Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

...Scouts?    

OMFG, IT'S HOCKEY SEASON!!!

I had no idea!  I's flipping channels last night when I stumbled across Versus, once called OLN... lo and behold, it was a hockey game.  A real one.  And a good one, too... Sabres-Canes, the East finalists from last season.  Didn't watch much (I had homework) but I did see how Eric Staal pwned Ryan Miller in the first with a softie.  However, it alerted me that two games will be on TV tonight.  Once I get home, that's where I'll be.

Thoughts:

* In retrospect, though I'm sad the Oilers lost, the Hurricanes probably needed a boost like that.  And they were definitely the class of the East last season.  So, hats off to them.  And to Frank Winslow!

* Anaheim looks pretty good to me.  Unless Ilya Bryzgalov turns back into a pumpkin.  Then they're screwed.  Still, tough to beat a back line of Scott Niedermayer AND Chris Pronger.  Wow.

* Could this finally be the year when the Flyers suck ass?  Cmonbaby-cmonbaby-cmonbaby-cmonbaby....

* The Penguins actually got sold!  Excellent.  Can we move them to Canada now, please?  The new owner's from Hamilton... how nuts would it be for Hamilton to get a team, huh???  Yeahhhhh!!!  Although if I had to pick one Canadian city to get a new team, it'd be Winnipeg.  It just doesn't seem like the NHL without Winnipeg, you know?  I miss the darkly-lit ice.  Really felt like you'd gone into the frozen north, like they don't have as much electricity or something, so it has to be dark like that.  How frigging intimidating would that be?!?  (Very.)

* I put a mini-Bruins preview in the Barbaro Sandwich thread, but here's a more full-blown version.

The best news of camp is that first-round pick Phil Kessel has played his way onto the first line.  Couldn't be happier about that; it means we have six legitimate scoring threats on our front two lines, and it makes P.J. Axelsson one of the most dangerous checking line wingers on the planet.

The worst news is that Hannu Toivonen apparently didn't outplay Tim Taylor after all, as Taylor gets the nod tonight.  I don't like the sound of that.  This is a tough, tough division, with Ottawa and Buffalo poised to contend and Montreal a perennial playoff-caliber team.  They need more than just an OK goaltender if they want to get anywhere.  Taylor and his game (hard work and perseverance, overachiever, scrappy, he's all heart etc. etc.) are more indicative of old-style Bruins hockey; as such, I'd just assume get rid of Taylor.  We don't need any reminders of Harry Sinden.

In short, the forwards are much-improved, and the defense is much-improved with the addition of Zdeno Chara and Paul Mara, but the goalie situation will hold them back.  I bet they finish 9th or 10th in the conference, unless they acquire a better goalie to hold us over until the arrival of Tuukka Rask.

I have to admit, Tim Taylor notwithstanding, it does feel like a different organization.  They have a young, energetic, and apparently competent GM (Peter Chiarelli) who landed the biggest free agent on the market and actually signed a difficult first-rounder instead of playing "hardball."  They have a business-like coach (Dave Lewis) who has no local ties and won't resort to screaming and insults to motivate his team; the first such coach in my 20 years of memory.  And you have a stable of solid players who are more than just "grinders."  I mean, Jesus!  It's like they're a real team.  (Except for Tim Taylor.  GO TO YOUR HOME!!!)

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