Good day to you, fine HW readers. In today's edition of Thought Bubble, I will discuss some moments that made me, you, Wild fans and NHL fans in general go Uh Oh! in our heads (or out loud in my case) during the past week.
Join me after the jump.
Opening panel: First preseason mess.
I say mess, because it wasn't much of a game. The Wild fanbase in it's entirety went Uh Oh! after that mess. Some are saying that it's a sign of impending doom for the season, but the more sensible fans will tell you that it was simply a preseason game, the first one might I add, and it's but a minor blip that we all need to forget and move on from. There were many negatives, which I won't enumerate again, they've pretty much all been mentioned here. I have seen some positives from that game, which are as follows:
1- Khudobin did really good in the third period, not allowing a single goal. We just might see more of him this year, you never know.
2- Cullen was named the third star. Now, I haven't watched the game (or even listened to it for that matter... damn radio link) but for a Wild player to be named a star in that mess, he must've done something right!
3- Our lack of goals wasn't as much a lack of talent as it was phenomal goaltending from Ben Bishop. He made some great saves, 2 of which he narrowly stopped before they trickled in. You could argue that without this guy in net making the saves, the Blues would've been deflated and it would've been a better outcome for the Wild. Of course, you have to put the puck in the net, but let's chalk it up to bad luck this time around, it is the preseason after all. I agree with Bryan, I can't believe he didn't get a star, he was worthy of the first star if you ask me.
4- No one got hurt. There have been a bunch of injuries already around the NHL.
So everyone, don't be in an Uh Oh! state just because we lost the first game, a meaningless game, a training game. You learn, you grow, you keep moving.
Second panel: Oilers' young guns the real deal?
I watched most of the Oilers' tilt against the Bolts. The more I watched, the more I went Uh Oh! Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi-Svenson ripped it up out there! Hall's first NHL goal was a beauty, completely fooling Dan Ellis who got way out of his net to clear it high. Hall would have none of that, grabbing it in the air while flying past the blue line and scoring in an empty net. Paajarvi netted 3 goals and an assist, showing he's got amazing hands, explosive speed and a hell of a shot (see his third goal, wow). If these guys can really have this kind of impact right away, the Oilers are suddenly a very dangerous team. As division rivals, this isn't too good for Minny, but again, one preseason game isn't really enough to tell, especially since the regular lineups aren't used by either team, but from what I've seen, they may very well be the real deal. If Horcoff, Hemsky, Gagner and Cogliano find their way this season, look out!
Final Panel: 24/7 Crosby and OV.... oh goody...
The Caps and Pens are getting their own reality show as part of their Classic... because no one's tired of seeing Crosby and Ovechkin, right?.... UH OH! The NHL's going to talk about this all year, Crosby this, OV that. Call me crazy, but I really don't buy that the Pens and Caps are really rivals, this is just about Crosby and Ovechkin. Don't get me wrong, it's one of the most exciting rivalries in hockey history, I admit it, but it doesn't make me any less tired of hearing about it! Personally, I never really liked Crosby, but I liked OV up to last season, when he started getting suspensions and getting reckless. You may also say that it's sour grapes because of the lack of coverage the Wild gets, but they're not going to do this for next year's classic, I promise you this. This favoritism the NHL has towards Crosby and Ovechkin is getting out of hand. Sure, they sell merchandise, sure they boost ratings, but there are 28 more teams in this league. When Bettman said that Pittsburgh was exhibit A why he doesn't give up on cities, I thought of all the other cities he let down and is letting down right now, mainly the cities in Canada desperate to have a new NHL team in their city. Of course, what do I know? I live in a country where hockey is the lifeforce of it's people, a country that mostly doesn't give a damn about any other sport. A country whose NHL teams made up 31% of the NHL's ticket revenues in 2008 (couldn't find a more recent source) despite only being 20% of the NHL. What do I know, right?... Wow, kind of wandered off there, my point is I'm not very excited about that 24/7 crap. Reality shows suck. I'm sorry if you like them, but they're not reality. It's a show, it's entertainment! Like in Family Guy, when Brian participates in the Bachelorette and finds out it's all just an act. That's how I think it's going to feel between the Pens and Caps, because the real rivalry lies between Crosby and Ovechkin... Call me bitter if you want (and I can't wait to see Caps fans and Pens fans show up here to remind me of it), but to be a writer for HW, it's actually a requirement. So... BRING IT ON!
Punchline: I have officially acquired Guillaume Latendresse on my fantasy team. So that's an Uh Oh! for the rest of the league. As team Hakan Loobies so eloquently put it: ''I think you'll be just fine JS, your team is intimidating''... That's always good to know!
Punchline #2: Funny story, I went to the bar last night with some buddies (by the way, always fun to go to a complicated math class the next morning when you're hung over!) and some girls were giving away free Bud Light beer and stuff. They were giving away NHL t-shirts... but not the usual ones. They had old Colorado Rockies T-shirts, the old LA Kings crown, the Canucks and for some reason they had a lot of Blues t-shirts (no Wild sadly, I asked... I mean geez, they had Blues, Kings, Phoenix, which are all as popular as the Wild here in N.-B.!) So we all got Blues t-shirts and we laughed a lot because Halak (the hero of every single habs fan friend I have) is now a Blue. I'm gonna give my t-shirt to Mom, kinda like a revenge for the G-Lat Habs jigsaw puzzle she gave me for Christmas!
Punchline #3: During my Differential Equations class today (the math class I was refering to on punchline #2, doesn't it seem interesting?... yes, I'm hungover), I noticed that my professor kinda reminds me of Matt Cullen... This is either a result of me spacing out way too often in that class, or that I'm thinking about hockey all the time... Can't wait to actually WATCH the Wild play!
3 punchlines today! Aren't you lucky? As always, I hope you enjoyed it!