Although I follow the Capitals and enjoy going to games at the Verizon Center, I would never watch a hockey game that featured two teams I don't know.
I like watching players that I'm familiar with, and outside of the guys on the Caps, I don't know many others around the NHL.
But I thoroughly enjoyed last night's game between Team USA and Team Canada. OK, so I didn't know the names of three-quarters of the guys on America's squad, but what an exciting, physical game that turned out to be. And what a big win it was for the boys from the States.
That ends my non-football commentary for the week.
I know it's early on a Monday, but I'm going to toss a mini Ravens quiz at you. You ready?
Name the second linebacker that the Ravens chose in last year's Draft.
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Paul Kruger was obviously the first. If you're thinking Dannell Ellerbe, you're incorrect. Surprisingly, Ellerbe went undrafted and was signed by the Ravens as a rookie free agent.
The answer...Jason Phillips.
Give yourself a pat on the back if you got that one.
Phillips, an inside linebacker out of TCU, was selected by the Ravens in the fifth round of the 2009 Draft (137th pick overall). After the pick, GM Ozzie Newsome and director of player personnel Eric DeCosta said that Phillips' instincts and knowledge of the game made him an intriguing prospect.
Unfortunately, Phillips wasn't able to put those qualities on display for more than a couple weeks.
Rehab from surgery on the lateral meniscus in his left knee kept him out for most of training camp, and he was placed on Injured Reserve in September, ending his season.
A couple days before the Ravens' loss to the Colts in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, I caught up with Phillips in the locker room and had a brief chat with him about how his rehab was coming along.
"I feel good," Phillips said. "I've had the last...shoot, two and a half to three months to get ready, so I've had plenty of time to work. The strength coaches have been great; Bill T. [Tessendorf, team trainer] has been a big help rehabbing my knee. Honestly, I feel a lot better than I did back before I got hurt, so I'm definitely excited for the offseason.
"I still have a little work to do, but as far as where [the knee is] at now, I feel good with it."
Players on injured reserve are not allowed to practice with the team, but at times late in the year, Phillips could be seen working with coaches on agility drills after the team had left the practice field.
Even though those sessions were the only times he stepped foot on a football field in his rookie season, Phillips said he still considers the year a partial success.
"I learned a lot about how just to deal with being in the NFL," he said. "That's probably one of the main, most difficult things rookies go through. So to be able to get that [was important]. Yeah, I missed the football aspect, but I got some good lessons from the older guys on how to get through a long season.
"I wish I could have played, but I also have to look at it like the cup's half full."