Here's one way to get hockey on the national sports radar: ridiculous point streak!
Hell, even Lebron James is on board after recently tweeting about the success of the Blackhawks impressive start to the season (or perhaps it was his way of turning some attention towards Miami's current streak...but that's not the point). Every morning, while I'm putting on my pretty/happy face for work, I listen to SportsCenter and, with each Chicago victory, comes a new round of glowing admiration for the Hawks. I get it, this streak they've got going is impressive as hell, but I think it needs an asterisk.
The Blackhawks have only played the second best team in the league once (that would be your favorite NHL team, the Anaheim Ducks), and that team took them to a shootout and beat them. How could we ever forget that ridiculous "net off the ice" goal that got the game to overtime in the first place. Obviously, with how the NHL hands out their extra points for losing in overtime, it has contributed to the impressive streak in question. But aside from this overtime/shootout loss, the Blackhawks have only "lost" on two other occasions (Minnesota and Vancouver).
I just feel that if they were playing some of the better teams in the East, this streak might not stand where it does. So yea, as much as I hate to say it, the West just isn't good enough to stop some of the better teams in the league. A little competition for these Blackhawks and maybe we wouldn't have to hear about them every damn morning! An asterisk season and an asterisk record - that's all I'm saying.
This is a hot topic in my small hockey circle. My uncle thinks that players should be wearing full cages - ok, this could be a bit much. I hear this one regularly, "If I owned an NHL team - I'd demand it!" Anyway, this means we constantly have an argument regarding the players face protection.
I always battle for the players right to chose and he always brings up the numerous injuries that we've seen on the Anaheim roster as a rebuttal. But, to be honest, I think that all players should be wearing visors at the very least. Start the trend at a young age, as they do, and let them establish their game while wearing them in the first place. When you see a player writhing on the ice in pain after getting hit in the face with a puck, it kinda seems like a no-brainer.
Something to consider, Ryan Getzlaf, even after missing a good chunk of games two seasons ago, is no longer wearing his visor. He doesn't like the way it limits his vision on the ice, and, with the way he's playing right now, I can't fault him for that.
I'm fighting off the flu, or, at the very least, the ugly symptoms of a brutal illness that is about to hit me like a ton of bricks. In fact, I'm pretty hopped up on Nyquil as I write this (and likely to pass out immediately after hitting "save"). That being said, I looked at the crazy month of March for the Ducks and it kinda makes me long for that week long break they just had.
The Ducks play 17 games in the month of March and over the next 24 days, they have 13 games; a game every other day, with one back-to back thrown in the mix. However, it's the final two weeks of the month where the Ducks take on the Red Wings twice (both in Anaheim), the Sharks three times and two against those damn Blackhawks. In other words, save your hockey loving screaming voices, you're going to need them for all this Ducks hockey on the horizon!