After a weekend sunning and funning at the Virgin Music Festival's stop in Toronto Â– where Bjork honored sports fans in attendance by dressing like the San Diego Chicken Â– I'm ready for the season to begin.
But with a semi-lull in NHL news the last couple days, there's not a wealth of stuff to comment on. So, for today's blog, I'll answer a few questions that didn't make the cut for my weekly mailbag column.
The first comes from someone who likes the Montreal Canadiens this season a lot more than I do:
Let's see if you really believe what you're saying or if you're just filling space.
I've got a loose $50.00 to wager that says I know more about hockey than you do. If the Habs finish 1st or 2nd (in the Northeast Division), I win. If they finish 4th or 5th, you win. 3rd place is a saw-off.
Do you have the confidence in your prognostication or are you just a talker?
I don't think it's a great idea for sportswriters to make bets with readers, mainly because sportswriters don't earn enough money to bet anything of real significance. As I've mentioned before to other readers interested in betting with me, you're more than welcome to write in and gloat like hell if your prediction turns out to be right at the end of the season.
But honestly, the Habs finishing first or second in the Northeast? I know a lot of people, inside and outside the hockey industry, who'd like to take your money...I mean, your challenge.
I made a bet the other day on who will win the Norris trophy. I've got Dion Phaneuf; my buddy has Nicklas Lidstrom. Do you like where my head is at, or is Lidstrom still the man to beat? Or do you fancy a third combatant?
Unfortunately, I think your pal has the inside track on this bet. That's not to say Phaneuf won't have a Norris Trophy or two on his mantle before his career is over. But Lidstrom has been so good, for so long, that betting against him seems rather unwise.
I would like to know, for the Habs' net, Cristobal Huet or Jaroslav Halak?
Huet deserves first dibs on the Canadiens' net. Carey Price should be the next to get a look. Then, if he isn't traded, Halak ought to get next shot. Doesn't look like you could go wrong with any of them, though.