Hockey Is Back

Happy Hockey!

It’s officially opening night. Can you smell it? It’s the smell of popcorn and spilled beer in a brisk environment of 13 degrees Celsius, with little kids kicking the back of your head.

True story.

Last year, I did a season preview for all 31 teams in the NHL and it took me forever. I was still writing previews, two weeks into the season.

This year, I’m giving myself a one hour time limit to write a preview of every team. It will be suitable for all audiences, so if the non-hockey fans haven’t tuned out by now, please stay.

Throughout the season, I hope to write more about what’s going on in the league.

Four of you are looking forward to that.

Without wasting any more time, here’s my 2018-2019 NHL Season Preview.

Anaheim Ducks: I don’t see them making a waddle for the Cup this year. I’m so sorry.

Arizona Coyotes: Every day is, “Take Your Kid To Work Day” with this team.

Boston Bruins: The longer Zdeno Chara’s career goes, the worse the Senators look for choosing to keep Wade Redden over him all the way BACK IN 2006.

Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel is entering his 4th NHL season. He is 21-years-old. Life is not fair.

Calgary Flames: We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning, since the world’s been turning. I like their top line. Need a goalie, though.

Carolina Hurricanes: They crank a siren, invite Ric Flair to multiple games, and play Rock You Like A Hurricane when the team comes out. That’s as generic as it gets.

Chicago Blackhawks: I just watched a shaky video of a team practice, to see if Patrick Kane has a mullet. From my vantage point, he does not. Maybe he should bring it back.

Colorado Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon is getting more comfortable in his annual Tim Horton’s commercial with Sidney Crosby.

Columbus Blue Jackets: They’re built like a team straight out of the early 2000s. They should wear the blue undershirt under their jerseys, to make it official.

Dallas Stars: They’ll be joining the Calgary Flames and Philadelphia Flyers in the “We thought our goalie would be good, but he wasn’t” mid-season therapy session.

Detroit Red Wings: Just a beautiful logo. How is Jimmy Howard still around?

Edmonton Oilers: I own an Oilers 3rd jersey – the one with the big oil drop that looks like an asteroid. I also own an Edmonton Eskimos jersey. I have an inexplicable connection with the city of Edmonton.

Florida Panthers: Oh, they’re still a team?

Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty is Chris Chelios and Scott Niedermayer warped into one.

Minnesota Wild: Do they even have a star player?

Montreal Canadiens: Quel désastre. J’aime ça.

Nashville Predators: Is Carrie Underwood still going to attend games and watch from a private box, even though her husband retired? What’s the scoop, y’all?

New Jersey Devils: I really like the dynamic duo of Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier. Going forward, they’ll have to build depth at forward, but this is a good start.

New York Islanders: Thank you for John Tavares. Don’t boo him. Boo whoever it was who decided to put a car in the front row behind the net.

New York Rangers: For so long they tried to build their roster like a typical New York team, going after name value and older players. They’re finally giving the kids a chance.

Ottawa Senators: Quel désastre 2.0. Their concession stand prices are as outrageous as Toronto, which I (and other Leaf fans around me) wasn’t expecting.

Philadelphia Flyers: Their ice workers, who stand by the glass all game, wear obnoxiously bright orange shirts. Please stop. Oh, and Gritty is starting to grow on me.

Pittsburgh Penguins: My favourite episode of Pingu was when Pingu and his sister made too much popcorn while their parents were out, so they picked it up off the floor, put it in boxes, and gave it to neighbours…who had no idea it had been on the floor.

San Jose Sharks: Does the salary cap not apply to them?

St. Louis Blues: Former Leafs, Alex Steen and Tyler Bozak are playing on the third line together. They might as well trade for Phil Kessel, at this point.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Nikita Kucherov fell to 10th in my fantasy draft, which means I had to take him, and abort my initial strategy. This better pay off.

