Saturday, December 31, 2011
Edmonton at NY Islanders: Oiler
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
2) FR2 maintains he will get a Power Rankings out soon. A business deal prevented him dropping it this past week. I'm also working on a post concerning the coaching turn over. Look for it in the next few days.
As always keep it here for all the latest!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Florida at Boston: Bruins
Washington at New Jersey:Devils
Ottawa at Carolina: Hurricane
Monday, December 19, 2011
2) First as to the move. It was LONG over due. Martin wasn't cutting it. You might recall how we chastized the Canadiens for their dumb move in firing their assisteant coach when it was clear the problem lied in their coach and GM being incredibly inept. In fact the GM was in our cross hairs with the recent Kaberle trade. See-----> http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2011/12/bettman-to-drug-test-canadiens-gm.html So when they finally fired Martin we said "Its about time"! The French press of course couldn't careless if Martin was fired as long as he was replaced with someone with whom they could talk with in French. So the move to hire Cunneyworth was met with severe criticism with political officials. In fact The Province's culture minister says she expects "the Habs to correct the situation". In other words fire Cunneyworth and replace him with ANYone who can speak French. Even a French speaking chimp would probably be fine with the likes of these clowns!
3) So what will happen? AS Cunnyworth is still labeled 'interim coach' you can be sure that GM Pierre Gauthier and the Habs ownership will 'rectify' this situation and try to mollify the imbeciles who seem to make up the political class in Quebec. WE are already reading about a possible Patrick Roy hiring. It would of course make sense for many reasons. He's a former Hab great and MOST IMPORTANTLY he speaks French!!!! Voila this Faux pas will be corrected and we can finally Vive la différence and again the Quebec politicians can Joie de vivre.
- The salary cap: This is the obvious reason for ALL trade inhibition. Teams can no longer simply make a trade without first thinking of the short AND long term salary cap implications. Although the cap has increased substantially(39 to 64 mil) the past 5 seasons, teams are still learning the system and reluctant to get too close to the max, if possible, to retain flexibility for a deal later in the season. As we have seen, even then the cap (as well as the earlier trade deadline) helps to retard the number and scope of a trade.
- League-wide parity: With so many (almost all right now) teams still technically in it for longer periods, almost all GM's are still thinking of this year and not ready to throw in the towel, per se, after 30 or so games and think re-build. So there are very few 'sellers' of quality.
2) There are some deals that were rumoured to be left on the table that may be revisited again in the New Year. The previously rumoured Nash deal, as we wrote back then blue-jackets-looking-to-make-big-move. the deal would either happen then or after the holidays, probably closer to the AllStar game in late January. Additionally we're told that GM of the Washington Capitals is actively shopping under performing/uber-talented winger Alex Semin. With his 6.7 mil salary almost 40% off the books it could become more palatable as the new year begins for a team to take on the enigmatic Russian as a rental. The Doughty trade rumours also refuse to go away despite his new long term deal. hard feeling remain. These were a few of the stories we were following the last week or so. If any seem to be getting close to fruition we of course will let all our loyal readers in on the rumor as we hear them. As always, keep it here for all the latest!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
2) Look for a couple of posts this week. A pre holiday Power rankings is likely as is a discussion of the holiday trade freeze. As always keep it here for all the latest
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Boston at Philadelphia: Bruins
Vancouver at Toronto: Canucks
New Jersey at Montreal: Habitants
Buffalo at Pittsburgh: Sabres
Anaheim at Winnipeg: Jets (Lock of The Week)
Los Angeles at Detroit: Red Wings
Tampa Bay at Columbus: Blue Jackets
St. Louis at Nashville: Predators
NY Islanders at Minnesota: Wild
NY Rangers at Phoenix: Rangers
Washington at Colorado: Avalanche
Edmonton at San Jose: Sharks
Friday, December 16, 2011
- Better Diagnosis: The neurological scans simply were not available 2 decades ago that are responsible in allowing teams to assess a players brain damage(if any). Techniques in assessment/diagnosis among medical professionals is light years ahead of where it was even a decade ago, so diagnoses are not missing concussions like in the past
- Better Equipment: The new equipment certainly protects players much more effectively than in the past. Its light weight and hard as a rock. Players are more apt to feel free to make a hard shoulder hit, knowing they are well protected from harm, etc. Meanwhile helmets have changed little.
