Long time readers of GreatestHockeyLegends.com will recall how my television died just days into the 2008 playoffs.
I lucked into a ridiculously good Futureshop.ca online only sale last weekend and have finally ordered me my new Sharp Aquos. Hopefully it will arrive early next week, just in time for the first Canucks game.
Tonight I sat down and watch some pre-season hockey for the first time since the Stanley Cup finals wrapped up. I don't put any stock in the pre-season but I actually enjoyed both games tonight.
I watched the Vancouver Canucks-Calgary Flames tilt. The Canucks look as good as Miikka Kiprusoff looked bad. I know there is a lot of doom and gloom in Vancouver right now, but I came away from the game feeling pretty good about things.
We still have Roberto Luongo in net (thanks Dave Nonis). We still have perhaps the deepest blue line in the league (thanks Dave Nonis). If they can stay healthy we'll pick up a few more points right there. And the thing I think I felt best about was that we have some pretty good depth and emerging talent up front (thanks again, Dave Nonis). I'm not sure anyone will ever emerge as an elite talent, but we got some good players.
Later I also watched parts of the inaugural Victoria Cup, which I recorded.
The Victoria Cup, named after Montreal's long gone Victoria Skating Rink where the first recorded hockey game was played back in 1875, features the European Champions Cup winner test their mettle against an NHL club in a one game exhibition showdown.
This first year featured Russian power Metallurg Magnitogorsk playing the New York Rangers in Bern, Switzerland.
I gotta say it was a pretty good tilt. I expected Magnitogorsk to be up for this game. They're already a dozen or so games into their season and for many of their players this is the game of their lives. I was worried the NHL veterans would take to the game lackadaisically since it was the Rangers last exhibition game before game one of the NHL season.
The Rangers started slowly and fell behind 3-0. Thanks to a strong power play the Rangers stormed back to tie the game at 3. Then, with just 20 seconds left, Rangers youngster Ryan Callahan scored the dramatic and memorable winning goal.
It was a spirited game featuring growing animosity which we all know usually makes for a great game. The Russians played smart hockey while the Rangers showed increasing enthusiasm.
Perhaps it was the 1,000,000 Swiss Francs that were on the line (plus some reports of other financial rewards for the Russians), but both teams put on a pretty good show, which is what was needed to see the Victoria Cup grow in the future.
It's good to watch some hockey again!