I have to admit, we Canadians probably get the big part of the wishbone when it comes to this whole two-Thanksgivings-for-one-continent deal.
After gluttonously padding our glutes with our own early-October turkey feast, we get the fringe football benefits of your Thanksgiving just more than a month later – especially those Canadians, like Mike Babcock, who just happen to be making a hockey-related living south of the 49th.
“You go through the amount of Americans we have on our team, and it’s not many, and yet I think it’s a great tradition because you get to eat too much and lay on the couch and watch football,” Babcock told the Detroit Free Press. “So that’s a good thing.”
Not that the relationship isn’t a bit reciprocal – we did send you the late comic genius John Candy, who teamed up with Steve Martin to make the best holiday comedy ever, the Thanksgiving-themed Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
We should all be thankful for that collaboration, but let’s not stop counting blessings there. Here’s 30 more reasons to give thanks, one for every NHL team regardless of early results
Anaheim Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry aren’t even 25 yet.
Atlanta For the first time in franchise history, the word ‘depth’ can be used in reference to the team’s forward lines and not in the context of how deep its problems run.
Boston Back on top of the Northeast thanks largely to Tuukka Rask’s 2.13 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.
Buffalo Tyler Myers – all six feet and eight inches of him.
Calgary The fact Jarome Iginla has 12 goals in 11 November games and Olli Jokinen has come alive with six points over his past six contents.
Carolina Soon an entire third of the season will be in the books!
Chicago One game, two goals for Marian Hossa? Stay tuned.
Colorado The 33rd overall pick from last June, Ryan O’Reilly, is fourth in team scoring.
Columbus Ken Hitchcock hasn’t choked anybody yet, right?
Dallas Brad Richards is producing points at an unprecedented rate for his career.
Detroit Even if they actually did miss the playoffs, it would be the first time in 20 years.
Edmonton Pat Quinn hasn’t choked anybody yet, right?
Florida Tomas Vokoun isn’t taking his usual sweet time to round into form.
Los Angeles For all that is Anze Kopitar, which will be spelled out in detail when he graces the cover of The Hockey News in an upcoming issue.
Minnesota Hey, that Joe Mauer is really something.
Montreal Maybe, just maybe, Carey Price is the right man for the job.
Nashville That the Preds are almost becoming New Jersey-like in their ability to plug and play.
New Jersey Aside from the compliment paid above, how about Zach Parise, the NHL’s most tenacious player in the bottom half of the offensive zone?
New York Islanders Only five-and-a-half more years of paying Alexei Yashin!
New York Rangers That “Ouch, my groin” is still just a classic line from The Simpsons.
Ottawa Jason Spezza, Jonathan Cheechoo and Alex Kovalev have seven goals between them, yet this team is still 12-7-3.
Philadelphia That the Ducks decided to unload Chris Pronger, not Scott Niedermayer.
Phoenix For Captain Coyote Shane Doan, the kind of person humanity, not just hockey, can be proud of.
Pittsburgh For all the stars produced by the 2003 draft, first overall selection Marc-Andre Fleury might be shining the brightest.
St. Louis Speaking of first overall picks, Erik Johnson is really showing why he was at the top of the 2006 heap.
San Jose For Thornton and Heatley, the best 1-2 tandem since Candy and Martin.
Tampa Bay Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone have 15 goals this year.
Toronto For Ian White, one of the NHL’s most underrated blueliners.
Vancouver Speaking of overlooked D-men, how about Christian Ehrhoff, who’s on pace for a 52-point season?
Washington That, in advance of the next big holiday, Alex Ovechkin has already embraced the notion it’s much better to give borderline hits than receive them.
Ryan Dixon is a writer and copy editor for The Hockey News magazine, the co-author of the book Hockey’s Young Guns and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Thursdays and his column, Top Shelf, appears Wednesdays.
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