Hello and welcome to another edition of Interspecies Hockey Chat. I'm your host, Jas Faulkner. Before I introduce our panel, I would like to share one of my favorite fan moments involving a child:
Okay, that one was pretty awesome, but I am actually referring to a letter written to the PFO (Predators Front Office) by Beautiful Alice's son, Dustin*, earlier in the season.
Dear Coach Trotz,
I watch the Nashville Predators on Center Ice and I am glad you are letting Danny play but he needs to share. You need to let Pekka play too. Pekka came all the way over from Finland to play hockey and doesn't get to see his Mom or Girlfriend except in the Summer. One time I had to go all the way to Indiana to play hockey and they would not let me play until THIRD PERIOD. I was mad. I had a girlfriend last year but we broke up because I like hockey better. Please make Danny share.
Grade 2, Reggie Dunlop Elementary
Right Wing, Nationwide Insurance Tiny Cats
Dustin has been pleased to see that the space between the pipes is indeed being shared.
Now, time to introduce today's panel:
His Holiness the Doggy Lama Niklas Lidstrom the Shih Tzu Nik is our newest panel member. He was being held for unspecified charges at Sumner County Humane when someone agreed to post his bail. Now he is a free dog with his own kibble bowl, regular tummy rubs and a Puu doll. He loves hockey and chasing squirrels. His role models are JP Dumont, Dan Ellis and Bob the Angry Flower.
Maggie the Hampshire Pig Maggie is a world class sow who thinks Michael Phelps, Zdeno Chara and Kermit the Frog are the bee's knees.
Arnott and Tootoo (taking a deep breath) Arnott and Tootoo are Beautiful Alice's son, Dustin's guard hamsters. They are female. Everyone is aware of this except Dustin, Arnott and Tootoo. Their role models are the raptors in Jurassic Park and Joe Thornton.
Kevin Kevin is a human. He finds that cold pizza really is the breakfast of champions.
So, let's begin. What a difference a month makes. The lines, the clear winners, the assumptions that were held all Summer have been smashed to bits. The injuries, the upsets and the dramatic turnarounds have made this season interesting to say the least.
Tootoo: I blame the injuries most of all.
Nik: It's like half of the NHL has decided to stay home and sit on the couch in their pajamas and eat grilled cheese and watch cartoons.
Tootoo: Nik, it's not that simple. Never underestimate the power of a groin pull.
Tootoo: Have you ever had a groin pull?
Maggie: Of course not. Have YOU?
Tootoo: Of cour- Well. I'm not sure. Arnott?
Arnott: I tried some pulled pork once...
(Chaos breaks out and Jas has to threaten them with Nik's no-no rattle.)
Maggie: It has given some of the supporting players a chance to shine. By last Spring, coverage of the NHL was starting to look like The Alex and Sidney show with Marian Hossa as the Beaver.
Kevin: I think most of the people on injured reserve are coming back soon if they're not back already.
Jas: Let's get local here. What do you think of the Predators so far?
Maggie: It looks like somebody put something in Sullivan's Wheaties and he's decided to share.
Tootoo: Maybe they really do sell cans of it in California.
Arnott: Cans of what? (Tootoo whispers to Arnott) Oh!
Kevin: They're finally starting to hit their stride. We're seeing something closer to the full team that Trotz must have envisioned when he was working out the lineup during preseason.
Tootoo: Well yeah, that, too.
Nik: The last two games were made of awesome. Goals from Tootoo and Legwand? I'll take 'em! And the only thing that would have made last Thursday better would have been a hat trick for Sully since his dad was there. 55 shots on goal by the Preds and 53 saves by visiting goalie Price? Wow.
Maggie: I have mixed feelings about the California road trip, but it's always been a mixed bag for me. Sully, Smithson and Hornqvist were the standouts and I've seen hustle and guts from Goc and Bouillon that make me appreciate them being here.
Jas: So things are looking good?
(Nods from everyone)
Jas: Okay, before we wrap up, I'd like to talk about "Make It Seven"
Kevin: Do we really want to go there?
Jas: We do. I've given a lot of thought to this and can see both sides of the debate. My solution? Forget moving into Europe and make it eight with the expansion teams going to Winnipeg and Hamilton.
Tootoo: What have you been smoking?
Arnott: The NHL is pretty big as it is.
Maggie: If it's that big, will two more teams make a difference?
Jas: What about moving teams?
Nik: Shouldn't happen. Should never have happened in the first place and shouldn't happen now. There's room for everybody. On the other hand, if people think the league is too big they could always split it up and have a Canadian league and an American league.
Maggie: That would leave Canada with six teams, or eight if they got the expansion teams.
Nik: MLL has six teams.
Tootoo: True, but look at who they would have. Could be interesting.
Nik: Frankly, I think a 32 team league could work and yeah, I'd like to see 'Peg and Hamilton back in the NHL.
Jas: Any other thoughts?
Maggie: I miss Ryan Jones.
Tootoo: We need more of Trotz getting his yell on.
Arnott: Loved that.
(Everyone nods and smiles at that.)
Jas: Okay. That wraps it up for another edition of Interspecies Hockey Chat! On behalf of all of us here, I wish you all smooth skating and plenty of hits between the pipes.
*Identifying information has been changed to protect a minor
copyright 2009 jas faulkner