Time to fire up the old bloggy blog machine and talk a little hockey.
– I am ready for this season. Last season was short and compact. It seemed like every night was a game to care about. I was not pleased with the lockout, was a little burned out from the compact schedule, and my favorite team was horrible. Also, I was finally playing rec hockey, so I didn’t have much time in watching hockey. Right now, I’m excited. Let’s go, hockey.
– A commercial on the CBC just said 1 in 3 kids can’t afford organized sports. Yeah, no kidding. I just bought new shin guards (my old ones, which I loved, cracked), and the lower end ones I got were $75. A few years ago, the same pair would have been $40. Skates are amazingly expensive, and sticks are ridiculous. My hockey season is costing me $500 for 20 games and two playoff games. Just about every sport if cheaper than hockey to play. Just horsing around with a puck is expensive – ice time, gear, etc. You can play catch for cheap, basketball takes a ball and a park. It’s out of control.
– George Parros hit his face on the ice during a scrap with Colton Orr. Orr had a grip on his jersey a he went down, pulling Parros with him. It was a scary sight, as you can see in the replay below. Good luck to him. The CBC crew noted the NHL implemented the new rule about fighters removing their helmets. It goes to show that you never know what is going to happen. Bigger guys, faster game. (update – Parros has a concussion and is being evaluated at the hospital)
– The entire reason Parros and Orr fought in the first place was because PK Subban grabbed Orr by the head and wouldn’t let go. It was a move that could have been avoided. Parros did what he was hired to do and stepped in. It makes me wonder if Subban would chose the same action again. Sometimes messages are sent, and that’s what Subban was trying to do. Sometimes, the message comes back: cut the $#!+.
– Toronto’s power play looked pretty bad. Lots of desperation, lots of confusion. It’s too early to tell what they will look like down the stretch, but they have to clean this up.
– The Blackhawks raised their Stanley Cup banner tonight. The video leading up to the ceremony was awesome. I loved the hockey cards at the end with the players as kids. The rest of the ceremony was drawn out and dull. I’m sure it was special for the fans, but it could have been about five minutes shorter. Thank goodness Coaches Corner was on. And I don’t say that very often.
– The Canadiens had their player introductions and opening night ceremony, and while passing the torch from a former player to a current one was nice. Passing it from player to player through the lineup took way too long. Again, special if you are a fan of the Habs, but not so special if you are waiting for the game to start.
– The excitement of the Blackhawks / Capitals game and the Leafs / Habs game was a stark contrast to the Jets / Oilers game. It’s like a wine and cheese party in Edmonton. Perhaps it’s the audio mix and where the microphones are in the arena, but the tone sure was muted.
– The Wednesday Night Rivalry commercial on NBCSN sure is violent. Know what’s missing? Goals. Skill. You know, hockey.
– The new Canadian olympic jerseys are out in public, and everyone is screaming about the black one.
I think it’s fine. Aside from the trend to make every jersey look like a practice jersey, this isn’t the worst thing that could have happened. I’ve had mixed results with Team Canada jerseys, and if there is major printing on the logos, you can be sure I won’t be buying one. But if you think this is bad, don’t forget what they wore for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. It’s not as cool as the old black Team Canada jersey. Not by a long shot.
– Most people seem to think the Colorado Avalanche didn’t address their defensive issues from last season. I would say it was simply addition by subtraction. I don’t take much stock in plus/minus ratings, but Greg Zanon, last season’s +/- “leader” with -16 was bought out, Ryan O’Byrne (-8) was shipped off to Toronto at the trade deadline, and Shane O’Brien (shockingly even, but I think we can call it -0) was traded to Calgary. Even though O’Brien was in the doghouse for part of the season, that’s still three regular blue liners gone (check out the photo TSN used for his player page). It paves the path for some younger guys, giving Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott (who was sent down to Lake Erie) a better shot at steady ice time. They brought in a few guys, like Cory Sarich and Andre Benoit, so it isn’t that they didn’t do anything, it’s that they didn’t do anything big. And big may not be the answer right now.
But if you want to know what my podcasting partner and myself think about the upcoming Avalanche season, listen to the newest edition of the Avs Hockey Podcast. Find the latest episode here, and subscribe in iTunes by clicking here.