Here are a few nuggets I found around The Hockey News corporate headquarters in windy North York, Ont., while searching for Easter eggs.
• Was just wondering something. I’ve seen quite a few Calgary Flames games this season and in several of them didn’t notice former standout defenseman Jay Bouwmeester at all. So does that keep his NHL Ironman consecutive games played streak of 400-plus intact or should that be under review?
• I loved the line TSN’s Gord Miller used the other week after a rash of broken composite sticks in a particular game. It went something like this: Would a golfer on the PGA Tour be satisfied with a golf club that snapped once in every 20 or so shots? Why are NHL players OK with these sticks?
• Two of my favorite hockey color commentators to listen to are Ottawa’s Garry Galley and Dallas’ Daryl Reaugh. Galley is always quick and well-spoken with his analysis and right on the money. Reaugh is educational as well and his twisted sense of humor is always appreciated in low-scoring snooze-fests. Galley and Dean Brown calling Senators games are the best tandem this year.
• Dion Phaneuf may be the future captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the player who leads the team back to respectability for the next decade. But Ian White has been a far superior all-around player than Phaneuf was the past two seasons in Calgary. It has been interesting to watch a smaller No. 3 play a more responsible game for the Flames at a fraction of the salary.
• I’m glad to see the new guidelines in place for blindside head shots, I just hope players don’t evolve their game to take advantage of it, as in a discreet shoulder dip and/or turn to the side of an incoming hit. We all know players are prone to face outward when playing the puck along the boards, to invoke a hit from behind, and embellish a hook or hold with a dive.
• I remember the year the four WHA teams joined the NHL with 16 teams out of 21 making the playoffs. The top team had the huge advantage of playing the No. 16 seed. If that playoff format was still in effect, Calgary, St. Louis and Anaheim from the Western Conference would be in the post-season and Philadelphia, Boston and Montreal from the Eastern Conference would be out.
• The Edmonton Oilers of 1983-84 scored 446 goals in 80 games for an average of 5.58 goals per game. This season in the NHL, 19 teams are averaging 2.79 goals per game or fewer, half the output from that star-studded Edmonton juggernaut.
Brian Costello is The Hockey News’s senior special editions editor and a regular contributor to THN.com. You can find his blog each weekend.
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