Although the Leafs aren't in action until tomorrow night (at Florida), the Christmas break is over and the NHL is BACK ON. And I don't know about you guys, but my turkey-addled brain can hardly carry on a conversation right now. This is where the links come in:
The Leafs play terribly against terrible teams, but play really well against teams who are on hot streaks. What will happen when the Leafs play the Panthers (who, despite being in the thick of the playoff race, I refuse to acknowledge as not awful), hot off of eight wins in the last thirteen? What are the Vegas odds on implosion?
There's been a lot of talk lately about adopting the AHL overtime format for the NHL - a 7 minute overtime period that sees the first 3 minutes played four-on-four, and then on the next whistle, switching to three-on-three for the last 4 minutes. I LOVE this idea. The open ice that 4 minutes of a three-on-three creates would allow for the same excitement, creativity and skill that the NHL aimed to showcase by way of the shootout (without the severe heart palpitations and the feeling that an otherwise good game has been distilled down to a luck-driven circus sideshow).
Steve Downie and Thomas Greiss are the most recent players to be sidelined by mumps. I'm actually shocked that Downie wasn't patient zero.
I love "end of year" lists and this Puck Daddy beauty is no exception. Times I cried while reading this list? The over under is 8.5
Much as I try to get everyone to talk about Gauthier and Nylander, the imminent NYE match-up between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel is the hot World Juniors topic. Everyone will be micro-analyzing their every move in a mostly futile attempt to create controversy over who is going to be an Oiler next year.
Ignore the extolling of Pete DeBoer (given his recent firing from the Devils), and focus on how to win your office hockey pool. Goalies are essentially useless in my league (which awards one point per hit, making Scott Hartnell the highest performer on my team), but perhaps you will use this list to bring your team to the top and buy me a chocolate bar with your winnings.
I can't put it better than The Neutral: At some point, repeatedly suspending a player whose continued employment in the league is almost entirely contingent on him doing the things that earn him these suspensions is pointless at best and deliberately enabling at worst. Amen brother.