Back on the rink

Face it, I needed a couple months to recharge.

Don't get me wrong: I'm still pretty worn out mentally. But, there are just some things that I cannot stay away from, and I guess this is one of those things.

Well, that and Starbucks Gold Coast coffee made in a French press. Liquid heroin.

So, what have I been doing the last couple of months? In November, I was at the United Center to see the Detroit Red Wings take on the Chicago Blackhawks -- and since I have been living in the Windy City, I have kind of embraced them to a degree. They'll never replace my lifelong fan-dom for the New York Rangers, but Denis Savard's team is fun to watch nonetheless.

The Chicago-Detroit rivalry reminds me much of the hatred between fans of the Rangers and New York Islanders, minus the "Potvin sucks!" chants, of course. What made this game -- a Chicago win -- more fun was that there were more than 20,000 in the building. Since noted tightwad Bill Wirtz died and his son, Rocky, took over, the Blackhawks have started to make every effort to become relavent again. Some home games are being shown on cable, exposing this team -- and more importantly, the game itself -- to a new generation of fans.

As I told STATS queen of the overnight, Laura Medina, earlier this week, Bill Wirtz is spinning in his grave.

I am planning to go to the UC on Sunday to see the Blackhawks take on the Los Angeles Kings and see the latest young star. After cutting ties with the underachieving Sergei Samsonov, the Blackhawks recalled Jack Skille from the AHL. Skille, picked third overall in 2005, is the latest first-round pick to wear the Indian head with Brent Seabrook (14th in 2003), Cam Baker (3rd in 2004), Jonathan Toews (3rd in 2006) and Patrick Kane (1st in 2007).

Need to go off topic here for a moment. One thing, as I sit here watching the end of the Patriots-Giants game that gives New England the first 16-0 season in NFL history, Spygate notwithstanding. Wonderful and historic? Yes. Truly one of the greatest feats in sports ever.

But they need to win three more games to truly be considered the greatest team to take the field. Whoever they face will pull out all the stops -- whether its Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Diego or Pittsburgh, all of those teams want to be able to say they ended Bill Belichick's perfect season. One of them will.

So read it here first: the New England Patriots will NOT win the Super Bowl.

Oh, and Paul Kariya just completed a hat trick with 10.7 seconds left, lifting the St. Louis Blues into a 4-4 tie with the Dallas Stars heading into overtime. Kariya made me look like a genius (grin!)

Kariya stoned with a high glove-side grab by Dallas' Mike Smith in the shootout. Nice. Mike Modano follows by beating St. Louis Hannu Toivinen.

Smith saved by a goalpost -- the best sound in hockey -- Stars win what analyst Darryl Reaugh called "a daffy one." Thanks to the NHL package, I can see most games on cable. I don't know why I didn't do this years ago.


1. Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: In his first game after getting stitches for a cut left leg, Ovechkin scores a career-high four goals and added an assist in the Caps' 8-6 win over the Ottawa Senators. The five-point game is the first for the top overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft.

2. Nikolai Zherdev, Columbus Blue Jackets: He scored twice and added two assists in the Blue Jackets' 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. With 15 goals, Zherdev needs 13 more for a new career high.

3. Petteri Nummelin, Minnesota Wild: His goal 1:50 into overtime helped Minnesota cap a comeback from three goals down in a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers.


Todd said...

Great to have you back, even if it's about hockey ;-)

kansas brat said...

Just like the mob... you think you can leave, but they pull you back in.

Now you challenge me to update my own page. How very clever of you, Mr. Lefko