- The National Hockey League really needs to do a better job in making the start of hockey season an event. The NFL does a great job of that, and everyone loves opening day of the baseball schedule. This week I've had lots of good hockey fans stop me in the streets because they did not know when the NHL season started.
- Prediction time, Western Conference: I think Vancouver will have a monster regular season, but as much as I want to pick them to win it all, Detroit scares me. They've got great depth up front, Nicklas Lidstrom on defense, and, perhaps most importantly, a superior coach in Mike Babcock.
- I think Chicago will be fine in the regular season. Due to depleted depth, their core players will all get more ice time this season, carrying them to a strong showing. That lack of depth will eventually catch up with them in the playoffs.
- Los Angeles will be a team to watch to this season, but so will Edmonton. The youthful injection of hope will carry the Oilers to a strong showing. If Nikolai Khabibulin can return form (and that might be a big if), the Oilers might even challenge for the final playoff spot.
- Prediction time, Eastern Conference: Washington, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are the class of the East, with New Jersey, Buffalo and I think Boston will also do well. Washington has the horses to capture 1st place.
- Who will be the NHL's leading scorer? I'm going to guess a healthy Evgeni Malkin returns to form this season. He and Sidney Crosby will power the Penguins. I never predict Alexander Ovechkin to win the scoring title because one of these years his physical and at-times reckless play will see him blow out a knee or something eventually. Is this the year? I think both Henrik and Daniel Sedin will challenge the 100 point mark again this year. One of those five players will win the Art Ross Trophy
- Who will lead the league in goals? Again, I'm not going to pick the odds on favorite Ovechkin for reasons already stated. Crosby, Steven Stamkos and Jeff Carter will all be in the hunt should Ovechkin miss any time.
October 06, 2010
Pucks On The 'Net
It's time to put some pucks on the 'Net: