Happy New Year to all of our Readers! This week in the NHL: The Winter classic at the Big House was a huge success. The game set the record for viewership for most views of an NHL Hockey game in North America. This week also starting goalies return from injury: Corey Crawford, Jonathan Quick, and Roberto Luongo. We had two big contract extensions, awards for the month of December announced and the Team USA roster selections.In the World Junior Championships powerhouses USA and Canada were eliminated before the Gold medal game. Canada will play Russia in the Bronze Medal game. Finland and Sweden will square off for the gold medal on Sunday January 5th. Our two teams that are down this week are the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings. Our two teams that are up are St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche.
After all that excitement let’s get to the rankings:
30. The Buffalo Sabres 12-26-4: Sabres propsect Ramus Ristolainen of Finland will play in the WJC finals on Sunday Jan 5th. The Sabres are facing some questions with their own roster. Do they trade Thomas Vanek or sign him long term? Ryan Miller made Team USA Olympic roster, now the question is will he start?
29: Edmonton Oilers 13-26-5: The Oilers have lost two in a row. As we have crossed the midway part of the season, will they re-visit trading Nail Yakupov?
28. Calgary Flames 14-21-6: The Flames Dennis Wideman returned to the lineup this week. Wideman return was not the biggest story coming out of Calgary. The biggest story belongs to Calgary President and Team USA director Brian Burke. Brian Burke made inflammatory comments about Ottawa Senators Bobby Ryan during the Team USA selection process. Meanhile his own team the Flames have lost four in a row.
27: New York Islanders 14-22-7: When Team USA announced their roster after the winter classic, The New York Islanders faithful were disappointed that Kyle Okposo name was not called. Okposo is one of the several Team USA snubs. Okposo has 16 goals and 16 assists on the season.
26. Florida Panthers 16-20-6: This week the Panthers welcomed back Captain Ed Jovanovski. Jovanovski had only appeared in six games last season before requiring hip surgery. The Panthers continue to play well under Peter Horachek. They are 6-3-1 in their last ten games.
25. Columbus Blue Jackets 18-19-4: The Blue Jackets welcomed Nathan Horton to the lineup for the first time this season. Horton had signed a 7 year 37.1 million dollar contract in the offeason. In Horton debut the Blue Jackets won. On the negative side of things, Derek MacKenzie was suspended three games for boarding.