Proteau's Blog: The dirty south

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• This weekend's NHL action has revealed a few more things about the upcoming playoff picture:

1.The Rangers ain't making it.

2.The Oilers and Avs sure ain't making it.

• I know they've been free-falling of late, but I liked the Atlanta Thrashers a lot more before they acquired Keith Tkachuk and Alexei Zhitnik over the weekend.

Can Tkachuk and Zhitnik help curtail the losses? Sure they can. But few people I've spoken with believe the Thrashers are significantly closer to a Stanley Cup than they were on Friday. Getting to the playoffs might be this franchise's most pressing goal, but a first-round Atlanta exit wouldn't surprise me at all.

• The Blue Jackets' fire sale officially began when they gave away Anson Carter (A fifth round pick is all he's worth? Can't wait to see Carter's contract demands this summer) to Carolina last week and it will likely continue when Bryan Berard gets shipped out before Tuesday's trade deadline.

But this summer, a bigger name could be on the block: Nik Zherdev.

The enigmatic Russian was a healthy scratch (along with Berard) for Saturday's game against the Rangers after he missed a mandatory team practice. He has another two years and $5 million left on his current deal, but it doesn't sound as if he'll be earning it playing for coach Ken Hitchcock:

“Everyone else knows to be (at the mandatory practice),” Hitchcock told the Columbus Dispatch. Everyone else was there. He's part of this team. There's no excuse."

The only question is, will Zherdev be dealt by GM Doug MacLean, or MacLean's replacement?

• I had three days off last week, so I did even more web surfing than usual. And I came across a couple video links (courtesy of the outstanding I thought readers would enjoy.

The first is a short (eight-minute) film from 2003, about a hockey goalie trying to branch out into another sport:

The second video is a “highlight” reel of CSI Miami's David Caruso doing what he does best – putting on sunglasses:


That hockey goalie video is hilarious. Thanks for sharing Mr. Proteau. -And...what's up with the Carter trade? Couldn't believe it when it happened, and couldn't believe it even more after the Tkachuk one. Madness!

- Alex