As the months stretched on, November gave way to December, and December passed on into January. There was no NHL season in sight, and people started to expect (or at least heightened their preparation for) the worst. My sister, of all people, told me that the season would begin on January 19th, and I, being a fool who believed I knew everything about anything that was released by the NHL, disregarded her. As it came to pass, I was awoken by my Mom in the early hours of January 12, and told that a deal was reached, the season would begin on the 19th. Abbie, as I've found is almost always the case with most women, was right and I was wrong.
Since then, the NHL has resumed, and a number of incredible things have happened, not the least of which is the current state of the Atlantic division. Immediately after the deal was reached, preseason predictions began pouring in.
The New York Rangers, according to everyone, would be an unstoppable juggernaut, the likes of which would make Genghis Khan shit in his bearskin loincloth and give up his empire. The Vancouver Canucks would run away with the West in more convincing fashion than Reagan beating the hell out of Walter Mondale. Hell, even Adrian Dater said the Oilers would be the third best team in the NHL this season. I'd make a historical comparison, but I can't think of any. Oh wait, yes I can.
As it turns out, all the king's horses and all the king's men can't make the "experts" right about anything. Every year, the general consensus between all of the so-called experts is that some team will win it all, and every year, they are wrong. I think that the batting average for their predictions would be enough to keep them on the Pittsburgh Pirates, though. Year in and year out, we are treated to "the Canucks will win the Cup," "Jarome Iginla will be traded," and "the Edmonton Oilers will finish atop the Western Conference".
Having passed the halfway point in the season, it's safe to say that Mongolian dry cleaners are without business from Mr. Khan, Mondale is putting up a good fight, and the Oilers will screw the Blue Jackets out of yet another first overall pick, and therefore the right to eventually trade Seth Jones to the Rangers for Stu Bickel and Steve Eminger.
|"Did you just make a joke?"|
|Well now, that's just funny.|
Thought you guys might like some pictures.
The Rangers are currently 8th place in the Eastern Conference, only two points ahead of the 9th place Winnipeg Jets, whom I picked to finish 8th, due to what I assumed would be a strong home record. The Jets' home record, for those wondering, is a weak 4-6-0, compared to their 8-5-2 away record. Not as solid as my prediction for where they would be in the standings this season, I suppose. Can't win 'em all. The Canucks are technically 6th in the West, though tied with Los Angeles for 5th in points, with 28. Clearly not the Presidential candidates some thought they would be. Injuries to Ryan Kesler play into this, as does some sort of goalie controversy you might have heard about.
The big story for this season has been covered to death, and I'm going to cover it just a little bit more. The Chicago Blackhawks chased down ol' Genghis and popped him some laxatives. They had some historic start to the season, blah blah blah, that's great. See? I covered it just a little bit more.
But the true story, one that nobody saw coming, and most people still haven't seen, is that of the Anaheim Ducks. The former Disney marketing scheme finished 13th in the West last season, ahead of only Edmonton and Columbus, whose records last season were funnier than a new Louis CK special (premieres Saturday, April 13th. I'm hoping to get some kickback from HBO for spreading the word). This season, the Ducks are 2nd in the West, with an 18-3-3 record, which if it weren't for the Blackhawks, would be front page news. It should have been expected of the Blackhawks, who boast a lineup that includes Patrick Kane, Johnathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, and Duncan Kieth. Of course, the Ducks have their stars in Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, and Corey Perry, but the three were bested in points last season by aging legend Teemu Selanne. The "Finnish Flash" is having an "off year" by his standards, with 17 points in 24 games. If this is his last season (I don't think it will be), what a career he's had.
The Ducks of the East (who much like the Wicked Witch of the East, should be crushed by a house for the good of all Munchkinkind) are the Montreal Canadiens, who I'm told are "the greatest sports team of all time, the standard by which all clubs should be measured, and spent half of the season in a contractual dispute with their best player and are currently trying their hardest to run him out of town". Maybe I only heard the first two things, but only the third is accurate. I can't take away from them too much, though. They are a dreadful team on paper, and should be out of the playoff picture by this point in the season, but great goaltending from Carey Price and phenomenal coaching from former Penguins Head Coach Michel Therrien have les Habitants sitting atop the Eastern Conference. I'm going to go vomit uncontrollably for having to write that.
When judging who should win the Jack Adams award for best head coach in the NHL, toss out Joel Quenneville of the Blackhawks and give it to Therrien or Boudreau of the Ducks. My choice would be Therrien, for turning shit into steak.
More near and dear to my heart, of course, are the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby is first in the league in points, and it isn't close. Rumor has it, people are willing to sell vital organs on the black market for a chance to swap-spit-with-Sid. I've just come up with a new marketing scheme for Penguins ownership: donate a kidney to UPMC (one of the Penguins' major sponsors) for a chance to go on a date with Sidney Crosby. A guaranteed makeout session is in the contract. So far, I'm expecting kickback from HBO and billionaire Pens owner Ron Burkle, but I can do better...
...and what better way to enjoy dinner than with a delicious, fresh Italian combo or meatball sub from Teresa's Deli, with two convenient Erie area locations?
That should take care of dinner for the next few months.