Some slap shots on 'net:
- The NHL has finally done the obvious and are going host the 2013 outdoor Winter Classic at "The Big House" at the University of Michigan. Attendance at the U of M will dwarf all other Winter Classics, as over 105,000 fans will be expected to attend. Why did they wait this long to go to Detroit? Because they knew the enormity of the live crowd will breathe new life into the event. Five years in and we are now nearing the point where the Winter Classic's appeal is waning.
- Toronto will play in Detroit that day. With all the Canadians crossing the border it will be very much a bit of a Canada vs USA battle. How about playing up that angle? Have Montreal play Boston and Vancouver play Chicago later in the day. Open the Winter Classic by giving the Canadian and American women's national teams some exposure.
- Tim Thomas coming out with more bizarre political rants, again hiding behind his Facebook page while putting his team and teammates in an awkward situation. I thought he wanted all of this just to be over and done with?
- The Nashville Predators are for real. They have the 2nd best power play in the entire league. They have arguably the best goalie in Pekka Rinne and two of the best defensemen in Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. They play playoff style hockey all year round. With Jimmy Howard injured in Detroit they could catch the Wings atop the division standings and secure a top 3 seed in the West. The West is going to be so tough to get through the playoffs. There are 6 legitimate contenders including Nashville and St. Louis. Whoever finishes in 1st place will enjoy perhaps the only enviable playoff match, if there is such a thing.
- Vancouver just might repeat as Western champs. Their current slump has them playing their worst hockey in a couple of years, yet they have picked up 16 of a possible 20 points in the last 10 games!
- Waiting on word to see how bad captain Henrik Sedin's foot injury may be. He took a howitzer off the ankle but came back to complete the game against Nashville, setting up 2 goals. He was seen in a walking cast the next day, however.
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