The NHL season is finally here.
Tonight the puck will drop in four arenas:
Montreal @ Toronto
Washington @ Boston
Vancouver @ Calgary
San Jose @ Colorado
It's great to have games that mean something once again.
One of the best things about a new hockey season is that you have no idea what's going to happen.
One of the favorites could end up in the basement because their star player breaks his leg.
A bad team could ride a hot goaltender all the way to the playoffs.
A fat guy could lean too far forward while watching from his front row seat and break the glass, stopping an important game and killing someone's momentum.
No one knows what is going to happen.
That's why it's so exciting, because anything can happen.
And just like every team starts the season with optimism, every team also starts the season with questions.
Here are ten answers we'll be looking for during the season.
It's Hockey Night in America tonight.
Great time to be alive.
We'll probably never agree with Ovechkin again.
But he's right when he says "Drop the puck" in that stupid Versus commercial.
As opposed to the West, we actually did an East Preview last season.
And we got 7 out of 8 playoff teams.
But that means nothing.
Guaranteed 90% of whoever is reading this probably got 7 out of 8 right.
So, after the jump is our look at the East for the upcoming season.
QUICK CALL TO ARMS:
If you have NHL Network, "Is This The Year?" is being looped this morning. (Thursday)
At the 40-minute mark of the show (8:40am, 9:40am, 10:40am, etc.), coming out of a commercial break, they show clips of Fitzgerald scoring on Barrasso in the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals.
If you can get those clips on YouTube, you're getting a shirt from storeblog.
Jump for the East preview.
If you hung around cblog last season during the playoffs,
you know that a monster photoshopper arrived on the scene.
The talented Mr. Fitz brought some of the sickest shit we've seen.
Our only regret since leaving blogspot is that so many classic 'shops are hidden now. Google had a program that saved all our old photoshops on blogspot to some album. We have over 7,000 shops in our archives there. [Shops]
So we encourage you to make a photo album of your photoshops. If you have one. Please send them.
After the jump, a look into the sick shops of Fitz.
Paul "Biz Nasty" Bissonnette was been picked up off of waivers by the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Pens also added to their line-up, claiming former Washington Capital Chris Bourque.
Chris is the son of Ray Bourque.
"I'm excited to get a chance with Pittsburgh. They won the Stanley Cup last year and they'll be raising the banner Friday night. That will be fun. Hopefully, I can stick with the big club the whole season"
-- Chris Bourque
Bissonnette will likely get a chance to play in the desert, something he couldn't get in Pittsburgh.
You'd have to think their line-up is slightly easier to crack.
The Western Conference is like that homo who is in your unofficial parking spot at work on random days. We would look back at our Western Conference preview last year and see how we did, but we didn't even do one. Most of our knowledge for this preview revolves around watching NHL Network's preview show and, you know, sort of being immersed in everything NHL for 8 months out of the year.
Pens championship rings.
They got them last night in some ceremony.
[Courtesy of Penguins.com]
[penzer in cblog]
Also, Rick mentioned the Pens signed former wild dman Martin Skoula to a contract earlier on Tuesday.
Minnesota blogger [Deuce by Definition] gave us his thoughts.
For the masses who don't know of Martin Skoula, aside from the "puck poise" jokes, he was terrific for us (the Minnesota Wild) last year, and has become a real solid, defensive defenseman. He's also a guy who can step into a top 4 role in a pinch and not look out of place, and the more minutes he gets the better he is. He's not Bobby Orr, but he'll chip in occasionally on offense. Real strong on his skates, and very durable. Dude is a rock, he just doesn't get hurt.
Exactly the kind of guy you need on your blueline, because injuries/illness/etc. is bound to happen.
We have to agree. A vintage Shero move. We like it even more because it means that Bayda dude probably ain't making the team now even though Shero signed him. He probably did it on the behest of Letang to pay Bayda back for that throat shot in the ECF.
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There was a time, in the middle of the summer, when a wire story about a Maple Leaf prospect and a fake trade rumor were the only hockey stories you could read in a day.
Those days are over.
You can tell the NHL season is around the corner because there is now something to read in the "Hockey" sections of most major websites.
It's no longer all about Dany Heatley, Jim Balsillie and the mismanagement of the Chicago Blackhawks.
No, now people are actually talking about what is going to happen on the ice.
After the jump we'll give you a few things to read.
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Next Tuesday someone will be pissed off because the Pens are 1-1. The Tuesday after that, someone will overturn their computer desk because Pascal Dupuis missed an open net.
Its time to rock and roll.
P.S. the Pens signed Ryan Bayda.
We'd have the link but the Pens website is still loading. Defy your sac.
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