Ten NHL issues to ponder over the holidays

First published in the Lethbridge College Endeavour, Dec. 3, 2008

As the Endeavour takes a break for the holiday season, Shmitzy Says it’s time to discuss a few issues around the NHL that have become hot topics over the season’s first half.

1. All hail, our saviour has come.
I’m really happy for Leafs Nation that they signed an established GM in Brian Burke. However, the city has already given this guy a robe, papal tiara and a place in the heavens before he has even seen his new house in Toronto, let alone made any transactions with the club. Before Leaves fans do what they always do and start towing cars on Yonge Street to make room for the parade floats, can they give the guy seven or eight days to get his cable hooked up?

2. Beware the number of the beast.
Bruins, Rangers, Penguins, Habs and Capitals had better look out. New Jersey’s No. 31 is going to be back come playoff s and you just know the Devils are going to sneak into the eighth spot and play the No. 1 seed. Brodeur will play just enough games prior to the first round to get back to his usual ‘I sold my soul to Satan and I like it’-type goaltending.

3. Blame the French!
To the people who are blaming Habs fans for the all-star voting, I say what league are you watching? Yes, it’s stupid that fans vote in the starting lineups, but it’s a league problem. Don’t blame Habs fans for being smart enough to figure out they can manipulate the system. What’s the rest of the continent doing? I’m not into geography but I’m fairly certain the rest of North America still outnumbers Quebec.

4. Who appointed these Senators?
Ottawa is awful. Told ya’ so.

5. Anything you can do, I can do better.
Remember when Alexander Semin said Sidney Crosby was nothing special? Before we write him off , let’s give this kid the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he wasn’t talking about hockey, maybe he was talking about backgammon. I hear Crosby sucks at backgammon.

6. How many games did you say you’ve played again?
Can we stop calling teams the best when they have a one-point advantage in the standings, but have played six more games than anyone else? Just because the Rangers are in first doesn’t mean a whole bunch when they needed 117 games in October to get there.

7. How good is your golf game?
If you are a Western Conference team and your name doesn’t begin with San Jose or Detroit, enjoy the formality you call ‘the rest of the season.’ I know anything can happen in the playoffs, but it’s just not going to.

8. Don’t turn your back on me!
It’s a terrible act to hit another player from behind, but whose idea was it to teach players to turn away from a check? For every 10 hits from behind, five of them could have been prevented had the player not turned into it. I know chicks dig scars, but it’s not as cool when they surround shattered vertebrae.

9. Anytime, any place.
Fighting continues to make a major comeback and is up over 20 per cent since last year. Personally, I couldn’t be happier. Someone needs to teach Anderson Silva how to skate, and quick.

10. The old man is actually right.
As much as it pains me to agree with Don Cherry and his over-the-top monologues, it’s time for no-touch icing already. Are countless broken legs not enough, or do we need some dead bodies to wake up these rule-making morons?

Happy Holidays.


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