It's the last weekend of the regular season, and while there are still some teams in the hunt for the second season, there are many who know their fate and go about preparing their game for the playoffs or preparing their swing for the course.
1. The Senators announced that Bryan Murray has signed a three-year extension to stay on as GM. What does this mean for the team as a whole??
It's something that was definitely unexpected and you could probably bet that maybe Cory Clouston could get another year done behind the bench; but other than that-- you would think they would want to move into another direction with the team. While Murray is probably not the best option, you could see something like what the Flames did and sign a former GM to be the heir-apparent to the GM position, but I doubt owner Eugene Melnyk will do that, as it would seem to undermine his front office. For all the people saying that it would be a huge overhaul for the Sens, looks like they were disappointed once again.
2. The consolation of some players is the World Championships. While it may not mean a lot to the casual fan, how much is it worth paying attention to??
Obviously, a lot of the hardcore patriotic fans will follow their country and enjoy the game play-- but odds are, if you're team is in the Stanley Cup playoffs; you won't pay much attention to it all. And to be honest, it's not a horrific thing not to pay attention, as the games will air somewhat early (Slovakia is ahead by seven hours on Eastern time)-- but you should keep an eye out for it as the Cup Playoffs start to dwindle down the teams. There's a lot of NHLers who are out of it that'll attend, so you could have a lot of those fans watching-- but I doubt they'll lose sleep if they miss a game or seven.
3. The Draft Lottery is being held on Tuesday. Is there a chance that it's not going to go to the Edmonton Oilers??
They have a 48% in the lottery to get the first pick, but it would be the first time since the 1995 and 1996 Drafts that a team would have back-to-back 1st Overall Picks. This could be a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to how you look at it. The Oilers haven't been much for talent and to be honest-- it could be a rush for a young player to automatically get into the line-up from juniors; but at the same time-- best to get them in the games early and let them adapt naturally rather than baby them through the motions.
4. What does the play of Jhonas Enroth bring to the Sabres and what could it mean for Ryan Miller??
What this could finally mean is that the Sabres don't have to overwork Miller. Enroth probably won't make a play for a #1 or even 1b spot, but it gives the Sabres another solid option and are able to give Miller a rest every now and again because they have a solid guy who could come in and actually perform well, especially in the clutch. Enroth will get another deal, as he is a RFA this summer, but I don't think he'll challenge for Miller's spot right now....but in a couple years, maybe.
5. Will there be any big surprise to come out of this weekend??
I don't think so. There won't be a big time comeback or dramatic finish-- because I think some of those seeds are out of steam by now and probably couldn't pull one more rabbit out of their hat. If there's one thing that could happen is that this is going to be the most dramatic Hurricanes/Rangers games outside of any playoff situation there could be. The "win and you're in" scenario is something that's enticing, but probably not going to be enough to really rally the troops to watch a game, especially if you're team is already in.
That's it this week and we're getting around to playoff time and who knows if this thing will keep going in the playoffs-- we'll see what the first round brings and go on from there. If you have topics, Scotty.Wazz@Gmail.com is the place to be dialin'.