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The Breakaway: Eyeing the talent

Thursday, 05.29.2008 / 9:00 AM / Crashing the Net

By Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor



* If CTN were to become a GM of an NHL team tomorrow, the first call would be to Red Wings' scout Hakan Andersson to offer him the top scouting job in my organization.

* Ninety-four days without losing at home is pretty darn good. And, no, it doesn't matter that the Pens played just 16 home games during that time.

* The 137 minutes and 25 seconds Pittsburgh went without scoring to start the Final probably seemed as long as those 94 days, though.

* Took time on the commute to Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning to watch the movie, 24 Hour Party People. CTN suggests it to anyone that likes music – even if it is not the electronica, NewWave sound emanating from Manchester, England, which is the province of the movie. It's just a good movie about music and the complex people that make it.

* This isn't hindsight, but CTN would have called on Darryl Sydor well before Game 3 of the Final. On a team sorely lacking experience, a guy that has been to the Final four other times, like Sydor has, is invaluable.

* Vinny Lecavalier was on hand Wednesday for an NHL awards luncheon in Pittsburgh. He is sporting a new close-cropped hairdo that looks pretty sharp on him.

* It's not as shaved as the head of Mats Sundin, who was also on hand for the luncheon, but it is close.

* If you haven't seen a video clip of the Memorial Cup falling apart as the captain of the Spokane Chiefs holds it at center ice, you have to find it. His reaction as the cup breaks and crashes to the ice is priceless.

* CTN has never seen a team as disciplined as Detroit when it comes to holding positions in the defensive zone. They don't chase the puck or cheat to the net and, for that reason, are so adept at claiming and clearing long rebounds that usually go to the offensive team.

* Don't forget the name Jimmy Howard. The third-string goalie for the Red Wings has been traveling with the team and practicing with the club. He has looked sharp against NHL shooters and appears to have a bright future ahead of him.

* If the rumors that St. Louis landed former Dallas Star GM Doug Armstrong to be a part of the Blues' front-office staff are true, you have to like the Blues' chances to get better in a hurry even more.    

* Tuesday night, the NHL.com crew ate dinner at Fat Heads in downtown Pittsburgh. CTN highly recommends it. Go hungry and order the nachos to start with. You won't be disappointed.

* The end boards at Mellon Arena are deader than CTN's hopes of one day playing in the NHL.

Tomas Holmstrom certainly works hard enough during a game and takes more than his share of punishment. Holmstrom highlight video
* Tomas Holmstrom must sleep well after a game. He certainly works hard enough during a game and takes more than his share of punishment.

* You might not think so, but in CTN's eyes, Holmstrom is just as talented as Sidney Crosby. The talent just takes different forms, is all.

* Amazingly, Alex Ovechkin is still sporting a playoff beard and has a missing tooth. Maybe he is waiting until either Detroit or Pittsburgh wins the Cup before he goes and gets all gussied up. CTN hopes he stays bearded and gap-toothed. It's a good look.

* CTN also hopes Ovechkin stays as open and blunt as he has been in his first two years in the League. Wednesday, he readily admitted that he was jealous that Sidney Crosby – his biggest rival – reached the Final before him.

* If you are looking for a sleeper in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, try on Spokane goalie Dustin Tokarski on for size. In a brilliant postseason run to the Memorial Cup championship, Tokarski proved to on-the-fence scouts that he can handle pressure.

* If you haven't read the live game blogs authored by NHL.com's Dave Lozo, do yourself a favor and visit them. If you don't laugh out loud, you are deader than the Mellon Arena boards, too.

* Evgeni Malkin sure didn't look tired in Game 3, did he? Maybe some home cooking helped.

* Valtteri Filppula might be the best player that nobody knows about – at least nobody outside of Detroit.

* Not for nothing, but when he puts his mind to it, Brooks Orpik can lay some serious body checks. His third-period showing in Game 3 was awe-inspiring.



 


Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense