*Our deepest condolences to the Risebrough family on the passing of Doug's mother Marie, of complications with cancer. Hockey is nothing as compared to the health of one's family.
*The League absolutely must hold the Philadelphia organEYEzation responsible for the conduct of its players after Scott Hartnell's unconscionable hit on Andrew Alberts last night. That's three incidents in this quarter-season by the same team. I don't think anyone who isn't in the dressing room with them on a daily basis can say whether or not this is a systemic thing within the organization or just a string of horrid coincidences. But the problem is that it just keeps on happening with the Flyers. A punishment is both a correction to the behavior of the malefactor and a detriment to similar would-be malefactors. Clearly the Flyers players need a stronger detriment, and perhaps taking away a draft pick or suspending the coach of fining Ed Snider would do the trick. But if the league doesn't do something about this right now, then the league is saying they condone this type of behavior from an entire team.
Hartnell gets 2 games. No word on whether or not the Flyers got anything, so I assume they didn't. This is an ugly day for the NHL, and it's their own doing.
*Huge kudos to the 6,000 or so Edmonton Oilers season ticket holders who gave up their seats to Canadian service men and women on Saturday night. Al Cimaglia, who covers the Blackhawks for Hockeybuzz wrote a nice piece on it.
*Maybe moving Brett Hull into the front office was exactly what the Dallas Stars needed? With their OT win on Long Island last night, the Stars have now reeled off six in a row, and sit atop the Pacific.
*The scene at the end of "Return of the Jedi" after Darth Vader has tossed the Emporer down the chute of death but has taken the mortal hits from the Emporer's lightning finger thingamajigs and lies, dying, at Luke's feet and then begs Luke to help him take off his helmet so he can see his son with his own eyes once before he dies is A) awesome and B) what I thought of when I heard that Brian Burke moved Ilya Bryzgalov because he had promised him that he'd either start this season or else Burke would find him a new home where he could. Maybe I take this game a little too seriously. But Bryz's, er, Phoenix-like rise with the Coyotes (four game winning streak since he got there) is a good thing to see.
*The Devils continue to get it done, winners of four straight, and only four points behind Philly and the Rangers in the Atlantic. Congrats to Marty Brodeur on passing 500 victories.
*Don't look now, but the Sabres are gelling. They've won five in a row, knocking off the Caps last night, and Miller's starting to play like he did basically all of last season.
*Toronto is a mess right now. It doesn't help that they've got an endless string of rabid media types dissecting every chunk of crap that gets dropped in the bathrooms at the ACC to see who had corn with their pre-game meal last night. It would appear as though Fergie might not be so Fergalicious, and both he and "He Who Speaks of the Pompitous of Love" might both be looking for work soon. It would also help if Bryan McCabe could avoid taking a dump in his breezers every time he gets the puck in his own zone.
*Dost mine own eye deceive me, or are the Panthers sitting in second place in the Southeast?!
*...Meanwhile, across the continent in Calgary, Keenan's NEW club continues to languish in mediocrity and inconsistency.