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“If It’s Meant To Be” : The Story of Founder and CEO of Flowmetric Inc., Renold Capocasale

IMG_0952 By Tiffany Connelly
Neumann University is known for many things. The logo is associated with a strong trio; the values of St. Francis, the men’s hockey team national win, and academically speaking, the prestigious nursing program. Prestigious as it is, there is another hoard of excellence seeking students that occupy the labs, share the same professors, and buy the same disposable lab coats in the Knights’ Shoppe. These are the biology majors. Throughout the three tracks of the program there is a dauntingly omnipresent pressure, infinite metaphorical millimeters of mercury, questioning a brief and terrifying phrase, “What’s next?”

To answer this internal inquiry, Founder and CEO of Flowmeteric Inc., Renold Capocasale visited a group of bio majors and science professors. The classroom, most commonly utilized for physics and genetics lectures, was transformed the moment Capocasale entered. A biology major himself, practicing his undergraduate study at Villanova University, Capocasale walked us through his story. He spoke of his Catholic upbringing and possessing a family of doctors, where his route had already seemed to be laid out nicely before him. At an age, not much older than myself, he was accepted into the medical school at Georgetown University. In the same week, he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor. “The plan isn’t always the way you expected it to go,” he said calmly. “That, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Simply be open to all the possibilities.” After going through surgery, his life had been placed on hold and never went to Georgetown. “It was bittersweet to say the least.” However, with his particular kind of tumor and a 40% survival rate, Capocasale couldn’t have been more blessed.

Post-recuperation, he worked as a lab assistant and attended University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Program in Immunology during which he met his wife. Using his experience from Penn, he worked a year during a small period at a biotech company before being offered a job at Johnson & Johnson. Here is where Capocasale spent sixteen years of his career, developing Remecaid and Stelara, two drugs that assist with alleviating symptoms of Crone’s Disease and rheumatoid arthritis, through hybridoma techonology which are still very much in use today.

During October of 2009, Capocasale was laid off from Johnson & Johnson. Two days later, he had informed the company that he would be creating his own. “I listened to the voice that matters most, mine,” said Capocasale, a smile on his face. After raising $2.5 million dollars in three months, he went on to found Flowmetrics Incorporated, a contract and research organization for over 78 clients on the basis of flowcytometry. “What I had was passion.” And passion was certainly an understatement. Intellectual, strong, and with the understanding of how faith and one’s own opinion drive the success of an individual, Renold Capocasale temporarily quelled the worldly expectation of all students who heard him speak. He had ended with a reassuring nod, “Validation will come.” As biology students at Neumann University who understand what it is like to face struggles and bumps in the road, we would like to thank him for his insight and are appreciative for his empathy.

Photo credit: Bill McLaughlin


Letter From the Editor

Hello fellow Neumann Knights! My name is Jessica Zappasodi, and I swear to you I am NOT the editor-in-chief of this newspaper. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. My amazing co-editor Ashley Kreer and I have been working so hard to get this edition out to all of you. I am so excited to be working with her to distribute as much up to date information as possible to all of you here at Neumann

While it may seem like it just takes a few skilled writers and some excellently talented layout people to form a newspaper, I am here to tell you that is definitely is not all it takes. We need you! Before I touch on that, however, I wanted to introduce both Ashley and I to the Neumann University world.

I am a Senior English major and Ashley is a Sophomore Communications major who pretty much does it all. She not only is co-editor of the Joust, but also involved in Neutube, on the executive board for Neumann Radio, and also has her own radio show!  I’m much less skilled in the radio department, having been a staff writer for the Joust last semester and a contributing writer in years past. I was asked by our (wonderful) advisor Dr. Joe Glass if I would be interested in taking over the Joust, to which I instantly responded “No, absolutely not.” Assigning articles, deadlines, photos, AND layout? That just sounds overwhelming.  However, we decided to approach it differently than ever before – two editors who share the responsibilities, instead of just one. It took great pushing and shoving for me, but here I am, with a team backing me up composed of quite an incredible group of people. Luckily, I now have Ashley by my side and her efforts have not gone unnoticed. Without her, I don’t think we would even have a Joust this year, so if you ever see her in the hallways give her a serious THANK YOU!

I also wanted to thank previous editor-in-chief Jaimielynne Cooper.  Jaimie has decided to study abroad this semester in the breathtaking Paris, France. She dedicated so much time and effort into previous editions, and deserves the recognition for her hard work. My hope is that you all will be hearing about Ms. Cooper’s Paris adventures very soon. I also wanted to thank Alex Crofoot, who also helped make the Joust look outstanding last year. He also contributed so much hard work and dedication to this and it will not go without saying. He deserves a lot of recognition as well, and I thank him truly for everything he has done in the past.

I must remind you the Joust is run by the students, for the students. Any of you can contribute to it. If you want to write, you are more than welcome to. If you want to photograph events, by all means, we would love to have you. We can’t have a paper without having articles, writing, and photographs to stuff into it! You don’t need to be an English major to write. Let yourself shine through your work! You are what keeps us up and running! Thank YOU to all of the contributing staff thus far! Keep up the hard work, and together we can continue to let the Neumann University student voices be heard.

– Jess Zappasodi

We’re Rollin’ Now

Welcome back!

Thanks to Ashley and Jess and all those who volunteered to be part of the Joust this year.

Our first print edition should drop the week of September 24th.

The online site is already being upgraded. Be sure to view the full site by clicking here or selecting the “view full site” option below. There you’ll have access to world and national news from USA Today, ESPN, People Magazine, the Delco Daily Times, and Catholic News Service in addition to all the campus news from the Joust.

NHL Power Rankings (March 26, 2012)

The final stretch is upon us, as NHL teams gear up for their last 5,6, or 7 games of the regular season.  The NHL has become notorious for close finishes, in terms of which teams clinch a post-season berth, and this year will be no different.  Once again, the Western Conference has several teams that will not make the playoffs, despite the fact that they may have more points than the lower seeds of the Eastern Conference.  While this does not necessarily mean the Western Conference is overall stronger than the Eastern, this is a problem that could have been resolved via the Conference realignment proposed by Commisioner Bettman.  Unfortunately, the NHLPA’s rejction of this plan will keep the current playoff selection process in place for years to come.  Regardless, the NHL is poised for another exciting post-season, that will take its final shape in the coming weeks.

