Thoughts From the NHL’s Opening Week (and a Bit…)
It’s been a little while since I posted – what with my own attempts at stopping pucks and my commitments elsewhere to the blogoshphere!
But the new NHL season has my creative juices flowing again and the first week or so of action (both on the ice and off it) have left me with a few thoughts early in this new campaign.
Hitting a Streak or a Skid in the Opening Weeks
Every year some teams start hot, others cold. Panic, praise, euphoria and pessimism are handed out in equal dollops by fans and pundits eager to try and establish early on whether the glass is half full, or half empty for their team this season.
A reference to a conversation with a General Manager made by CBC’s Elliotte Friedman in one of his recent blogs (Here) pretty much hit the nail on the head for me – it’s pretty difficult to really establish where teams are going inside the first 10 or so games.
So for all those cheering or lamenting their teams start to the new campaign, just remember it’s an 82 game season!
As an Avs fan it has been nice to watch a quietly confident start from the team this year.
Whilst I still believe an instant return to the post season will be a bridge too far for this young roster it is refreshing to see a healthy Avalanche side performing well together. If they can avoid another string of injuries I’m confident this group can grow together and can once more be a force in the NHL.
Equally strong early showings from Phil Kessel have given Toronto fans cause to celebrate. Whilst only the truly insane would suggest Kessel will continue at this electric scoring pace (though some have predicted Gretzky like scoring from him…) for the whole season (after all, he’s always been a bit streaky and tends to score in bunches) an apparent improvement in his defensive game and work ethic can only boost the Team USA forwards value to the Leafs as the franchise continues to confidently move forward.
A swift congratulations to Jonathan Quick (no pun intended) who recorded his 100th win against Phoenix yesterday.
Colorado’s 5 game road sweep was also a small milestone in the teams history, representing the first time the club had ever achieved such success on the road.
Best of the Rest (of the Web)
A couple of quick shout outs for some other great sources of hockey news and views.
The first is another British based NHL blog that I am involved with – http://www.pucksATP.com
The sites really picked up lately, with contributions from a number of writers and the ever enjoyable podcast with Aaron and Bradley. (The podcast can also be found on iTunes!)
The second goes to the newly founded Backhand Shelf blog on The Score network in North America – http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/
Featuring posts from ex-AHL/ECHLer Justin Bourne (whose work I am a big fan of), former Puck Daddy Radio host Rob Pizzo and a number of others its quickly become a favourite of mine, along side the normal outlets such as Puck Daddy, THN and TSN
They’ve also started a podcast of their own this week, with Rob and Justin at the helm; and again it is available through the site or iTunes!