It's the end of the week and the end of the year, so we get the Friday Five to end out the year for you here on TSOoA-- which I'm sure you're thrilled about.
1. Before the review, could the Calgary Flames switch come at a better or worse time??
It was only a matter of time, as you knew the clock was ticking on Darryl Sutter's tenure when Jay Feaster was hired. I think it came at the best time for the Flames, as they seem to be needing a new voice to be making the moves. Feaster orchestrated the 2004 Stanley Cup champs, so his credentials are solid-- it's a matter of whether or not he can deal with the mess that was handed to him in a salary cap era that remains to be seen.
2. What was the story of the 2010 calendar year??
Personally, it has to be the Chicago Blackhawks and how they got dismantled because of some bad paperwork issues and dealing the salary cap. You could say the salary cap as a whole with the Devils and Flyers situation, but the Blackhawks got hit hard. Most of the cogs in the Stanley Cup victory got shipped out because the Hawks had no choice. Right now, they're hanging in the playoff race, but in that Western Conference; they need to get healthy quickly and start to gel as a team in order to have a shot this post-season.
3. If there was one game that's a must-watch from 2010, which would it be??
While I'm not fond of either team, Game Seven of the Eastern Conference semi-finals between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers was a story you couldn't have scripted better. The Flyers were in Game Seven after being down 3-0 in the series; they tied up the series. But in the seventh game, they went down 3-0 in the first period only to score four goals unanswered to win the game and win the series. The story couldn't have been told any better-- much like the kayfabe era of wrestling where each match had a subtle, underlying story in the motions-- that's what this game entailed and showed how well the post-lockout rules and gameplay was supposed to be like.
4. Is there one event or moment that sticks out for this past year??
While it won't be the most dramatic ending, Patrick Kane's Cup-winning goal in Game Six will always stick in my mind. First off, because I had an idea it was in before he celebrated, but just the joy he had and the faith his teammates had in him as he was screaming down the ice to an unsuspecting Antii Niemi. It was a "hawkward" ending to a game, but it was great to see the big jubilation from one guy and then everyone else can follow the boy who cried goal.
5. What will 2011 hold for the NHL??
What do I look like, a psychic?? I think you'll see a lot more surprised teams going further in the playoffs-- specifically the Atlanta Thrashers, who have most of the Blackhawks from last year to lead the way. The Tampa Bay Lightning will sign Evgeni Nabokov and have him pluck off waivers by the Washington Capitals. In the end, Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Quick will duel for the Western crown, while the East is still too murky to tell who will be there.
If you have anything going for 2011, let me know and email me at Scotty.Wazz@Gmail.com with your ideas and whatever else you have to say. Have a happy and safe New Year's celebration-- whether it be out or in your own home. I'll be working overnights in a Safeway.....so....there's that.