1.  Pittsburgh Penguins (47-22-6)

While holding on to Sidney Crosby for the entire season may not have paid off for fantasy hockey owners, the ‘kid’ is back and has re-solidified the Penguins place amongst the NHL’s elite teams.  By many analsyts definition, the Penguins have had a great season without their best player, and in spite of several other injuries.  Crosby has taught us that you can never be sure with concussion-like syndroms, but it seems as though he is good to go for the rest of the season, which is terrible news for just about every other team in the NHL.  At 8-1-1 in their last 10, Malkin, Bylsma, and Crosby are focused on bringing home their second Stanley Cup.

2.  St. Louis Blues (47-20-9)

The Blues latest romping of the Phoenix Coyotes is a great example of just how this team has been able to earn the number one spot in the league as of now; another shutout from Brian Elliot, and great team play that ultimately wore down the Coyotes.  St. Louis has won the Presidents Trophy just once before in the 1999-2000 NHL season.  With  six games left on their schedule, the Blues have a great chance to finish atop of the NHL once again, and eclipse that 113 point mark they set in 1999-00.  Not only are the Blues the prime candidates for comeback team of the year, but their roster is full of players that have a chance to win comeback player of the year: David Perron, Andy MacDonald, and now Alex Steen, who have all made a full recovery from heavy concussions.

3.  NY Rangers (47-21-7)

At this point in the season, it seems like the Rangers are playing in cruise control.  Never quite playing at an extraordinary level, but never letting a significant losing streak rear its ugly head.  And despite the greatest desires of the New York fan base, John Tortorella is not concerned with winning the Presidents Trophy.  As a veteran coach in this league, Tortorella is now focused on getting his players ready for the marathon that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  A main point of focus for the Rangers is to get the recently stagnant offense firing on all cylinders again.  The continued absence of Dubinsky from the score sheet and the cooling down of Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov has caused the Rangers to slip to 11th in the league in terms of goals per game at 2.69.  The Rangers are in a unique position as a team that does not have to worry about goaltending for the playoffs – if they can score three or four goals per game, they will cruise through the playoffs….that is quite a big IF though.

4.  Philadelphia Flyers (44-23-8)

The stars have aligned, and all is well in the Universe…that is Mr. Universe, otherwise known as Ilya Bryzgalov.  Despite all of the bad rebounds, flukey goals, and questionable puck playing, Bryzgalov has been able to bring his sv % back to .912. And while this season was far from his best, Bryzgalov seems to be hitting his stride at the most crucial time of the season.  With the offense continuing to produce, led by Jagr, Giroux and Hartnell, the Flyers can only hope that Mr. Universe can keep this play up to avoid their usual goaltending achilles heel in the playoffs.

5.  Nashville Predators (44-24-8)

There is only one word needed to describe the Nashville win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday – beatdown.  From the drop of the puck the Predators never gave the Hawks, or the fans in the United Center, any reason to believe they had a chance to win that game.  Pekka Rinne broke out of his mini-slump, allowing only one goal, and the offense continued to shock and awe.  Barry Trotz has officially transformed his once purely defensive minded team, into a complete team that has the potential to make a lot of noise in the playoffs.

6.  Vancouver Canucks (45-21-9)

Despite the 4-5-1 record in the last ten games, Canucks fans have nothing to worry about.  The players on this Canucks team are no stranger to the post-season, and are calmly awaiting their chance to avenge last years Stanley Cup Final defeat.  Rather than strive for the Presidents Trophy, Alain Vigneault is more concerned with getting Marc-Andre Gragnani, Sammy Pahlsson, and Zack Kassian comfortable in their roles on the team, before the end of the regular season.  Between the pipes, Luongo continues to be the outright number one, but Schneider will be ready to shine whenever he gets the chance – and he will get that chance in this years playoffs.

 7. Chicago Blackhawks (42-26-8)

Contrary to their poor performance on Sunday, the Blackhawks have been able to produce a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games, despite the loss of Captain Johnathan Toews.  With the contiuning struggle at the goaltender position, the Blackhawks cannot hope to have any significant playoff success without the return of number 19.  But, for the time being, the Hawks are working towards a solid regular season finish, with Marian Hossa having his best season yet in a Hawks uniform.

8. Detroit Red Wings (45-25-5)

2-6-2 over a ten game span is hardly a record you would expect from Red Wings team.  Nevertheless, the Wings are showing that they too are only human.  On the bright side, Lidstrom is getting vital playing time to help him return from injury, and get into shape for the heavy minutes he will log in the playoffs.  The key for the Wings success in the 2012 playoffs rests on the shoulders, and pending health, of Jimmy Howard.  If Howard is not 100 percent, a return to the Stanley Cup Finals may be out of the question for this team.

9.  Dallas Stars (41-29-5)

Throughout the entire regular season, the Stars were the team that never seemed to go away.  Sure, the team has had several ups and downs this year, but overall the Stars have shocked the hockey world.  No one expected to see Dallas ahead of the Pacific division at this point in the season after losing Brad Richards.  The unsung hero of this team is without a doubt Kari Lethonen, who has brought his career back to life this year by posting a .925 sv %, and a 2.23 GAA in 31 wins this year.

10.  Boston Bruins (44-28-3)

After going on a miserable streak, the Bruins have begun to level off and play respectable hockey as of late.  Still, the injuries of Nathan Horton, Rich Peverely, and most importantly Tukka Rask, are still taking their toll on this team.  Tim Thomas is not playing at the Vezina level that we have come to expect from him, and perhaps that is partly due to the fact that he had become accustomed to sharing the load with Rask.  On the other side of the puck, Bergeron and Lucic continue to sporadically produce offense, never quite seeming to find a happy medium throughout a string of games.

10.  New Jersey Devils (42-29-6)

Fans of the New Jersey Devils are not used to seeing their team miss the Stanley Cup playoffs – which is why the 2010-11 season was so painful for the franchise.  But with the return of several key players from injuries, and the ‘get the job done’ play of legendary goaltender Martin Brodeur, the Devils are on pace to securing a spot in the post-season.  Their 90 points may be deceiving as well, seeing as the Devils play in the most competitive division in hockey, and are in constant battle with the Rangers, Flyers, and Penguins.  Given the proper circumstances, the Devils could sneak into the second round of the playoffs.

