We haven’t done much to hide the fact that, for the first few weeks of this season, we haven’t really been paying very close attention. At the very outset it’s all just a blur of fuzzy, happy “hockey’s back!” vibes for us, and since then we’ve been anticipating and then participating in Patty Party. So now that Patty’s back (In Dallas) we’re ready to hunker down and take some stock of the hockey landscape. Here are some of our thoughts:
— *Meow Mix jingle*
— We really liked that the Devils won fairly deliciously in Pittsburgh last night.
— We really, really liked that in addition to the old reliable players like Brodeur and Parise, the keys to the win included fresh faces like Bergfors, Egg, and Fraser. Let the youth movement begin! Or, at the very least, let the young players continue to score fluke goals against a kinda shaky Fleury.
— We really do not like that the delicious win in Pittsburgh came at the expense of Pando and Paulie. All kidding aside, the Devils are a markedly worse team without Paulie than they are with him. All kidding front and center, that’s saying a lot, because even with him, they’re awful. No, really, just kidding. Now, we are not surprised that it was Butthead who broke Paulie, because that’s just the sort of thing Butthead does. We already had his name engraved indelibly in the ledger of officials enemies of PaulieMartinNation, and now his name is being added again. What surprised us, though, was that it was Rupp who broke Pando. Of all the guys PandoNation thought we’d have to add to our ledger of official enemies, Rupp was probably the last one we’d have considered. We mean, we rode in an elevator with him once, and he seemed so jolly and nice! Turns out we were lucky to get out of that elevator alive.
— Based on current trends in the NHL’s injury-reporting system, we can predict already what the prognosis is for Pando and Paulie: they’re both going to be out for “weeks”. This “weeks” thing is even more annoying that the “upper/lower-body injury” thing. Just give us a window, okay? Or someone make clear now that “weeks” means “less than five weeks, because once we get to five, we’d be saying ‘month(s)'”.
— Based on current trends in the NHL standings, we can predict that our preseason choice of the Ducks for the Presidents Trophy might be wrong. Might.
— Based on current trends of the first nine games of the Devils season, our preseason prediction of Lemaire being a terrible choice for the new head coach might be wrong. Might. We might not currently hate him. Might.
— Based on his performance so far this season, Brian Rolston is the almost certainly the single worst hockey player to ever lace ’em up. Almost certainly.
— Based on his performance so far this season, Travis Zajac might be super-dreamy. AcornsNation is so proud to have splintered off from PandoNation after annexing those western territories. Especially now that Pando is surely out for “weeks”.
— Based on the performance of the Devils in last year’s playoffs, we are never, ever, ever going to look at current trends and try to extrapolate them into some sort of prediction, though. So we’re just saying that nine games in, we like the Lemaire hiring, hate Rolston, and swoon for Acorns. Of course, 58 minutes and 40 seconds into Game 7 against Carolina, we thought the Devils were going to advance to the second round, so make of all of this what you will.
— We have absolutely no idea how the landscape of the NHL looks right now. Because we think looking at the standings this early in the season is stupid (other than to be cognizant that our Anaheim Presidents Trophy vigil can probably be called off), we don’t know what anyone else’s record is. And because the NHL thinks it’s really cute to keep scheduling all 30 teams to play at the same time on the same night, we don’t ever watch any teams other than the Devils (and in the last week, the Stars).