Hi everyone! 33 days till puck drop.
NHL 30 Teams in 30 Days series takes a look at the Penguins today. Their projected lines have Jokinen and D'Agostini with Sutter on third, and the regular Glass-Vitale-Adams fourth line. Their designated X-factor is Beau Bennett, and oh boy do I expect great things out of that kid. Sophomore surge. Olli Maatta is their top Pens prospect, but overall their top 4 is the same as what we rated the other day.
Pro Hockey Talk also looks at the Pens defensive depth and how much the team will depend on younger players on cheaper contracts in light of what was recently spent to extend our top 6 players. These kids better pan out.
A recent rule change was directed at goalie equipment, and as a result their pads will be a bit shorter. The Hockey Writers explore whether that will lead to more scoring. As far as I'm concerned, please keep getting rid of goalie equipment, NHL. The less covered Henrik Lundqvist is, the better.
Nick Cotsonika has a really solid article about the emerging superstardom of John Tavares. I don't think a single person would have minded had he won the Hart for outstanding play this past season, and clearly he's only going to get better. Speaking for myself only, even though I let go of my decades-old Isles resentment a long time ago, it was rekindled in recent years, what with the brawl and the classy Long Island fans cheering Sid's injuries twice since last March. That aside, I think the Isles are a team on the rise and to be reckoned with. Tavares will have a lot to do with that.
A little bit about European hockey that is not about the KHL. There is a hockey equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, called the European Trophy. It originated as the Nordic Trophy, when only teams from Scandinavian countries competed for it. Nowadays, 32 teams from various countries divided into 4 divisions take part in the competition. This article looks at the most dominant team of the moment, Berlin Eisbären, reigning champions of the German Elite League (DEL).
A very interesting late-night tweet by Josh Rimer:
Been told to NOT be surprised if the Avalanche deal Paul Stastny to Buffalo for Ryan Miller. Stastny/Miller both headed to UFA in summer— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) August 30, 2013
Pens promotional schedule for the 2013-14 home games was released. I hope someone is going to the January 20 game vs. the Panthers. Pretty please with sugar on top, I want that Dan Bylsma bobblehead. I promise no sticking pins into it. It would be just fun to shake that thing every time I want to reach through my TV and shake him out of his suit.
Let's talk about the 2014 Stadium Series. Everything you always wanted to share but didn't. Do you like it, hate it, are indifferent? Do you plan or hope to go to any games? I'm going to Soldier Field and that's it!
Have a great Labor Day weekend!