11.  Los Angeles Kings (37-26-12)

Don’t look now, but the Kings seem to be hitting their stride at the most crucial time of the season.  Now that Coach Suter does not have to rely solely on Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick, the Kings can look to unleash some real damage on whatever team they face in the first round of the playoffs – yes they are going to make the eight team cut in the West.  While this season has been an overall disappointment for the Kings and their fan base, no season can be completely discounted pending a post-season berth.  The 75 games the Kings have played are in the past, and all of the offensive struggles will be forgiven if Richards, Carter, Kopitar, Williams, and Doughty can turn it on come playoff time.

12.  Florida Panthers (36-24-15)

In the midst of the recent resurgence of the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres, the Panthers have been able to hold on to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but just by a thread.  Given the Panthers three-ring golatending circus and lack of depth, do not look for this team to make too much noise in the playoffs.  Regardless, the fact that the Panthers are even in contention for a playoff spot is a drastic improvement from previous years performances, and proof that sometimes that answer to a franchises problems is to clean house, and rely on the free agent market.

13.  Washington Capitals (38-30-8)

The unanimous pre-season Cup favorite Capitals once again have their fan base sitting on the edge of their seats.  The duo of Alex’s (Ovechkin and Semin) seem to have adopted a new persona: that being ‘we’re not gonna take it anymore.’  Tired of constant harping from critics (most notably Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire), the Capitals are going all in for the last six games of the regular season.  Not unlike previous seasons, the goaltending position is up for grabs, and now Braden Holtby has made the race even more interesting by positng his third career shutout on Sunday.  Can the Caps catch the Panthers? Or fend of the Sabres for the eight spot? For the sake of George McPhee’s job, let’s hope so.

14. Buffalo Sabres (37-29-10)

Analysts speculate all the time, but in the case of the Sabres I agree with them.  The trades made at the deadline, along with how the rest of this season has played out, angered Ryan Miller and now he is taking it out on opposing teams.  Much like Ilya Bryzgalov, Miller has had a subpar season, but has been able to revive his numbers as of late.  Even though there are more teams involved in the race for the eigth spot in the West, the finale involving the Panthers, Capitals, and Sabres is the most exciting development in these last few weeks.  Two teams that should have had great seasons, and one team that has defied the odds.  Lindy Ruff and his squad are hoping to emerge victorious, with the mindset of just getting into the big dance.

15.  San Jose Sharks (38-27-10)

Every time I am ready to count the Sharks out, they turn it around and stay afloat (no pun intended) in the playoff race.  Unlike years past, the Sharks do not find themselves at the top of the Western Conference standings.  Maybe the team parted with Heately and Setoguchi too willingly, but regardless, they will look to ‘Jumbo Joe’ and ‘Little Joe’ to lead them to a playoff spot.  Of course, it all means nothing is the play between the pipes doesn’t pick up very soon.

16.  Phoenix Coyotes (37-27-13)

Barely hanging on to a playoff spot, the 4-2-4 record in their last ten games has the Coyotes looking like the odd team out in the Western Conference.  But if Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata, Ray Whitney, and Mike Smith can pull together for one last push, the Coyotes will make the playoffs once again, despite the departure of Bryzgalov.


*Other teams in the playoff race not listed:

Ottawa Senators (38-28-10)

Colorado Avalanche (40-31-6)

Calgary Flames (34-27-15)

Anything they can do, Gretzky already did better

On February 2nd, 2012, Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner put on a performance for the ages.  Up until this night, Gagner had been underperforming compared to the expectations that had been set for his season with only five goals and 17 assists through 44 games played.  Gagner’s play in the first period of the Oilers v. Chicago Blackhawks was utterly non-productive, which is why no one could have predicted how the last two periods of the game would unfold.  Through the next 17 minutes and 28 seconds of his time on the ice, Sam Gagner exploded with four goals and four assists.  His eight point performance not only propelled the Oilers to a 8-4 win over the Blackhawks in front of a sold out Rexall Place, but it also solidified his name in Oilers history.  With this incredible feat, the 22-year-old Gagner tied the franchise of eight points in one game, which now stands at a three-way tie between Gagner, Coffey, and some guy named Gretzky.

Gagner’s performance that night gave way to one of the most rare events in the hockey world – a player threatening a Wayne Gretzky record.  Admittedly, Gretzky does not hold the record for most points in an NHL game.  Darryl Sittler who recorded 10 points in a Toronto Maple Leafs uniform on February 7, 1976 holds that record.  Nevertheless, Gretzky undisputedly has prevailed the greatest player in NHL history with a grand total of 2857 points in 1487 games played (1.921 points per game).

When sports fans in the United States think of the  term “Greatest athletes of All-Time,” their minds are usually clouted with names like Palmer, Jordan, Ruth, Bradshaw, Ali, Elway, Chamberlin, Montana, and etc..  Perhaps it is ironic that the most dominant athlete that has ever lived played the sport that is the least popular of the four major professional sports in the United States – ice hockey.  It’s not an opinion.  It’s not debatable.  It’s fact.  Gretzky holds or shares 61 NHL records: 40 regular season, 15 in the Stanley Cup playoffs and All-Star game.

