Hockey Headlines

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Going Changes To Gone

The situation in Atlanta is almost critical. The Atlanta Thrashers failed to show up on the road again last night, losing 4-0 to the Philadelphia Flyers for their sixth loss in a row this season. I can't even suggest what the Thrashers can do since all of their top players were in the lineup last night. In terms of being bad, consider this: the Thrashers' veteran star players of Bobby Holik, Vyacheslav Kozlov, and Marian Hossa were a combined -9 last night, with Holik leading the way at -4. He was on the ice for every goal the Flyers scored.

Thanks to the lacklustre play, Hartley is gone. Bob Hartley was relieved of his coaching duties today by general manager Don Waddell, with Waddell taking over in the interim. I said it on Monday that his days were numbered. I guess that number was six games.

Good luck in finiding a quality replacement, Mr. Waddell. You're going to need it. Your team has yet to show up, and could be mistaken for an ECHL team most nights. I wish you luck in finding someone who can help get this franchise out of their current funk.

The Strong Get Stronger: The signing of Randy Robitaille by the Ottawa Senators may not seem like a blockbuster, but I think it will help Ottawa immensely. Robitaille is a good "hustle" guy, can play on the powerplay, and will be an effective third- or fourth-line scoring threat for the Senators. In 463 NHL games, Robitaille has scored 74 goals and 153 assists for nine different teams. He'll need to be a little more defensively-responsible to fit into the Senators' system, but he'll provide that extra hustle that the Senators seemed to miss late in the season last year.

Good signing, Mr. Murray. It should help your team out.

The Streak Is Over: I made mention last time about the strong start that the Wild got off to with five straight wins. I figured a sixth was pretty much in the bag going up against the 1-and-5 Los Angeles Kings, but the Kings ended the winning streak by handing the Wild a 4-3 shootout loss.

Anze Kopitar scored a highlight reel goal to force the shootout, and showed why he is one of the most dynamic players in the NHL right now. Jean-Sebastien Aubin recorded his first win with a 28-save performance.

Good job, Kings. Now it's time to string a few wins together. In a row.

Who Is This "Josie" Guy?: Jose Theodore, he who has been linked to Paris Hilton and a chorus of boos in Colorado, played the hero for the Colorado Avalanche last night in the 5-4 shootout win over the division-rival Calgary Flames. After the Flames put up four goals on starter Peter Budaj, Theodore came in and stopped 17 shots to help the Avalanche to the victory.

"When you get in, it's never easy, you're not as warmed up," said the humble Theodore. "I was trying to keep it simple, give my team a chance to win, and they showed a lot of character coming back."

For a guy who was rotting on the bench last year, he looked solid last night. He still has the tendancy to wander, but if coach Joel Quenneville has Theodore's head screwed on right, the Avalanche might be back to contender status this season. The former NHL MVP might still be the "1A" goalie, but he should be a solid choice if Budaj falters. Only time will tell, but one game and one win is a good confidence builder.

That's all for today as I'm swamped with work. Have a good one, and I'll be back soon.

Until then, keep your sticks on the ice!

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