It’s the first day of the NHL season. I’m so jacked it’s finally here.
ANYWAY, Let’s break down what shoulda coulda woulda been tonight’s NHL action in the same manner I would if there were actually hockey tonight, because I’m assuming that you, like me, are a complete masochist who feels like torturing yourself by realizing what a great day today could have been. Let’s all start pulling out clumps of hair.
Puck drop: NEVER! /runs to room crying, slams door
Breakdown: The Bruins are coming off a season in which they coasted to a Northeast Division title, finishing with 102 points en route claiming the second seed in the Eastern Conference. In the other corner, the Flyers finished with one more point, but because of silly divisional seeding rules, finished fifth in the Eastern Conference, because the Atlantic Division is utterly stacked, making it hopeless for the Islanders every year. Moving on.
What you’re missing: Not much. Just a great rivalry between two teams loaded with stars. Just seeing if Tyler Seguin can take the next step to being superstar. Just Claude Giroux, arguably the best offensive player in the National Hockey League today. We would’ve got to see if Ilya Bryzgalov could get off to a better start and regroup this year. We’re missing seeing Tukka Rask’s debut as the Bruins starter. Can the Flyers survive with their crippled d-corps? Will the Schenn brothers reach their potential? All in all, not much. It was just going to be the launch of another NHL season with the league on a tear, momentum-wise.
Location: No place
Puck drop: LEAVE ME ALONE! /cries into pillow
Breakdown: The Ottawa Senators were a surprise for a lot of us last season (I had them pegged to finish about 16th in the conference, somehow), but they snuck into the playoffs with 92 points, and pushed the first place Rangers to the brink in the first round. The Canadiens, on the other hand, were flat horrible, finishing dead last in the conference, one point behind the lowly Islanders.
What you’re missing: An all-Canadian matchup on night one to kick things off. We could’ve seen the start of Erik Karlsson’s campaign after coming off a near-80 point Norris Trophy winning season. We could’ve seen the Canadiens try to prove that last year was last year, and that they do have enough studs – Carey Price, PK Subban, Max Pacioretty – to threaten playoffs this season. But there’s only about 50 billion fans of these two teams, so I’m sure no one cares.
Location: Not anywhere
Puck drop: YOU’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND ME! /kicks legs while lying on stomach
Breakdown: The Vancouver Canucks won yet another President’s Trophy last season, stacking up 111 points before facing the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, who took them down in the first round. The Flames finished one spot out of playoffs, but were unable to catch the Kings who went on a late tear.
What you’re missing: Another all-Canadian matchup on opening night, where you’d get to see the Vancouver Canucks launch sort of a “now or never” campaign aimed at winning the Cup this season. Flames fans would’ve been pumped to see if Sven Bartschi, one of the best young prospects in hockey could live up to the billing. Can Cory Schneider get the job done as a starter? How many times would the camera cut to Luongo on the bench (I’d have watched just a Lu-cam)? WE’RE MISSING ALL THIS.
Puck drop: I HATE YOU! /downloads KHL highlights
Breakdown: The St. Louis Blues finally became what we thought they could be last year, winning their division and finishing a mere two points behind the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference. The Avs, on the other hand, finished out of playoffs, but have enough great young talent in Landeskog, Duchene, O’Reilly and others that they had hope this season.
What you’re missing: How would Landeskog look in the role of captain for the Avs? We would’ve seen Matt Duchene on a tear to prove that last seasons decline was an anomaly. We would’ve seen if the Blues could repeat their performance last year as a dynamic young team with a ton of forwards who can score. Is Varlamov ever going to “get there,” or is he never going to reach his potential? Maybe Backes would run a guy over? Maybe Oshie would? WE’LL NEVER KNOW.
The fact that you made it to this sentence proves you truly hate yourself, and likely the NHL. Tonight was supposed to be the big night. Now excuse me, I have to spend an hour on LOLcats to see if I can ever be happy again. Sorry I had to do that, friends.