A busy morning. After yesterday's slim pickings, we'll go with one from category A and a goodly bunch of those links from the B side:
First, what's the line du jour in the NHL (And I don't mean, "two minutes for hooking")? That's the question Spencer, that hard-workin', hard-livin', puck-lovin' kid tries to answer with some numbers he crunched just for you.
This will result in much envy here in the CoHU. Sure, the Leafs have this warming trio going right now in Allison, Ponikarovsky and Antropov, to go with their No. 1 line of Sundin, Steen and O'Neill. But no one is writing anything down in ink. In the 416, the Leafs don't have lines so much as they go out on a date. If it's good, they make plans to go out again few nights later. And so on, and so on, until the inevitable meeting in the drawing room with grumpy poppa Pat, when he asks them about their intentions and they run out of the room screaming.
Okay, enough tenuous digressions. Here they are, the NHL's top troikas with their stats through Sunday's games. No surprise who's on top, and thanks for this, S.W.:
Spezza-Heatley-Alfredsson: 95 pts, +58
Forsberg-Gagne-Knuble: 88 pts, +49
Savard-Kovalchuk-Hossa: 79 pts, -4
Demitra-Frolov-Conroy: 78 pts, +31
Jagr-Straka-Nylander: 78 pts, +3
Lecavalier-Modin-Prospal: 71 pts, +23
Thornton-Murray-Samsonov: 68 pts, -8
Hemsky-Horcoff-Smyth: 65 pts, +6
Staal-Cole-Stillman: 64 pts, +25
Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Holmstrom: 62 pts, +29
Naslund-Bertuzzi-Morrison: 61 pts, +16
Oh, and you wanted some Toronto equivalents:
|COLIN MCCONNELLl/TORONTO STAR|
|Leafs at practice. How do they line up against the best?|
Sundin-Steen-O'Neill: 41 pts, -6 (but Sundin's missed 9 games)
In 9 games since Sundin's back: 25 pts, E -- projected over 21 games is 58 pts, E
Ponikarovsky-Antropov-Allison: 37 pts, +6 (last 2 games since together: 10 pts, +3 -- projected over 21 games is 105 pts, +31 and absolutely ridiculous.)
Any surprises here (apart from somehow overlooking the Wellwood-Belak-Domi grouping)?
And on to a busy morning on the links:
Paul Hunter has a nice one looking at Crosby and Ovechkin as they hook up for the first time tonight in Pittsburgh:
One gets the impression that Crosby wouldn't be caught dead wearing the tie-dyed shirt, torn jeans and red running shoes that Ovechkin showed up in one day at the Caps' training facility. Besides, Lemieux would never let him out of the house dressed like that.
Hunter's pulling double duty too -- less than a week after his turn with the ballet, for pete's sake -- with a bit of news. Mario Lemieux says he may not want into the Olympics, if it means taking up a spot for someone like a Spezza, a Staal or (surprise) a Sidney Crosby:
"There's too many good young players now. To take a spot because of your name, that wouldn't be right for Team Canada or myself."
Hmmm. Are you listening, Stevie Y?
Frightening story last night, as Wings' Jiri Fischer had a seizure on the bench and his heart stopped beating, stunning the Joe Louis Arena crowd and putting Detroit in shock. Fischer was given CPR, an auto debrilllator was used and he was taken to the hospital, where last night he was reported to be alert and upbeat, and his condition was listed as stable:
"What happened basically is, Fisch was out on a shift, he came off, he was standing there with his teammates, or sitting on the bench, and he had a seizure," Babcock said. "He fell forward and then ended up on his side. Right away, as soon as we got aware of what was going on, we got it stopped."
And Neil Stevens at CP, one of the finest people you'd ever want to meet in this business, writes of a new book that'll no doubt show up on the upcoming JABS Christmas book thread, A Season of Loss, A Lifetime of Forgiveness: The Dan Snyder and Dany Heatley Story.