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.
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?