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The Breakaway: Seed to burn in Chicago

by Shawn P. Roarke

* With all the deserved talk about the sublime talents of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in Chicago, it is sometimes forgotten how fast this team is as a whole. There's a reason why the club leads the NHL in shorthanded goals. Just ask the Detroit Red Wings.

* Saturday night's game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens took CTN down a childhood memory lane. Eleven goals and enough fistic activity were present to make CTN check the rosters and make sure that Chris "Knuckles" Nilan and Lyndon Byers had not come out of retirement. Entertaining -- to say the least.

* Speaking of Lyndon Byers, the Bruins’ tough guy is now a radio heavyweight. For the past several years he has been part of the very successful morning show at WAAF-FM in Worcester, Mass.

* Is Ilya Bryzgalov the answer in goal in Phoenix? CTN says yes. Remember this is a team that has used at least four goalies every season since 2001. It's about time for some crease stability in the desert.

* So, is anybody still concerned about “Sid the Kid's” slow start now? Thirty points during a 19-game scoring streak should silence the critics.

* Don Waddell's decision to finish the season behind the bench in Atlanta was a sound one. He will sink or swim with the team's fortunes, so he might as well have direct control over the club during this important stretch.

* The St. Louis Blues have commissioned the striking of a bronze statue in the likeness of Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis. CTN hopes the sculptor chooses to catch MacInnis in mid-windup of his famed slap shot.

* Watching Erik Cole get injured recently in a game last week against the Florida Panthers was certainly sobering. CTN wishes the rugged Cole, now on the IR, a quick recovery.

* It was a long time in coming, but congrats to Martin Brodeur on getting his 500th career win, becoming just the second goalie to do so in the history of the game. Brodeur's numbers are a little off this season, but he has shown signs of coming around, which is not surprising for a goalie that has always played himself into form.

* Judas Priest is reportedly working on a concept album about the life of the prophet Nostradamus. It is scheduled to be released next year, perhaps as a double CD. CTN can't wait to pop that one into the earphones.

* So Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu has a cracked bone in his leg and is expected to miss just a week. That's not even the shocking part. The shocking part is nobody is even surprised that he will be out for such a short period of time. Only in hockey.

* CTN could watch the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks play each other every week. The teams routinely turn in playoff-like performances against each other. Each of the last two contests has gone to the shootout tiebreaker after 65 minutes of compelling hockey each time.

* Anaheim's November run has certainly put the tough start to October firmly in the rear-view mirror, has it not?

* By the way, New York Ranger forward Sean Avery can be a pretty effective player between the whistles, too.

Jason Strudwick

* CTN had to check the replay more than once when he saw Ranger defenseman Jason Strudwick -- yes, Jason Strudwick -- score the OT winner on a rush against the Penguins Saturday night. Strudwick, one of the game's good guys, deserved such a special moment.

* Columbus rookie Jared Boll certainly isn't shy about dropping the mitts, is he? The rookie, out of the OHL, has a League-high seven major penalties and is second in the League overall in penalty minutes with 61 minutes in 18 games.

* Speaking of Boll, it is clear that fighting remains a young man's game. Of the 10 players with five or more major penalties by Sunday, half of them are first- or second-year players. Boll, Philadelphia's Riley Cote, New Jersey's David Clarkson, Boston's Milan Lucic and San Jose's Doug Murray are all making a name for themselves in the rough-stuff department.

* Life of Agony lead singer Keith Caputo is planning to release a solo album soon. Red Hot Chili Pepper star Flea will make a guest appearance on the trumpet. That alone will make it worth a listen. But, Caputo also has one of the best voices in heavy metal, as evidenced by his work on LOA's "River Runs Red" album. From reports, though, the solo work will be every different from his stuff with Life of Agony.


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