Thoughts from the weekend:
Â• Another game, another heartbreaking loss for the Philadelphia Flyers. Things are horrendous for Flyers fans right now, but it could be worse. Canucks GM Dave Nonis could have declined to match the one-year, $1.9 million contract Bob Clarke offered to Ryan Kesler. Instead, he matched it, and Kesler now only has a goal and three measly points in 18 games for Vancouver.
Â• Flyers GM Paul Holmgren thinks it's too early for his team to start cleaning house and trading players. Too early, Paul? You know statements like that qualify you to become the new Iraqi Information Minister, right?
Â• Let me get this straight: Maple Leafs ownership thinks there's nothing wrong with re-signing injured defenseman Andy Wozniewski, but an extension on GM John Ferguson's services Â– well, that can wait until the spring. Ferguson hasn't exactly delivered the world yet, but he has produced a team with the fifth-best point total in the league this season. That's got to be worth at least a year tacked on to his existing deal.
Â• For my money, nobody's funnier right now on Saturday Night Live Â– nope, not even the always-brilliant Darrell Hammond Â– than Amy Poehler. But there's something special about Kristen Wiig, who is easily the class of SNL's next generation. Even when she was a bit player on The Joe Schmo Show, Wiig stood out from the rest. Okay, I'm slipping into stalker territory here.
Â• Re: the latest Grand Theft Auto commercial Â– since when did mid-80s Phil Collins solo music become cool again? Â“In The Air TonightÂ” I can understand, but Â“Easy LoverÂ”? What's next, Nu Shooz and whoever gave us Â“Waiting For A Star To FallÂ”?
Â• The Devils have one of the worst away records of any division leader, but they're dynamite at home. Guess full buildings make them nervous.
Â• Somebody stick a fork in Gerard Gallant and the Columbus Blue Jackets, already. After last night's 1-0 loss to Chicago, the Jackets have dropped nine of their last 12 games and have been shut out four times this season. Enough is enough.
Â• New York Post hockey scribe Larry Brooks thinks home teams who choose to shoot first in the shootout are making a big mistake, and I agree. If shooters are scoring less than 30 per cent of the time, it only makes sense to put the pressure on the opposing goaltender for the final shot.
Its not Gallant's fault. The problem with the Blue Jackets is management is pocketing all the money instead of spending it to better the team. There were lots of great forwards and goalies that were UFAs in the off-season and the Jackets let them all go to other teams. They need to sign a good veteran goalie in a bad way and stop signing scabs that no one else wants. They also need to sign more veteran defensemen to assist Foote because their present Â‘D Â‘is nonexistent when the puck is in their zone.