January 23 2013 06:09PM
Wow. Can everyone please just take a deep breath?
We're only five days into the season, shortened as it may be, and people are treating it as if it's a normal mid-January and these first 2-3 games represent the 34 games that aren't going to be played this year. It's like some kind of phantom season syndrome.
Well, stop it everyone. The rest of the hockey season is gone. It was amputated due to gang-greed!
So instead of thinking of this like a normal January, think of it more like you would October. Would anyone really be talking about the Canucks missing the playoffs if they went 0-1-1 to start the season? No! You would all be thinking, "Hey, we got one out of four possible points! What an improvement!"
But instead, all around the league, you have hyperbolic over-reactions...
Has your team won a couple of games to kick off this short season? Yeah, well big deal. Toronto went 3-0 to start the season last year and they were pretty much out of it by the New Year.
Has your team lost a couple of games out of the gate? I'm looking at you, NY Rangers. Well, relax. You're a consensus pick to win the Cup, so don't worry. It'll all work out. Or maybe it won't. There's a lot of hockey to be played between now and then. The point is there's no need to panic at this point. Just as there's not need to start planning the parade route, right Oilers' fans.
Even right here in Vancouver, it didn't take long for nearly everyone to hit the panic button after the horrendous start to the season that was the 7-3 gong show on Saturday night. Front and foremost, of course, is the one thing that Vancouver Canucks' fans can always be counted on to blow completely out of proportion: goaltending. It doesn't matter if we don't have good enough goaltending, or too much good goaltending, it's going be an issue either way:
Nice to see the fanbase, at least, is in mid-season form.
Other than this hyperbolic hyperbole to start the season, everything else seems to be getting back business as usual. It looks like staged fights are still a thing in the NHL. Yay... yeah, not so much.
On Twitter, the Sporting News' Jesse Spector took issue with two fights as the puck dropped to start the NY Islanders' home opener at the Coliseum versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski quickly jumped to the defense of staged fights, and probably should have been ejected for being third-man in:
@jessespector Besides setting a tone for either team, they're entertaining in moderation. And this is, you know, the entertainment industry— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) January 21, 2013
But really, did that game need to be more entertaining? The Lighting clawed back from a 4-0 deficit to produce a nail-biting finish as the home team hung on for a 4-3 victory. Isn't that entertainment enough? Surely, that's why people bought tickets to: a hockey game.
But whatever. If this really is just about "entertainment," I think the Islanders missed a great opportunity to make that game even more entertaining:
They do play in the Coliseum, after all.
Over at Hockey Night in Canada, the more things change the more they stay the same. PPP has a good run down of the changes to the format for the intermission
clusterf#$k panel discussion. The best part of that whole panel discussion, however, was Eliotte Friedman trying to explain the concept of zone starts to PJ Stock.
There's a lesson in this for all you bloggers out there. If you ever want to get out of your mom's basement, give up on fancy stats, and put on some fancy pants:
Although, I guess in P.J. Stock's case, that should be Big Boy pants. Or should it be poopy pants? I dunno, guess it depends. (There's a PJs/pyjamas joke in there too, but I'm saving that one for another time.)
Finally, I can't sing off this week without coming back to Canuckland and comment on the latest twisty turn in the Roberto Luongo trade saga.
Unless you were hiding under a rock, you would have heard that Mike Gillis dropped another bombshell in an interview with the Vancouver Sun's Cam Cole:
We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have — and it’s not who anybody thinks it is — and so we have to wait.
CanucksArmy's very own Dear Leader, Thomas Drance, made the case that this was essentially a meaningless quote that really didn't offer anything new or of substance. I, on the other hand, have come to the conclusion that it really is a bombshell. The more I deconstructed what Gillis actually said and overlayed it onto the situations facing each of the thirty NHL teams, the more it all became obviously clear:
Now it's all starting to make sense!
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