Here we are, a month into the NHL season, and
certain trends are starting to appear. The sample size is getting large enough
that we have a good idea which teams are contenders, and who have serious
flaws. It also means that we've enough information to start chirping about the
things we were right about, or to quietly eat crow over the things we got
Since it's always easier to brag, I've decided to write a
column of 'Confessions', basically public admissions of how little I know about
the NHL. This may undermine my credibility as a writer, but I just need to get
these things off my chest. Come to me, sweet absolution!!!
So, I was
I thought the 2017-18 San Jose Sharks were primed for a step
backwards, and after they dropped the first two games of the season, it
appeared that I would be correct. However, the team has righted itself since
then, in large part due to the efforts of Logan Couture and Martin Jones.
Seeing younger leaders start to step makes me optimistic for the short-term
future of the club, and perhaps beyond.
When I first heard that Joe
Sakic was holding out for a king's ransom in return for Matt Duchene, I thought
he was nuts. After all, here was a depreciating asset that clearly didn't want
to be in Colorado, and by all accounts was turning into a cancer in the locker
room. With each passing day I felt the return would get worse, and yet here we
are in November, and Sakic just netted 3 players plus 3 picks for Duchene.
Kudo's to him.
I was fairly convinced that the Edmonton Oilers would
win the Pacific, and that the Montreal Canadians were not as bad as everyone
thought. Well, the Oil are near last in the league, and the Habs are a mess.
I'd bet on Edmonton bouncing back, but don't listen to me as I clearly know
Back in August I began to seriously root against the Arizona
Coyotes. I don't like their GM, the league largesse in keeping them in the
desert, or the way several pundits earmarked them as a team to watch. They
seemed like the perfect foil to hate, but after 2 wins in 13 games it's clear
they aren't worthy of my hate. Time to switch the focus back to LA.
Allow me to join the long line of people who thought Las Vegas wasn't going to
be good this year. I know, they've mostly played at home and the adrenaline
hasn't worn off yet, but it's impossible to say the Golden Knights haven't been
successful. Watching them play, and the pure joy of their fanbase and players,
has made me realize we all might be a little too jaded, and could benefit from
just enjoying the greatest game on ice.
Finally, I was wrong about
refereeing. I thought the players wouldn't, or couldn't, adjust to the new
stick infraction and faceoff rules. But, over a month into the season I see
signs of positive change in the game. Scoring chances are up, the excitement
level has been increased, and everyone is slowly starting to get the idea that
the stick isn't a weapon. It's made the game better, and I was wrong to doubt
it. Now, if only we could do something about the size of goalie equipment
that'll never happen
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