Another year is about to end and the one that’s about to start could be our last! Oh no! Ok, probably not, but just in case let’s make this a good one. I’m talkin’ to you, NHL.
I’m looking forward to a great 2012 portion of this hockey season, and luckily, things are shaping up in my favor. The first thing I’m pumped for is a little thing you might have heard about called the Winter Classic. January 2nd should be pretty awesome because they’re going to be playing hockey outside! In a baseball park! And we’re going to be there! Well, outside in the parking lot…tailgating before the game. But it is going to be awesome! The best part is T-bone andthe Hockey Doggz are gonna share the experience with you! But probably the next day…but so what. Our next podcast will share insider information with you the listener that only we could get our stinky paws on. Our polls of the fans joining us in the parking lot will ask the tough questions, such as, “Who do you want to win?”, “Are you from the area?”, “Where’s the beer?” and many, many more. So tune in!
The next big event on the NHL calendar is the All-Star game and skills competition. Now, Huskey and I were discussing this recently and he brought up a good point, “The skills competition will be cool, I don’t really care about the All-Star game.” At first I scoffed, but then I realized he was right. The ASG is always pretty boring. There’s lots of back-and-fourth, end-to-end hockey that’s pretty exciting for the fans of the game (although the pace is slowed due to all the hard partying the night before), as well as a usual plethora of goals which are fun and exciting, until you remember, “Wait, who cares?” The answer there is nobody. There will be super-sweet 3 on 0 breakaways or a few really awesome saves by the goalie who is trying the hardest, but the ASG is bound be be a bunch of really skilled dudes making incredibly skilled passes to one another that are only happening because the d-men want to see the play pan out just as much as the fans do. What I’m looking forward to seeing is the skills competition. I love to see the players perform their craft unimpeded by opposing players. They can say that Jonathan Toews is one of the premier snipers in the league and that Zdeno Chara has the hardest shot in the NHL, but I want to see them prove it.
The rest of the season is already looking like a doosey. Some of the more favored teams started off slow but things are seemingly coming together to form a vague idea of what the playoffs will look like, provided the Columbus Blue Jackets don’t go on a 30 game win streak. Which brings me to the next big event of the season, the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It looks like this year will bring some old faces back into the playoff picture. Teams like Florida and Toronto in the Eastern Conference and Minnesota and St. Louis in the West are making legitimate efforts to compete for the final W of the season, or at least to get swept in the first round by Boston or Detroit. With the way the Cup Final went last year and the way the Canucks and the Bruins are playing right now, a another Boston – Vancouver series would be the best sequel since Troll 2 .
Finally, realignment. This is going to be the biggest story in the NHL when the ’11-’12 season comes to and end. It’s going to change the landscape of the game, make team rivalries more heated, and give the fans a chance to see every team at least once. Realignment is a major shake-up and I can’t wait to see how it will affect the game next year.
Happy New Yearz, y’all!