We’re kind of adrift here in the opening month of the season, starting to get a feel for which teams we might care about and which ones we’ll ignore until suddenly confronted with having to write a Western Conference Final preview in May, but for the most part, this is the time of year for passively letting the hockey wash over us. But while we might not be thinking very hard or even very much these days, we are still thinking, and this is a sampling of the hard-hitting hockey issues that have been on our minds lately:
1. Could it be that Lou has finally found a strategy for ending the rampant coach-killing in NJ? Tom Gulliti reported a few days ago that Sutter informed the press that Sheldon Brookbank would be in the line-up on Thursday. Gulliti, along with the rest of us, assumed, “Woo-hoo! Oduya’s finally getting benched!” Then what should get reported? Mottau’s the one sitting. You realize what this means, Gentle Reader; this means Oduya’s still in the line-up. There is only one explanation for this. Sutter is player-killing. He’s going to drive all the skaters insane. Fans should be patient with this plan; it might take a while to break them all, but once they are — each and every one — beaten and broken by Sutter’s insistance on playing an AHL-level defensemen at Number-1-NHL-D-Man minutes, they will all be ready to live and love and learn. To win. We hope.