Much has been made of Mario Lemieux of late -- whether he will be part of Canada's Olympic team, whether his Penguins are staying or going, whether he's past his prime and will hang up the skates -- and all of it means very little this morning.
|Get well Mario. We need you two working together again.|
You sure do. Get well, Mario.
Elsewhere this morning, the Leafs are pondering tinkering:
Quinn is considering using O'Neill to join both Kaberle and McCabe in what is known in hockey as an "umbrella" formation. In this scheme, Kaberle would position himself at the blue line down the middle of the ice and would dish off on either side to O'Neill or McCabe, who would be playing a little deeper.
(Not "the umbrella"! Next thing you know they'll be bringing out "the raincoat" and "the galoshes".)
Oh, and from the land of bright ideas: Supersizing the playoffs. Why stop there? Let everyone into the playoffs. Play a six-month preseason. Then start the real season. And let's not play the games. Let's just have shootouts. Fans love shootouts ...
Few links this morning:
Coupla weeks ago we listed the top performing lines in the NHL (no Leaf trios in sight -- but what WOULD a Sundin-Lindros-O'Neill combo do if they had 10-15 games together?). Today, Boston Herald
stole takes our idea to the ice. (By the way, Thornton-Samsonov-Murray was 7th on our list. Now Thornton's gone and Samsonov is out with the tingles. Poor Bruins fans.)
Your candidates come from Vancouver, Ottawa and Philly. Let's find out from one of the guys who's on the ice with the players every day. Cue former Leaf Tom Fizgerald, on the best line in the NHL: (drumroll)
"I just don’t know. They’re all great."
Thanks, Tom. It used to be a no brainer: Naslund-Bertuzzi-Morrison was the best thing going. Now, it's a no-brainer: Spezza-Heatley-Alfredsson is dominating the league. As the Canucks prepare for the Sens tomorrow night, the Vancouver trio aims to get back to their glory days.
Around the league, Steve Yzerman withdraws from Team Canada consideration. Could retirement be far away?
How bad are the New Jersey Devils? Martin Brodeur jeered last night in 4-1 loss to the (ahem) red-hot Flames. But don't think Brodeur's Olympic job is in jeopardy. Wayne Gretzky was in the building on his Team Canada scouting tour, so was it too much "pressure" for Marty? Please.
"They watch me on TV, too, every game. I don't think because it's live it makes a difference," says Brodeur.