TV/RADIO: WGN for the Yanks, CBC for the hosers, and WGN Radio for those without
The blog with the most writers ever: Pension Plan Puppets
Sorry about the title, but I've come to the conclusion, after five solid seasons of watching Hockey Night In Canada, that Don Cherry is no longer a novelty or a cartoon, but a boorish, hateful, bigoted old man who knows next to nothing about hockey and if it wasn't for Bobby Orr he probably would have been fired by the Bruins after 12 minutes. Next time a Canadian person gives you shit about how ignorant or obnoxious or racist Americans are, just point to the fact that this bellowing cave opening of dumbass-ery was voted one of the ten greatest Canadians of all time.
Now that that's out of the way, it's time for hockey! The Hawks will go for their eighth straight against what might be the only team hotter than they are right now. Toronto has somehow vaulted itself back into the playoff race in the East (although you have to do is step around the splattered intestines of the Rangers and Thrashers as they crash around you) going 10-2-4 since the All-Star Break. They are only three points out of eighth out there if you can believe that.
There's no secret to how they've done it. Optimus Reim. For those who don't speak Hockey Dork, that would be rookie James Reimer, who is 8-1-3 since taking the cage from the duopoly of piss poor-edness that was JS Giguere and Jonas Gustavsson. Funny thing is since Remier came in the Leafs give up four more shots per game than they did when the other two clowns were in there, but the GAA has gone from 3.06 to 2.64. So clearly Reimer is Reason 1 and Reason 1A that the Leafs are rumbling into coherence.
Outside of Reimer, Dion Phaneuf has gone from most massively overrated to overpaid suckfest of doom to only merely so. He's got 12 point in his last 20 games. Watch tonight as he's really focusing on getting his shots through to create rebounds instead of have the universe implode on itself at the awesome power of a slapper than he couldn't aim or get through. He still might run around looking for the Hollywood hits that enraptured Elisha Cuthbert so, but he's not the knock knock joke he used to be.
Up front, everything pretty much goes through the line of Nikolai Kulemin, Mikael Grabovski, and Phil Kessel. Kessel is...how do I put this lightly...a raging rash of a douchebag, but the dude can score. And he is lately. If the Hawks can keep this line at bay, outside of Clarke MacCarthur (seriously? Clark MacCarthur? That's you fucking name?) there is not a lot that can hurt you. Assuming you can dent the Siren of Hell that is James Reimer at the moment.
Haven't seen if Turco goes but I have to imagine he does. Though it is the second of a back to back, with being in Toronto and HNIC it's pretty likely our boys get up for this one. Should be tasty.
Eight is better than seven.