Saturdays with Sully – Break Time

Who would have thought, coming into this year, we’d be just as excited to greet the break as we were last year? Of course, one was the All-Star Game and the other was the Olympics, which offered more rest time, but the All-Star break will take away from us fewer players. And let’s face it, Nick Lidstrom is fine. He came out playing some of the best hockey of his career and the only reason it looks like he’s lost a bit of pace is because of the injuries and his increased role defensively, and babysitterly (looking at you, Nik Jr).

I don’t recall, even thinking back to last year, hitting the break and having it feel like your splashing down in the pool after a jump off a 40′ cliff face somewhere in coastal Mexico because The Most Interesting Man in the World dared you to do it. This is like hitting the bed exhausted after a hard day of mule-mining and hand-steel drill&blast drifting. Because I know none of you know what that means, look it up here. And because I know none of you have tried it, which is wise of you, trust me, it’s f***ing awful. The good news is that you’ll wake up tomorrow, refreshed, ready to do it all over again. In the case of the Red Wings, this time with the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Dan Cleary, soon to be joined by Tomas Holmstrom and only a month or so later, Chris Osgood, Mike Modano and Brad Stuart (who, if I had to hand-mine underground the rest of my life, I would want to be on my crew), and not necessarily in that order.

A certain element of speed and agility, grit and puck possession, should be back when we resume after the break. And yes, you all should be very excited about it, to the point where you buy your significant other something nice, take her(/him) out to dinner and when she asks: “What’s the occasion?” You just have to say “Pav’s coming back! And Danny Cleary, too.”

On to much, much less pressing matters at hand. So the All-Star draft happened last night. I feel obligated to cover it in parts, excluding any Keith Jones analysis because he’s an absolute retard. Right, so Team Listrom, per, looks like this:

Team Lidstrom:

Steven Stamkos, F
Duncan Keith, D
Henrik Sedin, F
Shea Weber, D
Tim Thomas, G
Daniel Briere, F
Dustin Byfuglien, D
Jonathan Toews, F
Marc-Andre Fleury, G
Jonas Hiller, G
Brad Richards, F
Keith Yandle, D
Brent Burns, D
Martin Havlat, F
Anze Kopitar, F
Matt Duchene, F
Loui Eriksson, F
Phil Kessel, F

Whilst Team Staal looks as such:

Cam Ward, G
Alex Ovechkin, F
Daniel Sedin,F
Zdeno Chara, D
Rick Nash, F
Henrik Lundqvist, G
Marc Staal, D
Patrick Sharp, F
Dan Boyle, D
Carey Price, G
Jeff Skinner, F
Kris Letang, D
Claude Giroux, F
Erik Karlsson, D
Cory Perry, F
Patrik Elias, F
David Backes, F
Paul Stastny, F

Thoughts? Well, naturally, Eric Staal is a moron for picking a goalie first in an All-Star game. Don’t they only play a single period? Also, I like how Ovie wasn’t really on Lidstrom’s list. Had no business being there. Lidstrom probably built his list around players who have given the Red Wings the most heartache, or given him the most amount of work in defensive coverage. Ovie may have a good track record against the Wings (something like 5 G in 7 games) but he plays in the (L)Eastern Conference, which isn’t something that looks good on a resume when Nick is the boss (see also: Kris Letang).

That’s an interesting reflection of Nick’s picks, isn’t it? On his team, Only Marc-Andre Fleury, Tim Thomas, Phil Kessel and Steven Stamkos are picks that have no experience playing in the Western Conference. Coincidence? Of course not. Factor in that Stamkos is one of the NHL’s best, not to mention one of Stevie’s kids nowdays, MAF has made some big saves against Lidstrom in consecutive Finals appearances, and Tim Thomas is a freak, I think the list makes pretty good sense. As for Kessel, well clearly he had to get picked eventually. I mean, he was last.

Pretty happy about the drafting process, although I’m very sad to see that Sidney Rosby is not anywhere to be found. What’s that? He’s injured, right. Well, did he get permission to skip beforehand or is he going to get off his lazy ass, leave the inbred populace of Pittsburgh and head for Nascar country to sign autographs, as per Gary’s ASG requests? No? And he’s not going…right. Well, that sounds an awful lot like a suspension to me, but what do I know. Given the consistency of suspensions, especially when it comes to Pen(i)s, I’m sure he’ll be just fine.

Enjoy the break Sidney, rest those fists of fury, lest some defenseless hockey player’s nads are too much for you when upper-cut his taint from behind.