Sunday, September 24, 2017

My First Long Boring Hockey Post for the 2017-2018 NHL Season

On screen: The MN Wild

It seems like it was only yesterday that the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup. Actually, it was June 13th, - so yeah, almost yesterday. Kind of.

The 2017-2018 NHL Season is here.  Okay, officially it's the Pre-season. I'd hate to be accused of publishing "fake news."

To date, every team has played 1 to 4 games as of Sunday morning. Five games are scheduled for today, Sunday, and at the time of writing this, none of them had a final score or are night games.

I track my own, unofficial "Fantasy NHL" team(s) here, and track my predictions of wins, losses, goals and win/loss in playoff series. Of course I'm a MN WILD fan(atic), but there's really no NHL team I dislike. It's more of which team I want to see win in any particular match-up. And that's always the Wild when they're playing. If you are so inclined, please join in, in the comments section with your NHL thoughts, favorite team(s), predictions, anything. There has to be some NHL fans who stop by here - - join in! Nothing beats hockey talk. Nothing. (Well..."Walking Dead" conversations with other WD-Heads...right up there.)

Newest Addition to the NHL

The following is as of noon, Sunday the 24th (do you realize it's 3 months until Christmas Eve?)

The following teams are undefeated in pre-season games:

Central Div: MN Wild 3-0
Pacific Div: Edmonton 4-0; San Jose 2-0
Atlantic Div: Ottawa 3-0; Florida 1-0;
Metro Div: NY Islanders 3-0; NJ Devils 3-0; Penguins 2-0

Two teams are win-less. Winnipeg (Central) 0-2 and Montreal (Atlantic) 0-4 (ouch!)

What's new, you might ask, this season? Well, a brand spanking shiny new expansion team was added, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. They're in the Pacific Div with 2 wins, 1 loss.

The Metro, Atlantic and Pacific Div's each have 8 teams. The Central Div has 7 teams. Adding Vegas brings the number of NHL teams to a nice, even round number of 31. NHL's so easy.

Back to the newest addition to the league, Vegas. I don't know about you, but the first thing that enters my mind when I think hockey is Las Vegas. How Vegas managed to exist this long without an NHL team is the 8th Great Mystery of the World. I'm joking, I'm happy there's a new team and look forward to watching them play and see how they fare.

Quick recap of last season: The Penguins beat the Nashville Predators taking The Stanley Cup, making it two consecutive wins, something not done since back to back wins by the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-1998. The Preds seemed to float under the radar last year and then boom - were crushing their opponents in every game.

As with all sports, a team is only as good as who is on their injury list. It's way too early to make any predictions, but we can likely expect to see above-average performances by some of The Usual NHL Suspects: The Pens, the Blackhawks, Philly, the Rangers, Boston, Ottawa, LA, Buffalo and one can never dismiss Detroit rocking the ice.

MN Wild owner Craig Leipold said, "anything short of winning the Stanley Cup would be a disappointment." That's jumping the gun. It is not inconceivable that the Wild could win TSC, they played well last season but were eliminated by St. Louis in first round playoffs.

Looking at a list of all the teams, it's just too early to pick who will have a great/good/poor season. I do think we'll see better and improved performances by the Islanders and the Devils, both who had tough seasons last year.

Well, my First Long Boring NHL post is published and the 2017-2018 season is here. Oh yeah, one more thing. You would never see an NHL player diss the American Flag, our National Anthem or an invitation to the White House.


Phil said...

It's been so long since I have watched a hockey game that I couldn't tell you when it was.

We played street hockey out in front of the house when we were kids on the asphalt street. The puck was real light and made out of thin plastic and it was hollow. We used real sticks with plastic hooks on 'em and wrapped a bunch of electrical tape all around the puck to make it heavier.
Damned if I can recall why I quit watching hockey it's been so long.

David Drake said...

Yep, I played that same street hockey, and in winter, on ice. Not on any high school team or anything, just fun scrap-hockey with friends, buddies.

Those lightweight plastic pucks sucked, didn't they ?? :)

The NHL had a bit of an upswing in TV audience over the past few years. Then it dipped a bit. All depends on which teams are playing. A televised game of the Rangers or Boston vs LA is going to get more viewers than Columbus playing Winnipeg. I think stadium attendance remains loyal, hockey fans are just more devoted than fans of the NFL, NBA, MLB. Just my opinion.

Heck, all the teams play their heart out, plenty to check out and maybe get back into watching. The sad part is unless one subscribes to the NHL Network, the only free-TV broadcast games are on Saturday or Sunday on NBC. More games were televised until that fucking NHL Network and NBCSN contracted for all the broadcast rights.

Always great to hear from ya, Phil. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.