Finally, They Meet Again
As many of you already know, I'm not a big worrier over the NHL schedule, and I wasn't a huge believer in changing it just so Sidney Crosby could visit every city and help their attendance.
In general, staying in the conference is preferable, and from a Toronto point of view, the next time L.A., Dallas, Phoenix or Nashville comes to town doesn't bother me one way or another.
Maybe they need a schedule that always ensures the two finalists meet again on opening night. Maybe it should be part of Hockey Day in Canada.
But March 4 the following year is just too long, and let's face it, it could easily have been not at all if the Northeast and Pacific divisions didn't happen to be on each other's dance cards this season.
Both teams, interestingly, have 37 wins, but they could not be in more different situations as the season moves into the final five weeks.
The defending champs are rolling in a huge way, having won nine of 10, and are looking very much like the odds-on favourite to win again. Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne are back in form, the Ducks are crashing the crease every shift, they're back to taking lots of penalties for all kinds of nasty stuff and killing 'em all off.
Ottawa, meanwhile, may or may not be back on track after beating Pittsburgh on Saturday. We know for certain they're still allowing too many goals, and giving up three or four tonight against the Ducks will likely be a death sentence. We know the Ducks will try to push them around, and how the Sens respond as a group will say a lot about how they feel about themselves as a team these days.
It's the game I want to watch, but it'll have to be on tape 'cause I'm heading to see Springsteen tonight at Copps Coliseum. If there's any interest, I'll let you know how good of a show The Boss puts on tonight.