will be healthy once the break is over. All of which means they're primed for another Cup run. - Oddly, Chicago Blackhawks got the start last night against the Blue Jackets Antti Niemi (notes) and gave up four goals. Okay, so the four goals part wasn't so odd, it was that he started. Mind games to motivate Who knows? Cristobal Huet (notes)? - Not the best way for the Avs to go into the break, losing 3-0 to the Kings and Colorado Avalanche looking really terrible doing it. - As time goes on, I'm starting to think of Claude Noel as a crazy old man that just happens to be the coach of an NHL team. His latest oddball tactic: Columbus Blue Jackets he just didn't show up for practice Saturday. Granted, he did it as a team-building exercise - let the boys run practice for a day - but that's really awesome. - It seems to happen every year for a couple of games, but here's Dallas Stars annual Marty Turco's (notes) run of superstar play. He has allowed eight goals on 215 shots in his last six games, which is nuts. (And for real, Stars' defense, you're making Marty Turco save 36 shots a night? What is wrong with you?) - So Tomas Holmstrom goes down with an injury and Detroit Red Wings just happens to have his teammate make the Olympic team in his place. Know what that says to me? Nepotism. - Well, if that was indeed Edmonton Oilers a number of Oilers' last game in Edmonton then it was an appropriate one. Such an Oiler-y 7-3 loss to Anaheim. - Horrifying stat: The Panthers have Florida Panthers scored two goals or fewer in 13 straight games. - Rich Clune had a Los Angeles Kings pair of assists in his second-ever NHL game. Point-a-game player Rich Clune has a certain ring to it. - Cam Barker was pretty much useless to Chicago so they took on money this year him to deal him to Minnesota (obviously to get cap flexibility in the summer, but you see my point). So how does Barker Minnesota Wild respond for his new team? Close to 20 minutes of ice time, a goal, and a plus-2. Not a bad start. - Yup, Mike Boone Montreal Canadiens compared the Flyers to Nazis. Apparently that's something people get upset about, even if the Habs did get swept by Philly in a home-and-home and outscored 9-4. Shocking, I know. - The Preds' Nashville Predators shootout win over Pittsburgh was the first time the Pens lost in a skills competition all season. Nashville ended its four-game road trip at 2-1-1. - I've always said that what the Canadian Olympic team needs is New Jersey Devils more alarmism from the media. "Will Brodeur being pulled [Saturday] affect his chances of being Canada's No. 1 in the Olympics?" No. Thanks for asking though. - The Islanders are New York Islanders all going to Mexico together. It's gonna be just like that movie. " Weekend at Bernie's". career can play Bernie. Richard Park's (notes) - Of all the players on the Rangers to New York Rangers draw a penalty shot, Really? Sean Avery (notes)? A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it. - After losing the spot on Saturday, the Senators Ottawa Senators regained control of first in the Northeast for the duration of the Olympic break. Surely that means... something. - So Philadelphia Flyers definitely tore his hip labrum. Ray Emery (notes) His career might be over. - Phoenix Coyotes Headline: "Coyotes will be in good position after break." Third in the conference points-wise and 11 points above the playoff low-water mark? Yeah that's pretty good. - At Pittsburgh Penguins age, he knows Bill Guerin's (notes) he can't afford to go on vacation or anything over the break. "You take 10 days totally off, for me, anyway, you'd see it in my gut." - Did you know the Sharks have San Jose Sharks more Olympic players than any other team in the league ... combined? Okay, the combined part isn't true. - St. Louis Blues and Carlo Colaiacovo (notes) sure are Alex Steen (notes) happy to be in St. Louis. Having unfortunately been to St. Louis twice, I guess the most obvious question is, "Why?" - Using the phrase, "Oh, Canada. What the hell were you thinking?" Tampa Bay Lightning four times in one story is, many journalism professors would tell you, the basis of a well-written column. - As of right now, the Maple Leafs have Toronto Maple Leafs scored 18,351 goals in franchise history. They have allowed the same exact number. That's kinda silly. - If you only click one link today, make sure it's Vancouver Canucks the Kurtenblog roast of every Canuck in the Olympics that isn't playing for Canada. But seriously folks, is being a great host while the games are in Vancouver. He's letting the entire Latvian team sleep on his left leg pad. Roberto Luongo (notes) - Another team Washington Capitals assigning three players to the AHL is the Caps. Sending down eh? Hope Burkie's got the kid on speed dial. Canada killer for sure. John Carlson (notes), PLAY OF THE WEEKEND
On the real, if you haven't seen
Jocelyne Lamoureux's goal against China yesterday, stop whatever you're doing and check it out. GOLD STAR AWARD
Way to go Canada, your opening ceremonies were beautiful, made me think that perhaps your entire country spends is based on visuals from Yellow Submarine and annoyed Wayne Gretzky, whom I can't stand.
Best opening ceremonies ever.
MINUS OF THE WEEKEND
didn't have such a good go of things on Saturday. Five goals conceded on 17 shots over two periods. Not surprisingly, he got the loss too. Trade him, keep Carey! Jaroslav Halak (notes) PERFECT HFBOARDS TRADE PROPOSAL OF THE WEEK
"first off," warns user Baba Ganoush, "i'm not a fan of any of these three teams...so try not to flame my post too hard if it's a bad idea." And
wouldn't ya know it.. to CHI:
Matt Niskanen (notes) Jack Skille (notes) to DAL: Scott Hartnell (notes) Matt Carle (notes) SIGNOFF
Gotta be a better way to say that.
Ryan Lambert publishes hockey awesomeness pretty much every day over at The Two-Line Pass. Check it out, why don't you? Or you can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter if you so desire.