OK, it's Friday, we've got another day off before the Jackets head to Dallas tomorrow, and perhaps it's time for a bit of a mental palette cleanser. Perhaps you like cupcakes.
Alternatively, I can offer this. You may believe that you've been left once again with an empty heart and no hope, but my experience is that there is, surprisingly, always hope.
Failing that, have a pin-up girl.
If you're still not feeling mentally refreshed, here's my final shot without breaking the "No Kitten Pictures" by-law.
On with the show.
The NHL got news that it's been hoping for all summer, with Sidney Crosby OK'd to resume full contact practices. There's still some bad news, though - Ales Hemsky left last night's game with shoulder problems, and Martin Brodeur left the Devils game with "upper body soreness" but it doesn't seem to be serious.
A few more thoughts on Wednesday night's game, ranging from calling out Versus, disappointment in the lack of a try on the empty net, Frustration from Martini, a recap from The Hockey Writers, Greg's recap of "Blogger Night" over at FMJ, and an interesting podcast featuring the Av's beat writer Adrian Dater and our own Aaron Portzline and Shawn Mitchell.
Over at Backhand Shelf, they take a look at why advanced stats don't count everything, an early Rocket Richard watch, wondering if players will back off on Sid when he comes back, and analyzing what makes the Sedin twins so scary.
Speaking of Podcasts, the DIspatch opened up their own Cannon Fodder for the season, discussed changes to the locker room after Atkinson was sent down, and the state of the top line, and their lack of assistance.
Your must-read for the day: Jeff Little looks at how the club (and the fans) can weather the current storm, and he isn't afraid to give Scott Howson some deserved critique.
Two feel-good goalie stories from last night - Ray Emery has his first win in Chicago and Miikka Kiprusoff is the Flames new Franchise wins leader. (Yes, OK, two competing teams in the West got wins, but c'mon, these are good stories. Have a heart.)
At Strait-Jackets, Kat has a week 1 review, while Fire The Cannon takes a look at the past week for Jackets prospects.
Over at Puck Daddy, they looked at 7 players who are still in the game outside of the NHL, talked about Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien returning to Chicago for the first time after being traded, Discussed Aaron Asham's poor impulse control, discussed more realignment scenarios (I'm actually pretty OK with the ideas from SBN's own Derek Zona), and a sobering look at the Lokomotiv crash from crash survivor Alexander Sizov.
Over at the CBJ Reddit, they compressed the scoring chances from the first four games into an easy digest. I don't think you'll be shocked by the results.
The guys at the Kurtenblog are shutting down, but the scuttlebutt seems to indicate we'll be seeing them pop up somewhere else pretty soon.
Late addition: Falcons owner Bruce Landon wrote a nice blog for Masslive about the secret to winning the Calder Cup.
Look, regardless of tomorrow, have a good weekend and enjoy yourself. Happy Friday!