Dallas Stars (still Pacific) at Anaheim Ducks (still Pacific), 7 pm
Defending Big D and Anaheim Calling -- two blogs the NHLPA couldn't stand seeing apart.
A scene from the Pacific Apartment Complex...
I know I said before that from a cartoonist's perspective, I was fine with the NHL's proposed realignment scheme, but I do enjoy when things go wrong for Dallas. Of course, now that the NHLPA has shot it down at least for next season, I'll admit -- drawing a star is pretty goddamn easy, too. :)
Welcome back, jerks.
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I do feel compelled to write a quick stat note about Jason Blake, as I feel like Ducks fans didn't really miss the Rat enough while he was injured. I mean, it is sadly impressive -- the guy misses 34 games and is still a part of Anaheim's only two win streaks of the season.
Since the acquisition of the Rat in the 2009-10 season, the Anaheim Ducks are 62-42-10 in games where Jason Blake dresses and they are 13-22-6 in games where he does not. This season, Anaheim is 4-2-0 with Blake in the lineup, and let me tell you -- it's very difficult to find any slices of the season that show the Ducks above .500.
The Rat obviously isn't the driving forward factor in Anaheim, and he's got very little sense of "where to shoot" on a goalie, but he hustles his ass off and can play competent lower-line hockey, which is something the Ducks do need. I don't know that he ought to be re-signed necessarily, but he should be appreciated a bit more.
The Rat hustles, and that matters.
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I won't be around for game comments tonight -- I'll be at the game! Wearing the green shirt (currently on a modest one-game winning streak) and sitting down in Row B with Arthur and Daniel from Anaheim Calling. Should be a fun
loss game! :)
Prediction: Jason Blake goes scoreless but Iiro Tarkki wins!