  1. Most points: 2,857
  2. Most points, including playoffs: 3,238
  3. Most goals:  894
  4. Most goals, including playoffs: 1,016
  5. Most assists: 1,963
  6. Most assists including playoffs: 2,223
  7. Most goals by a Center: 894
  8. Most assists by a Center: 1,963
  9. Most points by a Center: 2,857
  10. Most 40-or-more goal seasons: 12
  11. Most consecutive 40-or-more goal seasons: 12 (1979-80 to 1990-91)
  12. Most 50-or-more goal seasons: 9
  13. Most 60-or-more goal seasons: 5
  14. Most consecutive 60-or-more goal seasons: 4 (1981-82 to 1984-85)
  15. Most 100-or-more point seasons: 15
  16. Most consecutive 100-or-more point seasons: 13 (1979-80 to 1991-92)
  17. Most three-or-more goal games: 50
  18. Most overtime assists: 15
  19. Highest assists-per-game average: 1.32
  20. Most points, one season: 215 (1985-86)
  21. Most points, one season, including playoffs: 255 (1984-85)
  22. Most goals, one season: 92 (1981-82)
  23. Most goals, one season, including playoffs: 100 (1983-84)
  24. Most goals, in 50 games from start of season: 61 (1981-82 and 1983-84)
  25. Most assists, one season: 163 (1985-86)
  26. Most assists, one season, including playoffs: 174 (1985-86)
  27. Most points by a center, one season: 215 (1985-86)
  28. Most goals by a center, one season: 92 (1981-82)
  29. Most assists by a center: 163 (1985-86)
  30. Most three-or-more goal games, one season: 10 (1981-82)
  31. Longest consecutive assist-scoring streak: 23 games – 48 assists (1990-91)
  32. Longest consecutive point-scoring streak: 51 games – 153 points (Oct. 5, 1983 to Jan. 28, 1984)
  33. Longest consecutive point-scoring streak from start of season: 51 games – 153 points
  34. Highest goals-per-game average, one season: 1.18 (1983-84)
  35. Highest assists-per-game average, one season: 2.04 (1985-86)
  36. Highest points-per-game average, one season: 2.77 (1983-84)
  37. Most goals, one period: 4 (tied with 10 other players)
  38. Most assists, one game: 7 (tied with Billy Taylor) (three times)
  39. Most assists, one road game: 7 (tied with Billy Taylor)
  40. Most assists, one game, by a rookie: 7 (recorded two times in rookie season)
  41. Most playoff goals: 122
  42. Most playoff assists: 260
  43. Most playoff points: 382
  44. Most game-winning goals in playoffs: 24
  45. Most three-or-more goal game in playoffs: 10
  46. Most points, one playoff year: 47 (1985)
  47. Most assists, one playoffs year: 31 (1988)
  48. Most assists in a finals series: 13 (1988)
  49. Most assists in a finals series: 10 (1988)
  50. Most assists in one series (other than finals): 14 (1985)
  51. Most shorthanded goals, one playoff year: 3 (1983)
  52. Most assists, one playoff game: 6 (1987)
  53. Most points, one playoff period: 4 (1G, 3A – 1987)
  54. Most assists, one playoff period: 3
  55. Most short-handed goals, one playoff game: 2 (1983)
  56. Most All-Star game goals: 13
  57. Most All-Star game goals, one game: 4 (1983)
  58. Most All-Star game goals, one period: 4 (1983)
  59. Most All-Star game points, one period: 4 (1983)
  60. Most All-Star game points, career: 25
  61. Most All-Star game assists, career: 12 (tied with four other players)

*Although it is not a record, it should be noted Gretzky also won four Stanley Cups – all with the Edmonton Oilers.

If that is not dominance, what is?  Although he is by no means the most talented player in the NHL, Sam Gagner now can claim to have matched a personal record of Wayne Gretzky.  That alone is an accomplishment that will last a lifetime.

NHL Power Rankings (March 12, 2012)

After all of the speculation built during the weeks leading up to the trade deadline about where Rick Nash would land, he remains in a Blue Jackets uniform.  The many teams that could have used Nash’s services will now have to battle for a position in the post season with their current roster.  For 14 teams, the recent change to warmer weather indicates that there is a chance the fairways and greens of golf courses across the nation will be in prime condition by the time the last day of the NHL regular season comes around.  On the other hand, the 16 teams that will be fortunate enough to have made the playoffs are starting to take form.  With less than 13 games left in the season for most teams, it is officially crunch time.

1.  St. Louis Blues (45-18-7)

All year long NHL experts have praised the Blues and head coach Ken Hitchcock for their ability to come together as a team.  However, none of them expected this team to be a top the NHL standings come mid March.  9-1 in their last ten games, the Blues have risen to the top five in categories such as goal differential, and best home record.  And while other teams have players on their roster with close to 50 goals or 50 assists, the Blues do not have a single player that have over 50 points total yet.  Spreading the scoring around is a part of the St. Louis Blues motto and it has obviously paid off.

2.  New York Rangers (43-18-7)

Just when it appeared the Rangers were poised to run away as the clear winners of the President’s Trophy, they fell back into one of their usual slumps.  Although many teams in the basement of the league would be content with a 5-3-2 record in their last ten, John Tortorella knows that their performance of late has not resembled that of a Stanley Cup contending team.  With the Rangers making no moves at the trade deadline, the pressure now falls on forward Brandon Dubinsky, who have vastly underperformed with a less than admirable 26 points.  Meanwhile the Rangers will continue to look to names like Gaborik, Richards, Callahan, and of course Lundqvist, to continue carrying the load.

3.  Detroit Red Wings (44-22-3)

It may be an overlooked statistic in today’s NHL, but the Red Wings are currently the best 5-on-5 team in hockey with a 1.58 5-5 F/A rate.  The Wings also find themselves second to only the Boston Bruins in terms of goal differential, but have somehow managed to go only 4-5-1 in their last ten games.  A large part of that record can be attributed to the absence of star player Pavel Datsyuk, and lingering injury problems for Vezina candidate Jimmy Howard.  Nevertheless, you can rest assured that coach Mike Babcock will have his team ready for the playoffs.  The only question now is what seed will they earn.

4.  Vancouver Canucks (42-19-8)

Just a few weeks ago the Canucks watched their previous Stanley Cup opponent, and rival, Bruins ascend to the top of the league standings.  But thanks to the steady play of Luongo, the Sedins, and quality secondary scoring, it appears the Canucks will have the last laugh and finish the regular season ahead of the Bruins.  Perhaps the most positive thing for Canucks fans to take away from their teams play right now is the imminent return of Ryan Kesler.  Yes, he has played 64 games this year, but Kesler struggled to regain his footing early in the year thanks to playoff injuries.  But now with 44 points and a +19, Kesler is beginning to resemble the star player he was during the 2010-11 season.

5.  Pittsburgh Penguins (42-21-5)

Not too long ago it looked like this Crosby-less Penguins team had finally run out of gas due to injuries, and was  free-falling in the standings.  But there is a reason why Dan Bylsma is considered one of the best coaches, and Malkin one of the best players in the NHL.  Any fan that tuned into HBO’s 24/7 two years ago got an inside look of how Bylsma manages his team.  You can bet that he has been fully utilizing his player rating system and pushing his players to their fullest potential.  Meanwhile, Malkin and Neal continue to put points on the board effortlessly, and secondary scoring from Dupuis and Letang never hurts.

