by Patrick Hoffman on 12/01/10 at 10:29 AM ET
A few days ago, I did an e-mail interview with Mike Ross of NHL Home Ice that took a look at the quarter pole in the NHL season.
This morning, I bring you an e-mail interview with another NHL Home Ice host, Scott Laughlin of “The Power Play”. Scott was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to take a look at the NHL at the quarter pole mark of the season.
PH: So, we are just several inches past the quarter pole of the NHL season. What are some of your general early thoughts?
SL: I’m amazed at the competition/parity amongst the clubs so far this season. From one night to the next, and I know it’s still relatively early, you never know what you’re gonna get and who might jump up several spots based upon one win. As I write this there are only two points separating second from ninth in the Western Conference. It’s amazing!
PH: Which teams/players have surprised you the most in a good way? Why?
SL: Colorado has surprised me in that they’ve been able to be well above .500 despite the numerous injuries they’ve incurred. Columbus surprised, until they ran into Detroit in a home-and-home, and Atlanta and Dustin Byfuglien (on the blue-line no less) in the East.
PH: Which teams/players have been disappointments? Why?
SL: New Jersey and Kovalchuk (not much needs to be said here), the Islanders (just because they were 4-1-2 at one point), and the LA Kings (the team I’ve picked to win the Pacific) whose offensive well has suddenly run dry.
PH: How surprised are you regarding the play of the New Jersey Devils? Do they have what it takes to get into the playoffs or is this potentially a lost season?
SL: I’m very surprised by the play of the Devils just because it is Jersey and we’ve almost taken for granted their success. Kovalchuk is one guy that I’d pay to watch, he’s usually that exciting, but this has blown up big-time. I’m starting to believe that this might be a lost season. Clearly, their best player, Zach Parise, isn’t walking through that door anytime soon and their offence will continue to struggle without him. I’d hate to think of their future if the finances aren’t there to get him under contract.
PH: Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share with readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
SL: Keep reading. It’s one site that I do consult on a daily basis. Keep watching and listening to “The Power Play” on NHL Home Ice XM 204, Sirius 208, and on the NHL Network (shameless plug).
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.