On this nervous night -- they're all going to be nervous until the end of the season, and then they'll get worse in the playoffs, God willing -- let's see what the few neurons I have left between the ears are kicking around.
First the news:
- Both Brian Campbell and Dave Bolland are going to miss the Dallas game. Neither made the trip.
Campbell has an outside shot of playing Sunday in Arizona, as it'll have been a week since he was at least close enough to give it a go against the Capitals. Bolland's tale gets more alarming. With concussions, the term "no progress" really doesn't have any definition, and can go on as long as forever. It's different for everybody. There's no bone or bruise to monitor. We're up to a week now, and no one can tell you. The Hawks need Bolland desperately, but you have to be so careful with these because too soon and a stiff breeze could put him out for months. Or worse. You just hope for the best.
- I have been pretty vocal about Joel Quenneville overplaying Corey Crawford, who will get his 18th straight start Thursday in Texas. I'm sure Q would just point to the record, which is 11-3-3. And there is some justifcation in that. But I thought I'd check Crawford's numbers since the saddle went on him and the whip started hammering his flanks (what?). During this latest stretch, Crow has a save-percentage of .900 and a goals-against of 2.47. The starts before: .917 save-percentage and a 2.05 goals against. What games did he miss then? He was sick around the turn of the year and missed three straight games, and then was sat for the first two after the All-Star Break, giving him a full two-week interval then. Perhaps that's why Q thinks he's rested, but clearly Crow is lagging a bit, and the numbers say so. But I won't hold my breath waiting for someone to show Q these stats.
- I caught my fair amount of grief for banging on about the Patrick Kane/Deadspin story. But I think it's interesting that since Kaner got somethig of a public embarassement, in 12 games Kaner has 5 goals and 13 points and is a +10. Just food for thought.
- I'm always fascinated by MVP discussions and how the discussions shape the result. You need to look no further than the other United Center tenant and how this works. Now, that's not to say that Derrick Rose isn't a worthy MVP. He most certainly is. But he himself started this talk before training camp, with his "Why can't I win MVP" query? That started the chants from the UC crowd, and the press picked up on the story. Now you see so many "Rose is the MVP" columns, it almost becomes self-fulfilling. There's so much noise, the voters must think it's true.
The same thing happened in hockey last year with Henrik Sedin. For the first time he played a large swath of games without his brother Daniel and still produced. This started some Hart Trophy talk in December, and it never abated. While Sedin had a great year, a closer look at his stats show an inordinate amount of secondary assists, or the pass to the guy who makes the pass to the guy who scores. There were more worthy candidates, but the buzz was too strong. The same thing could be happening with Jonathan Toews, as his buzz is getting louder and is last in the barn, which is always key.