6.  Philadelphia Flyers (39-22-7)

Could it be that Mr. Universe – otherwise known as Iyla Bryzgalov – has finally found his game?  All season long the city of Brotherly Love has bashed the Russian net minder for his less than admirable play.  But if there was ever a time for Bryzgalov to win back the hearts of Flyers fans, it would be now.  Finally bumping his sv% over .900, it looks like Bryzgalov is ready to earn his pay check.  In the midst of injuries to JVR, the Flyers offense has continued to perform at a high level thanks to incredible seasons from Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.  Defense is the name of the game come playoff time, and if the Flyers can find theirs, there is no reason why this team cannot make a real run at the Stanley Cup.

7.  Nashville Predators (40-21-7)

Let the good times roll in Nashville! With the passing of the trade deadline, we saw the reunion of the second most dominating twins in the NHL, the Kostitsyn brothers.  Andrei and Sergei have already showed their chemistry on the ice and have been a large part of the reason why the Predators have gone 7-2-1 in their last ten games.   Although it appears Pekka Rinne has hit some what of a rough patch, it is only because the rest of the NHL holds him to such a high standard.  Led by Shea Weber and coach Barry Trotz, this may be the best team in Predators franchise history from top to bottom.  Only the playoffs will tell.

8.  New Jersey Devils (40-24-5)

Remember a year ago when the Devils began an inconceivable run that fell short of earning them a playoff spot?  Fortunately for New Jersey fans, the Devils have put themselves in a much better position than last year, and have a great chance to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.  Although Martin Brodeur continues to show his age, he has been able to get the job done between the pipes while Kovalchuck, Parise, Zubrus, and Elias provide offense every night.

9.  Dallas Stars (38-26-5)

9-0-1 in their last ten games has propelled the Stars back into playoff contention.  Despite the fact that the majority of the scoring has fallen to Eriksson, Benn, Ryder, and Ribeiro, the return of team captain Brenden Morrow should ignite some scoring from the 2nd and 3rd offensive lines.  In the crease, Kari Lethonen continues to revive his otherwise dead career, proving that Rinne and Kiprusoff are not the only talented Finnish goaltenders in the league.  On the cusp of 30 regular season wins and a .924 SV%, Lethonen has proven to be a great investment for the Stars and will play a key role to the continued success of the team.

10.  Chicago Blackhawks (37-25-8)

Perhaps the 2011-12 Blackhawks are the best example of how poor goal tending always trumps an explosive offense in the NHL.  The Hawks are coming off a shootout loss to the L.A. Kings, in which veteran Ray Emery got the start.  And although Emery has statistically outperformed Corey Crawford, both goalies have played just awful this season.  The bottom line for the Hawks, Hossa, Toews, Kane, and Sharp can all get over 60 or even 70 points, but come playoff time it won’t matter if Joe Quennville cannot find a way to hide this atrocious net minding.

11. Boston Bruins (40-25-3)

Injuries to Nathan Horton and Rich Peverley have finally caught up to a Bruins team that has been riding high for the majority of the season.  Despite their 83 points, the Bruins are practically plummeting downwards in the league standings with a 4-5-1 record in their last ten games.  To make matters worse, Tukka Rask is out of commission and Tim Thomas is playing the worst hockey in his last three years of play.  Just this weekend the Penguins exposed the defensive flaws of the Bruins, jumping out to a quick lead and never looking back.  If the Bruins are looking to make a run at back-back Stanley Cup championships, something has to change – and soon.

12.  Ottawa Senators (36-25-9)

After what can only be described as a freak accident with goalie Craig Anderson, the towering Ben Bishop has stepped in to help Robin Lehner between the pipes.  As the tallest goalie in the NHL, Bishop has maintained a .926 sv% through his three games as a Senator.  On the offensive side of the puck, Spezza and Erik Karlsson continue to produce night in and night out.  Although Milan Michalek and Daniel Alfredsson have come off their season highs, both forwards have continued to pick up the important secondary goals that has earned the Senators a chance to reach the playoffs.

13.  Florida Panthers (32-23-13)

With the Washington Capitals breathing down their neck, the Panthers have managed to remain cool and hold their lead on the Southeast division. The Panthers possess the worst goal differential of any of the top 16 teams in the NHL at a -25, and much like the Blackhawks are having goal tending issues.  As of today, the Panthers have juggled four goalies during regular season play including Jose Theodore, Scott Clemmensen, Jakob Markstrom, and now Brain Foster.  But the question remains: who is going to step up come playoff time?!  Even if the Panthers manage to squander the Southeast division title to the Capitals (or any other team in the division for that matter) they still have a great chance to make the playoffs, pending great play from Versteeg, Fleischmann, and Campbell.

14.  Phoenix Coyotes (34-25-10)

While the 2011-12 NHL season has been a coming out party for Coyotes goal tender Mike Smith, who is being called a star by some, the Coyotes are barely hanging out to their playoff spot.  With teams in the Western conference like Calgary and Los Angeles keeping pace, the Coyotes lack the depth that other teams in the league have to be a serious playoff contender.  Unfortunately for Coyotes fans, captain, and face of the franchise, Shane Doan is on pace to having a sub par season by his standards, and lingering injuries to center Martin Hanzal have hurt the team immensely.

15.  Washington Capitals (35-28-6)

When was the last time this team was in the power rankings?  The Capitals are by far still the front runner for the NHL’s most disappointing team award, Dale Hunter has managed to put together a winning combination as of late.  One of the most overlooked injuries in the NHL is the concussion-like symptoms that center Nicklas Backstrom is suffering from.  Alex Ovechkin has been stagnant without his offensive partner, and the Caps have struggled to fill the first line center role since his injury.  Star defense man Mike Green is obviously playing injured and has literally contributed nothing to the team since his return.  Nevertheless, the Caps have been able to muster up the fire power to get back into the playoff race.

16.  Los Angeles Kings (32-25-12)

Currently the Kings sit one spot out of the playoffs behind the Calgary Flames, but the Vezina worthy play of Jonathan Quick is what separates the Kings from the Flames.  A goal from Jeff Carter last night, and a shootout win against the Blackhawks is a huge feat for this team and helping build momentum for their last 13 games.


Carter and Richards Reunited at Last?