- Faster game: Since the lockout the reduction in clutching and grabbing has sped up the game significantly. I ask any reader to watch a "classic" game from the 90's or before and you'll be struck by how much slower the game seems to be
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
2) Fast forward to yesterday when the team officially announced that Crosby was going to be out 'indefinitely'. Quite a bit of a change/leap from a precautionary couple of days to 'indefinitely'. That had to bring an ominous feel to Penguin supporters. from what we could learn (and the team is being especially tight lipped/quiet even in private) Crosby has been having head aches even without exertion since last weeks game against the Bruins. Recall he didn't have a huge hit(s) in that game but a few what we'd call mundane hockey plays where he was jolted a bit. All neurologists as well as the faux resident medical expert Dr. Varga have told us to be ready for that. Once a player suffers multiple concussions he is very prone to re-injuring himself even with a less-than hard hit directly to the head. Our experts tell us that its unlikely that we'll see Crosby before 2012. Ofcourse that's a mere 2 weeks, but the longer he's out and having symptoms the more unlikely it'll be that he'll ever be counted upon to play much longer if ever. So yes, the end could be very close at hand with respect to Sid. It'll be a sad day for the Penguins and for the NHL. having one of its best players cut so short.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
2) Also look (finally) for our 'All Prick team" this week and some other interesting posts for sure. As always, keep it here for all the latest
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Montreal at New Jersey: Devils
NY Rangers at Buffalo: Rangers
Vancouver at Ottawa: Senators
Pittsburgh at NY Islanders: Penguins
Tampa Bay at Philadelphia: Flyers
Winnipeg at Detroit: Red Wings (Lock of The Week)
Boston at Columbus: Bruins
San Jose at St. Louis: Blues
Anaheim at Nashville: Preditors
Minnesota at Phoenix: Coyotes
Edmonton at Calgary: Flames
Dallas at Los Angeles: Kings
Friday, December 9, 2011
1) In a stunningly stupid move the Montreal Canadiens acquired Tomas Kaberle from the Carolina Hurricanes earlier today. The former Bruins defensemen was signed to a bloated 3 year 12 mil contract this summer which Canes' GM Jim Rutherford admits was a colossal mistake. So what does Canadiens GM do? he picks up the underachieving/over paid defender AND Kabelrle still has another 2 years AFTER this one! We wonder what GM Pierre Gauthier was smoking to do this deal!?!
2) Later in the contest Crosby accidentally bumped into teammate Chris Kunitz in another seemingly Innocent, less-than-hard knock. Probably most players sustain hits much worse than this on a regular basis so this has to be an ominous sign. However this should not be surprising to readers of this blog. We pointed out on several occasions how it won't take much to generate another concussion. Our resident medical expert, Dr. Varga has told us as such. Quoting our blog post from 8/29/11. As Eric Lindros, Pat Lafontaine and other former star players who have had multiple concussions have found once they return they seem extra prone to re-injuring themselves. Even hits that appear to be routine/innocuous can have severe consequences. Almost all specialists tell Fauxrumors that were Crosby to sustain another significant event (concussion) its all but sure his career would be over.
3) To have Crosby sit at all has to show he had some symptoms. Although the team denies such a problem and simply being cautious, our insiders tell us that Crosby did not appear to be himself in practice the next day. They also say he may have tweaked his shoulder? Regardless, we now more than ever believe that his career is going to be cut significantly short. Whether its this season or very shortly afterwards we believe Crosby will suffer a career ending concussion and be forced to retire prematurely. I hope and pray that I am Dr. Varga are wrong in that assessment! For the good of the game we hope Crosby plays another decade or more! It remains to be seen if the 2 game absence is extended or not. If so, then you can be sure Crosby is much worse than being reported. Additionally we had already planned a post that we worked on with respect to how the league is going to try to protect Sid. Look for it next week unless the current fluid situation changes for the worse.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
First the Winners:
- Detroit: Probably the biggest overall winners in the new alignment. The Redwings aren't moving to the Eastern Conference BUT with increased play among the East there will be fewer games on the Pacific time zone reducing their overall time out of their Eastern time zone by 40%!
