In the interest of preserving my focus for the playoffs, introductory paragraphs for the mailbag will hereby be limited to 25 words. Whoops, I mean 26.
Hey how's it goin'? I am a long time reader and wanted to ask you a question about the Future Watch edition The Hockey News recently put out.
Was it intentional that you guys referred to Minnesota prospect Clayton Stoner as someone having Â“highsÂ” and Â“lowsÂ” Â– much like the Cheech and Chong version of a Â“stonerÂ”?
First of all, it's going fine. Actually, I'm still a little tired after watching that Vancouver/Dallas game Wednesday night. But kind of you to ask.
I didn't work on our Future Watch issue, so I can't say for certain what the intent was regarding the words used in the story on Mr. Stoner (mustÂ…resistÂ…urgeÂ…to humÂ…Mr. Plow songÂ…from The SimpsonsÂ…).
However, you have to understand, puns are to writers and editors as flute solos were to Jethro Tull: utterly irresistible, even though most people make a beeline for the vomitorium upon encountering one.
Therefore, when a guy with his surname is the property of a team called the Wild, it's not a question of if we'll see headlines like Â“Wild's Stoner Smokes (Name of opposing team)Â” or Â“Stoner Hungry For MoreÂ”, but when.
And if he ever plays on the same team with Wade Dubielewicz, look out.
Great column, enjoy reading it, usually you've got great stuff to say, but really? The Blues in the playoffs in 2007-2008? Surely you don't mean the St. Louis Blues?
Seriously pal, the only way the Blues will see the playoffs is if Louis Armstrong sings the national anthem before the Stanley Cup finals.
As a professional cynic, I admire your willingness to find the cloud in every silver lining. But I didn't elaborate enough on them in that piece, so allow me to right now.
As I noted, the Blues were 27-18-9 since Andy Murray took over for Mike Kitchen. Also noted were the considerable talents of incoming No.1 pick Erik Johnson, as well as ownership's efforts to retain a nucleus of players and not trade away the likes of Eric Brewer, Jamal Mayers or Manny Legace.
Not noted: St. Louis has upwards of $15 million in cap room, a team president in John Davidson who knows he has a limited time to make his mark as a manager, young forwards such as Brad Boyes and Lee Stempniak and the eighth-best ranking in the aforementioned Future Watch issue.
Man, Josh, I think I just convinced myself even more that the Blues are going to be in the playoff mix next year.
Let's be honest, do you really think New Jersey, Vancouver or Calgary will win the Stanley Cup? Their goaltenders will play well over 75 games this season and if they play all the way to the final, another 16 games. That's more than 90 games for the year. There is no way a goaltender will be at his best after a season of that length.
And with New Jersey, there is no way they will have the offense to carry a less than perfect Brodeur. Vancouver and Calgary, maybe, but they're in the much tougher west, so I don't see that happening. But I would like to hear your opinion on their chances.
Brian B., Rochester N.Y.
No, no and possibly. Couldn't agree with you more about the toll on Luongo and Brodeur Â– both of who were high on my Hart Trophy ballot Â– as well as the tough road any Western Conference team will face to make it to the Final.
Of those three teams, I think the Flames are built to have the longest run. Their defense corps is one of the best in the league and they've got the requisite size and grit needed to survive all four rounds.
Is the new Hobey Baker Award winner undrafted? Is he too small for the N.H.L.?
Bob Martell, Cayce, S.C.
University of North Dakota sophomore Ryan Duncan, who was announced as the Hobey Baker winner last week, has indeed not been drafted.
He's listed at 5-foot-6, so he's probably a little shorter than that. But if Kyle Wellwood, Brian Gionta and Martin St-Louis can be successful in the NHL, Duncan has a shot as well.
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