Roughly two seasons ago, Flyers fans watched helplessly as Patrick Kane scored in the overtime of Game 6 in the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup finals.  That season may be best described as a miraculous run, starting with the Flyers battling for a playoff spot on the last day of the season, defeating the Rangers in a shootout.  The current Flyers hardly resemble the 2009-2010 team.  A season where Claude Giroux was not quite yet an NHL star and Jaromir Jagr was no where to be found in the NHL.  But not unlike this years team, those Flyers were led by two incredible offensive players.  Only the names were Jeff Carter, and Mike Richards.

During that 2009-10 regular season, Carter managed to produce 61 points (33 goals, 28 assists) and 7 (5 goals, 2 assists) in the playoffs.  And while Richards’ regular season 62 point total (31 goals, 31 assists) are almost identical to Carters’, the ex-captain of the Flyers posted an incredible 23 points in the playoffs (7 goals, 16 assists).  NHL fans, especially those who support the Flyers, may think back to the super-human effort Mike Richards exhibited in a goal he scored in the series against the Montreal Canadiens.

Up until the NHL trade deadline, this goal, and that entire post season, may have been all but a distant memory to Flyers fans in the midst of the on-going goal tending debacle.  As of last week, the once Flyer superstars, Carter and Richards, have been reunited on the Los Angeles Kings.  The trade between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Kings saw Columbus deal Carter for the high-caliber defense man Jack Johnson, and a conditional Kings first round pick.  “We never probably thought this would happen again – especially this quick – but obviously we’re both pleased.” said Carter after the trade was announced in a Saturday media session.

The 2011 NHL off-season saw Flyers GM Paul Holmgren ‘wheeling and dealing’ or so to speak.  Flyers fans were initially elated to see names like Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Jaromir Jagr, Max Talbot, and Iyla Bryzgalov to be added to their roster.  Only to bare the departure of two of the cities favorites – Carter and Richards.  In hindsight, Holmgren knew exactly what he was doing (excluding the Bryzgalov signing).  The 2011-12 NHL season has not been kind to either Carter or Richards.  Carter was only able to muster up 25 points with the Blue Jackets (not to mention a miserable -11), and has had to deal with numerous injuries.  And while Richards has performed slightly better with the Kings at 31 points, it is safe to say neither of the two have lived up to expectations.

Much like the Bryzgalov goal tending conundrum, the stagnant Los Angeles Kings offense has puzzled analysts and experts all season long.  Coming into the season, the Kings were being proclaimed a possible offensive powerhouse with names like Kopitar, Williams, Stoll, Penner, Gagne, and of course Richards.  But 62 games into the regular season, the Kings find themselves ranked dead last in the NHL in terms of goals per game at a pitiful 2.08.  Despite this, the Kings are on the cusp of a playoff spot in the Western Conference and now look to the once dynamic duo of Carter and Richards to ignite the scoring.

NHL Power Rankings (February 20th, 2012)

The NHL Trade Deadline.  Since the 2004-05 league lockout, NHL teams have left fans in shock and awe in terms of the trades that have taken place.  An event that has a great deal of potential to benefit prospective Stanley Cup Champions.  But at the same time, the NHL Trade Deadline can mark the unofficial end of the season for teams that are willing to deal their players and go into “rebuilding mode.”  Up until this point, the trade talks have been relatively quiet compared to years past.  Although one piece of news has many teams excited – Rick Nash is up for sale.  Often overlooked due to the poor team he plays on, Rick Nash could very easily take a team from being good to great, and from contender to champion.  Nonetheless, NHL fans will have to remain patient for a few more days to see if their team is going to make any moves that could change their season.  For now, all we can do is turn to who’s who.  So once again, here are your NHL Power Rankings.

1.   Detroit Red Wings (41-17-2)

By now you have surely heard about the incredible home winning streak that the 2011-12 Red Wings have used to cement themselves in the NHL record books.  But more important than the streak may the question “How do they do it?”  Initially the credit is attributed to Datsyuk, Franzen, Zetterberg, and Howard – but this team is so much more than those four names.  One quick look at the Red Wings player statistics page shows the enormous depth that this team has.  It is the combination of those 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line players and the steady hand of Mike Babcock that has this team riding higher than any other in the league.  Other teams in the Western Conference may have viewed Jimmy Howard’s injury as a chance to gain some ground on the Wings, but unfortunately for them the Wings have found depth at the goaltender position as well in Joey MacDonald – .934 sv %, 1.66 GAA.

2. New York Rangers (38-14-5)

As impressive as the Red Wings have been in the West, the Rangers have been equally remarkable in the East.  At this point in time, Henrik Lundqvist appears to be the run away candidate for the Vezina Trophy.  King Henrik is on the cusp of his 30th win of the season and flirting with the highly revered .940 sv % that NHL fans saw Dominik Hasek post several times during his Vezina seasons.  Much like the Red Wings, the Rangers have extraordinary depth from the 1st to 4th line and are guided by a man who knows what it takes to win – John Tortorella. With Brandon Dubinsky performing well below what is expected of him, the Rangers are one forward away from being the most dominant team in the East by a long shot.  Only time, and the trade deadline, will tell if they can resolve this minor problem.

3.  Vancouver Canucks (38-15-6)

Statistically speaking, the best team in the NHL over their last 10 games – the Canucks appear to have hit playoff form well in advance.  To be frank, there really are no loose ends that this team needs to fix with the trade deadline.  The secondary scoring has been operating on all cylinders, Luongo and Schneider have become a two-headed monster, and the defense has hardly noticed the loss of Christian Ehrhoff to the Buffalo Sabres.  The most difficult task for this team in the up coming months will be for coaches, players, and management to stay focused on the game at hand, rather than ponder over the possibility of returning to the Stanley Cup to avenge their Game 7 performance last year.

4.  St. Louis Blues (36-16-7)

By the time the 2011-12 NHL season draws to a close, regardless of where the Blues finish, the term “the Hitchcock effect” really ought to be considered by Merriam-Webster for the 2013 dictionary.  Currently, at 79 points and 4th in the league Standings (4th in the Western Conference) the Blues are only 8 points (or 4 wins) away from matching the 87 points that the team put up last year in just 59 games played.  In spite of all the great goaltedning duo’s in the NHL, the Blues really have something special going with Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak.  Where other goaltenders may resent the competition for the number one spot, the two seem to use it as motivation to perform at their best every night.  And isn’t it fitting that a comeback team like the Blues is composed of a few players that should be up for comeback performer of the year.  David Perron and Andy McDonald both suffered from severe concussions for the majority of the season, and both players are now back in the starting lineup and have made the Blues a legitimate offensive threat come playoff time.