- Columbus: See above! The Blue jackets along with the Redwings were the 2 teams that lie in the eastern time zone that were playing the most games outside this zone so this new configuration greatly reduces the teams travel
- Nashville: The Preds are a Central time zone team, but this plan prevented a possible move to the soon to be defunct SE division. They get to retain their more natural rivalries they've been growing in the Central the past few years
- Washington: The caps and especially their fans get their X-mas wish and return to the old Patrick Division(with Carolina. jettisoning their Florida 'rivals'. By doing so they probably will have some of the lest amount of travel(other than the 3 NY teams) in the NHL
- Florida/Tampa Bay: Already separated by hundreds of miles fro their nearest rivals(Carolina) with this new set up the closest team to Florida suddenly is Boston? I guess someone had to take a hit, but seems odd to have the old NE division remain intact and adding the FLA teams. Their new conference rivals are probably pleased to escape the NE winter with a few extra road trips to the sunshine state! Sorry we don't buy the Canandian Snow birds argument that they will help boost attendance for the Fla teams!
- NY Islanders: Imagine how difficult it will now be for the Isles to make the playoffs. Can anyone see them eclipsing the Pens, Flyers, or Caps any time soon? So that leaves the Rangers(who appear one of the best teams this year) Devils and Hurricanes. Even with the Canes and Devils in lean times its unlikely their management will allow them to stay that way soon, so it will take a small miracle to get them into the post season any time soon
- Colorado: I guess geography is what it, but with the required increased travel East under this plan and having all their divisional/conference opponents in a different time zone the Avalanche will probably have the worst travel itinerary of any NHL team
2) By the way a frequent reader of ours wrote last night to remind us of how far in front of this realignment issue Fauxrumors has been. She reminded me that we wrote back in November of 2007 that the NHL should go to a 7 and 8 team division concept as well as bring back the old or (new) names to honor the past. See it here====>http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2007/11/division-power-rankings.html
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
- Alex Ovechkin- Salary 9 million Goals: 8 Points: 19 Projected Totals: 26/62
- Eric Staal: Salary: 7.75 mil Goals:5 points 14 Projected Totals: 15/41
- Dany Heatley- 9 million Goals: 7 goals 16 points Projected Totals: 22/50
- Scott Gomez- 7.5 mil Goals: 0 goals points 4. Projected Totals: 0/25(missed 10 games)
- Jarome Iginla- 7 mil Goals 7 Points 15. Projected Totals: 23/49
- Rick Nash- 7.5 mil Goals 8 Points 19 Projected totals: 25/60
- Vincent Lecavalier-10 million Goals: 10 Points: 18 Projected Totals: 34/62
- Henrik Zetterburg-7.75 mil Goals:5 Points 14 Projected Totals: 17/48
2) Those are 8 players, all making in excess of 7-10 million dollars this season. None are on pace to amass more than 62 points. In my opinion if a player is making close to 15-20% of his teams' salary cap allotment, he best be putting up numbers minimally of 40 goals and 90 points. Some of these numbers have to be alarming to their teams. Eric Staal on pace for 15 goals and 40 points? No wonder the Canes are in the toilet. Alex Ovechkin, once the most feared player in the NHL is now no better than an average 2nd line forward projecting 26 goals. Hardly earnig his 9+ million dollar salary. Vincent Lecavalier? Amazing that he was given such an absurd contract when he hasn't put up decent numbers in years, yet he earns more than any other NHLer, despite being on pace to attain a tad over 60 points.
3) We could go through each of these players in addition to several others (like Ovechkin's team mate Alex Semin who is on pace for 18 goals 36 points to go with his 6.7 mil salary) or goalie Robeto Luongo, who's stats hardly match his 6.7 mil salary. The bottom line to all these stats is the fact that most of these players are signed to long term deals. In excess of 5 years and in the case of Ovechkin 12(7 more to go!) Its insanity to sign ANY player beyond 5 years. Goalies (are you listening Mr. Wang?) are especially problematic in giving them long term deals.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
2) This upcoming week look for a post we did recently updating our popular post we did a few years ago. The All Prick team! Also we believe FR2 is working on a post concerning some under performing, highly paid players in the league right now.
