Posted - 10/22/2003 : 11:55:54
Contibuted by: Pat Beaulieu
With the NHL season barely two weeks old there isn't whole lot to say just yet. However since I have an opinion on everything here are a few things I've picked up on.
Is it just me or is every game ending 2-1? Oh sorry, two games did end tied 0-0 on the same night! No biggie though, I mean, it's only been 69 years since that last happened.
I thought the idea was to have the sport evolve not dissolve. Who needs sleeping pills? Just add one half Minnesota Wild and another half Anaheim Mighty Duck; stir slowly, so as not to excite anything (or anyone) and...voila...you'll be sawing logs in no time. Imagine if those two teams met in the playoffs when things really get tight, who could watch that? What's that? Although, they did meet in last years Western Conference Final, what a shock that i can't remember a single game from that series. I have a feeling that unless you lived in Minnesota or Anaheim you can't either.
While i'm on the subject of the Ducks , is Mike Babcock still a genius now that they've come out of the gate flatter than a week old soda pop? And is anyone surprised that Sergei Fedorov has started slow? Anaheim was counting on the Russian smoothie to
provide leadership and scoring with the departure of Paul Kariya. The problem is that Sergei is no longer surrounded with vets like Steve Yzerman and Chris Chelios, not to mention, Scotty Bowman. With Detroit he wasn't needed to lead, just play and whenever his motivation waivered (and frankly who's wouldn't with Anna
Kournikova around) Bowman et. all could put him back in line. I know it's early but unless JS is gigantic in net again last year's Ciinderella could turn into pumpkin again.
One player who has been a treat so far this year is Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk. He was named player of the week after recording 7 points in his first 5 games. A very encouraging start from a player with superlative talent that the Thrashers are counting on to help them salvage a season that has started on such a tragic note. (the passing of Dan Snyder and the uncertain future of Dan Heatley) Kovalchuk has cut down on the hot dogging and selfishness that plagued him in the first two years. He is now becoming the force that we all envisioned him as when he was tabbed No. 1 overall in '01. The only sad part about this story? It is that 7 points in 5 games gets you Player of the Week honours. 7 points in 3 games used to be utter mediocrity for Gretzky in his prime. He'd be rolling over in his grave if he weren't already in Phoenix. (or still alive)
Finally, i hate to be an "I told you so" kind of guy, but... Eric Lindros, out 2-4 weeks with a strained shoulder and John LeClair out with a broken foot suffered in the warm up of the first game. How could two humans built so big like these two be injured more than mighty mites,Cliff Ronning and Daniel Briere? Hope you rememberd my advice when you were picking your hockey pool. (see my previous article, POOL PARTY!)
One injury i didn't predict was Al MacInnis. Although doctor's say surgery to repair a
detached retina was successful, no timeline has been set for his return. This has left some to speculate that if it keeps him out of action all year, then with an impending lockout and potentially no hockey next year, we may have seen the last of Macinnis. Hopefully that won't be the case and the classy rearguard from Inverness, Nova Scotia can go out on his terms. Lord knows he deserves as much.
Feel free to agree or disagree. Let me know what you think.
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