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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nov. 27th - Thanksgiving NHL News from Around the League

In all the commotion about boycotting the NHL All-Star Game I totally forgot that it was actually taking place last night. The Eastern Conference All-Stars defeated the Western Conference All-Stars 3-1.

Detroit has decided to alternate between Ty Conklin and Chris Osgood until further notice. I would love to see Conklin take Osgood's job. Unfortunately, there won't be many people in Joe Louis Arena to watch that happen.

Tensions boiled over during a Toronto Maple Leafs' practice. Forward Dominic Moore and defenseman Jeff Finger traded a few punches before being broken up by teammates. In other Leaf news, Jason Blake will sit out the team's game against Ottawa tonight. It is speculated that he suffered a concussion from the hit Colby Armstrong laid on him on Tuesday.

Alexander Ovechkin recorded a hat trick last night as the Washington Capitals defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 5-3. Washington played without captain Chris Clark and defenseman Jeff Schultz who are out with injuries.

Joe Thornton scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. It was the fifth win in a row for the Sharks.

The Capitals and the Sharks, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, are the three most improved teams in the NHL thus far. The Capitals have 12 more points through 20 games than they did at this point last year. Both the Sharks and Penguins are up nine points.

Jim Balsillie still wants to buy an NHL team, particularly the Nashville Predators.

If Balsillie were to move the team to Canada, it would come at a time when the Canadian content in the NHL is shrinking. Only 52 percent of NHL players are Canadian. Only 3.5 percent of players are Russian. Americans now make up 19.9 percent of players.

And, speaking of ridiculous All-Star games, the KHL has chosen a strange route. Their All-Star game will pit "Team Yashin" (made up of Russian and former Soviet players) against "Team Jagr" (made up of everyone else.) Their fans apparently cannot be trusted with voting either, as just over 50 percent of voters chose this format over the more traditional East VS. West format. There is no word as to what percentage of "Team Jagr" will be Montreal Canadiens, but I assume it will be 100%. It is their hundredth anniversary after all.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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