So once again it’s time to make our New Year’s resolutions. With the new year comes a sense of hope and renewal, but it’s also a time for self reflection and self improvement. My resolution for 2009 is to eat more bacon, ham and sausage. I really dropped the ball on that last year and could have done better in that area. Last year’s resolution - to drink more beer - was a complete success. The prize for this week’s Hot Stove Player of the Week is a package of Jimmy Dean sausage, so he can join me in my quest to better myself.
Mike Comrie: Out of all the New York-area teams, the Islanders had the best week. The Giants and Jets both lost, the Knicks and Nets went a combined 2-5 since Friday, and the Rangers (1-1) and Devils (2-2) both went .500. The Isles were 2-1-1, and Comrie scored four of the six goals he’s scored all season in their last three games. In the win on Friday against Toronto he was +2; in Saturday’s overtime loss to Buffalo, he notched a goal late in the game to help send it to OT; he recorded a goal and an assist in Monday’s loss to the Rangers; and on Wednesday, he sparked the Islanders to victory over Florida by putting the puck in the net twice.
Zach Parise: The Devils’ left wing is arguably the best hockey player in the area, and in New Jersey’s four games this week, he scored three goals and added an assist.
Nigel Dawes: The little left winger scored a goal in each of the Rangers’ games, and is playing his best hockey of the season.
NHL Winter Classic: The game wasn’t in New York nor did it have anything to do with New York, but it was cool enough to mention here. How about new Yankee Stadium next year? Rangers vs. Bruins. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Tom Coughlin: It’s easy to forget most preseason prognostications had Dallas running away with the division and the Giants not even making the playoffs. Let’s give credit to Coughlin for handling the team perfectly. The Giants didn’t come into the season fat and full of themselves. Coughlin had them ready for every challenge and distraction. And even had them playing hard in the last meaningless game in Minnesota. With plenty of formidable teams standing in the Giants’ way (Carolina, Philadelphia, Tennessee, Pittsburgh), a Super Bowl victory will be hard to come by, but earning the #1 seed in the NFC is an accomplishment most would have been surprised by back in August.
Anti-Player of the Week
Brett Favre: Brett Favre mania swept New York in August but landed with a thud in December. He had a lot of help in the Jets’ collapse (hello coaches, defense, receivers), but in his last five games (four losses) he threw two touchdown passes and nine interceptions. His coach was given the axe, and teammates are throwing him under the bus. Time to retire - for good this time.