As always, keep it here for all the latest!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
4) Just an aside, another source tells us that Boudreau won't be out of work too long. The source tells Fauxrumors that he fully expects Bruce to be working before the All star Break and likely in a city 'North of the border'.
Post Script: Apparent Maurice was fired a little over an hour after we posted this article!!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
NY Islanders at New Jersey: Devils
Philadelphia at NY Rangers: Flyers
Edmonton at Colorado: Avalanche
Winnipeg at Boston: Bruins (Lock of The Week)
Washington at Buffalo: Sabres
Pittsburgh at Montreal: Penguins
Florida at Tampa Bay: Lightning
Nashville at Detroit: Predators
Dallas at Phoenix: Coyotes
Vancouver at San Jose: Sharks
Chicago at Los Angeles: Kings
Thursday, November 24, 2011
1) With nearly all teams having now played 20% of their schedules and the NHL dark on this Thanks Giving holiday we decided to project (NOT predict) the finals standings. Obviously there is plenty of time for teams outside of the playoffs to get back in, but some trends are clearly becoming evident. This is NOT a Prediction!! We merely are projecting an 82 game season point total based upon each teams current point total/games played.
2) First in the East:
- Boston 107
- Philadelphia: 105
- Florida: 105
- NY Rangers: 105
- Pittsburgh: 104
- Washington: 103
- Buffalo: 98
- Toronto: 97
- NJ: 94
- Montreal: 86
- Ottawa: 86
- Tampa Bay: 82
- Winnipeg: 78
- Carolina: 71
- NY Islanders: 60
3) Next the West:
- San Jose: 117
- Minnesota: 113
- Detroit: 103
- Phoenix: 103
- Dallas: 102
- Chicago: 101
- Los Angeles: 97
- St. Louis: 94
- Edmonton: 94
- Nashville: 94
- Vancouver: 90
- Colorado: 71
- Calgary: 70
- Anaheim: 62
- Columbus: 51
4) To reiterate, these are PROJECTIONS NOT PREDICTIONS! With a relatively small sample size a few (more or less) games played can alter the point totals significantly. That said there are a few interesting developments thus far. Who expected teams like Minnesota, Florida, Phoenix, Dallas, or Toronto to be in the playoff race this season? Who could have seen Carolina, and Anaheim be so low in the standings? Yes, plenty of time for 'water to find its level' but sometimes these trends do continue throughout the season.
5) Finally our (admittedly silly to mention) quarter pole Trophy winners.
- Hart: Phil Kessel
- Vezina: Tim Thomas
- Norris: Shea Weber
- Calder: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Adams: Kevin Dineen
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Philadelphia at Winnipeg: Flyers
Friday, November 18, 2011
- Garth Snow: Despite winning last night the Isles are bringing up the rear in the East. Winning only twice in their past dozen games. It would usually go on the coach for the record, but Capuano is not at fault here. It is Snow who has been in charge for much of the past 6 years. Responsible for the interminable "rebuild". The team, especially the defense is old and slow. Its looking like high draft picks like Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey are not progressing. Remember Snow spurned Luke Schenn in order to get Bailey (and another draft pick). Okposo has been a recent 'healthy scratch. The Minnesota native who was taken with the 8th overall pick in 2006 appears lost. The team lacks overall toughness and the triad of goalies is not only a distraction but gives Capuano less roster options. We don't anticipate Wang to replace Snow, but the chants of 'Snow Must Go' will undoubtedly start to rain down from the venerable rafters of the NVMC. (Where they haven't seen a playoff series win in 19 years!)
- Paul Maurice: Its mind boggling that Paul was even asked to come back when Rutherford fired Peter Laviolette. Maurice was fired from Carolina after the 2004 season. How long can Maurice live off their playoff Final 4 appearance 3 years ago? Since then the Hurricanes have finished 3rd in the SE and out of the post season. Thus far this season they Canes are near the basement, only the lowly Islanders (see above) are beneath them (for now). After two additional bad seasons in Toronto why do folks still seem to think he's a quality coach? He's coached an amazing 15 seasons and failed to make the post season 10 times!! Coached 1000 games yet is well under .500 lifetime (.472). This seems like a no-brainer to me. Rutheford is an astute hockey exec, and we don't think he will stick with his buddy too much longer.
