Back To The Message At Hand, Fife
So a couple NHL related things before getting back to the Olympics:
-For those who missed it, Alex Auld was put on waivers, indicating that Marty Turco is almost certainly staying in Big D for the rest of the year. In my mind, this is a relief. Turco at this point in his career is hardly an upgrade from what we have. His playoff performances have been spotty, and what I saw recently doesn't ring the words "automatic Cup" in my mind. So that basically leaves Tomas Vokoun for the people who just have to have somebody (aw, isn't that romantic? Love is for assholes, Frank Zappa told me so). Jaro Halak isn't going anywhere, as Carey Price is the one they're going to ship off. Anyone who wants Price here is a complete and utter moron. Vokoun's contract makes a deal impossible, unless Stan can get real creative and include Huet in it, which I don't think he can. Secondly, Vokoun has won as many playoff series as Huet or Niemi, so you're not buying pedigree there. Thirdly, and rarely talked about, is the adjustment one would have to go through to play behind the Hawks defense. It can't be easy to go from facing 33 shots a night to 20, and who knows how he'd handle that. Better everyone just worry about shoring up our defensive issues of recent play.
-The Hawks return to practice today. It'll be interesting to see how Madden looks. We've always said the break would do him wonders, and hopefully we'll get that hellion from October and November back, because we'll need it.
-I don't know why I thought Russia would mentally be there. Have they ever been? Considering this is the 4th time the pros have played in the Olympics and Russia will have played for a gold once is pretty staggering. The only people more convinced of how good they were than us were them. They've apparently been just obnoxious to deal with, so no one in the press will miss them. Their coach, like all Russian coaches, managed this game in a horrifically arrogant way and got pantsed for it. If anything, I'm even less afraid of the Sharks now. That's your goalie? Ok....
Secondly, Caps in the Finals? Will Ovechkin have Toews's teeth-marks out of his ass by then? Bring it, and we be not afraid.
-I am afraid of Canada though. But I'm taking great heart in the fact that Toews was probably their best forward.
-Tomas Kopecky has looked quite useful this tournament, but is still very much a square peg for the Hawks (who would have to be a round hole, obviously)
-So all the Hawks Olympians will play the maximum games, except for Kane who'll get 6. What effect this will have? No one knows. They've tried to do studies on this, and there's no conclusive evidence. All these guys are under 26 and should be able to handle it, except for Hossa who missed the first two months as is. I'd like to think that Toews, after seeing he can flat out dominate on a world-stage, comes back and simply devours teams. I'd like to think the defensive solidarity Duncan Keith has rediscovered brings his game back to autumn-levels. I'd like to think playing well gives Kopecky confidence to be better when back here. But we won't know until we get there. Still, I hope Coach Q will have the option of having all of these guys sit out a couple games in April.