Monday, January 3, 2011

The Mighty Conz and other Monday morning musings

Swiss national junior hockey captain Nino Niederreiter says he wakes up every day wondering why goalie Benjamin Conz hasn't been drafted by an NHL team. A lot of the rest of us are wondering the same thing after the show Conz put on at the world championships in Buffalo, including yesterday's 46 save performance in a quarterfinal loss to heavily-favored Team Canada. Conz proved his exceptional play at last year's tournament was no fluke, and it's difficult to believe he won't get a much longer look from a lot of teams at the 2011 NHL draft...The New Year's Day Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh was another marketing and public relations success for the NHL, but it was also a reminder that there are no weather guarantees, and you can only take an outdoor game so far south...More of the best and worst of P.K. Subban yesterday at the Bell Center, where the Canadiens rookie defenceman scored a game-tying, second period power play goal but took the penalty that set the stage for Dustin Byfuglien's overtime winner for Atlanta...New York Giants co-owner John Mara's promise to retain head coach Tom Coughlin despite missing the NFL playoffs was an appropriate gesture, and an indictment of the players as much as it was a vote of confidence in Coughlin. More than anything, the Giants missed the playoffs because of sloppy execution...Has any team ever had a quieter 14-2 season than the Atlanta Falcons. Can you even name five Atlanta Falcons?...So, I turn on the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day and it's Wisconsin against Texas Christian University. Really? Teams nicknamed the Badgers and the Horned Frogs in the granddaddy of all bowl games? What happened to the Spartans, Trojans, Fighting Illini and Crimson Tide, and who do you like in the Orange Bowl tonight - the Whippoorwills or the Dung Beetles?

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