I'm back after taking a week off from +/-, and quite a bit has happened so let's get to it. I can't call myself a "journalist" and not act like one, right?
+ First and foremost to Mike Cammalleri, whose "Cammy's Heroes" program gives a pair of game tickets to members of the Armed Forces. It's a fantastic idea and a charitable gesture, and I don't know why no one else had thought of it before. Dave Stubbs also gets a plus, not just for spotlighting Cammy's generosity and humility but for doing so in an article that surpasses pretty much anything else he's written, and that's saying something. I don't think I've ever cried reading a newspaper before.
+ In keeping with the same theme, Carey Price's Remembrance Day mask was both classy and well-designed. I got to see it up close during Tuesday's pregame skate but didn't get to pay enough attention to it (I was a little overwhelmed by my proximity to the ice). I hope it raises a ton of money at auction, and I'd bid on it if I had any chance of winning.
+ Our new guys for their effort. White and Pyatt could have easily been benched after a couple of games if their performance wasn't up to par, but they've been kept in the lineup for a reason. Jay Leach said before his first game that he was mostly hoping to play well enough not to be noticed, but I've noticed him enough to be grateful that we've got another body on the blue line.
+ Injured greats elsewhere in the league making their comebacks. Not that I'm looking forward to the Canadiens playing against them, but it's good to see Malkin and Luongo (among others) back on the ice, and Alexander Ovechkin should be returning this week. Is this a good omen for our guys on IR? (With Laraque skating and Ryan O'Byrne ever so close to returning, I'm saying yes.)
+ Tomas Plekanec, Jaroslav Spacek, our goalies, and all the Canadiens who's been trying to give the team their all, win or lose.
- More random team ailments. If anyone is responsible for what happened to Spacek and Gionta this week, this minus is for you. No, don't be proud of yourself, it's a minus.
- As I wrote earlier this week, the problems arising around girls' hockey teams in other provinces. We started this blog because of what some people think of women and hockey. It turns out that there are tons of other female hockey writers online, so I don't get why people still haven't grasped the full meaning of "hockey is for everyone."
- The band who played in the Molson Ex Zone at the Bell Centre on Tuesday gets a minus for one reason: either you learn to play "Seven Nation Army" properly or you don't play it at all.
- Olli Jokinen, just for being himself.
- You knew this was coming:
Agent Allan Walsh for last week's Twitter shenanigans. It was utterly unprofessional, no matter who he represents, and you'd think an important sports agent and lawyer would know better. Then, to make matters worse, he tries to cover up with a dopey "Duh, can't anyone take a joke?" I'm guessing Mr. Walsh has now learned his lesson, but mostly I'm happy that Jaro Halak is smarter and classier than the guy who represents him.
- To fans who booed and left early because of disappointment at the Bulldogs-Senators and Habs-Flames games. I'm not denying their right to be disappointed that their team lost, but booing your own team shows about as much social decorum as I'm guessing Allan Walsh has.
There were also a whole bunch of occurrences that can be counted as neither plus nor minus. For instance, I got to see Jarome Iginla, one of the first hockey players that I remember deciding to be a fan of, score a goal. Yay. But it, combined with the brilliance of Miikka Kiprusoff caused my team to lose the game. No. So that gets neither a plus nor minus.
Jay Leno would get a plus for having new HHOF inductee Luc Robitaille on his show for a few slapshots, but the very existence of The Jay Leno Show warrants a minus.
Here's hoping for a week full of pluses, regardless of all the red we'll be seeing in enemy logos.