Thursday, March 01, 2007

I have a seeeeeecret!

Not anymore though... Here are my secret boys in no particular order, well, except alphabetical by team:

  • Boston: Andrew Ference - do I really need to explain this one?
  • Colorado: Marek Svatos, Wojtek Wolski, Paul Stastny - Svatos because I watched him when he first came to Canada to play for the WHL's Kootenay Ice, he stood out with his speed and low skating profile. Oh yeah, he could score too - 23 goals, 18 assists for 41 points in 39 games. Wolski because I caught a few games in Brampton last season after he had played a few games with the big boys and you could tell - he stood out amongst his teammates with his speed and puck control. Stastny... Well, when I'm looking out for the other two, it's hard not to notice the stellar rookie season he's having so far: 22 goals, 37 assists for 59 points in 64 games.
  • Columbus: Rick Nash - A boy playing for Canada brings joy to my heart; 01/02 WJC team, 04/05 World Cup team and like Heatley below, a 2006 Canadian Olympian. Plus, when a guy gets drafted 1st overall you tend to remember who they are. I find myself tuning into CBJ games when the Flames aren't on.
  • Ottawa: Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Andrej Meszaros - The first two popped on my radar when they played for Canada on the 99/00 and 00/01 World Junior team and since then I've always followed their careers. Spezza appearing again on the 01/02 WJC team and Heatley playing for Team Canada during the WC in 01/02 and as an Olympian in 2006. Meszaros I watched play with his WHL team as I had seasons to the Vancouver Giants - I remember once on the post game show the announcer called him, "a man amongst boys," for the way he dominated on the ice. Being here in the East, I get lots of Senators action on the telly so that keeps me up to date.
  • Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal - On a pure skill level, the Kid is at the top. His respect for the game and constant willingness to learn are refreshing. As for Malkin and Staal - same situation as Stastny, how can you not notice the rookie seasons these two have been having? Obviously, Malkin stands out a bit more due to the way he started the season shrouded in controversy.
  • Tampa Bay: Vinny Lecavalier - Vinny's a popular choice here amongst us ladies for obvious reasons, there's no denying his physical perfection. However, for me it goes deeper than that - another good Canadian boy representing his country on the team that went to the 97/98 WJC, 00/01 WC, 04/05 World Cup and 2006 Olympics. Again, another first overall draft pick who doesn't go unnoticed.
  • Washington: Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin - Ovie has fun playing the game and I think more players could learn from his attitude. And Sasha, well, I would get my ass kicked by one our hlog sistas if I didn't mention him (don't worry, Clymer's in the crosshairs too *g* Hopefully, this Caps love endears me for my Pens picks).
I have to say that it's a lot easier to like guys playing for Eastern Conference for two reasons:
  1. Living in Toronto, I catch a lot of games and hear about them more often. I feel a bit sad that we don't have more Western representation on our HLOG; with games having a late start time for the EST crew, I know you don't get as much info on the boys from the West. I love my Centre Ice package!
  2. Besides the Avalanche boys, I found it hard to pick guys from the West due to division match-ups and the standings and if I cheered for them it would feel like I was cheering against the Flames which would be blasphemy. All bets are off, of course, come playoffs.

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