Robert notes below that Craig Conroy may be centering the 4th line this evening. And although I think he's a quality player in a lot of ways, that may be the right place for Conroy at this point in his career. Because although he can still do a lot right on the ice, his offense has sunk to Stephane Yelle-ian levels. And like ol' Sandpaper himself before he left town, Conroy can be the responsible elder stateman on whatever bottom-6 line he plays on, but his mitts have become so leaden it's getting tougher and tougher to give him a lot of minutes on any given night. That said, he's still miles ahead of his (assumed) 4th line-mates this evening.
- Andy Murray was considered a Jack Adams finalist after his underdog Blues made a run at the end of the season to make the play-offs. This year, he's a favorite to get fired. The funny thing is, the team is marginally better this season at spending time in the offensive zone, but the bounces are going the other way. The PP has added Paul Kariya, Erik Johnson and Andy McDonald...and sunk to 23rd after placing 3rd last year. I noted Patrik Berglund still had good underlying numbers last time these teams met, but his on-ice SH% had sunk well below the league mean. That's a micro-cosm of the entire team, with all the kids and players who overachieved last year now struggling to score. And that's typically the issue with riding the percentages: if they love you now, they'll hate you later. Rather Faustian, actually.
- If I haven't mentioned it yet, Merry Christmas everyone and thanks to the regular readers and commenters that come by and argue with me and make this place interesting.