So we're about a dozen games into the NHL season, and things are starting to finally flesh out. Some teams have soared and some have crashed. So I'll give some of my thoughts on what's happened so far.
-First off, the first dozen games of the NHL season are, I dont want to say a wash, but they're not as indicative as you would think. What's that mean? Well if you're a Rangers fan that may mean your team's great start is an aberration. If you're a Flyers fan it may mean your dismal showing will be a thing of the past. Or things may not change at all. You really need to give teams about a dozen games before everything starts to get set. I still remember about five, six years ago where the Islanders started off 10-0 and Marius Czerkawski had ten goals in that span. At the end of the regular season the Isles barely got into the playoffs and Czerkawski had something like fifteen goals that year. Point is, dont be so sure your team's current trend will continue.
-Martin Brodeur has suffered an elbow injury and is out 3-4 months. Many think the Devils are screwed. I dont. The Devils are the Devils no matter who is on that team. I'm not saying talent doesnt help, but through this team has endured injuries and free agent losses and always makes the playoffs. Weekes isnt a bad goalie either, but is probably a bit rusty. The Devils are still going to play well, and frankly if they make the playoffs this injury could be a blessing. Lou has run Brodeur into the ground every year playing him 70+ games, and his aging body can no longer keep up. Since the lockout he has look tired in the playoffs. If he gets 3-4 months rest, he could be very energized in the post season unlike recent years.
-Speaking of goalies, ouch for the Isles. DiPietro has had knee and hip problems this year already. Seeing as how he was the Isles best hope at mediocrity, this injury hurts. And it doesnt bode well for the future as the injuries are after an off seasons rest. That 15 year deal is starting to look a bit risky now, huh?
-It's hard not to watch the Pens and get angry, and Mahatma will agree. The team isnt as good as last year, but with the talent they have they should do so much better. Just the sight of Michel Therrien angers me and my curry friend. Its tough knowing that your team is just being dragged down by an idiot.
-People need to stop thinking trades are going to happen early in the season. Or, more specific, big trades. With the salary cap teams have a lot more trouble moving players, needing to leave space for the deadline and the next year. Yet rumor mongers persist like one is gong to happen at any moment. It's not. Never listen to rumor mongers and definitely dont hold your breath on a deal. The most recent deal is a rarity and one shouldnt expect these to keep happening.
-Hockey is no exception from Meddling Owner Syndrome. Tampa Bay is the latest casualty of this. During the summer the owners came in and made sweeping changes, overhauling the roster. The only problem is they didnt really address what they needed. They did get some scoring forwards, but all they did was sign forwards, not addressing their blue line. They dealt their anchor in Dan Boyle, and the main young defenseman they got in return they just dealt to Philly. Andrej Meszaros for reason they thought could anchor the blue line, has struggled while the two defensemen they dealt for him in Philip Kuba and Alex Picard are both playing well in Ottawa. Of course, there was also that hiring of a head coach who hasnt been behind the bench in almost fifteen years. When will owners learn just to stay out of the day to day affairs? You have a GM for a reason.