Fusspot rants, embarrassing photos of yourself and general correspondence go here: universalnicks@gmail.com

(That photo has nothing to do with anything -- I just thought it was awesome. For the record, there is a real Paul Shaffer Drive in Thunder Bay, but no Curt Harnett Avenue. WTF?)

Alright, let's get on with it. Call it: Pittsburgh or New Jersey. Who would you rather see the Senators face? Right now, I'm picking the Devils. Now before you begin tripping out, hear me out:

1) Jersey's not the hot team -- Pittsburgh is, and you never want to face the hot team;

2) I'm thinking bigger picture here -- ultimately I think Jersey will be a more significant (and necessary) test for the team, because everyone knows the playoffs are ultimately about defense. You might rate the Devils' defense as average, whereas the Penguins' is subpar, but there's no contest in respect to goaltending. A series victory over Martin Brodeur is always worthy of attention and respect;

3) The longer the Devils stick around in the postseason, the stronger they get. Kill them off while you have the chance;

4) While a possible series victory over the Devils is noteworthy, the seven games or less it takes to accomplish it, is not. Ottawa only garners playoff interest based on their opponent, and everyone knows that the Devils' play won't attract large numbers. On the other hand, the idea of Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby embarking on their postseason maiden voyage will have the media in a lather. Let another team play the passenger on that hype machine's wild ride;

5) A two-word built-in excuse: Gary Roberts. If Ottawa plays New Jersey, it's not an issue. If the Senators were to lose in the postseason to Pittsburgh, I'm staunchly certain that the local media would claim that one of the main reasons was due to Roberts playing for the opposition -- regardless of his relevance during the series. He's not in an Ottawa uniform, and there are some residents of this city that need to get over it, fast.

Obviously there are pros and cons to both teams -- either team has the potential to beat Ottawa, and I think that the Senators can beat either of these teams in the postseason. Some might say that after the issues that Ottawa's defense has faced over the course of the season, the ability to shut down a high-powered offense like Pittsburgh's would be a coup. I'd rather attempt to remain confident in the Sens' defense for the meantime, and see the offense take out another team that's notorious for shutting the opposition down. History has shown they're the types of teams that tend to go the furthest, and eliminating a franchise that plays in such a fashion seems more significant to me.

Other bits and pieces...

Reader Kathleen has offered up a blog for us to check out called Big Body Presence -- a bit of info, a bit of humour...my only quibble is that the site is quite new, so I'd like to see how they develop before I give a final ruling... but so far, not bad.

Did you know that Liam Maguire has a blog? Liam's so damned stellar -- I think the guy's hilarious, and his blog doesn't disappoint. He's been tackling the issues of the day in his typical manner, after what appeared to be a hiatus from posting. Let's hope he keeps it up. Oh, and by the way -- past is past. Give the man a radio show again.

And finally, I'm wondering how much longer we'll be privy to TGOR/Team 1200 vs. The Citizen's Hugh Adami. In case you missed it, here was the opening shot. Seriously, is there anything better than a pointless media war? Not that I've been in one myself, but I'm always warmed by the usual, "Aren't we in this together?" emails that come after I've tweaked someone's nose. Those kill me.