After staring blankly at my computer for a few hours trying not to write the same NHL-All-Star-Game-is-a-complete-waste-of-time piece, I figured I would revive the Killin' Time feature from this summer, which featured some random ramblings. So here are five thoughts on this late Friday night:
*On the All Star Game, with the suspensions (or non suspensions depending on where you read it) of Pavel Datsyuk and Nick Lidstrom do you think this was a calculated move? Ken Holland is a well acknowledged hockey genius and before the season started had to know that some of his top guns would be selected to the ASG. So you think that he petitioned the NHL at the time to schedule Detroit's first game after the break against a perceived softie of a team in Columbus? Let's face it, before the rise of Calder Trophy contender Steve Mason, the Jackets were a joke (even with the offseason additions, and especially compared to the Wings). Hmmm ...
*Here is a terrible thought: What would happen if Henrik Lundqvist got hurt this weekend in Montreal? If anyone is up to build a lynch mob to storm the NHL Store to find Bettman, lemme know. And doesn't the pic of Gary to the right just say it all? Smug SOB.
*Even though it was not important enough to make the game story in the local paper, the Canadian rags are jumping all over the Klotz story from Philadelphia where an AHL player suffered seizures after being knocked out during a fight. The subject of fisticuffs in hockey has been a hot topic of late and with the big guns congregating in Montreal, Klotz going down certainly does not bode well for us fight fans. And that is especially so since it comes days before a game that, no matter how bad it really is, the NHL will hail as a complete success. And you can be sure that the heartless display of the league's greed will pass without a single bout. So if you can have such a 'successful' game without any fighting, why should they allow fighting regularly??
*While a lot of eyes in Montreal will be on West Islip's Mike Komisarek, I randomly came across a news tidbit about another Long Island native - goaltender Bobby Goepfert. Goepfert, a goaltender from Kings Park, has apparently left the toil of the North American minor leagues to join the Red Bulls in Salzburg, Austria. Yes, there is a hockey team named after the energy drink and yes, it is a professional organization. Best of luck to Bobby in his new world.
*And if any of you are betting folks, and are really hard up for stuff to lay your money on in this disgrace of a hockey game, take a look at the experienced mid-level stars for your MVP. Taking a look at prior MVPs - aside from Wayne and Mario - many of the players to take the honour came into the game with little to no expectations. The big stars usually have a ton of press commitments so the game is an after-thought and the young players are in too much awe to play their best, leaving quality players with some experience under their belts to rise up - guys like Briere and Staal the last two years, and Bill Guerin, Mark Recchi and Vinny Damphousse among others in years past. That being said, since I would hedge my bets, my picks are Shane Doan from the West and Marc Savard from the East ... enjoy the festivities!