5.  Boston Bruins (35-20-2)

The B’s have not had their most impressive last 10 games; However, the Bruins have been able to maintain their league leading goal differential of +58, and their strangle hold lead on the Northeast division in the Eastern Conference.  But the Bruins could be treading down soon enough due to pivotal injuries to Rich Peverley and Nathan Horton.  Both forwards have produced over 30 points, and are crucial to the success of the superstarless Bruins offensive unit.  These injuries may force management to trade away some draft picks and prospects to pick up some much needed help before the deadline of February 28th.  But for the time being, the ship is steady as she goes.

6.  Nashville Predators (34-19-6)

It may not be possible to overstate the importance of Pekka Rinne.  With 32 wins on the season, Rinne is just one shy of matching his career best 33.  And although Rinne does not have the most impressive sv %, shutouts, or goals against averaged, it goes without saying that no other goaltender plays a more important role on their team in the league.  As for the rest of the team, the new addition of the towering Hal Gill may pay huge dividends for a team that is looking to go deep into the playoffs this year.  A season veteran and Stanley Cup Champion, Hal Gill is yet another big name on the blue line for the Barry Trotz to experiment with.  Now that the offense is producing on a regular basis, it appears Trotz and Nashville management are trying to re-institute the conservative, defensive style of play that the Predators have built their reputation, and success, upon.

7.  New Jersey Devils (34-20-4)

When was the last time we saw a New Jersey Devils team where Martin Brodeur was not the star player? In the eyes of many around the league, this season is being regarded as Ilya Kovalchuck’s real, first season with the team.  Plagued by injuries and misfortune, the Devils were one of the teams that dwelt in the basement of the league in 2010-11.  But all of that seems far in the past, as Kovalchuck, Elias, and Parise all have produced over 50 points each.  Veteran power forward Dainus Zubrus has also resurrected his carer with 34 points.  But back to the goaltending – Brodeur has played sensational in his last couple starts, while Hedberg has been able to fill in wherever needed.  The Devils certainly are a legitimate playoff contender in the East – the two big questions for this team are: Will they add any depth at the deadline? Which Martin Brodeur are we going to see for the rest of the season? Old man? Or the Hall of Famer?

8.  Pittsburgh Penguins (33-21-5)

The Malkin train just keeps on rolling for the Penguins.  Geno has raised his season total to 71 points, including 32 goals and 39 assists.  5-4-1 in their last 10, the Penguins appear to be showing the effects of missing Captain Sidney Crosby, despite the contributions from Jordan Staal and Kris Letang.  The Penguins have really been on a remarkable year long run in which they have maintained their status as a powerhouse team in the East, without their star player (and the best player in the NHL).  With Crosby’s future still uncertain, the Penguins may have to consider looking for some additional support via the trade deadline, if they intend to be a force to be reckoned with in the Spring.

9.  Chicago Blackhawks (32-21-7)

In hindsight, it seems that the Blackhawks would have rather not had an NHL All-Star game/break, because since then the team has not played up to snuff.  This second half disappointment is the result of a team that has overall underperformed – Forwards, Defense, and Goaltending.  Still, the Hawks appear to be turning out of this funk, and are poised to return to the top of the league. Although, a deadline move for a improvement at the goaltending position would certainly help the Hawks chances this year…..something for Joe Quenville to think about.

10.  Philadelphia Flyers (32-19-7)

Speaking of goaltending issues, is there any team suffering from poor play between the pipes than the Fly guys?  Although hockey is a team sport, almost all of the blame has to be attributed to the poor play of Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky all season long.  Both goaltenders are at an identical .900 sv %, which is hardly acceptable, and the goals that has been let is as of late have been very weak.  Even Flyers commentator Bill Clement was willing to place all of the blame on the goaltending after the 6-4 loss to the Penguins the Flyers suffered this weekend.  If this team manages to find any help or improvement at all in the crease, they will excel in the playoffs – if not, they will be hitting the links after the first round.

11. San Jose Sharks (31-19-7)

The Sharks have fallen from grace as shown in their 4-5-1 record over the last 10 games.  Similar to the two teams above them in the rankings, the Sharks are also suffering from poor play from their goaltenders.  After his very impressive first 2 years in the NHL, Antti Niemi has shown that he is indeed human, dipping under his average sv % at .914.  On the bright side, the Sharks still have one of the deepest teams in the NHL and have been able to hide Niemi’s poor play by averaging 2.82 goals per game.  Still, this team cannot break through the Western Conference Finals if they cannot get Niemi back to his form from previous years – even with Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski, Couture, Clowe, Boyle, Burns, etc…

12. Ottawa Senators (31-22-8)

For the first time in several years, the Senators find themselves in the role of buyer during the trade deadline.  After the All-Star Break, the Sens have quietly been hard at work, doing everything they can to prove they belong in the playoffs.  Undoubtedly fans of the Senators are pondering the possibilities for their team with a player like Rick Nash on deck – but for now the Senators have other issues that need attention.  With a goal differential of just +2, something has to give if this team plans on making it into the top eight of the East come the end of the regular season.  Anderson’s play as of late has been less than satisfactory, and his GAA is almost at a dismal 2.9.  Yet another team that could use a improvement or upgrade between the pipes going forward.

13. Phoenix Coyotes (29-21-9)

8-1-1 in their last 10 games, the Coyotes have once again become relevant in the playoff picture.  Upon the uproar of criticism of Ilya Bryzgalov in Philadelphia, it seems the Coyotes have actually benefited from letting go of Bryz for Smith – Mike Smith that is.  With a .928 sv % and 25 wins, Smith has been consistent all year long for the Coyotes.  Unfortunately, the play of Captain Shane Doan has been sub-par as of late, but Ray “The Wizard” Whitney is having as good of a season as he has ever had in his 19 year career.  The Coyotes may not have the depth that other playoff bound teams in the West may have, and at the same time they cannot afford to give too much away.  With that being said, a huge trade in the near future may be out of the questions for the Coyotes.

