Go ahead, I'll wait.... Alright. First of all, I don't know about you, but it sounds to me as if Michael Nylander might be on that top power play unit sooner rather than later, as we speculated the other day, with Alex Semin out of the lineup (that is, the desire to have two balanced power plays takes a hit when the scorer for the second one is laid up, and therefore the team might focus on making the top unit as effective as possible in the short term).
Secondly, Hanlon praises his third line - with very good reason - but I'll go out on a limb and predict that if the trio doesn't score this weekend (none of them has yet), the team won't return home with a still-unblemished record.
Finally, while Tarik, who discusses the slumping power play in today's WaPo, reports that Semin is out for at least the weekend, Hanlon called it a "50/50" proposition. I'll stick with GMGM via Tarik for now, but perhaps there's some hope to the contrary.
Anyway, Hanlon always gives a great interview (this Reuters article has a couple of quotes from the above audio), and thought I'd pass this one along. On to other news...
While we're on the subject of coaching, Scott Burnside ranks the League's 30 bench bosses and has Hugs at number 20. Frankly, I think he should be higher - there are coaches in the top 20 who haven't done much more with a hell of a lot more talent - but let's let this season speak for itself, shall we? (and I won't even bother mentioning this)... This sorta slipped through the cracks, but Newsday reported yesterday that the Isles offered Viktor Kozlov a two-year, $4.5 million deal to stay on the Island. In other words, Kozlov turned down returning to a playoff team for $250,000 per year and a chance to play with Alexander Ovechkin on an up-and-coming team - and you can bet it wasn't about the money.... Speaking of "Kozzie," he's making the most of his assignment centering AO, according to the CP.... And speaking of adjusments, Ben Clymer is getting used to life in the AHL (as St. Cloud State University gets used to life without one of Clymer's Hershey teammates, Andrew Gordon).... Finally, here's an interesting anti-Bettman, anti-RBK article for you haters out there that does raise some interesting points in between barbs.
- Hart: Mike Richards (2G, 2A, +4, 4 SOG, 3 hits, 57% faceoffs won)
- Ross: Mike Richards (4 points)
- Norris: Marc-Andre Bergeron (G, A, 4 SOG in 2-1 win)
- Vezina: Rick DiPietro (W, 36 saves on 37 shots against)
- Richard: Niklas Hagman, Kristian Huselius, Chris Gratton, Mike Richards, Milan Michalek, Brad Boyes (2G each)
- Calder: Carey Price (W, 26 saves on 28 shots against)
- Aiken: Roberto Luongo (L, 4 goals allowed on 13 shots against in just one period of work)