1: Will everyone, everyone, everyone stop calling for suspensions on everything? This is hockey. Most of the players get it. It’s a physical sport, pain is a part of the deal. Mark Stuart once broke his sternum in a game and not only continued to play, but kept delivering the type of hits that get him compared to Scott Stevens. Stamkos had his face mashed by a puck in game play and was back on the ice before the announcers were finished wondering if he’d been taken to the hospital. Can we please leave off all discussion of supplementary discipline for routine penalties and debatable cheap shots. The guys playing know and accept the risk, many and probably most even enjoy it or they wouldn’t be playing.
2: When is the ownership in Vancouver going to realize they won’t win with their current leadership? That team’s accountability level is about zero. The dippy general manager is more concerned with protecting his players feelings than building a cup winner. Ever a guy as bellicose as Brian Burke is impossible to imagine getting into a sandbox level squall with a player in the press over something said in the media. What Bolland said isn’t very unique and hardly rises to the level of something anyone above ice level needs to or even should address.
3: The LA Kings came into this season a favorite of no few to win the conference and possibly the Cup. Where is that team? The guys on the ice with possibly one exception outside of Quick look like their one puff from dropping the bone and going to sleep. Its awful. Its worse than watching Columbus or Calgary who are both far thinner on talent. Its even worse than watching the Caps who no one expects to win after April 15th anyway.
4: Who’s ready to jump on the Wild bandwagon? If you aren’t, you aren’t paying attention. The scariest part of their rampage to the top of the standings with almost half the season gone is how many injuries they’ve had. At just 30 games in they’ve dressed close to two complete teams. I’m not calling them serious contenders yet, but if you expect them to fade away in another week or two you need to pay more attention.
5: Speaking of accountability, why is there so little among general managers? The Washington Capitals continue to flush $6,000,000.00 a year on the only player I can think of to be called out more than once by teammates and former teammates, the team can’t get to creditable spot in the playoffs and its coaches who are the fall guys. The Ducks fired a solid coach, brought in a solid coach, and continue to, in precise technical terms; stink on ice. The coach was not to blame. Of the 7-8 defensemen all shot from the same side but one. The only two player moves anyone’s noticed were this weeks trade and allowing Smith-Pelle to play at the world juniors. Yet GMs stay in their jobs for years, and Julien at less than five seasons holds the fifth longest tenure of NHL head coaches.