For the rest of 2007, the NHL Closer will be written by the fine folks at Melt Your Face Off. Enjoy.

To commemorate the Sci-Fi Channel's "The Twilight Zone" marathon on December 31 and January 1, MYFO secured none other than the great Rod Serling to narrate today's NHL Closer. When it was discovered that Rod Serling has in fact been dead for over 30 years, it left me feeling quite concerned as to the mental stability of the gentlemen I had invited into my home - especially after I realized cash and liquor were missing. The revelation that my underwear drawer had been rifled through certainly confirmed my suspicions. Live and learn, I suppose. On to last night's results.

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"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as the space between Gary Bettman's ears and as timeless as Chris Chelios. It is the middle ground between the blue lines, between cycling and back-checking, and it lies between the pit inside Chris Simon's soul and the summit of Don Cherry's knowledge. This is the dimension of hockey recaps. It is an area which we call The Closer Zone."

Five Characters in Search of an Exit. "Johnson. Blake. Armstrong. Frolov. And Labarbera. A collection of question marks in the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Kings. Five improbable entities stuck together inside Joe Louis Arena. No logic, no reason, no explanation. Just a prolonged nightmare in which Zetterberg, Hudler, Holmstrom, Cleary, Franzen, and Filppula each scored goals and Niklas Kronvall chipped in four assists for the Red Wings while they skated through the shadows. In a moment, we'll start collecting clues as to the whys, the whats, and the hows relating to the Red Wings total domination of the Kings by a score of 6-2. We will not end the nightmare; only explain it, because this is The Closer Zone."

The Eye of the Beholder. "Now the questions that come to mind. Where is this place and how does it concern the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Islanders? What kind of league is it where the ugliness of a 2-1 score in a hockey game in favor of the Sabres is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm? You want an answer? The answer is, it doesn't make any difference. Because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence, in Uniondale, a suburb of New York City, or wherever there is human life, perhaps even in Canada. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even when it comes in the form of goals by Derek Roy and Maxim Afinogenov. Lesson to be learned—in The Closer Zone."

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A Quality of Mercy. "It's December, 2007, the last grimy pages of a dirty, torn book of a three-game road trip. The place is the United Center in Chicago. The men are what's left of a squad of Nashville Predators, who's dulled and tired eyes set deep in dulled and tired faces can now look toward a miracle, that moment when the nightmare appears to be coming to an end and they can go home. But they had one more battle to fight, and it ended in a 5-2 loss to the Blackhawks where Robert Lang and Patrick Sharp chipped in two goals apiece in home team's victory. December, 2007, United Center. But in reality, it's high noon in The Closer Zone."