Monday, February 4, 2008

It's a New Dawn, It's a New Day

Well, after what can only be described as a brutal week of picks we embark on a huge week in the NHL. The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and names like Hossa and Sundin are flying everywhere with so many teams on the verge of a playoff berth and it even looks like the great Foppa should be returning soon and apparently for more than just this year. This week provides some immediate interest as well with Selanne (FINALLY) making his 07-08 debut on Tuesday or Thursday for the reigning champs who seem to be struggling all of the sudden. A couple of quick notes:

Shawn Horcoff, on a career pace this season for the Oilers, will apparently miss the rest of the season as he has elected to have his shoulder surgically repaired. It's a shame since Horcoff was having such a great year for the young Oilers who are already without key player Raffi Torres and Sheldon Souray.

Georges Laraque wasn't suspended for cross checking Flyers super-pest Steve Downie from behind into the boards, so will Ryan Hollweg receive a just punishment for his nasty hit from behind in Sunday's only game? We should know by the end of today.

Marc-Andre Fleury participated in his first full practice Friday since suffering a high ankle sprain but with the solid play of Ty Conklin I wouldn't expect to see Fluery back at least for another month.

The NHL is back on NBC and has a great re-match of the Western Conference finals on Sunday as the Ducks face the Redwings in about as close to primetime as hockey gets nowadays.

The Rangers have returned to early season form after winning 4 of their last 5 against teams like Philadelphia and New Jersey. The Rangers were down in Sunday's game against Montreal but rallied back behind their big free agent signings. They have four games this week and currently sit in 7th place in the East only 3 points behind the division leading Flyers which would equate to second in the East overall. The Atlantic Division (Penguins, Flyers, Devils, Rangers, Islanders) is one of the most competitive in the NHL right now.

Minnesota, off a 7-2-1 record over their last 10 games, has jumped over Calgary to take over the lead in their division by 3 points which puts them in 3rd out West. Could they pick up a scoring winger to push them over the top?

San Jose has 4 games in hand over the division leading Stars and the Anaheim Ducks and is only 2 points out of the division lead as is. Never before has winning a division been so necessary for so many good teams.

Nashville, having only failed to get points in 2 out of their last 10 games, has moved up to the 8th and final spot in the West. However, only 4 points separates them from the 12th position.

Atlanta is one of the most talked about teams in regards to the trade deadline and yet they are no tied for the lead in their division with Carolina. In fact, the teams have identical records as they both are 26-25-4. The similarities go even further as their home and road records are nearly the same. However, Washington and Florida are only 3 points behind them and the Caps have 2 games in hand while the Panthers have 1.

Montreal...who would have known? Montreal is quietly the most dangerous team in the East right now behind the incredible play of Cristobal Huet and a group of young forwards. they are now only 3 points behind the Eastern Conference leading Ottawa Senators and have been a much better team than the Sens as of late. This makes their game against the Senators tomorrow night one of the biggest this week and definitely one to follow. Rumors are also swirling that have the Canadiens and Thrashers talking trade, reportedly for Marian Hossa. An acquisition like that could make Montreal the team to beat in the East.

No comments: