- The Detroit Red Wings: The Detroit Red Wings continue to solidify their playoff position with two wins over the Columbus Blue Jackets this week. The Wings are firmly in the fifth playoff position with 100 points and one game left on Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wings cannot catch the fourth seeded Phoenix Coyotes who are at 106 points as of this morning or the Blackhawks who lead the Central Division with 111 points. The Los Angeles Kings can pass the Wings if they win their last two games but the Nashville Predators cannot pass the Wings (both teams are at 98 points) as they only have one game left. A first round match-up of the Phoenix Coyotes and Detroit Red Wings looks like a real possibility at this point.
- United-US Airways Possible Merger: News reports surfaced this week that United Airlines and US Airways (which is really the former America West Airlines) are in merger talks. The talks are at an early stage but the Hat Trick remains concerned because both company's CEOs are supporters of airline consolidation. We'll see where this goes but the Hat Trick remains concerned that US Airways will be the surviving company even if they take the United name. US Airways right now is the "Greyhound of the skies" for a major network carrier and their lows in customer service have included removing large amounts of their business class cabins, charging for beverages including water (this policy has since been discontinued) and removing everything from ticket folders to pillows to glasses in first class. In his travel days the Hat Trick was a big United flyer and to see the possibility of this company going the way of US Airways is very depressing.
- Congressional Approval Rating: New polling released this week shows Congress with a 19% approval rating. Since both the House of Representatives and the Senate are controlled by the Democrats this is not good news. Adding this into the President's approval rating, which is below 50%, and you possibly have a situation similar to 1994 in the upcoming midterm elections when the Republicans regained control of both chambers. There still is a lot of time left before election day but this clearly is a problem for Democrats and this latest polling is a result of the Democrats jamming through a flawed health care reform bill that a majority of Americans did not support. How this plays out will be very interesting.
Needless to say, it's been a busy week in the worlds of aviation, hockey and politics. I'm sure I'll have more for my readers as the NHL regular season wraps up on Sunday and we see where the Red Wings end up in the playoff sequence.