Welcome to the 2006-2007 NHL regular season!
just about everybody having their opinion on what team will finish where and
why, I feel it totally unnecessary to continue to over analyze a season which is
barely a week old.
been said just as much can be accomplished with one sentence as can be with
a paragraph, and I’m going to prove it here with 30 of the most relevant hockey
one-liners you’re bound to hear all year.
We’re just barely a week into the new season, so bring on the games, and
bring on the one-liners!
Anaheim Ducks – The mighty may have fallen from the team name, but the Ducks
are icing their mightiest lineup ever.
Atlanta Thrashers – This should be the year the feisty birds learn to fly.
Boston Bruins – At first glance it seems as if Andre the Giant has converted
from wrestling to hockey, but in actual fact it’s only Zdeno Chara.
Buffalo Sabres – With their new uniforms they may look like a cross between
the Nashville Predators, Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams, but the Sabres have
picked up where they left off last season.
Calgary Flames – Miikka Kiprusoff will make a legitimate run for his second
straight Vezina Trophy, but besides him, I can’t for the life of me figure out
what all the fuss is about.
Carolina Hurricanes – An 0-4 start for the defending Stanley Cup Champions
(as of this writing) is simply unacceptable.
Chicago Blackhawks – Rumor has it they’re still playing hockey in the windy
city, and Martin Havlat wants to keep it that way.
Colorado Avalanche – No Pierre Lacroix + No Rob Blake + No Alex Tanguay = No
Playoffs, or so I’d like to believe.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Please see Atlanta Thrashers and replace birds with
Dallas Stars –Brendan Morrow has been handed the captain’s torch as Mike
Modano continues playing for the only NHL team he has ever known.
Detroit Red Wings – Motown sees it fit to give Dominik Hasek a final curtain
Edmonton Oilers – They won’t miss Chris Pronger as much as everyone seems to
Florida Panthers – Todd Bertuzzi can run but he can’t hide in South Florida.
Angeles Kings – Marc Crawford and Dan Cloutier attempt to get the city of
angels back in the playoffs, that is, of course if Sean Avery can keep his mouth
shut long enough.
Minnesota Wild – Management hopes the addition of Pavol Demitra will spark
Marian Gaborik, but conventional wisdom will tell you Jacques Lemaire won’t
Montreal Canadiens – Sometimes the best moves you can make are the moves you
Nashville Predators – It doesn’t matter how many goals you can score if the
other team can score more.
Jersey Devils – Lou Lamoriello, one of the masterminds of the new CBA
continues his tenure as master of the swamp.
York Islanders – The first and (hopefully) last team to ever sign a player
to a 15 year contract.
York Rangers – “They say the neon lights are bright, on Broadway…”
Ottawa Senators – John Muckler’s days as general manager in Canada’s capital
are numbered, and he knows it.
Philadelphia Flyers – They haven’t lived up to their name in a very long
time, and this year it’s the same old story in the city of brotherly love -
plenty of talent, no goalie.
Phoenix Coyotes – With his rookie coaching campaign behind him, Wayne
Gretzky looks forward to bigger and better things from the desert dogs.
Pittsburgh Penguins – With a potential new owner and a plethora of exciting
draft picks, the renovations of the house Mario built are nearing completion.
Jose Sharks –
A full 82 game schedule with Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo
on the roster should translate into quite a few (more) trophies, and perhaps the
Louis Blues – John Davidson may have left the broadcast booth, but if former
Team U.S.A. teammates Bill Guerin and Doug Weight can’t get it done he may be
back there sooner than he hopes.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Blowing 75% of their salary cap money on their top
line has given Bolts management no choice but to go with substandard
Toronto Maple Leafs – With a new coach, a new goaltender, and a new
attitude, there is hope once again in the Big Smoke.
