Thursday, October 25, 2007

Loves me some Zetterberg and other NHL thoughts

It's a complete mystery to me why some are surprised that Henrik Zetterberg is having such a fine season (7g, 11a, +6). He's the starting LW for a powerful offensive team and has been chock full of potential since he entered the league. He has also demonstrated an ability to come through in the clutch as evidenced by his 25 career GW goals. I think Zetterberg somehow gets overlooked when the conversation turns to Great Left Wings in the game today...but he won't be for long.

Other thoughts:

- It only a matter of time before Tim Thomas takes over the starting goaltender job in Boston, sending big ticket Free Agency item Manny Fernandez scurrying to the bench. They've each started 4 games. Goals against? Fernandez-16, Thomas-5. Not to mention, the Bruins seem to play with more confidence with TT in the net.

- Speaking of goalies, Martin Gerber is also making a serious run at staying the Senator's top choice. Ray Emery may be back from wrist surgery, but in his absence, the Senators didn't lose a step with Marty G backstopping them. He has accumulated 6 wins against one loss this season. Look for Gerber to either take the starting spot outright or be traded to goalie starved L.A as his value is extremely high right now.

- Mr. Consistency Mats Sundin is playing up to his usual standards. He's second in the league in scoring. Nik Antropov and Jason Blake's contributions notwithstanding, Sundin is once again carrying the Leafs with very little help. He can be a scary presence on the ice and I'm not just talking about his uncanny resemblance to Skeletor.

- What's up with the Rangers? That seems to be the million dollar question around the league. Many Islander fans are reveling in the Blueshirts' current troubles. To them, I say this: Enjoy it while you can. This Ranger team is not like the previous incarnations ( a place where over the hill veterans came to cash in on their former glory for one last paycheck...Valeri Kamensky, I'm talking to you.). Their issues right now boil down to injury woes and chemistry. The former is a roll of the dice and will happen to every team at some point this season and the latter takes more time to develop. When it does, I believe the Rangers will go on a tear that will have people losing their breath....and my fellow Isles fans crying in their beer.

- Speaking of being on a tear, the Minnesota Wild has wild (couldn't resist) as of late. They are 7-1 despite not having a single player in double digits in scoring. Some of this success can be attributed to the superb play of goalie Nicklas Backstrom, but this is a team which is truly more impressive as a sum of it's parts as opposed to having players that garner individual accolades.

- finally, raise your hand if you thought that the Flyers would have a better record than the Penguins at this point in the season? Yup, that's what I thought.

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