1. You must read former journeyman Sean Pronger's blog at the Hockey News. He's found a new calling as a humor columnist. My favorite bit in there is "turkey sub."
From a reporter's standpoint, I would say that healthy scratches possess their own type of deflector shield. "Do not talk to me during this time of suffering." No problem, because you have bad juju right now. The healthy scratches you want to talk to are the juniors who are up at the end of the year soaking it all in. They are happy to be there and happy that someone wants to talk to them.
2. A week or so ago, I was in Jeff Pyle's office and the injured Phil Youngclaus popped his head in and asked if he could go home for Christmas for a week. Jeff said to take as long as you want as long as you're doing your therapy. Phil said his therapy was going well and that his attitude was that if he gets 1% better for 100 days, he'll be 100% better. Jeff responded by saying "If 100% of the players are giving 75%, I guarantee you'll only win 50% of the games." Laughing, I asked if he saw a little bit of himself in those NHL Network commercials. He said no. I didn't tell Youngclaus that his math on getting better was wrong due to compound interest. He needs to keep it simple.
3. A reader, Logan, wrote in today regarding the recent post that noted that none of the Thrasher draft picks out of the QMJHL are in the NHL. He pointed to Ondrej Pavelec, who played junior with Cape Breton.
When hockey people use the term "drafted out of," it refers to the league they played in in the season before they were drafted. Going into the wayback machine, we recall that Pavelec was drafted out of the Czech junior league -- HC Kladno Jr to be exact. He didn't move to the Q until after his draft. So he was not drafted out of the Q. This actually draws attention to another trend -- that the success the Thrashers have had in goal has almost exclusively been drafted out of Europe: Pavelec, Kari Lehtonen and Pasi Nurminen. There's been a lot of bad goaltenders serving as contrast.
4. A good source mentioned that the oddness of the Hurricanes rehiring Paul Maurice is explained by the plan to make Ron Francis the coach next year. Francis is an associate coach now under Maurice; he had been an assistant general manager with the Canes.
Oddly, Maurice makes for two rehires in the NHL this year. Two clubs willing to admit mistakes. Refreshing, isn't it?
5. 2008 draft pick Danick Paquette was benched on Friday.
Danick Paquette, the captain, rode the pine in the third period after taking two bad penalties on the power play in the third. Both of them ultimately cost the team a goal..