Vancouver Canucks – Roberto Luongo adds some stability in net to an
otherwise mediocre squad, led by the “Ikea Line” – Markus Naslund & the Sedin
Washington Capitals – Calder trophy winner Alexander Ovechkin is the real
deal as he enters his sophomore campaign.
me something – and I want an honest answer, not a political “right wing”
approach – how is it Tie Domi can grace the airwaves on TSN when no team wants
him and neither does his wife, yet Belinda Stronach thinks he’s the greatest
thing since sliced bread? Seriously, I have to admit, after looking way out of
place on opening night,Tie is starting to grow on me. However, I think Domi
would be much better suited as a color commentator, why not swap him with Pierre
McGuire, who I’ve thought for years would be a better fit for their hockey
sort of related note, I know high definition television is the place to be
nowadays (and I know I work for a cable company but that’s not my point). I
really wish broadcasters would stop employing the widescreen angle camera shots
on their regular broadcasts, especially in shootout situations – I wouldn’t mind
actually seeing the puck go in the net once in a while without having to watch
Welcome to the Blackberry Centre? Could we be hearing this on hockey
broadcasts in the future? If the chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion
(RIM) has his way, then we may see an NHL team land in Hamilton yet. Jim
Balsillie, has all of a sudden emerged as the new owner in principle of the
Pittsburgh Penguins. Of course, that is, if the Penguins aren't able to secure
their own destiny in Pittsburgh. The Mellon Arena lease is up in June of next
year, and team officials have teamed up with Isle of Capri Gaming, who have
reportedly donated somewhere in the neighborhood $300 million towards building a
new arena in Pittsburgh. The deal should certainly put the hockey club on
solid financial ground, as RIM’s reported revenue last quarter alone was
reported at $613.1 million (and as someone who has sold a Blackberry device or
two, those figures are not surprising to me in the least – it seems everybody
wants one). But, just hold the phone for a second (pun intended). In order to
make another major sports franchise work north of the border, particularly in a
market where one of either the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres/Bills or
Hamilton Tigercats rule, I think it goes without saying any prospective owner
will need a substantial fan base. Sure, the Penguins are rebuilding themselves
into an exciting team, but here’s my concern – the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs play
at Copps Colliseum and on many nights can’t even fill up half the arena. How
does anybody think they’ll be able to sell enough tickets to be able to fill up
a building which would need to provide double or triple the seating capacity for
the NHL to even consider approving such a deal? The issue isn’t having an owner
with deep pockets, it’s selling the game to a city who may not even show up for
the games. Not only that, getting the team to leave Pittsburgh will be a chore
in itself. Does anybody believe for one second Gary Bettman will even allow a
team to set up shop in Canada after having to seeing two of them move south
during his tenure? I guess the fact this story seems to resurface every couple
of months would suggest the powers that be are certainly open to discussion, if
nothing else. Stay tuned next month for rumors of Wayne Gretzky moving the
Phoenix Coyotes back to Winnipeg. Enough already!
After watching more than a few games already, I learned the shootout has
been adjusted to allow the home team to decide who shoots first. While a subtle
adjustment, is it too much to ask for five shooters per side instead of three?
On a side note, I wish I would have known about this before I reviewed the EA
Sports NHL 07 game because then I would have been more critical as to why there
wasn’t a toggle option in the game.
wouldn’t be officially hockey season without a goaltender controversy in
Montreal. Cristobal Huet was expected to be the starter after a stellar season
in net which essentially helped the Habs clinch a playoff spot. Nowadays, the
man Jose Theodore was traded for, David Aebischer, has been getting the bulk of
the work after Huet lost the first game of the season in a shootout. Aebischer
has now won two straight games, which already doubles his win production from
one year ago. Far be it from me to offer criticism, but I honestly can’t
imagine why this is even an issue. Surely the fans and media must know it’s
best to play a hot goaltender, and clearly new bench boss Guy Carbonneau hasn’t
forgotten this tactic from his playing days. Don’t plan the parade just yet,
there’s still a full season left to play.
Peter Forsberg reportedly doesn’t like shooting in the shootout, claiming he
doesn’t have a good enough stick? Maybe it’s time to go back to wood instead of
slate or graphite or whatever it is they’re made of nowadays. Can you just
imagine if baseball started making bats out of Plexiglas? It’s kind of the same
premise, isn’t it?
know it’s early, but if I know one thing from last season, it’s to expect
the unexpected. The playing field has never been more level, and while I don’t
expect much to change for the usual bottom feeders, I do expect every team to be
competitive and have a chance to win. I expect to see a few more of the newer
expansion teams make it to the dance, namely Atlanta and Columbus, who both
should have their best seasons yet, on paper. It wouldn’t surprise me to see
Carolina miss, if the first week is any indication. But, as I always say,
anything can happen, and usually does.
Enjoy the season everybody, and keep it locked right here!