Two days 'till new ice age. And while Chris gets ready to celebrate the end of the CBC lockout in his own way over in his JABS forum, we have to feel good about a promising weekend with a couple of wins over the Red Wings and the headline on Ken Campbell's story says it best: Leafs are gathering Steen.
We caught Steve Thomas on the radio this morning, saying the door could still be open in Toronto, if only a little. Thomas said has been told to stay in shape - a call could still come, despite his admission to having just an average training camp. Fans did their part to contribute to one of the best pre-season stories - Thomas singled out a moment last week when he skated to centre ice for his turn during a shootout against the Sabres. The crowd's reaction was electric.
But you have to feel good after watching Alex Steen and Matt Stajan work together scoring goals, killing (so many) penalties. And this from Jlo (?) in the comments section of this forum from the weekend:
"In a straight-up trade, blockbuster-style, would you take O'Neill, Lindros, Allison, Kavhanov and Czerkawski for Nolan, Roberts, Niewendyk, Mogilny and Leetch? The Leafs are younger and stronger. Get rid of Aki Berg, and we're in business."
So it all starts this week. I think we're actually excited. The penalty parade is one to worry about, but there are signs of the wide-open game we're all seeking.
"Now, you've got Harlem Globetrotter hockey," says Boston Bruin Tom Fitzgerald.
Like that idea. Helluva segue to the links:
If the goal is Globetrotter hockey, are the Detroit Pistons the red flags?
"The referees have been using a couple of key red flags," Predators Coach Barry Trotz says. "One is if your stick is parallel to the ice, that's a red flag because you're probably going to put it in someone's side and hook someone. Or if there's just one hand on your stick and you're in a battle for the puck, that's another red flag."
Harlem Globetrotter hockey. So who's Wilt Chamberlain? Maybe this guy.
"To be honest, when I was younger, I kind of set my goal and I went for it," says Jaromir Jagr. "I had it in my head -- if I'm going to help this team, I have to win the scoring title. That's what I always said when I was in Pittsburgh and that's the only way I can help this team. This is the thing I know the best."
Taking a step off the ice, today Steve Moore is in court to testify for his suit against Todd Bertuzzi and others. Good read from Denver Post columnist Terry Frei:
"How bizarre is this? At noon today the Avalanche introduces its remade roster, including Brad May. Minutes later, a few blocks away, former Avalanche winger Steve Moore will be testifying at a hearing in Denver District Court, hoping the judge will allow his lawsuit to proceed in Colorado. He is suing, among others, Brad May."
The Calgary Flames make their picks for best team in the league. (Sorry, no Leaf references here)
Finally Brett Hull, on the Great One behind the bench:
"I think everyone has underestimated how intimidated players are reacting to Wayne being there (behind the bench)," says Hull. "Their expectations of themselves have risen, and I think they're having trouble grasping that within themselves. They're nervous and they're playing tight. I think that's going to take some time to wear off."