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THN.com Blog: Traveling back to school

Ryan Dixon
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THN writer Ryan Dixon visits fourth and fifth graders at his old elementary school. Author: The Hockey News

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THN.com Blog: Traveling back to school

Ryan Dixon
By:

Mike Keenan’s happy travelers have won six straight road games. That gives them 10 W’s as visitors before Christmas.

Last year, a very, very similar bunch of guys wearing the same Calgary Flames uniforms made the playoffs despite winning just 13 contests away from home all year.

So what gives?

Has Keenan arranged to have only a handful of channels available in players’ hotel rooms? Maybe shows about grizzly animal attacks are keying up the Flames, thus making them frothy-mouthed and ready to pounce once the puck drops.

Or maybe it’s just the fact Kristian Huselius and Jarome Iginla are the best 1-2 punch in the league at this very moment.

In the classroom
Am I smarter than a fifth grade hockey fan? Despite what many readers have suggested, I always thought so; at least until I recently visited my old elementary school to speak with fourth and fifth grade students about the book I co-authored with co-worker Ryan Kennedy called Hockey’s Young Guns: 25 Inside Stories on Making the NHL.

I was touched by the kids’ enthusiasm and blown away by their hockey knowledge. One girl, no more than 10 years old, shot her hand up at one point and offered:

“I think Sidney Crosby is a great player, but don’t you think he’s soft on the puck?”

Speaking of going soft, are the Philadelphia Flyers trying to put some road between them and their Broad Street Bully image by flipping Ben Eager to Chicago for Jim Vandermeer? On the ruffian scorecard, Eager has Vandermeer six fights to two this year and nips him by 18 penalty minutes.

Or maybe after seeing Eager get smacked around by Pittsburgh’s 41-year-old Gary Roberts, they decided he wasn’t quite Bully enough.

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THN.com Blog: Traveling back to school