*Author's note. Things are still pretty busy and even though I still got to watch some hockey these last few days =) - I was still caught out of computer range for a few days. I hope that'll be temorary, but if there's not as many updates as I'd like to make, that's why.*
So the Rangers opened their season! To a strange pre-game presentation that included Blue Man Group (to which I said ?????) and no player introductions, which I had the following to say about.
Simply it was very Tortorella. Very much how I'd expect him to want this team to be. No names. The name on the front being more important than the name on the back, and all. As much as I always look forward to those pre-game player intros, I didn't mind them playing up the whole one team united angle, if that's what they were aiming for.
The game was good. It wasn't without it's moments, but what game isn't. Del Zotto's gaol was the cherry on top. The fans went nuts for this kid and it was great to see.
Dubinsky appears to be getting showered with boos and not only Doos by the fans, which I guess to some degree is understandable. I'd never deny that considering he was the ONLY guy who could play with Jagr after Nylander was shown the door, that he was one of the most valuable players here, and I know he is worth more than some of the other players on this team (to remain nameless) and that he knows it to, which is why I can't disagree with him on his holding out. It's a players decision and I would never argue for or against, that's all I am going to say.
Except that I don't care what he did as long as he keeps scoring goals. This team needs that!
The powerplay movement has looked better. I mean, truthfully, I'm not going to be so dumb as to say that the powerplay can't possibly be any worse than the previous year - been there, done that, see 08-09 NYRs - but can I just say what a relief it is not to see Gomez, Drury, Naslund, Rozsival, and Redden come over the boards each and every freakin' time.
Hank looked brilliant at times last night. Which he'll need to be that and more at times to get the Rangers through the rough patches.
Overall, thought it was a good effort and a good team win.
Which brings us to the Coyotes and Kings who opened up their season in Los Angeles. The Kings looked kinda flat and Quick looked rather pedestrian in nets, but damn those Coyotes were flying.
To quote the Kings broadcast team:
"Phoenix is a very fast team. They are going to move the puck around because they skate so well...Phoenix's forwards can absolutely fly."
"Everyone in the NHL can skate, but the Coyotes, they have a speed on their team that is so effective."
"The Coyotes have come to play tonight; that much is obvious."
And it was obvious to me. Maybe, just maybe, they really can use all the horrible drama that has been happening as a springboard to becoming one of the most unified teams in the league.
Boy, would I love to see that!
They got off to a good start last night, being relentless with their puck pursuit.
The pepperpot - Prucha - was hitting like, well, like only he can. Good energy from him and the team tonight. Noticed two things in particular about his game.
One was on a play around 7:40 into the 2nd when he was passed the puck and dodged through what looked like at least two Kings to take a sweeping shot on net. Not really sure how it stayed out but the important thing is his continuation to keep control of the puck and to take the shot. Anything can happen.
And it did on Vrbata's goal, where the Czechs teamed up for some magic. Pete's first point of the season. Smiling I'm sure.
I certainly was.
Around the League:
The big questions/thoughts on my mind.
Umm, Vancouver, two big losses in a row. What happened to the Stanley Cup parade?
Florida looked pretty good overseas, no?
Will this Versus thing get figured out soon? I know a few Rangers fans who are not going to be happy missing the Rangers/Devils game tomorrow?
Ray Emery - legit?
Alex Ovechkin - something to prove? Yikes!