Toronto Maple Leafs: The goaltending depth is gone. The defence needs to prove itself. Mitch Marner is adding $10,000 to his next contract every time he steps on the ice. William Nylander might not even be in the country right now. And Mike Babcock still calls everyone a “real gud pro”. But we have John Tavares, so we’re winning the Cup. See you on Yonge Street in June.

Vancouver Canucks: They’re going to surprise some people this year. Won’t make the playoffs, but won’t be a pushover.

Vegas Golden Knights: I really hope their elaborate Medieval Times skits encouraged other teams to be more creative with their pre-game theatrics. A dark arena and cheesy pump up video of the players skating in slow motion isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Washington Capitals: They’re still celebrating their Stanley Cup win.

Winnipeg Jets: I still don’t like their logo. Maybe I have to tilt my head to see it better, but the maple leaf and jet just don’t go together, for me. The leaf underneath is stretched out like an early drawing of Woodstock – the bird from the Peanuts comic.

Enjoy the NHL season!

What are your thoughts on the upcoming season?

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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22 Responses to Hockey Is Back

  1. YYYYYAAAAAASSSSSSS!!!!

    Also Gritty is the devil and we can’t be friends now lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. markbialczak says:

    Happy hockey, Paul, from a too-long-suffering Islanders fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ariel Lynn says:

    New Jersey Devils: Their team name is a double negative, I just realized that.

    Please explain your thinking on this matter. Tread lightly – I’m a Jersey girl. 🤨

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Ha, well Devils aren’t necessarily positive, and most people who go to New Jersey seem to complain about it for one reason or another.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        It’s not “Devils,” in the religious sense. It’s, as far as I know, a reference to an urban legend of a beast roaming the forests of the Pine Barren area in NJ. True, that might not necessarily be positive either.

        But, as for the people who go to NJ & seem to complain for one reason or another, that’s anecdotal. I’d wonder if those people find something about which to complain regardless of what they’re doing. Saying that NJ is a “negative” isn’t quite fair if you’re not asking people who live here. It makes me sad that you see New Jersey as negative. 😢

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you or New Jersey. I’ll change it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        I should’ve used more emojis &/ “LOLs.” Something to show I wasn’t seriously offended. There’s no need to change anything. 😁

        I’m used to my home state being the butt of numerous jokes. Most people base them on stereotypes, which are true in some areas of NJ, to be sure. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, living here.

        But, being 45 minutes from NYC, 2 hours from Philly, both giving access to some of the best art, history, sports, & riots of all time, having 24 hour diners – most independently owned & operated – within 20 minutes in any direction, & gorgeous farm, hiking, & reservation land all over the place? I don’t think I could consider living anywhere else!

        I mean, if I can afford it, that is. LOL 😄

        Don’t believe other people’s opinions – if you ever make it out this way, I volunteer to be your personal tour guide. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Lol no it’s ok, I felt bad about it. I know people who have gone to New Jersey who didn’t like the airport. I’ve also heard unsafe things about Newark which is where the Devils play. And then in the wayyy back of my mind is Jersey Shore, even though I know they don’t represent what New Jersey actually is. So all of that put together brought me to my comment.

        You can be my tour guide as long as there’s food involved!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        Aww. I’m sorry if I made you feel bad. I didn’t mean to do it.

        OK, well, yeah, the airport sucks. But, the same can be true of any international airport! Honestly, I think it’s way better than JFK or La Guardia!

        Newark has a bad reputation. Part of it is well-deserved. However, where the arena is is a safe area. Lots of large corporations have businesses along that stretch of highway. Parking is terrible, but, hey, it’s an arena. The revamp they did a few years ago was sick! A friend’s boss had season tickets so we got to go to the fancy buffet & sit in the 12th row or so.

        Jersey Shore… dear G-d. I don’t wanna touch that one, but, to be fair, all of those “stars” grew up on Long Island, NY. The shore itself is also pretty awesome, as far as boardwalk games, food, rides, &, y’know, the ocean.

