Tuesday, October 9, 2018

My Official First, Long, Boring NHL Post for the 2018-2019 Season

It's official. The 2018-2019 NHL Season is here (has been a couple days). But it seems like hockey just ended! It did. On June 8,  when Washington won their first-ever Stanley Cup against Las Vegas. Vegas is an expansion team, last year being their first season. And they somehow navigated their way into the Stanley Cup, losing the series 4 to 1. Prior to their loss, LV was slicing and dicing their way on the ice, carving their opponents on an almost un-stoppable path to The Cup.

Since it's been 124 days  since June 8, the NHL has to be the only major league sport with that short of an off-season. Can anyone think of a sport with less time off from the game?

Let it be recorded in history that this is my first, official, long, boring, NHL 2018-2019 post. If you like teh hockey, chime in, leave a comment. If you're not into hockey, might I suggest reading from any of the entries on my blogroll to the right.

The season is early. I don't write much about it until the second-half of the season. But let's see where the teams are starting.

Besides, you've been looking forward to my long, boring, NHL post, right? Kind of like you wait for the Long Boring Christmas Family Update Letter From (Insert name of relative here).

A lot has changed and some team-shuffling occurred between the close-out of pre-season  below, and with the opening of the new season.

2018-2019 NHL Pre-season Standings, September 30, 2018

Yes, things have shifted from the above graph to the one below. 

Detroit was dominating their division in pre-season, a little more than a week ago. Now, they've dropped. The shuffling out of the rest of the teams in the Atlantic Division appears as one expect. Ottawa came on strong last season, making it to the playoffs. Boston is Boston and season after season always is a tough opponent. Toronto has high expectations for itself this year.

Central's Chicago went from pre-season ranking of bottom-dweller to top dawg. Tied in W/L with Chicago (but Chi tops with points) are Dallas, Colo and Nashville. All contenders. Will St. Louis struggle with a slow start? Minnesota...I'll get to them.

The Met and Pacific division teams all have settled out where they are in W/L, in a not-unusual NHL new season start. Carolina and the Islanders are doing something right. A bit surprising, the Rangers are winless.

In the Pacific: Vegas will be on everyone's watch-list, this being year two. Arizona needs a good year, but will they have one? No idea here. You?

Edmonton dominated pre-season and has tanked. The Ducks and the Kings have their stuff together, so far. Calgary? San Jose, who played so well when they played well in last season's playoffs, will be tough. Vancouver another team needing a good year.

Returning to the MN Wild. They played Vegas on October 6. The Wild scored a goal in the opening minutes and held a one-zero lead over LV. LV scored with slightly more than 90 seconds remaining in the game. It went into one OT, both teams scoreless, so, tied 1 - 1.

The Wild lost in a shoot-out.

The shoot-out has to go. It does. It was never a good idea to begin with and never should have been implemented.  Would you decide the winner of two, tied NBA teams by a free-throw contest? Decide a tied football game with a series of field-goal attempts? Decide an MLB tied game by pitcher vs hitter determining a winner by requiring a home-run be hit?

Return Winner/Loser in tied NHL games being decided by a series of unlimited, FIVE-MINUTE overtime periods.  Workout the details...two, five minute overtime periods. If score remains tied, ten minute break both teams, then return to ice for two, five minute overtime periods (or only one - the "third" OT -  if a team scores, obviously). Repeat process until one team scores within the 5 minute OT. These OTs aren't going to go more than 15-20 minutes. It's not that hard, is it?

The Wild...they have work to do. Zach Parise is back, which is great. The Wild should consider hiring an exorcist who can forever banish the demon whereby the Wild fail to take any advantage when on the power play, less, that they give up a goal while on the power play, which they have done...way too often.

Coach? Doesn't matter. Goalie? Doesn't matter. Team Captains? Doesn't matter. Team roster? Doesn't matter. The Wild need to do a 180 on executing their power plays and once they "get it", it must never be un-learned.

My first, long boring NHL Sermon for the 2018-2019 season has ended. May you be Blessed and go in Peace, Eh.
Fixed Typo 10/12/2018

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