So the All Star Game is upon us, and low and behold, only 1 Cane going. Sounds about right; this year has been among the most challenging of any in recent history for fans and players alike. The lack of spending in the pre-season, coupled with Mo talking JR into giving him another chance behind the bench in essence doomed the season before it started. But there is hope: a new coach with new ideas and positive results, two star players (12 & 30) rounding into form, a pleasant surprise on defense (28) and some young guns making good impressions all have me giddy for the rest of this year. Here are the top 10 dreams I have for the remainder of this season:
Lavi wins another Cup -- if it can't be our guys hoisting it, I'd like to see Peter Laviolette get another one. He's a quality guy who brought us hope and, yes, the Cup. His reign was quite a ride.
Boychuk gets traded -- he has a lot of talent but for whatever reason just cannot seem to realize it here. Give the kid a shot somewhere else.
Ruutu is re-signed -- ideally, JR signs him tomorrow, but that won't happen. He'll likely get pick-up as a rental, but hopefully he comes back to play with his Finnish friends one more time next season.
Skinner stays upright -- I almost threw up when I saw him go down again the other night. Thought for sure it'd be another concussion; he has such a bright future, I'd like to see him get through the season relatively unscathed.
Harrison/Faulk and McBain/Joslin allowed to gel -- both of those pairings seem like they are making some progress lately, I'd like to see them kept intact. Whichever leaves, Gleason or Allen, I would see paired with Pitkanen or even Murphy if they kid is ready for NHL action this season.
Quality forward gets brought in -- I like Tlusty, but he isn't the long-term answer on the top line. That, coupled with the fact Ruutu will likely be rental bait, should clear a path for some sort of trade (veterans and prospects) for a top line winger to play with Staal.
Just some happy thoughts as I lay down for my All Star nap. See everyone in another week....