Sizing up the NHL's first full week
With the first seven days of the NHL season in the books, I put myself in the mindset of the average fan to ponder what we've learned in the early going ...
If I'm a Maple Leafs fan, there's at least one element of their hot start that I'm excited about far more than that 3-0 record: the growing willingness of
If I'm a Stars fan, I stop bemoaning the loss of Jack Adams-winner
If I'm a Bruins fan, I'm screaming at
If I'm a Devils fan, I'm going to drown out all the talk about cap circumvention with excitement over the NHL debut of prospect
If I'm a Kings fan, I'd bristle every time I heard Boston's
If I'm an Avalanche fan, I'm less worried about whether
If I'm a Wild fan, I'm wondering when this team is going to get something going five-on-five. Ranked 24th last year with just 140 even-strength markers, they've scored just one of their eight so far this season when even up. Nothing wrong with a strong power play (give newcomer
If I'm a Panthers fan, on the other hand, I'm wondering if we should spare ourselves the embarrassment and decline the power play. The Cats are 0-for-11 with the extra man so far. Maybe that's no surprise for a team that finished 29th in the category last season, but you'd think that shortcoming should have been prioritized for this campaign. So far, the unit has shown little urgency, with too much standing in place rather than the fluid movement and crisp, confident passing that often precedes a successful attempt. Maybe it's just a matter of integrating
If I'm a Hurricanes fan, I'm thrilled that
If I'm the father of a young player (which I am -- shout out to the Frisco Squirt Bruins!), I tell him to watch Detroit's
And finally, if I'm the involved in any way in the NHL's disciplinary process, I step back and seriously reexamine my concept of appropriate punishment.