Sunday morning homily

~ Now that Patrick Roy is busy helping his Quebec Remparts defend their Memorial Cup championship, it's a no-brainer to say that New Jersey's Martin Brodeur is the best goalie playing in the NHL. Brodeur made 22 saves last night to blank the Columbus Blue Jackets 1-0, his second shutout in as many games.

The shutout, the 83rd of Brodeur's career, moved him into fourth place in NHL history, surpassing the legendary
Jacques Plante. Brodeur's next shutout will pull him even with Hall of Famer Glenn Hall. The top two are Hall of Famers Terry Sawchuk and George Hainsworth.

~ Hard to believe, isn't it, that Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby hadn't logged an NHL hat trick until last night's 8-2 drubbing of the freefalling Philadelphia Flyers. With the trick, The Next One has registered 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in nine games this season.

~ Speaking of the Flyers, isn't it about time that Philadelphia defenseman Derian Hatcher decided to hang up his skates? At one time, he was a true force. In the so-called new NHL, he's become nothing but a flat-footed farce.

~ It was only fitting, to Bruins fans at least, that their huge free-agent signing, Zdeno Chara, scored the game-winner last night against his old mates, the Ottawa Senators. It's nice, too, that the Black and Gold's faithful didn't litter the ice following the Bruins' 2-1 victory.

~ Phoenix rookies Matt Jones and Patrick Fischer (who?) scored their first NHL goals last night against the New York Rangers. Though Jones gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead, the scoreboard at game's end read Rangers 7, Coyotes 3. Sadly, it's my belief that few people want to be Wayne Gretzky these days.

I also read that
Jim Schoenfeld's favorite referee Don Koharski, a resident of Tampa, Fla., had to leave the game after taking a puck in the puss.

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