[NHL] On The Blue Line

Much like the NHL and it’s union counterpart, it took me WAY too long to get things back on track and finally slap something together for IP Sports. And unlike the NHL, the quality of the product won’t be getting any better here.

In any case, I promise that this will never happen again and if there ever comes a time when I feel that I need to step away, I’ll do it before I sink into the sad form that Brett Hull did before he woke up and realized it was time to call it quits.

Many things have happened since my last column, the biggest thing being that the damn NHL season started! But there’s no reason to bother with covering all of the happenings that took place since my last appearance so we’ll stick to current items of note such as this past Monday’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction which included Cam Neely. ANY fan of hockey can tell you that having to see Cam Neely retire much too early was a huge blow for the NHL. Most certainly beloved by Boston fans, Cam Neely was very much revered all throughout the NHL. As much as fans wanted to see Ray Bourque win a Stanley Cup, fans wanted the same for Neely. Unfortunately, thanks to an unwilling hip, Neely didn’t get as much out of his career as he could have. In the end, knowing that he’s finally a part of something that can perhaps make up for his shortened career is a comforting thought…if not, then Bruins GM Mike O’Connell probably puts it best: “There are a lot of not-so-great players that have won the Stanley Cup. But there’s only great players in the Hockey Hall of Fame.”

Last Saturday was the first ever shootout in Los Angeles Kings history when the Kings defeated the Predators 3-2 on Jeremy Roenick’s hardly controversial game winning shootout goal. Staples Center was electric, the players were tossing out theatrics, the announcers were excited and the fans were loud! It was a terrific atmosphere that could only have been made better had everyone in the audience been SITTING DOWN!

It’s unbelievable to me how EVERYTHING is a cause to stand up and make noises over. Maybe it was just the people around me or maybe it wasn’t. Either way, if you’re in front of me at a hockey game and you’re not skating on the ice, please, PLEASE, don’t get up and high five each other on every goal. Don’t get up and start screaming when a fight breaks out, don’t even stand for the national anthem…just stay seated, please!

Thank you.

One thing that is good to see is the St. Louis Blues sucking gas. If you can’t even make it to the Stanley Cup finals once or twice during a 26 season run in the playoffs then it’s time to bow out and let someone else in on the hunt. I hear nothing but good things about St. Louis (Well, about the Cardinals at least, but they’re neck and neck with the Blues in regular season dominance before failing to live to expectation in the playoffs) but there’s a down time for every franchise and St. Louis has been showing some of that time thus far this season. On the other hand, you have teams like Nashville and even Minnesota, who did virtually nothing to improve itself in the off season, having good records that could easily find them in the playoffs this year. Nashville has been slowing down a bit after a hot start but it’s tough to see them letting up for extended periods of time. Especially with such a fast group of players, they’re certainly a fun team to watch.

What you should try to watch this week

Leafs Vs Habs this Saturday.
Wings Vs Canucks this Sunday.

There are plenty of other games that should be good this weekend, but those are two key matchups. The Red Wings are the best team in the league but haven’t had too many games against teams with .500 records…something that the Canucks are high above. And there is NO reason needed to watch the Leafs and Canadiens play against each other and if you need one, you’ll discover plenty of reasons during the game. A massive desire to see Eric Lindros fail should be one of them, however. Just so you know.

See you sooner than last time.