        Oh, you’d better believe food will be involved!!!! We have a great immigrant population so the various ethnic foods have high-quality representation, plus those 24 hour diners, & the countless pizzerias (I’m not even talking about the chains – 5 independent pizzerias deliver to my house that I can think of off the top of my head). 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Haha so we’re both sorry?

        I’ve never been on an airplane or been to an airport so I don’t have any standards for airports yet lol

        The arena in Toronto was built so it could connect directly to the subway which was smart because driving in Toronto is impossible, so parking would be doubly impossible.

        Yeah, I felt bad that Jersey Shore gave New Jersey that reputation when those people weren’t even from there. The boardwalk did always look cool on TV.

        You had me at 24 hour diner…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        I’m glad we’re both sorry? Darn you, empathy! LOL

        Oh wow. Well, for when you do go to an airport, they all suck. Except maybe this one I saw in a YouTube video on Asian culture/things you’ll only see in Asia; it has a koi pond, spa, & other amenities to make the airport a part of one’s vacation all on its own. That one’s pretty cool.

        The Toronto arena sounds really well thought out! You gotta pay for parking in Newark, but it’s worth it. Parking on the street anywhere in NJ is a gamble.

        So, the “Jersey Shore” is separate from the NJ boardwalk & shore. That stereotype’s busted right there. Also, pizza slices bigger than your head. Probably bigger than yours & mine put together. 🍕 🍕 🍕 🍕

        Oh, dear, dear, Paul… if I got you with 24 hour diners, we’ve got so much more to show you in NJ. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. QP and Eye says:

    Just one thought. Where’s the popcorn ?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bryan Fagan says:

    Spending the first 30 years of my life in Northern Washington, 80 miles north of Seattle, I kick myself for not heading up to Vancouver to see a game. A buddy of mine lives in Dallas and I’m due a trip. Next time out I’ll see my first NHL game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      You’ll love it! The TV doesn’t do justice just how fast the game moves in front of you. Speaking of Seattle, it looks like they’re getting a team in 2020!

      Like

  6. Bryan Fagan says:

    It will be fun. I usually go in the fall so hopefully I can time it just right. I’d like to see a Canadian team. I heard about Seattle. Hard to figure that one out. We love football and basketball in the Northwest.

    Portland has their basketball, Seattle has their football. Baseball is a little better now that they blew up the Kingdome. It was like sitting inside a concrete bubble.

    We are still crying over the loss of our NBA team but hockey? I can’t see it. There is no exposure. Clearly somebody’s smarter than me. Maybe it’ll work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      In university, I had an assignment where I had to watch a 2 hour documentary on YouTube about the Sonics (I believe it’s called SonicsGate) and how they left Seattle. It was quite heartbreaking to see how it played out. And the fact that the OKC Thunder now own the Sonics’ history, is ridiculous to me. I think it’s only a matter of time before basketball returns to Seattle.

      As for the NHL, I think they see Seattle as a major league city and feel like they can get in there and establish a hockey team before basketball returns. The hockey team would almost act as a conduit to bringing the Sonics back because even if the interest isn’t as high for hockey, I bet they sell out every game and make it one of the best atmospheres in the league, just to send a message to the NBA.

      That’s my theory, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bryan Fagan says:

    That makes sense and who knows, hockey in the Northwest might work. We do love physical play. Football is crazy out here. I live just down the road from the University of Oregon and game day is nuts.

    This will give me a reason to take a road trip to Seattle. It’s a beautiful town. If this brings back the Sonics it will be worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dutch Lion says:

    Love your Preview Paul. Great work. Regarding Pat Kane, I bet he still has a mullet. He almost always does. I’m not sure he’s ever NOT had a mullet. I love Kaner. He’s from Buffalo. Fantastic player. One of the most skilled players ever. Have you seen his puck skills videos where he weaves in and out of other pucks? Incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I hope he still has it, I just couldn’t see it in the one video I saw. He puck skills are ridiculous. I’d say he makes it look like a video game, but he’s crisper than a video game game.

      Liked by 1 person

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