Sorry for missing last night. I got home from the grocery store (8 lbs of oranges, 10 lbs of potatoes, 16 oz of mozzarella, and 2 bags of tortilla chips for 10 bucks!) and suddenly felt awful. Still feeling pretty bad today, so trying to take it easy before the last four shows of Pooh. Also means I went to bed early last night and left the blog untouched. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't get to the dishes, either.
Gonna hit ya with three hockey-related newsworthy items from the past few days.
First: You just gotta check out Official FOMW Favorite Cal Clutterbuck's game-winning goal against Columbus from last Saturday.
BAM! Takes out two guys with one hit, bounces back to the front of the net, aaaaand game-winner. Thing o' beauty.
Second: Cal's old Minnesota teammate Derek Boogaard scored last night. Why's that such a big deal? It was Boogaard's first goal since his rookie season...the 2005-06 season. The goal was so newsworthy, every hockey blogger or analyst I follow on Twitter had to mention it. My reaction when I saw it on the box score was something like "Boogaard scored? On purpose?" I had initially thought someone must have banked it in off his head or something, but nope. Not only did the man score, he went coast-to-coast on a breakaway before ripping a slapshot by Michael Neuvirth of the Caps (who should now be ashamed of himself). In fact, the event was so monumental that Official FOMW Favorite Mike Russo felt the need to write a blog about it immediately...while his brother was in the process of asking him to be the best man in his wedding. Brother's fiance? Not thrilled.
Ah, hockey people. They're a rare breed.
Finally: The NHL is changing up the way it runs the All-Star game. A long time a go, the format was Stanley Cup Champion vs. All-Stars from the rest of the teams. Then, it switched to Conference vs Conference. Then, in an attempt to stir up Olympic hype in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it switched to North America vs. The World. After people grew tired of that, we went back to East vs West. But now....well, it's a tad complicated. See, the league will pick a pool of players who are All-Star eligible. Those players will vote for two team captains. And then, after the fans have picked the All-Star starters, the team captains will pick the teams the Friday of All-Star weekend. That's right, it's basically the ultimate pick-up game. No conference allegiance or alignment, just "You took Joe Thornton? I'll take Chris Pronger. Let's play hockey."
What's at stake here? Nothing, really. But there never really was anything at stake for the ASG. The league is looking to capture the spirit of natural competitive fun that comes out whenever you get a bunch of guys together playing a game improvisationally. So we'll see if it works. Personally, I kind of like it. They haven't released all the rules for the new format, as they just decided to try it last weekend. Players seem jazzed about the idea. Should be fun. And really, All-Star Weekend should be fun and nothing more. So, props to the league for thinking outside the box.
And because I'm hot with the links today, here's Wyshynski's early take on the announcement, along with a bit more information.