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Loose Change: What we’ve learned so far

Can we really be halfway through another NHL season already? My, where has the time gone? Stupid me, evidently I set my watch by the first Steve Downie suspension.

To be totally accurate, at the time of writing this, two teams are actually one game short of the halfway mark, which means, for Philly and St. Louis, I’d strongly suggest you stop reading or you’ll spoil the surprise and, may I say, tasty ending I have in store for you.

So what have we learned so far?

• Scoring may be up this year, or down. I don’t actually remember. I do recall watching a 2-1 game recently, which I’m assuming is likely way below the league average for goals-per-game, which means, naturally, I must not have enjoyed watching it. Personally I blame the goalies. I mean, how many innocent people wear a mask?

• Vincent Lecavalier leads the NHL in scoring, which I don’t find surprising at all. Only yesterday I remember thinking, “Hey, Vincent Lecavalier leads the league in scoring!”

• Chicago’s Patrick Kane leads all rookies this year with 39 points. His teammate Jonathan Toews, is second, with 32 points. It’s nice when two young players like that can share both the spotlight and a razor.

• Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is apparently getting strong consideration for coach of the year since he has his Coyotes overachieving and presently sitting 10th in the Western Conference.

• Surprises? A couple. St. Louis appears to be legitimate. Garry Unger is apparently unreal in shootouts.

And I like the direction Nashville’s headed. Befuddle the fans with the old we’re leaving/we’re staying thing. Sell off all your assets except the ghost of Minnie Pearl. Rope-a-dope your opponents to death.

Talk about the ultimate sneak attack.

• Disappointments? Who else? Boston. While their resurgence this year may seem passable, remember where they live. Oh, you’re in third place in your division are you? That’s nice dear. Mr. Brady, you were saying…

• Teams to watch out for? Just one: Philadelphia. Have you seen what they do to guys with their heads down?

• I must also admit I’m pretty upset with the National Hockey League about a couple of things.

What ever happened to the easy accessibility of the old ice-time stat? Where has it gone? It’s harder to get than a cheerleader’s phone number.

Where’s the harm in knowing Nicklas Lidstrom is spending over 42 minutes a game on the ice? I mean, besides the guy aiming to steal that nice watch from his locker.

• And we could use some more real drama in this league. Baseball with all its intrigue and scandals is more interesting in the off-season than hockey is during the season. They have high profile players reportedly on the juice and gambling away fortunes. The best we have is first year call-ups caught emailing their raw data to curious teenyboppers.

Trust me. If an unknown Czech rookie ever asks you to “open his attachment,” just say no.

The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Thursday only on Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at


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