- Scott Howson: The Blue Jackets GM since June of 2007, the Toronto native went "all in" this past off season and spent right up to the salary cap max to try to get his team back into the post season after two seasons where they missed the post season all together. The franchise is actually still looking for its first ever playoff GAME win, after getting swept by the Red Wings in 2009. Thus far the Blue Jackets are dead last in the entire NHL with a mere 8 pints through 18 games. This after Howson got Jeff Carter. Traded to the for restricted free agent to-be Jakub Voracek, the eighth-overall pick in the 2011 draft and Columbus’ third-round selection Carter, 26, starts an 11-year $58 million extension this season. He also gave big bucks to UFA defender James Wisniewski to a six-year, 33 mil contract. They also re-upped R.J. Umberger to a five-year 23 mil contract extension. With those moves along with adding UFA Czechs Radek Martinek and Vinny Prospal most figured the Jackets would at least be competing for a spot. The owners shouldn't be happy how their limited resources have been used here and so Howson rightly should be on the hot seat!
- Bruce Boudreau: Some might be surprised to see 'Gabby's name here, but real hockey fans, and most importantly knowledgeable Caps fans won't. Despite a gaudy regular season record (199-85) the Capitals have been a great disapointment when it means most, the post season. In the playoffs Boudreau is a winner of 2 of 6 playoff rounds, or a 17-20 record. Despite being the higher seed in EACH of those losing series! Worse yet, if one watched HBL24/7 last year we saw a man who frequently became unhinged and through F-bombs everywhere. Worse yet, it appeared the players could care less. This season we were told there would be a new "accountability". Caps fans tell us the roster might be altered somwhat, but the underlying issues remain. Its clear Bruce was a breathe of fresh air after Hanlon, but its quite clear he can NOT get them to the next level and needs to be changed. Anyone think if the Caps and Penguins exchanged Only coaches we'd see the Pens stay a top and caps flounder? Fuck no!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
- Pittsburgh: Hard to quibble placing the Penguins on top of our poll. Despite injuries to key personnel Bylsma has his team playing at peak performance. Scary to imagine how well they'd do/be once they're healthy/get Crosby back?
- Chicago: Have the most points of any NHL team as of today. have been putting the puck in the net quite regularly helped by their PP coming to life with avengence, helped by their potent backline
- Philadelphia: Surprisingly the Flyers are among the highest scorers in the league. So much for the defense first approach? heck, it seems to be working so far. The best road team thus far If they can get their PP working they might be tough to beat!
- NY Rangers: Winners of 7 strait the Broadway Blue Shirts have turned an early season slump around in a hurry. Is Sean Avery really the difference? Actually its been Lundqvist and Dan Girardi helping to propel the Rangers up the standings
- Minnesota: Despite having one of the worst PP units the Wild are pacing the NW division. Its again their defense and goaltending led by Josh Harding's amazing start to the season. can he and the Wild keep it up? So far we're liking what new coach Mike Yeo is doing
- Phoenix: Another surprise is the way the 'Yotes are playing. Ownership uncertainty remains and they lost Bryzgalov, but so far Mike Smith has been doing well as his replacement in the desert
- Buffalo: Wit the most wins in the East the resurgent Sabres are a top the NE division. Have slipped in the past week or 2, and lost starting goalie Ryan Miller to injury so its time to step up for the soft Sabres?
