I know all the clichés about the meaningless preseason, and don’t read too much into it, and so yawn.
But here’s one last nugget from the means-nuthin’ season that was lost in the shuffling. Two nuggets, actually, from the Leafs’ final exhibition game, a pair of goals (one by Czerkawski, one by Antropov) that had all five players on the ice touching the puck -- advancing the puck -- all the way from behind their own net, up the boards and to the opposite goal.
It was like flashing back to those steamy-hot mornings inside the ice-cold Ricoh, and you’re drinking some unidentifiable hot dark beverage while they’re doing breakout drills on the ice, over and over again. To see it executed so well during a game, even in a sort-of game, was the equal of rays of sunshine breaking through rainy-day clouds. If we can get enough of that to get us through the winter, it’s not so bad, is it?
"Can the Leafs adjust aggressively and efficiently to the new NHL? History, at least the history of this franchise since George Armstrong lifted the Cup, says no, or at least that the adjustment will be slow and painful."
Thanks, Chris. We like to see the optimism on opening night. And before I get to the links, let me use this space for a
shameless plug for tonight's game plan. Over in waymoresports, Chris will be hosting a live gamecast for tonight's contest. So for those of you who can't watch it on TV, and especially for those of you who are watching, but need an immediate outlet to rant during the second period after an Eric Lindros giveaway sorry, optimism - a sweet Eric Lindros goal, check out this page to get in on the action.
In case you missed it yesterday, Chris had us in stitches in his JABS forum with his best of the worst media guide covers. It's worth checking out if only to see Pat Quinn's 1980s mustache. Scroll down past the Rafer madness - you won't regret it.
Do the Leafs still hold the psychological edge over the Senators? Headline from Ottawa Citizen says maybe so: "First, beat the Leafs. Second, win"
The Jeremy Roenick story -- Let Him Entertain You:
"I have always enjoyed the camera and I always enjoyed a microphone and there seems to be an abundance of those things here (in Los Angeles)."
Hey look, there's news on Nick Boynton. Oh, the news is that there's no news. Now the Bruins look like the Maple Leafs on defence -- rookies galore.
From the top 10 moments in Avalanche history:
What were the odds in 1995 that the most beloved player on the hallowed Montreal Canadiens in the previous 10 seasons would play that year in Denver a city that had been without an NHL team for 13 years?
Good read (as always from) Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom on Brenadan Shanahan's summer.
Martin Brodeur says the NHL should have made Sidney Crosby's debut the lone opening game. The Devils meet the Penguins tonight:
"It's a new era in the NHL and everyone wants to see what he can do. Everybody's calling for tickets, but [elsewhere] people want to watch their teams, too," Brodeur says. "It's not fair for the fans."
But the Crosby Show isn't the only rookie act we're watching. Don't forget about Alexander the Great.
Good read from Philly Inquirer on Peter Forsberg and what he brings to a team.
There's 15 games tonight. Enjoy.