As always, lots of questions to answer and not nearly enough time or space to do so.
I'm sure you've heard of this, but what do you think of the campaign (voteforrory.com) to get Canucks D-man Rory Fitzpatrick into this year's NHL All Star game?
Also, do you think the way they did the voting this year was fair? I personally think the Vote For Rory campaign is entertaining and I would actually like to see it work. It seems to be a pretty big movement with NHL fans all over the Internet, so many people are behind it.
Supposedly the NHL is ignoring the movement and not accepting write-in votes for Fitzpatrick. Do you think the Rory votes should be counted, or do you think it is unfair that the voting may be swayed due to the Rory campaign (not to mention the fact anyone can vote as many times as they want online), therefore possibly replacing a more Â“talentedÂ” player?
I would like to see them allow the votes and shake things up a bit, as it would definitely make for a good story in Dallas this year. I just wanted to know your thoughts on this.
Lauren B., Seattle, Wash.
Here's my biggest problem with the whole scenario: I couldn't care less about the All Star Game.
With very few exceptions Â– Owen Nolan in 1997, pointing at Dominik Hasek and scoring his third goal of the night; Wayne Gretzky in 1983, putting up four in less than 13 minutes; Pavel Bure saying Â“to hell with itÂ” in 2001 and leaving while the game was still on Â– the highlights are few and extremely far between. I wouldn't say I'd rather watch paint dry, but choosing between the two options would take up more than a couple minutes.
That said, if people are getting a kick out of it, it's fine by me. After the misery of the lockout, NHL fans are owed a few laughs at the league's expense.
What do you think the main reasons are for Calgary and Ottawa's terrible start to the season?
Jeff Brideau, Petawawa, Ont.
Calgary's bad start was all about defense. When they allowed their opponents at least three goals in nine of their first 12 games, they lost every one. In the three games they won, they allowed just three.
And since those first dozen games, the Flames have won eight and lost three, allowing 19 total goals over that span. The offense has improved, but there's still no doubt as to the philosophy that drives this franchise.
Ottawa's defense also struggled out of the gate, but it affected the Senators differently than it did the Flames. Ottawa's offensive attack is much like Buffalo's Â– slick-skating, originating from the passes of mobile, puck-moving blueliners Â– but the difference is, Buffalo has Ryan Miller, while the Sens have the very charitable Martin Gerber.
And since Ottawa's skaters could see what everyone else could see Â– you know, that Gerber couldn't stop a globe from getting into a hairnet Â– their chance-taking tendencies took a nosedive. Thus, they couldn't score and couldn't stop goals from being scored. But thanks to Ray Emery, that confidence is back and they're burying the biscuit with great frequency again.
Let's put fantasy hockey aside for a moment and discuss something important: Columbus. Nash, Zherdev, Carter, Modin, Vyborny, and Foote.
All are proven scorers (minus Foote who is supposed to quarterback the power play). They also have other players with great potential like Klesla and Brule. So why does Columbus have the fewest goals scored in the league?
And may God save them.
First of all, let's separate the wheat from the chaff. I think the Jackets have some real gems (Nash, Zherdev, and once he gets some miles on his meter, Brule), but I think there's some major-league overestimating going on with Klesla and some minor-league overestimating going on with Vyborny and Pascal Leclaire.
As well, Adam Foote might have been a No. 1 defenseman five years ago, but he isn't anymore and shouldn't see nearly as many minutes as he's currently seeing.
Carter and Modin have some value, but overall, this is a team that's believed its own hype for too many years until the bottom fell out this year. And they may have to make more major repairs to set things straight.
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