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Morning Lineup – February 11

Monday Morning – Let's Go Exploring

Let's take a look at the National Hockey League standings for a few minutes.  The NHL is 1/4 of the way through their truncated season of 48 games in 99 days and most teams are just now settling down to steady play.  With no real training camp and zero pre-season games to work out line combinations and timing, etc., there have been a lot of lop-sided records as they try to work out the kinks while compiling the championship points.  Teams that are starting the season with new coaches or widely changed rosters are especially vulnerable for early setbacks in the standings.

That partially explains why the Washington Capitals are the league cellar-dwellers at the quarter-pole with only 7 points while the players are adjusting to their new coach's system.  That's not an easy task.  Also of concern is the Stanley Cup defending champions Los Angeles Kings.  They are in a 4-way tie for next-to-worst with just 8 points.  On the other hand, teams that were already good and remained stable over the off-season are handily parked in the top slots of their conferences. 

If there's an eye-opener in the standings, it's the Chicago Blackhawks.  They are in first place in the Western Conference after 12 games, not too surprising because they were already a good team.  But …. of those 12 games only 2 of them have been home games, the other 10 all on the road.  And yet they still have a 5-point lead over 2nd-place Anaheim this early.  It will be interesting to see how that plays out over the next two months when the "season" will suddenly be over.

If you want to grab a look at the conference standings, go to the NHL webpage HERE  for today's rankings and HERE for the divisional standings.  Let's hope they settle down this week and all play more consistently.  The final standings at the end of the season are going to be based on luck as much as anything else, and a 4-game losing streak can knock somebody out of the playoffs in a flash, even this early.

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Bear with me now, please, while I go still farther off-topic.  Did you know that the fictional adventurer "Indiana Jones" is based on a real explorer?  Yep, according to some accounts, a fellow named Hiram Bingham from Connecticut was partially an inspiration for the character.  Wikipedia tells in part:

"Hiram Bingham (1875–1956) was an American academic, explorer and treasure hunter and politician. He obtained a B.A. from Yale University and a PhD from Harvard. Bingham was not a trained archaeologist, yet it was during Bingham’s time as a lecturer – later professor – at Yale that he discovered the largely forgotten Inca city of Machu Picchu.

"His book Lost City of the Incas became a bestseller upon its publication in 1948. Bingham has been cited as one possible basis for the "Indiana Jones" character"

An interesting side note also covered in more detail in the Wikipedia entry is his unusual entry into elected office in 1922.  He had been elected Lt. Governor of Connecticut and not long after, the governor's position opened up following the guv's suicide.  Bingham ran in the special election to fill the unfinished term concurrently with the election for the U.S. Senate seat that was also open.  He won both.  So he served as Governor for one day – the shortest term served by any Connecticut governor – then resigned to take the Senate seat.

He was also a military officer and an aviator among other stuff.  For a good lunchtime read, check out the much more extensive Wikipedia entry for him HERE.  Also, a history-based website called Retronaut has several interesting photos of Bingham taken at different stages of his varied life HERE.

Ok, let's start exploring the apparatus bay and check out the equipment for today.  Monday = long checklist, remember.  I'll see if I can uncover the location of the Bunn-O-Matic and get some coffee going.  See you back in the day room in a little while.

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