You might have to be an Anaheim commenter at HF Boards to fully appreciate this, but the Swedish shadow Sammy Pahlsson (my favorite Duck) signed an extension that will reportedly increase his 2006-07 $650k to a much more appropriate $1.4 M in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
I’ve always had a man-crush on Sammy, who’s an unbelievably hard worker and a smart defensive forward. But at HF Boards (where I stole that image), he’s a god. This offseason, Pahlsson finished 2nd behind Selanne in popularity in an HF poll, including my vote.
Brian Burke on Pahlsson: "The foundation for any successful team is that they keep the puck out of their own net. You’ve got to watch the game very closely to appreciate what he does. The casual fan will not walk about the building saying, ‘Boy, Sammy had a great game.’ We say it with regularity."
2. Ducks beat Phoenix…again.
Thursday will mark the 3-year anniversary of the last time Phoenix and Anaheim played a game without Anaheim gaining any points in the standings. That’s 14 straight regular season matchups.
But hey, Gretzky’s only been head coach for the last 9.
3. Niedermayer and Pronger anchor league’s worst defense, and other early season oddities.
The Ducks right now are the worst team in the league at preventing shots against (39.5 per game).
Then again, the league’s best offense belongs to Chicago (6 gf/gm), the league’s best defense belongs to Atlanta and Pittsburgh (1 ga/gm), the 5 best power plays belong to teams that didn’t qualify for the last playoffs (Minnesota, Chicago, Florida, Columbus, and Vancouver), and the 5 teams yet to score a power play goal are surprisingly Pittsburgh, Dallas, NY Rangers, Detroit, and Calgary.
4. Selachophobia (n) - the scientific name for an abnormal and persistent fear of sharks.
I saw this on the opening Sharks telecast and had to reprint it, with a little extra:
Mark Bell—6’4", 220 lbs, 26 yrs. old, drafted 8th overall 1998
Joe Thornton—6’4", 235 lbs, 27 yrs. old, drafted 1st overall 1997
Jonathan Cheechoo—6’1", 200 lbs, 26 yrs. old, drafted 29th overall 1998
Milan Michalek—6’2", 225 lbs, 21 yrs. old, drafted 6th overall 2003
Patrick Marleau—6’2", 220 lbs, 27 yrs. old, drafted 2nd overall 1997
Steve Bernier—6’2", 235 lbs, 21 yrs. old, drafted 16th overall 2003
Avg height (entire team): 6’1.7" (T-4th tallest)
Avg weight (entire team): 214.8 lbs (1st heaviest)
Avg age (entire team): 26.4 yrs. old (1st youngest)
5. AHN-jay KOH-pi-tar. Learn to say it.
This kid Anze Kopitar the Kings got is young (19 years old), big (6'4", 220 lbs.), and explosive (5 points in his first 2 NHL games). Plus he’s from Slovenia, which in NHL terms means he was raised by wolves. When interviewed, however, I was impressed at how solid his English was, and he seemed to have a really good attitude.
Depending on how much he is played this year, he could force Malkin to join Crosby as Calder also-rans. In fact, each BoC team probably has a legitimate candidate to outbid hype machine Malkin in Calder voting (L.A.’s Kopitar, S.J.’s Matt Carle, and Ana’s Dustin Penner). Keep an eye out.
Marc Crawford on Kopitar: "He’s a big-time talent, no doubt about it. The big thing is, he is very teachable. You tell him once and he goes out and does it. He’s a coach’s son and he has that type of upbringing."
6. Pacific starting well…too well.
The Ducks get their first-ever 2-0 start to the season, and it gets them nowhere.
1. San Jose, 2-0, 7 GF, 4 GASure it’s early, but thus far Pacific's 6-0 against non-division foes, and all five teams in the division are outscoring their opponents.
1. Dallas, 2-0, 6 GF, 3 GA
1. Anaheim, 2-0, 6 GF, 4 GA
2. Los Angeles, 1-1, 7 GF, 5 GA
2. Phoenix, 1-1, 7 GF, 5 GA