Five for Friday: Pinning down league's best team 

December, 18, 2009

Maybe I'm figuring this picks thing out? After a dreadful start with my weekly Thursday night predictions, I've put together back-to-back strong showings. Last night, I correctly called eight of the nine games. My only loss came via shootout in Columbus. (Does that make me 8-0-1?) I knew I was crazy to take the slumping Hitchcocks.

Unfortunately, the holiday schedule will put me on the sidelines next week. There are no games next Thursday, Christmas Eve. I hit that break just as I was heating up. That's just not right. Your fearless prognosticator will return to take a crack at an 11-game slate on New Year's Eve.

That's still a ways off, though. Let me get back into the here and now. Today, in this week's Five for Friday, I'll ponder a who, a what, a where, a when and a why as we glide into a mid-December weekend.

To find out the likely destination for the Canadian outdoor game, and why the Rangers have yet to fire GM Glen Sather, you must be an ESPN Insider.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.