HOCKEY TOWN, USA – I am ecstatic that I was wrong about this NHL Season. Shortly after my last post – I rued the lockout and demanded Gary Bettman’s head – the two sides hashed out the deal that paved the way for the 48-game season that starts tomorrow.
While I’m still actively trying to get a gypsy to put the thinner curse on Bettman, I was pleasantly surprised that the deal got done and don’t understand how Beelzebub Bettman still has a job with the NHL. You would think that after trying to sabotage the sport for almost two decades, he’d eventually get iced. But apparently there’s nobody above him to fire him. He’s a dictator clinging to power. If Mussolini was Il Duce, then Bettman has to be Il Douche. It is a travesty that he will hand Lord Stanley’s Cup off to the winner this year. At the very least, we should start a petition to get someone else to hand off the Cup.
Predicting what the playoffs will look like this year is a tough task. No pre-season means that teams haven’t played with each other in 8 months and the half-size regular season makes overcoming a slow start very difficult. And anything can happen in a shortened season. The last time the leauge had a short regular season, the f*cking Devils won the Stanley Cup. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again.
The Rangers open their season in Boston against Cheesy’s Bruins tomorrow night. Expect a good show; these teams should figure in the top half of the playoff pool. And it will be interesting to see how quickly Rick Nash adapts to his new surroundings. This is the Blue Shirts’ best chance to hoist the Cup in a long time. Hopefully, they won’t waste the opportunity on a slow start searching for chemistry… Del Zotto looks like the first victim of the new salary structure in the league – He is worth more than the $5.1 million over two years that he signed for last week.
If Callahan and Richards play to their potential, Nash adapts quickly and Gaborik finds the net, the Broadway Blues will make a strong run for the Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, Angry Ward’s Wild and Cam James’ St. Losers will be on the outside looking in…
Final notes... The short season means no west coast road trips. Usually, Rangers trips to western Canada end with a handful of losses, although last year they did pretty well, but it’s a moot point this year. Teams will only be playing teams from the Eastern Conference. The condensed schedule means that teams are playing about every other day for the regular season and that the playoffs might last as long as the regular season. Should make for great viewing. Maybe they’re on to something.
It all starts tomorrow in Boston. But this ain’t Tim Thomas’ B’s and unfortunately for our other resident Bruins fan, Grote2DMax, the Ranges will win. Then it’s home to the Garden on Sunday against Cup favorite Pittsburgh Penguins. The Garden’s recent renovations and limited number of games have ticket prices at ludicrous levels, however, making it easy to boycott going. Die, Bettman, Die!
That’s it for me today. Come back for Dr. Diz’s Manti Te’Oh-No story tomorrow. Enjoy the weekend. Watch Hockey.