Good morning one and all,
Ha, the season has barely started and the Leafs are on track to go 82-0 and deal a deathly blow to the fancystat crowd. Wayne Simmonds had a penalty shot, Jonathan Bernier stopped it (he was excellent in his Leafs debut btw), and Simmonds started smashing things. Frankie says relax.
Anaheim played a game as well but I think nobody remembered to tell them preseason was over. The score was 6-1 or something. And there was a coaches fight! Boudreau vs. Roy. Roy flipped out because of a late hit by Ben Lovejoy on Nathan MacKinnon, and pushed the glass in on Boudreau. Roy was always kind of crazy, but Boudreau is a tough old nut. Will Dan Bylsma do something to upset him on Oct. 21? Of all the ways one can die, getting murdered by Patrick Roy would be a good way to go. Note to self: mark all Avs-Wings and Avs-Canucks games as must-see TV.
Anyways, the most important thing is the Pens are going tonight. The Devils are in town, and there are some new faces, but the same old style. Our one-time hero Jaromir Jagr is back in Pittsburgh donning yet another jersey. Apparently his picture was quietly removed from the circle of greats in the Pens locker room this summer, replaced by Mark Recchi. Jagr wasn't completely eliminated but it is kind of a weird situation.
One of the biggest questions for the Pens this year will be how effective the penalty kill is going to be. In 2011-12 it was excellent, but then with the departure of Jordan Staal it was far more difficult, and now Matt Cooke is gone and some guys are going to have to step up. The Flyers spent 13 minutes on PP against the Leafs, and their PK (and Bernier in particular) stepped up to the task beautifully.
The Rangers open today as well and since they weren't able to reach a deal with Henrik Lundqvist, he has removed himself from contract talks.
There goes another UFA goalie. Ilya Bryzgalov is reportedly close to signing with ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers. Not that he necessarily has to play, what with being paid $25M over the next 14 years to not play for the Flyers.
Last but not least, never mind non-hockey-people's voices for end of pointless fighting. Steve Yzerman, Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford all voiced their opinion it's time for it to go away. If that wasn't credible enough, here's this:
I support views of Steve Yzerman Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford on their opinions for Addressing most Fighting Issues Poll all Players— scott bowman (@coachwsb) October 2, 2013
So, the first game of the new season is nearly here. Let's go Pens.