Friday, November 23, 2007

Central Division Craziness

So no shit, there I was. Sitting on my couch with the booze flowing like water. Kicking back and hammering the refs for another bad game. It may or may not have been booze induced, but I'm really pissed. Regardless losing to the Colombus Blue jackets isn't my idea of a good time. 2 Nights later and the same thing is happening in Nashville Tennesse. We're once again losing to the Predators. THE PREDATORS I tell ya.But I think maybe now that the booze is long gone and the hang over is fading maybe, just maybe, stats don't lie. The Central Division is tough. Real fucking tough.
Now I'm not suggesting anyone is going to overtake the Detroit Red Wings and all of their lame majesty, but there is a real decent chance that 5 of the 8 Western Conference Playoff teams will be represented out of this division.I don't think anyone is being mystified by the juggernaut of Detroit's being there, but I didn't think Nashville or Colombus had a shot at being there. At All. But yet here they are. Nashville is bolstered by an amazing backstopper in Mason. Colombus is so big and punishing. They're literally muscling teams out of the slots, and simply stifling offenses with their defensive strategy. Ken Hitchcock must be proud. Bettman is already contemplating a rule change I'm sure.
St. Louis has been off and on this season like last season. Eric Johnson seems to be playing extremely well for a rookie defenseman in the league. Legace seems to have refound the magic as Detroit cries it's goaltender tandem woes. With Paul Kariya coming in filling a scoring hole that was there last year.
Chicago. Sweet Home Chicago. The town that Billy Sunday could NOT shut down. Well, I love the Hawks. They're gonna get the most face time here, but I don't think this is going to be the only place. They're drafting is finally paying off in spades with Toews and Kane. How can you not love these kids? But the culture in Chicago hockey is changing. Winning seems to be in the regular vocabulary. It's a breath of fresh air. So far the Hawks have gone 4-0 against Detroit for the first time in like 15 years. Seriously. I wouldn't joke about that.But beyond that it seems like they've put a winning recipe together with 2 skilled rookies in Toews and Kane. 3 Journeyman players really finding their NHL game in Seabrook, Duncan Kieth, and Patrick Sharp, and veteran leadership with Lang, Perreault, and Brent Sopel. We have a coach that seems to have shaken off the learning rust and shackles of Trent Yawney's game of last year. Fans seem to be looking at the United Center as Mecca instead of as the Black Hole of Calcutta. Seeing more fans showing their pride on off days is even cooler.
Regardless of all that it's hard to be mad at the team when they're putting their all up against Divisional rivals that have every right to think they have a shot at the playoffs. It's getting tight in there. We're not even half done and the difference between the very top and the very bottom is 5 whole points. By now most divisions have alreayd cleaned the chaff from the grain. We don't have a single dud, dog, or rollover team in the Division. Seeing that kind of caliber 32 times in one year can make a guy irritated at the Pacific Division where just not being Phoenix would get you a solid playoff spot.
Yeah right now we're where it's at. And like any dichotomy it's cool but it sucks.Well those lucky bastards that have the Center Ice Package should be jumping all over the Divisional games here.That's my red hot tip. I'm out.

No comments: