To All The Casual Fans, Welcome To Hockey Season

Today is a hard day. Yes, that little puff ball groundhog, Phil, says that winter is ending 6 weeks early, but in reality we are about to wander the desert for the next 7 months without football. You're hungover, pulling your life together and heading into work because somehow in 2020, the Monday after the Super Bowl still isn't a national holiday. You're depressed. Pretty soon someone, maybe your wife or girlfriend, is going to ask "do you have any plans next weekend?" and guess don't. Without football Americans are rudderless. Football is our North Star. A light at the end of the week. This 45 day stretch between now and the first Thursday of March Madness is a scary time. Many people will turn to things like drugs, alcohol, or the XFL. Well I am here to let you know that you don't need to do that. You don't need to pretend to care about college basketball. The NHL is waiting with open arms because this is the 3rd official start of the season. I would like to welcome the third wave of fans back to hockey. I've missed you. It's okay that you didn't come back in October like the diehards..that month is hard with College Football, baseball, and the NFL in full swing. It's okay that you didn't come back on January 1. That's still Bowl season and the NFL playoffs. I am just glad you're here now. Here is what you need to know about the NHL season so far.

1) The Blues Are Still Awesome But Nobody Cares

Unfortunately the St Louis Blues picked up right where they left off last year. They're probably even a little bit better. AND...Tarasenko has been out the entire year, but will probably come back at some point. If Tarasenko comes back soon they'll be that much more dangerous. If he sits out until the playoffs well then the Blues can use that LTIR cap space and add a guy like Kreider to the mix and then they're really dangerous. Fuck. Again, nobody cares because it's STL and that place sucks, but they're not going away anytime soon. The nightmare continues

2) Ovechkin Is Probably Going To Break Gretzky's Goal-Scoring Record At Some Point

Ovi just keeps passing by names from my childhood with every single goal.This year alone he has passed up Selanne, Lemiuex, Yzerman,and Messier. He will definitely pass Gartner this year and maybe even Phil Esposito. He needs 200 goals exactly to pass Gretzky. It feels like Ovi is going to be able to play forever. Doesn't even need Russian gas. Can he average like 30 goals a year until he's 40? I think so. That seems very doable for a guy who falls out of bed and gets 30 every single year of his career. Ovi is the greatest goal scorer ever. 

3) The Battle Of Alberta Is All The Way Back

The last three games these teams have played against each other:

Which led to these comments


Which led to round 2 the following week

And this

And when they played again a few nights later…

You can't beat this type of raw animalistic emotion in sports. These two teams hate each other, the fans hate each other, I bet even the mayors hate each other. Battle of Alberta is back. 

4) The Top 4 Teams In The East Have Not Changed

Boston, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay. Those four teams have dominated the Eastern Conference for what feels like a full decade now. Nothing has changed. Florida, Philly, Toronto, Carolina, the Islanders, and CBJ are all having very nice years. It doesn't matter. You can set your calendar to one of the top dogs winning that Conference. 

5) The West Is Up For Grabs

Take a look at the Pacific Division. Actually, you probably don't have it bookmarked yet so here you go

The Pacific Division has 5 teams within 6 points of each other with about 30 games to go. That is insane. Arizona went from 1st place to hanging on to a wild card for dear life in about 3 weeks. You've also got four of those teams who probably look at the West, their salary cap situaion, and timeline and think that this is their time. That could make for some fireworks and an arms race at the deadline between those teams. 


5) Hockey Writers Disrespected Patrick Kane

6) The Hawks Are Back

Maybe not "Stanley Cup" level back, but they're playing great and in the playoff race. Big stretch in February. I don't know much, but I know Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews can carry us through the rest of the year. You just hunker down, get fired up, watch every game, stay up late, and then you wake up and it's 75 degrees and sunny. We've made it. Let's go.