Hopefully, your Festivus celebrations were great, going into the Christmas season-- but the Friday Five doesn't stop; much to the chagrin to some of you....me included. Wait, what??
1. With the Devils firing John MacLean, is there any chance they improve under the tutelage of Jacques Lemaire??
With the Devils being 9-23-2, I doubt there's much that's going to be able to turn them around, even a coaching change. The team is in choke-hold against the salary cap and don't have the parts needed to make a big run, regardless of the coach. MacLean got a bad draw from the situation he was put in, but it is what it is in the business of hockey. MacLean was a great assistant coach and could probably land on his feet elsewhere in the league; but head coaching could be just out of his grasp for right now.
2. The hiring of Donald Fehr has caused a lot of "Chicken Littling" amongst fans and pundits alike-- is there a case for such worry??
Not two years away from the CBA running out, no. But at the same time-- the worry of Fehr's past definitely shouldn't be ignored. At the same time, this puts the NHLPA at level footing as the NHL when it comes to having some top negotiators at the table when it comes to bargaining. Fehr probably won't be playing hardball when it comes to getting something signed, but he won't let the NHL run the table, either. His hiring is something that is good for the players, keeps the league on their toes, and could be good for the game, as well.
3. The waffle gimmick of the Toronto Maple Leafs has reached a boiling/Scrooge point, as the last waffle thrower got charged with mischief and banned from the Air Canada Centre. What the problem is?!?
Elliotte Friedman of CBC had a great point that the Leafs should embrace this like the Florida Panthers the rats being thrown onto the ice back in the mid-90s. While you have players who will complain because it creates an unsafe playing surface, this doesn't help the ideal of hockey players not having great personalities. While they are accessible, they seem to have lost the fun factor. It's not like it's an octopi that could make things slick....it's a waffle. It's bread and usually frozen unless cooked up. It's easy enough to remove. The Leafs should just roll with it, but unless MLSE can profit off of this....they won't allow it.
4. The WJC starts up on the 26th in Buffalo, with Team USA as defending champs. How much of a chance that they'll repeat??
Now, the last time the US won the WJC title, they didn't medal the next tournament. That said, they have good a team as any out there and could repeat with many returning players for this tournament. Even so, the Canadians you can never count out and the Russians looked pretty good against the CHL all-stars when they came over for their tour of Canada. We'll just have to wait until the puck drops, but I think those are the three teams that could really make a the most noise, while the Swedes and Finns are unassuming and could be taken too lightly.
5. Since it's Christmas-- what's on the list this year??
I won't be hacky and make a list for all the teams....because I'm too lazy to do that. Personally though, it's to a time where I worry more about little Kegger Wazz than myself, because I have too much stuff anyway. It's all good though, it's the thought of the season that counts and maybe I can afford to go back home next year. We'll see.
To you and yours, have a great Christmas (if you celebrate it, mind you) and I hope you all have a great time with family, friends, or just by yourself. I won't plug this week, which is my gift to you.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all-- a good night.