24 September 2007

It's A Good Day For Hockey

But then again, as far as I'm concerned, every day is a good day for hockey.

It's September 25, which is officially fall as far as the calendar is concerned (but apparently the weather gods have decreed otherwise, because it's hot as all get-out around here). Almost before you know it, the regular season will be upon us, and with it come the many, many time-honored rituals of Hockey Season. Recite them along with me if you can.

1. Trying to figure out which Rust Belt team and city Ray Emery is going to piss off first
2. Placing bets on who will get injured first, Martin Havlat or Tuomo Ruutu
3. Establishing who will be more dismal and embarrassing to watch: Phoenix, Florida, or St. Louis.
4. Wondering if Marian Gaborik will stay healthy/motivated/interested in hockey long enough to actually be a goal-scoring dynamo this season like Minnesota has been telling everyone literally since he was drafted. "No, no, guys! THIS year he's going to be AWESOME! Wait, where is everybody going?"
5. Drinking beer and wondering what the referees have been smoking just before going on the ice to see some of the mythical infractions they call and wondering what kind of special contacts they put in to be unable to see some of the blindingly obvious things they miss. (Hey, Sidney Crosby, the biggest diver this side of the Olympics, I'm talking to you, man! But now I'm done, and please go away.)

And really it's shaping up to be a great season. My beloved Sens are revving to take another run at the Cup, Anaheim (damn them) are looking to be formidable opponents again, the Habs look sharp, the Wings are perennial contenders, the Rangers have spent some serious cash bulking up, and Vancouver is going to try to stay healthy and do some damage in the Northwest. (And I say good luck to them, because Colorado? Calgary? No. Although Colorado does have Paul Stastny, Peter Stastny's son, and that's got to be fun to watch. Fun in a sort of "For the rest of my life I am going to be compared to my father unless I do something really drastic like make a habit of scoring goals off my helmet" kind of way, I mean.)

The countdown to October 3rd starts now. Just seven days until hockey starts and we can all get back to ignoring school and work and focusing on the truly important matters of the day: who will win the game tonight?

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