Since tedious analysis is the stuff of "power rankings," each Monday NHL Closer writer Greg Wyshynski uses a form of universal expression: Success in terms of beer. Before we get to more grizzly Richard Zednik sliced jugular news, welcome to The Brewmeister Ratings...
Winner No. 1: Anaheim Ducks. "We're putting the band back together." "I really can't." "We got everybody but Scott 'Guitar' Niedermayer and Blue Sammy Pahlsson, and we're getting them next." "If you say no, and George Parros and I will come here for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week ... the women! How much for the women? How much for the little girl?" "Okay, okay, I'll play." And thus Selanne returned to the Ducks, and they haven't lost since, going 4-0 last week including yesterday's 3-2 win in Detroit. They're on a mission from God ... or at least from Brian Burke, who considers the difference between the two to be semantic, really. The Beer They'd Be: A full-flavored Schwarzbier served in giant jugs at Anaheim's Oktoberfest.
Winner No. 2: Dallas Stars. The Stars have won six straight, including Saturday's 6-2 shooting gallery against St. Louis. True story: When Jussi Jokinen beat Hannu Toivonen on (another) bad goal, the red light wouldn't stop flashing behind him. So the music guy in Dallas plays "Roxanne." Genius. The Beer They'd Be: A tall, frosty Sierra Nevada that Brett Hull buys you in order to pick your brain for trade ideas and salary negotiation pointers.
Loser No. 1: Detroit Red Wings. For any other team, going 1-2-1 over the last week wouldn't be a disgrace. For Detroit — which lost games to L.A., Toronto and the Ducks — it's the hockey equivalent of allowing a 32-yard pass to David Tyree when they had Manning in the grasp. The Beer They'd Be: A warm, half-filled 40 of St. Ides used for target practice in inner city Detroit.
Loser No. 2: New York Islanders. Finally picked up a point in an overtime loss to Minnesota on Saturday night — their first since Jan. 22. Forget Ted Nolan speeches; Mike Comrie needs to promise Hilary Duff lap dances around the locker room if they turn it around. The Beer They'd Be: A plastic cup of watered-down Coors Light at a bad Long Island night club that contains a mixture of Drakkar Noir and Italian townie flex sweat.
Daniel Plainview Was Correct. I blogged about the Richard Zednik throat slash yesterday for FanHouse, but honestly I'm as much at a loss for words as Daulerio was last night. (Good to see that nice young man back on the j-o-b, by the way.) Here's a screen cap that Deadspin commenter SBA posted on that thread that is more chilling than anything else I've seen; if anyone ever wonders what a "holy fuckin' shit!" face looks like, there you go:
The image also shows Zednik, in stable condition as of this morning, saving his life by continuing to the bench instead of diving to the ice, which tells me that if this happened to Alexei Kovalev we'd be in mourning right now. Olli Jokinen, whose errant skate sliced his Panthers teammate's jugular in Buffalo last night, said it best: "If you hurt your knee or break your arm, it's nothing. This is an injury where you can die." Ryan Miller, Buffalo goalie, said it worst: "It looked like a Quentin Tarantino movie." Yet I didn't hear any ironic dialogue, and I don't recall previously seeing this scenario played out in a better Hong Kong film...
Between this and linesman Pat Dapuzzo taking a skate to the face in the Rangers/Flyers mess over the weekend, this is clearly an epidemic. I fully expect Bettman to hang protective mosquito netting around the neck of every player and official, further obscuring the view of seats behind the goal. Either that or he'll start selling officially licensed meat pies. Bottom line is that if the NHLPA would just approve those heated electric skates, Zednik's jugular would have been cauterized in an instant.
Reason No. 3,432,885 The Shootout Blows. I must question the legality of this skills competition move by Vancouver's Ryan Shannon in the Canuck' 3-2 win over Chicago last night. But I find the use of a spin-o-rama against a Denis Savard team to be quite pimp:
* Hockey Day in Canada was about as saccharine as a Mitch Albom book about a dog who meets five people named Morrie in heaven. [Globe & Mail]
* Sure, he might look like a kid with a toothache in a dentist's waiting room, despite being his team's alleged "leader." But Jaromir Jagr really does care about the Rangers. Honest. [New York Times]
* Finally, Puck That Hit presents the Top 10 Best Names in Hockey; limited to this season, so, alas, no Darren Rumble or Jeff Beukeboom. [Puck That Hit]