In the absence of Jason Spezza, the Senators have opted to call up Zack Smith from the minors. The plan is to give Spezza's minutes to forwards on the existing roster. Meanwhile, Sens farmhand Corey Locke must be wondering what in the world he has to do to get an NHL look.
Locke currently has 41 pts in 31GP, 2nd in the AHL. As an OHL’er, Locke had 63 goals and 151 points in 2004. He's put up big points at every level, every year. Doesn’t a guy like that deserve a shot, particularly from a team starved for offence? He’s never been given a chance by anyone in the NHL. 4 career games. All with 4th line minutes.
Hey, Locke might indeed be a bust. But what if he’s a hidden diamond in the rough? You’ll never know if no one ever bothers to look. What do the Sens have to lose? If he fails to score, that will merely put him in good company in Ottawa.
The Winter Classic is a great event. However, I wonder if the Steelers will think so. For the first time in the event’s history, the host stadium’s main tenant is going to need the facility straight away. In the past, the Red Sox and Cubs certainly didn’t need their park in January. The Bills have forgotten what football in January looks like. At 11-4, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be hosting a playoff game the weekend of January 8th or 15th.
Between now and that playoff game, the weather will be well above freezing, near +9C for Saturday, leaving the Winter Classic very much in question. So the field will be covered with a heavy 200’x 80’ NHL rink, with the sod thawing underneath – perfect conditions for mold. I’m not a grass expert but that sounds like a bad way to get a field ready for an NFL Playoff game.
Semantics of the day. The Calgary Flames fired GM Darryl Sutter. When you “ask someone to resign” you have fired them. Why is the media universally going with the “Sutter steps down” headline?
Stat of the day: Sidney Crosby now has more points (24) in the month of December than any Senator (Karlsson - 23) has accumulated all season.