Pavel Datsyuk was last year's Selke Trophy-winner as the league's best defensive forward and finished fourth in league scoring with 97 points this season. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
The first two days of the NHL playoffs are in the books and already there’s a good amount of animus bubbling up between first round rivals.
However, there’s one particular, off-ice topic that’s drummed up at least one question to me per day for the past couple weeks, so we’ll deal with that one first before delving into your inquiries about the playoffs and other pressing hockey issues.
When are you coming to Columbus in your Civil War uniform?
Mark Lauterbach, Columbus, Ohio
The THN caravan – me, THN.com web content specialist Rory Boylen and THN.com video producer Ted Cooper – will be rolling into Southern Ohio sometime in the late afternoon on Monday and departs for home Wednesday morning.
Yes, that means I’ll be at Tuesday’s game. Look for the excessively pale, sheepish-looking dude followed around by two other dudes trying in vain to stifle their laughs and I’m sure you’ll find us.
I’m a diehard Capitals fan, but I’m anything but a diehard Jose Theodore fan. As many of us predicted, he reeked of sieve-y-ness in Game 1, so should Bruce Boudreau go with Simeon Varlamov in Game 2?
Eddie C., Washington, D.C.
If I made the decision, I would go with Varlamov. The rookie doesn’t have any playoff experience, but that still beats Theodore’s more recent post-season play.
Putting Theodore on the bench not only sends a strong message to the rest of the Caps – namely, ‘do your job or lose your job’ – but it also gives Boudreau more options for Game 3. Because if the veteran soils the sheets for the second time on home ice, do you really want to turn to a rookie for a must-win game on the road?
I wouldn’t. Inserting Varlamov for Game 2 allows Boudreau the freedom to either keep him in for Game 3 if he plays well, or give Theodore one more second chance.
Who do you think is going to win the Stanley Cup? Keep up the good work!
Rajitha Waidyaratne, Nepean, Ont.
If you asked me prior to the season, I’d have said Dallas would win it all. If you asked me before Thursday night’s games, I’d have said San Jose. And if you asked me after Thursday night’s games, I’d say Detroit.
The moral of this story: predictions, while fun to read, aren’t nearly as fun to make. I’ll tell you more about it if you see me carrying around a musket in Columbus next week.
After Sean Avery's recent incident involving Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, it became apparent Avery has still not learned his lesson yet.
If you were in coach John Tortorella’s shoes, what would you do to put an end to, or to at least tone down Avery's antics? Or can anything be done?
Aren Van Volkingburgh, Ottawa
Avery was his snide, sandpapery self for the Blueshirts in their Game 1 win over Washington, so I doubt Tortorella is concerning himself too much with correcting the super-pest’s personality.
If anyone is going to straighten out Avery, it won’t be his direct employer; instead, the league will have to make a decision in the off-season about just what he brings and takes away from the game.
Where would you want the 2010 Winter Classic to be – and between what teams?
Stephen Regulski, Green River, WY
I’m good with pitting the Rangers against the Bruins and holding it at either the new Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park. But I’d also be happy if the Maple Leafs played the Ottawa Senators at Toronto’s Rogers Centre (with the retractable roof open, of course).
The other option that’s out there (and one I’ve mentioned before) is to stage the game in some snowbound European locale. The trick there would be to make that game between two teams that have a number of players from the host country.
Maybe you can explain to me why everyone is saying Pavel Datsyuk should get third in MVP voting? Isn't he in a similar position to Dany Heatley of two years ago, except with almost 18 fewer goals and 10 more assists?
I'm pretty sure Heatley was never considered an MVP contender because his team was too good.
Harry Martin, Boston
Datsyuk was No. 3 on the Hart Trophy ballot I submitted this week (Alex Ovechkin was my No. 1 and Evgeni Malkin was second). Why? Because in my opinion, the Wings center is the best all-around player in the game today and Detroit would suffer greatly without him.
Yeah, Heatley is a more effective goal-scorer, but Datsyuk is without doubt the better playmaker. More importantly, comparing the Russian’s defensive skills against Heatley’s is like comparing a filet mignon dinner to McDonalds’ filet-o-fish sandwiches.
In other words, there is no comparing the two.
Trust me, if you gave 30 NHL GMs the choice between employing Datsyuk or Heatley, the final results would be very, very close to a total sweep. And it wouldn’t be in favor of the Sens star.
In this year’s NHL draft it is likely that it will be John Tavares selected first overall and Victor Hedman second. Who will go third?
Brendan Antosh, Vancouver
While there remains some debate as to whether Tavares or Hedman will be the No. 1 pick when the draft is held in Montreal, there’s little doubt Brampton Battalion center Matt Duchene is a lock to go third.
With the Montreal Canadiens now up for sale, do you think the new owners will change the name and logo of the team or even the location?
Phillippe Brunette, Lorette, Man.
I’m sure any new owner of the Canadiens could try to rename or relocate the franchise. But have you ever heard of the Rocket Richard riot that took place in Montreal in 1955?
Well, the reaction to any serious change to the Habs would make that period of civil unrest look like a Playboy Bunny charity car wash. And that’s why it ain’t never gonna happen, my friend.
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Ask Adam appears Fridays on TheHockeyNews.com. Proteau also answers readers' question in every issue of The Hockey News magazine and on The Hockey News Radio Show every Friday from 3-4 p.m. EST on XM Radio channel 204. To send us your question or comment, click HERE.
Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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