Friday, September 29, 2017

NHL Friday, September 29, 2017;
Another Long Boring Hockey Post

On screen: MN Wild

I'd like to live somewhere where, in the middle of winter, I can attend a hockey game in a T-shirt and shorts. I envy the NHL fans in Florida, LA, Dallas, San Jose...where walking down the street wearing a winter jacket with the wind freezing your face as you approach the stadium doesn't exist. Hockey in a warm-winter state...I'm not sure that life gets better than that, at least for me. That, and winning the PowerBall lottery.

Out of the big five sports websites, NO ONE apparently cares to list pre-season scores other than ESPN. Not even our two daily "bird cage liner" newspapers. Oh -- but if it was the MN Twins, the local media would report on the very first moment a player shoved chewing tobacco in his mouth. And if was the Vikings, the local media would be going gaa-gaa, blubbering breathlessly, reporting the unlocking of the gate and opening the fence at training camp.

You can't watch the local news and not hear the news anchor or a sports reporter remark -every single day- on the countdown, " it's only [insert number] days until Minnesota hosts the Super Bowl. " 1) I don't give fuck. 2) The Vikings will not be playing in the Super Bowl. 3) As they are both famous for doing, the Vikings and the Twins will disappoint their fan base by playing well up until playoffs. Then, they'll play as if they've never played the game before and lose.

Our NBA Timberwolves? Feh - don't care. What's the point in watching an entire NBA game? It's a complete waste of time. One need only tune in for the last 2-4 minutes of any game.

31 NHL Teams; Newest Addition: Vegas

But back to the Sport of Kings and its pre-season. Again, all pre-season data I'm using is from ESPN's NHL.

Last Sunday, my first 2017-18 NHL post,  had eight teams undefeated. As of noon today, Friday, only two teams remain undefeated; The Florida Panthers and the NY Islanders, each with a record of 4-0.

Winnipeg and Montreal had not yet won a game last Sunday, but since then, The Jets have scrapped up two wins leaving Montreal the sole win-less team at 0-6. Their next chance of putting up a win is Saturday, the 30th, when they play Calgary with a 2-3 record.

On Sunday, the MN Wild (3-0) occupied the top slot and Colorado (1-2) was the sixth of seven teams in the Central Division. Today (Friday the 29th), The Avalanche climbed up and are number one with the Wild sitting at number 2; each at 4-2; so really, they're tied for top slot. The difference is minor statistical crap.

The NHL's new addition to the family, the Vegas Knights ("Golden" Knights, but that's the final time I note that part of their name...too many keystrokes),  last Sunday were at 2-1 and today 3-2. They occupy the third slot in the Pacific Div with The Oilers on top at 6-1 and LA second at 4-1. Not a bad start for the new team on the block.

Since Sunday, upward moves in the Division standings include Philly, who were #6 and today #3;  the Atlantic Div where Florida occupied #5 and today are on top; Central's Colorado were #6 and (as I mentioned above) are at the top slot; and the Pacific Div is basically unchanged except for Vegas moving up and Anaheim and Arizona trading places for # 6 and #7 respectively.

Toronto went from 4th place to 2nd.

How can you not watch a game that offers action like the below?

Drops include Ottawa, 3-0 and ranked #1 last Sunday who are now 3-2 and sit at 4th place; Metro Div is basically unchanged other than the bump up of Philly. The Islanders and Devils traded places as #1 and #2 with NJ grabbing the top slot and NYI #2. And Ottawa dropped from first to fourth place.

Games tonight include:

Florida - Montreal (I have to think FL takes this game, but nice if Montreal could get their first win).

Islanders - Buffalo; Buffalo is 1-3; NYI 5-1. I'll call this a NYI win, final score 3-2.

Toronto (4-2) - Detroit (2-3); this is a toss up for me. Toronto has the better record but, never ever ever doubt or write-off the Red Wings.

Carolina (4-2) - Washington (1-4); one may think Carolina has the edge here, but The Caps were fierce last season and were in the play-offs. The Caps know they need to get out of their slump. I'm putting this is the "toss up" category.

Happy Pucking!

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