- Dallas: After the fastest start in team history the Stars have cooled a bit They remain on top of the Pacific after their long road trip. Can Lehtonen continue to play at this high level? He will probably need to for the Stars to stay in playoff contention
- Detroit: Seems that the Wings have finally found their skating legs. Winning 4 strait Franzen has been on fire of late to help the surging wings. Now if they can get Zetterberg going the Wings will be totally back
- Washington: After a fast start the caps are reverting back to their old ways of taking periods off and not playing up to their talent level. New personnel, same old habits. Their PK is a tad better of late, but still needs improving
- Edmonton: The Kids are alright. They got off to a fast start, but have comeback to earth with a recent road trip. Khabibulin still looking like his old self despite recent set backs. Hall and Nugent-Hopkins look like real deals. If they can get Magnus Paajarvi on board they would really have something
- Boston: The Bruins have finally awoken from their early season Cup-Coma. The past 2 weeks they have been playing as good as anyone. Early season scoring woes are long forgotten Super Soph Tyler Seguin is double digit in goals and appears ready to assert himself as their #1 forward
- San Jose: Winners of 7 of their past 10 the Sharks are playing their best hockey thus far after their usual slow start. If they can get Antti Niemi playing like he can the Sharks will once again be the team to beat out West
- Florida: Surprising most of us with their early record that has them right in contention for the weak SE division. Not surprising they can score. Surprise is the strong play of defenesemen Dmitry Kulikov
- Nashville: Congrats to Trotz and his 1000 games coached. As we expected the Preds are goal starved, but have one of the best goalies in the game in Rinne so they are in every game. Rookie Craig Smith off to a nice start
- Toronto: Would probably been in the top 5 if this had been done 2 weeks ago. Injuries and poor play have hurt the Leafs of late. Biggest injury is to Reimer, who's replacement, The Monster' has been down right ugly in goal
- St. Louis: They're initial/expected spurt after 'Hitch took over not withstanding, can it continue, or will they revert back? 2 regulation goals in 3 games is certainly Hitcock-like! However if they want to make the post season he better work on the leagues worst PP unit!
- Montreal: The Habs are slowly coming back to life after a disastrous start. Uncharacteristically they have a very poor PP. Martin will have to find a way to revive that else it'll put too much pressure on Price to be the difference maker nightly
- LA: With that kind of talent, no excuse for winning a mere 2 of their past 8 games! Murray deservedly should be on the hot seat! Through 17 games they have scored 2 or more only 4 times! This team should be scoring more!
- Vancouver: Like Boston had a bit of a hang over, although they didn't win anything. They seem to have little trouble scoring, its their defense and Luongo that seem to be the issue. We're not big Roberto fans, but we'd expect he'll turn things around
- TB: Another team that got off to a less than stellar start but have turned the corner the past couple of weeks. Roloson not looking 48 years old in net helps. Scoring has been there all year, its their defense and goaltending that'll determine if they get in the top 8
- Ottawa: As expected the young Sens are a fickle bunch. Look great on some nights and God-aweful the next. The offense certainly has done their share. Its the back line and in goal that has been the biggest reason the sens are under .500
- Calgary: So far nothing is distinguishing this team from last season's squad that missed the playoffs. Inconsistency abounds. No extended winning or losing streaks, but with their offense invisible how long before GM Feaster decides enough is enough and unloads a vet or two?
- NJ: The Devils record is a bit deceiving. 4 of their 8 wins have come via the shoot out. Rookie Adam Larsson looks solid, but how long/far can a team have a teen age rookie lead their defense in ice time and succeed? Getting Kovalchuk back soon should help
- Winnipeg: Few had expectations they'd be great this season, but after a dreadful start the Jets appear to be playing at least competitively. They don't have any stars up front so if they don't give a full effort they probably have little chance of victory
- Colorado: After an initial great start, most of which was away from Pepsi center, the Av's are crashing back down to Earth and sputtering to say the least to stay in contention. Two wins in their past 10 games not good
- Carolina: Isn't it time Rutherford see that Paul Maurice is NOT the right fit here? The Hurricanes GM is a savvy man so we can't see the canes not making a move if they continue to flounder
- Anaheim: Very disappointing start for the Ducks. They should not be playing this poorly. WE had to check twice, but they have won 2 of their past 12 games!! Its gut-check time in southern California(for both teams!)
- Columbus: Like on the Island, the GM has much to answer for here. Scott Howson spent and traded for a team that was supposed to compete for a playoff spot. Instead they stand(sit) at the bottom of all 30 teams!
- NY Islanders: Not exactly where Isles fans thought they'd be. Its time for accountability from the man who assembled the roster, Garth Snow? One win in their past 11 puts them dead last in our poll. Most thought they'd at least stay in contention until the All Star break, not out of it by the holidays!