Sharks-Stars & NHL Craziness

I'm starting this as the Sharks-Stars game is coming to an end. The Sharks have put forth a great effort in all categories tonight: shots, goaltending, +/-. No Sharks player is a -, and Torrey Mitchell got a goal, which will hopefully help him get some of his confidence back. Unfortunately, Marleau is still struggling (more on that later). On the whole, however, the Sharks played extremely well and got contributions from all over the depth chart. Niemi has been solid as well. The Sharks are back on track after a two game skid, and once they catch up in games played will not doubt be first in the Pacific.

But what is going on with the rest of the NHL?

First. The suspensions. They are all over the place.

Andy Sutton's ridiculous hit on Alexei Ponikarovsky. He's suspended indefinitely, while he awaits a hearing with Shanny.

Kevin Porter's hit on David Booth was almost as bad. Knees are always extremely dangerous and merit a serious suspension.

Second. Realignment. I'm still not sure where i stand and don't want to make a judgment until I see how the league pans out next year. The playoff system will also get interesting; Sharks-Canucks or Sharks-Stars would be an awesome series. Most important though, I can't wait for playing every team home and away; that is by far the best part of realignment. Guaranteed games against the league's biggest stars (and at HP Pavilion no less). What do you think about the new alignment?

Third. Rumors. Semin is the name coming up in every blog and rumor. Not that it's anything new, but Washington is still struggling by their standards (seven points behind Florida). Maybe it's time for someone else to try and figure Semin out. Would you trade Marleau, Mitchell, and two firsts for Semin? Big risk, but potentially insane reward. Thornton is getting old. Heatley is gone, and Havlat (unfortunately) is not his replacement. McLellan would no doubt be a coaching genius if he could figure out the star who is perhaps the most skilled player in the NHL.

Check out the move and goal at 35 seconds.

And finally. In case you haven't been following, the New York Times just finished a three part series on recently deceased NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard. People I know who aren't even hockey fans have been talking about how amazing the series has been. After reading of the tragedy of the NHL enforcer and Boogaard's addiction and death, I am entirely convinced that fighting has to be removed from the game. Olympic hockey is amazing and survives completely sans fighting. Also, Bettman saying that fighting was responsible for Probert's and Boogaard's deaths is ridiculous. It is not worth the risk. The NHL needs to change. The suspensions for hits to the head are a start, but do not solve the problem. What do you think?

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