I'm not feeling overly creative this week, and I know I said I'd have a final determination on my blog's banner up top, but I seriously have no idea what I want it to look like. Yes, the one up top has logos that aren't current, but that's the beauty of it - I started writing this blog when those logos were current. I've also been investigating a Flash banner in order to have something attention-grabbing at the top of my blog, but I realize that a lot of Firefox users block Flash due to its loading time. Oi vay! Anyway, if you have any ideas, I'm all ears for how my banner should look. And I reserve the right not to change it at all. Anyway, because there was a lot of hockey played yesterday, let's take a look at some of the stories circulating around the wire and the blogs.
- Mike Green, defenceman for the Washington Capitals, tied an NHL record by scoring a goal in his seventh straight game. He tied the record set by former Bruins defenceman Mike O'Connell, seen here coaching the Bruins, in the 1983-84 season. What makes Green's accomplishment so great is that he could be the first defenceman to crack the 30-goal barrier since 1992-93 when another Capitals defenceman hit 34 goals on the season. That guy was Kevin Hatcher. Green's 21 goals and 49 points in 42 games thus far is remarkable, and he should be the favorite for the Norris Trophy this season in my view.
- Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils may not get many votes for the Hart Trophy, but it is my contention that he should. Has anyone been more valuable to their team this year? 34 goals and 33 assists in 55 games has him near the top of the scoring leaders. His 34 goals are a career high, puts him second in goals-scored this season, and we still have a third of the season to play. Both Jamie Langenbrunner and Travis Zajac have seen their games elevated because of Parise's play. And, perhaps most importantly, the Devils are first in the Atlantic Division, second in the Eastern Conference, and have been playing incredible offensive hockey since Martin Brodeur went down to injury. If I had a vote for this year's MVP, it goes to Zach Parise hands-down.
- Today officially marks the one-year countdown to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. With that being said, countries will be assembling their finest athletes for all sports, and that includes hockey. However, is there one position right now where Canadians have an advantage? Goaltending hasn't looked very solid this season with Luongo and Brodeur being hurt. Price, Fleury, Turco, and Giguere have been anything but consistent. If there's one thing that the Olympic hockey tournament puts under a microscope, it would be goaltending. And hopefully it's simply a run of bad luck for the Canadian goaltending favorites. Otherwise, this could be an ugly tournament on home soil.
- The battle in the AHL for first overall is ramping up. The Manitoba Moose used two late powerplay goals to vault themselves ahead of Hershey in the battle for regular-season supremacy as they defeated the Hartford WolfPack 4-2 last night. The Moose and Bears have almost identical records. The Moose have played one more game than the Bears, and sit with a 36-14-0-4 record for 76 points in 54 games, while the Bears have a 35-14-0-4 record for 74 points in 53 games. Not to be counted out of the race are Manitoba's North Division rivals in the Grand Rapids Griffins who sit with a 31-12-6-4 record for 72 points in 53 games. The one team that may overtake all three of these teams, though, is the Milwaukee Admirals. The Admirals have played only 51 games, and have a record of 34-13-2-2 for 72 points. With three games in hand on the league-leading Moose, the Admirals could vault ahead of the Moose with six points. Keep your eyes on these four teams!
- If you want to suggest ideas for the banner, please comment or email. I could use some ideas, and any that I use will be credited back to you. This is what happens when you put a non-artist in an artistic situation.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!