-I can’t believe a week from today will be Thanksgiving. October always seems like a slow crawl to the start the season, and then we hit warp speed after Halloween. There’s a chance, and a decent one with three home games, the Sabres could be at .500 by Turkey day. That would be a great accomplishment given the horrific start to the season.
-Isn’t it funny how things level out after the first two weeks of the season? Back in the second week of October, the Islanders, Maple Leafs, and Lightning were the division leaders in the East. Only Tampa Bay has remained relevant, sitting second in the Southeast, while the Islanders and Maple Leafs are back to the familiar spot of last place.
-One of the topics up for discussion at the GM meetings a week ago was the possibility of extending overtime with 3 on 3 play before heading to a shootout. The idea would be to have more exciting hockey and a more “natural” way to decide the winner of the extra point, rather than the skills competition that is the shootout. I am in favor of extending overtime, especially if teams play it the way the Sabres and Canucks did this past Monday. Both teams went for the win and it resulted in great scoring chances and a thrilling goal. The big question is how long and do you keep it 4 on 4. If I had a say (which I do here), add 2:30 to the extra session before heading to the shootout, and keep it 4 on 4. I think 3 on 3 would get a little ridiculous.
-Washington DC is one of the better road cities to visit, but the traffic is just brutal.
-It’s been an interesting week for fathers and sons in the NHL. League disciplinarian Colin Campbell is under fire by fans and media for email correspondence with then director of officiating Stephen Walkom concerning penalties called against his son Gregory (now with the Bruins). I don’t have time to go into all the details and odds are you know them already. Is anyone shocked that a father would have an opinion on penalties called against his son? No. Does it imply that Campbell wanted special treatment or leniency for his son? Maybe. Does it mean Greg Campbell got it and gets it today? No. Does it mean if Greg slashes someone in the face that he won’t be fined or suspended? No. I don’t know Colin Campbell and don’t always agree with the punishments he hands down, but I know people who know him and respect him. Until I hear one of them tell me something’s not Kosher, I’ll reserve judgment.
The other situation is in Calgary, where Flames GM Darryl Sutter just traded his son, Brett, and Ian White to Carolina for Tom Kostopoulos and Anton Babchuck. That had to be a tough phone call to make for Darryl, but perhaps not as tough as the one Brett had to make to his father after his arrest in Phoenix for assault outside a bar. The Flames insist the incident in the desert had nothing to do with the trade, and that it was in the works back in October. True or not, that’s tough, and the toughest phone call for Darryl was probably the one to Mrs. Sutter to inform her he just traded their son.
-Finally, speaking of sons, my soon to be 6 year old has informed me that he wants to be a goalie. That wasn’t a tough conversation, but I know it was an expensive one.