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.

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.