Friday's Baker's Dozen - 12/16/2011
Time for my weekly Baker’s Dozen.
- Of the top 12 teams currently with the best 5-on-5 goal differential, 10 of them are also currently in the playoff picture:
1. BOS – 1.79 – 2nd East
2. STL – 1.61 – 5th West
3. DET – 1.56 – 4th West
4. SJS – 1.46 – 8th West
5. PHI – 1.31 – 1st East
6. NYR – 1.20 – 4th East
T7. VAN – 1.11 – 6th West
T7. MTL – 1.11 – 10th East
9. BUF – 1.10 – 8th East
T10. TOR – 1.07 – 6th East
T10. PHX – 1.07 – 9th West
T10. MIN – 1.07 – 1st West
- Last season the Pacific Division had four teams make the playoffs and almost had five. It was the toughest division in hockey. What a difference a year makes, as the Pacific right now is the third strongest… in the West. Tracking total points divided by total games for each division, here is how the West stacks up:
Central - 153 games, 178 points, 1.16 points per game
Northwest - 157 games, 173 points, 1.10 points per game
Pacific - 151 games, 162 points, 1.07 points per game
- Huge win for the Sharks coming back to defeat the Avs in the first game of a six-game home stand. This home stand is important because from Jan. 1 to Apr. 7 the Sharks play 48 games in the span of 98 days, with 28 of those games on the road.
- On Saturday the Ducks play in Winnipeg for the only time this season. It will be special because Teemu Selanne will be playing in the city where he began his career. It was 1992 when Selanne took over the hearts of hockey fans in Winnipeg and beyond by scoring an incredible 76 goals and 132 points as a rookie, both records that still stand today.
- Todd McLellan after the Sharks came back to defeat Colorado. “The fact that we could turn the tables on a team in the third period was important. The positive side for me was the ability to recover. We didn’t sag, we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves. We talked about that between periods. That was a positive thing.”
- With the NBA locked out the past few months I wonder if the NHL has studied ice conditions in arena’s that host both hockey and basketball. Wouldn’t it make sense, with no basketball, to determine how much of a factor that has on good ice?
- Jamie McGinn scored five goals in the span of seven games. How did he do it? Easy: grit, determination, going to the dirty areas, using his speed, size and will (rhymes with skill). Add up the total feet for all five goals from where he last touched the puck and it’s between 10 and 15 feet.
- Twitter Quote of the week is taking a week off in exchange for a quote from HBO’s 24/7. Ilya Bryzgalov gets the quote of the week with this gem, “If you kill a Tiger, and they find you, you’re dead, that’s it!”
- The Worcester Sharks have five players on the roster who have won NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Championships: Mike Connolly (Minnesota-Duluth, 2011), John McCarthy (Boston University, 2009), Benn Ferriero and Nick Petrecki (Boston College, 2008), and Ben Guite (Maine, 1999).
- I remember playing against Chris Chelios and he was tough to play against because, well, he was so tough. Chelios was a surgeon when it came to battles in the corner. Sometimes he would use his stick to poke the puck, sometimes he would absorb a hit and spin off you, and sometimes he would just run you and get the puck. No matter, it always seemed like he ended up with the puck.
- Getting a new coach is going to turn things around right away, isn’t that what is supposed to happen? It has in St. Louis, where Hitch-Hockey has the Blues on a 12-2-3 run since taking over. The other four teams who have fired and hired coaches this year are Carolina, Washington, Anaheim and Los Angeles. Those teams have a combined 9-13-2 record.
- This past week an article in the Chicago Tribune celebrated Chelios’ induction into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame with this tremendous accolade. “There have been better U.S.-born skaters and the truth is, Chelios struck me as one of the clunkiest skaters among great players I’ve ever seen. There have been better U.S.-born passers, and stickhandlers among defenseman, and there have been U.S.-born players with harder shots and more goals and points. But there never has been a better U.S.-born player than Chelios because there never has been another American who combined skill, smarts, leadership, toughness and longevity the way Chelios did. Passion for the game, is also on the list among Chelios’ defining traits and you know what? That just might be the most important reason Chelios is the greatest American hockey player ever.”
- I had seven or eight concussions as a player and a few of them were bad. My oldest daughter is a cheerleader and she is recovering from a concussion. I am watching what is going on in the NHL, other pro sports and youth sports and it’s becoming apparent. Concussions, for reasons I don’t think we know yet, are becoming the number one issue in all of sports.