Here's your smorgasbord of Monday updates, rather than a single, thought-out post:
1) The Penalties Drawn numbers have been updated at the Google spreadsheet. Sidney Crosby still holds the lead with 14 draws, with Scott Gomez, Anze Kopitar, and Dion Phaneuf tied for second with 12. Interestingly, Phaneuf is the only defenseman in the Top 35 in this category. For now, I've removed the Games Played and Time on Ice columns until I can provide those in a more automated way (for the first week I copy & pasted from NHL.com stats, yuk).
2) Kudos to Jessica Hopp over at the Tennessean, who followed the team on its recent Western Canada swing and has provided some fine articles of late. Over the last few months the Tennessean at least has improved its coverage of the team.
3) And how about this road trip? After the opening loss at Calgary, the Nashville Predators have nabbed convincing wins in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Chicago, thus guaranteeing an above-.500 road trip that concludes Wednesday night in Detroit. The Red Wings are the Western Conference's juggernaut at the moment, and without a doubt this will be the toughest game the Preds have had to face yet. It's good to see the whole team working hard on the defensive end (the penalty killers, in particular, have been outstanding), and Alex Radulov looks about ready to burst things wide open. His shift late in the 2nd period against Chicago was a thing of beauty.
4) I'd like to get advice from any and all out there regarding HDTV's. Due to point #5, I'm looking to make a purchase around the end of the month, and am leaning towards this 50" Plasma from Panasonic. My big question is, 720 or 1080 resolution? I have DirecTV and watch the occasional DVD, and from what I've heard all the DirecTV content is streamed at 720p. If that's true, does 1080 buy me anything other than marginal improvement for HD-DVD content? It seems like getting a bigger, higher-quality 720p model would give a bigger bang for the buck.
5) The heavy-duty number crunching will be slow around these parts for the duration of the month, as we're building a house and will be moving in at the end of November, so my spare time until then will be spent packing boxes and making arrangements. I'll still provide commentary, game summaries, and the occasional stat-driven piece (once all teams get comfortably into the 15-20 games played range, I'll run a PythagenPuck analysis). Please bear with me until December, then.