14. Florida Panthers (27-20-11)

Mike Millbury may have said it best during NHL Live last week when he said that the Panthers were “the only team in the Southeast Division that looks like they want to make the playoffs.”  Although the Panthers recently took a loss from rival Southeast competitor, the Washington Capitals, they have been able to sustain a minor lead in the division.  At the beginning of the season, many questioned how the handful of free agents that Florida signed would come together.  Thankfully for management, the Panthers have developed into a success – for now.  Although, the Panthers seem to follow suit with this edition of the power rankings, in the sense that goaltending is their biggest issue – as indicated by their -18 goal differential.

15. Calgary Flames (28-22-9)

Much like the 2010-11 season, the Flames appear to be mounting a late season rally to find a way into the playoffs.  Mikka Kiprusoff is back to his All-Star form with a .924 sv % and 27 wins on the season.  While on the other hand, the Flames are led offensively by veterans Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla, and welcome the return of Calgary favorite Mike Cammalleri.  A big trade is exactly what this team needs to fend off the bottom eight teams of the Western Conference in pursuit of a playoff spot.

16.  Los Angeles Kings (27-21-11)

Still almost no scoring from an otherwise stagnant offense.  Nothing has changed over the past two weeks to be honest.  It is still all about Quick, Kopitar, and good coaching.  Just another team that is practically foaming at the mouth to bid on Rick Nash.

Google No Longer the Golden Child?

August 19th, 2004. Although it seems like a lifetime has passed since then, it has only been seven and a third years since Google announced its IPO. At the time those 19,605,052 shares were valued at $85 per share. Fast forward to present day and approximately $497.27 per share and you have the Internet giant that is Google.

The company is comprised of a variety of products such as Google Translate, Google Maps, Google Images, Google Plus, Google Earth, Google Chrome, Picasa, Gmail, YouTube and of course the crowned jewel of the operation – the Google Search Engine. Just one look at that list of products and services would have any CEO of an Internet associated company jealous – or at least that was the case just a year or two ago. Surprisingly enough, there is now a CEO that Larry Page and Sergey Brin may actually envy – that man is Mark Zuckerberg.

Since its origins in 2004 (the same year of Google’s IPO) Facebook has taken social networking and the Internet itself to a whole new level. However, the company has gained the majority of its popularity within the past three years. In fact, from 2008 to 2011, Facebook managed to jump from 100 million to 800 million users.

*All Rights and Data are reserved to Facebook

From Mr. Zukerberg’s dorm room, to the computers of high school and college students, to the board rooms of Fortune 500 companies, Facebook has asserted itself as the most powerful company in cyberspace. Once portrayed as a diversion from reality, Facebook is now defines the term modern communication and has seemingly overtaken Google, Yahoo, and all other competitors as the Industry leader.

In just six years time, Facebook has caught and surpassed Google in terms of consumer attention. This phenomena has been true since September 2010, when marketing research firm comScore first reported that Americans spent more time socializing on Facebook than searching with Google.

*All Rights and Data reserved by comScore

With all of that being said, an enormous amount of hype has been built concerning the Facebook IPO, which as of Wednesday, was confirmed by analysts to open with an initial $5 billion issuance of stock. However, there seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to this highly anticipated stock: Facebook’s stock will crash and burn much like that of LinkedIn. Or Facebook is strong enough to defy any negative conceptions and is poised to make a lot of people, a lot of money. Unlike many other companies of the Dot com era, Facebook has products and services that have been proven to be wildly contagious and sustainable for the long term. Another component that assures Facebook’s continuing success is the fact that the site is a marketer’s dream come true. Facebook has become a pivotal resource for companies to track consumer behavior and publicize their products. Reports indicate the in September of 2011 alone, Facebook reached over 750 million users.

Ultimately, the advertising space is where the money lies for Facebook. But the company as a whole is rock solid and coming out of 2011 with a whopping $1 billion of profit from sales of $3.7 billion. And along with a product that has more than tripled in popularity in the past 3 years, it would seem that Facebook is not only here to stay, but ready to take the stock market by storm. The other day, CNBC threw out the interesting, and rather hilarious, statistic that upon its IPO, each of Facebook’s 800 million users would be worth approximately $125 to Wall Street investors. And much like in 2004 before Google’s IPO, all there is to do now is wait and see. (It’s also worthy to note the symbol FB is available for Facebook to use in the market.)

The Price of a New York Education

One of the many nationwide epidemics that has caught recent attention in the United States is that of increasing tuition prices.  However, most of these ridiculous pricing increases have come at the collegiate level.  But it seems that in the city of New York the irresistible trend of hiking up tuition has found its way into elementary, middle, and high school education as well.  In fact, throughout the past decade the price of education in grades K-12 have risen 9 percent higher in the city of New York than the entire nation.

With prices of the top 18 schools in the city on the verge of reaching upwards of $40,000 for tuition, several thoughts begin to rush to ones mind.  Perhaps those thoughts may best be personified by one word – outrageous.  The Independent schools of New York city have driven the parents of the children attending their schools to what I can only describe as insanity.  In fear of not being accepted to these schools, that will undoubtedly bout well for their children’s futures, parents have remained relatively quite in spite of these prices increases.

However, those that have stood up and had the courage to complain have attributed the majority of the price increasing to the rising salaries of teachers, state of the art facility expansions, and construction/repair of aged buildings.  Granted, building upkeep is vital to these schools existence, but teacher compensation and every classroom having a SmartBoard may not be a top priority on the list of these parents when they are signing those fat checks.  On the other hand of the argument, proponents of the prestigious New York city Independent schools believe that a number of these schools now offer advanced after school activities.  Many of these Prep schools have swimming pools, numerous gym’s, art studios, and theaters, providing students with almost endless opportunities while resembling the infrastructure of a well financed private high school.

At any rate, perhaps what is most the most puzzling conundrum of this situation is the willingness of endless amounts of parents to forfeit enormous amounts of money for their children’s education during their K-12 years.  One of the many things that New York city is famous for is the New York Stock Exchange, where financial wizards invest countless American dollars each and every year.  But it now appears that the NYSE is not the only market in the city that requires a large sum of capital.  After all, $40,000 is no small investment, and for the sake of these parents bank accounts I certainly hope those investments pay off.