Proteau’s Blog: A parity rarity

• For better or worse, and with very few exceptions (the Sabres and Ducks, Crosby and Ovechkin), the NHL is now the least-predictable league around. And Thursday night’s Calgary-Colorado game proved it again.

Avs goalie Peter Budaj, coming off a 40-save performance Tuesday in Detroit, allowed five goals on 17 shots and was yanked in favor of Jose Theodore midway through their 7-3 thumping at the hands of the Flames.

The Avs are just 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, but look throughout the standings and you’ll see they’re not the only ones treading water. By my count, 19 teams currently have middling records (five wins or fewer in their last 10). Such a stat might be the result of league parity, but it can’t be great for ticket sales.

• Speaking of middling, the Wild finally got their act together and upset the Canucks at home Thursday, snapping two streaks (Vancouver’s seven straight wins and Minnesota’s 11-game road skid). And they did it because they got contributions from their key components – two goals from Marian Gaborik (his first since October), a goal and three points from Brian Rolston and a spectacular save from Manny Fernandez on Josh Green.

If Jacques Lemaire’s crew hopes to hold on to that final playoff spot in the West, they’ll need all three players at the top of their games the rest of the way.

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• Nice to see the crowd in Denver boo Theodore when he skated out to replace Budaj. It’s gonna be a long year-and-a-half for the former Hart Trophy winner.

• Here’s what I think of David Beckham and another attempt by pro soccer to make an impact in North AmercÂ…zzzzzzzzzzz. Wake me when it’s over – unless there’s another soccer game on.

• Thursday night’s episode of My Name Is Earl might have been the best yet, and The Office wasn’t very far behind. Why the two don’t get the blockbuster ratings of mush-brained fare such as Deal or No Deal and The Ghost Whisperer is beyond me.

Oh, that’s right, those shows both feature barely concealed lady parts. Sadly, it all makes sense now.

I agree with you about My Name Is Earl and The Office. These are two of the most underrated TV shows on now. So when is CBC or TSN going to do a fictional hockey TV series? Rent-A-Goalie aside, we need something in the main stream.
– Cam C

I’m sorry, but the American “The Office” is not even a shadow of the original. I can’t even watch it!
– Johny