Who has it worse this morning, the Oilers or Mario Lemieux?
And who has it better than those Nashville Predators? The Preds' 5-3 win over Chicago last night was their eighth straight out of the gate, equalling the second-longest opening-season win streak in NHL history. (The longest? Your 93-94 Leafs, of course).
Forgetting for a moment the Preds' three shootout wins that are included -- yup, there I go again -- I keep wondering along the same lines not about the postmodern NHL, but about whether this is the New Normal, and we have to adjust not only our glasses, but the record book, and ways of thinking about this thing of ours:
|Another crack in the wall.|
It's a place where Bryan McCabe is not only battling for the Art Ross Trophy, but on pace to finish within hailing distance of Orr/Coffey numbers, as our Ken Campbell notes.
It's a place where the Predators are getting the job done with an undersized top scorer, good goaltending and very few penalties taken, as James Mirtle notes.
It's a place where goalies like Brodeur and Khabibulin are struggling. Jes Golbez has a nice spreadsheet of goalie stats and an early look between the pipes, and the Globe's Tim Wharnsby offers reasons why.
It's a place where we keep hearing "no lead is safe" -- but is that any different? Tom Benjamin checks some numbers.
And we've said it before, and others are joining the chorus, but it's a place where bodychecking is sometimes a foreign concept. Where no one is quite sure what a penalty is, or whether a dive is a dive.
There's lots more. Less than a month into the season, it's way too early to make conclusions. But let's throw this bone out there to chew on for the day. What is the new normal -- what does it look like to you? What other things have you noticed that made you sit up and say -- man, what are they doing out there?
Oh, okay, we gotta give you some links with your coffee:
Here's a surprise: Record TV ratings. You'd think these guys had been away for a while.
The other day we were wittering on about the NHL's new discipline, and suspensions. In an age of a salary cap and an offence-oriented league, the conventional wisdom has it that the days of the one-dimensional enforcer taking up a spot on the bench are over. TSN's Bob MacKenzie takes a look.
Oh, and this is kinda old, but so am I, and it's a goody for sure -- Puck Fiction, or Coach Jules in da rink -- and thanks to the guys at Hockey Pundits for digging it out of the corners (Windows media player req'd).