i guess this is as good a time as any to talk about the ridiculousness that is the NHL schedule.
a lot of people bitch about the fact that there are teams we don't get to see for three years (the "crosby/ovechkin factor"). a lot of people bitch about meeting intra-divisional rivals 8 times each per year. here are my beefs, specifically:
1. season ticket holders end up with passes to attend 41 games in a season. almost HALF of those games are against the same four teams. this, quite simply, sucks.
2. is it any wonder that nashville will win the president's trophy when they get to play columbus, chicago & st. louis each EIGHT FREAKIN' TIMES !!?? sure, they won't win 'em all, but in any given division on any given year, if there are more than two "mediocre" teams, the stronger teams will win the trophies. whereas in a "tight" division (like the NW), arguably better teams won't make the playoffs... this makes me angry...
BUT i guess it's expensive to travel your team, and i guess extra-divisional (if you will) tilts draw lesser crowds... but c'moooon NHL brass... let's get this thing changed... [someone, but i forget who, said re: the crosby ovechkin factor, "the nhl finally has a truly marketable product, but refuses to sell it to half the league." geniuuuussss]
which brings us to this: the flames get to play the avalanche THREE TIMES this week. and while it would seem like a gift for our newly-revitalized team to play the basement-dwellers in a home-and-home-and-home series, the avalanche have been coming up huge against tougher opponents. budaj shut out the ducks a few nights ago, with the help of a frighteningly solid back 6. these games will be hard fought, low-scoring, and won in the corners. both teams will come away with points and injuries... i'll give round 1 to the flames: 2-1 (friesen, tanguay/brunette).