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10 things I think I think

1. I think Joe Jensen will have a nice mustache really soon … Glad you’re back, Joe. (We all know there is no way Joe is going to shave).

2. I think Jeff Taffe’s mustache would have kept his upper lip nice and warm during the Winter Classic in Buffalo. Too bad he shaved it — he’s going to owe the boys some good cash if he ever returns to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

3. Since Lannon was called “up,” the house has been a mess. On the surface, the house is just dirty, but on a deeper level, the real problem is that we lost our leader. Dinner isn’t the same, TV time is a lot less fun, and the annual Rookie Party lacked a ringleader. Our house is obviously excited Lannon is “up,” but the three of us are struggling without him.

4. I think Tim Wallace won the race to see who would get their “first” of the year.

5. I think this made me laugh when I read it: “Governor Jim Doyle released the following statement today regarding Brett Favre’s return to the Green Bay Packers for a 15th season: ‘In a franchise rich with history and heroes, Brett Favre has already secured his place as one of the greatest players to ever wear the green and gold. After much anticipation, I am thrilled that he will return for another season.’” I would think the governor of Wisconsin would have many more important things to release statements about. Like cheese.

6. I think www.RyanLannon.com needs a lot of work.

7. I think the reason I never talk about Chris Minard in my column is because we do not hang out away from the rink. We are great friends in the locker room, but away from the rink he is always palling around with Nathan Smith.

8. I think Bill Belichick is just smarter than everyone else. In a town like Boston with rabid fans, knowledgeable sports media and omnipresent talk radio — a place where Grady Little was fired for leaving Pedro in for one too many batters (in fairness, Aaron Boone did hit a huge home run during that at bat) — no one ever questions anything Belichick does. He’s just smarter than every other coach or manager.

9. I think the Dartmouth Big Green hockey team is going to ride a strong second half of the year to make some noise in the ECAC tournament. They are currently 7-8-1 overall and 3-7-1 in the league, but I have a feeling that veteran defenseman Will Boardman’s back is strong enough to carry this team in their stretch run.

10. I think I like my chances in a Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning match up. Could not watch the game because we were playing in Hershey, but watched the highlights on the NFL Network. Brady did not bring his A game and we were still able to win by nine. What are the chances Brady isn’t on fire Feb. 3? What are the chances Eli plays well for the fourth time in four games?

Mail time

Q: Is there a fine for blogging?

BL: Nope, thank God. I have an e-mail list of friends from home and college to whom I send my columns. A friend from college is a rookie playing for the Lake Erie Monsters, and when he read my column about the fines, he was shocked. Apparently they do not have fines …

Q: Where do some of the guys go to unwind?

BL: We spend a lot of time at the Arena Bar and Grill in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The people who run the restaurant treat the players on the team very well. We also play a lot of ping-pong, and spend a fair amount of time bowling. Personally, I unwind in Ryan Lannon’s basement, locked in the dark, watching television by myself.

Q: Can we have more Q & A’s with teammates?

BL: Sure, whom do you want me to interview?

Q: When you finally score a goal, I really think you should throw down your stick and gloves, get a little bit of speed, and do a belly slide at center ice.

BL: Let’s worry about me scoring first.

Q: What was your major in college? Did you take any journalism classes?

BL: I was an American History major. I went to a liberal arts college, meaning the school does not have career-oriented classes, so there were no journalism classes. My history classes required a lot of writing, and I took a few creative writing classes as electives.

Q: I want to make it to the AHL and I work hard at hockey everyday (Once in a while I take a break). What do you think is the most important thing to work on to make it to the AHL?

BL: I think the key to making it to the AHL is to play and watch as much hockey as you can. During weeks where we do not have games, a Penguins player will get up in front of the rest of the team and give his biography, telling teammates about his childhood and hockey experiences. Guys on the team grew up in all different parts of North America, but every player shared the common childhood pastime of playing hockey. Whether their parents ran the outdoor rink or they lived down the street from the town arena, everyone was always skating. My advice to you would be to play as much hockey as you possibly can. Hockey was (and still is) fun for us growing up. Keep playing as much as you can, and you will be successful.

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