Four months later, past the bullshit mediation, “cautious optimism”, and what have you, the NHL season (whilst cut in half) is finally here. Well, we still have about a week yet. But at this point most of us are just happy that there’ll be a season at all. A sub par performance so far by the AHL affiliate, Wilkes Barre/ Scranton Penguins, which has been making me lose hair, even more so than I already am, has had me itching for some NHL action. And the lack of W’s by the Baby Pens isn’t my only reasoning.
I work a pain in the ass, blue collar job. I’m an “up at 5:30, work at 6AM” person, and I wish it meant Monday – Friday went along with that. Hockey is my one true escape. I could go on about the state of the world in a “times are tough, blah bloo, blee blah, blee bloo” deal to drive the point home, but I won’t. I love getting home, eating, and drinking a few beers watching a team that I have come to love. An entire sport that I have come to love. With that being said, howsabout we take a look at what we have to work with.
- Sidney Crosby: Back up to the top level. Do I really need to give an explanation as to why this is a good thing?
- Evgeni Malkin: Geno has been tearing apart Mother Russia racking up 23 goals & 42 assists. Warmed up enough for a short season, I’d say.
- Jordan Staal: Oh…. as I’m doing research, I see we lost him in a trade at the draft.. I’m sorry, I was at an amusement park that day.
- James Neal: Produced very well, and had one of his best seasons ever last year. As Fred Durst said in the live version of Outside with Aaron Lewis “This is the Real muthafuckin’ Deal, y’all!” Yes, I willingly quoted Fred Durst. You will all have to manage and go forward.
- Marc-Andre Fleury: Nothing but “Flowers” The man is still a solid goaltender.
- Deryk Engelland: Great defensman, and never afraid to step up when needed.
- Ben Lovejoy: regular season, he was pretty average, and was a non factor in the 1st round vs. Philadelphia. But, c’mon! I can’t be the only Simpsons fan who thinks that it’s awesome to have a guy named Lovejoy on the team.
- Brooks Orpik: Decently consistent, always persistent. (Maybe I felt like rhyming, jerks!)
And there’s still the kiddie pool of talent in Wilkes Barre that will be tapped as well.
- Robert Bortuzzo: Good numbers, faired well with his stints in Pittsburgh prior. And he rocks a mustache very well
- Beau Bennett: His jib cuts are top notch thus far.
- Eric Tangradi(?): Familiar with most the team, at least. OK, OK, never mind.
Well, here’s to another season, and to Great Days for Hockey. I leave you with one song that I personally love to listen to on game day.