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NHL 2021-22

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  • NHL 2021-22

    Tonight the 2021-22 season starts, with the defending champs Tampa Bay hoisting their banner and the newest club from Seattle getting to display their truly ugly logo.(YOMV but you'd be wrong ) With the new broadcast deal with ESPN and TNT, the popularity of the sport will almost surely explode in the USA and the number of posters in this thread will likely creep up close to double digits.

    A full schedule of 82 games, balanced divisions without the regional bubbles, little if any lingering COVID-impact expected, and the February break for the Olympics stirring up new interest - - - - - - - - who could ask for anything more for this most glorious of sports.

    Every team still has a chance at the play-offs ( well, except for the Red Wings , the Sharks, the Kraken, the Sabres, the Senators, the Devils, the Ducks, and the Kings ) and a half dozen teams have a realistic chance at the Stanley Cup. The odds-makers' pick seems to be the Colorado Avalanche, though Tampa Bay remains the two-time defending champion and, even with the loss of their vital third line, they won't willingly or easily give up the Cup. Other contenders include Las Vegas, the Panthers, the Leafs, and the Islanders, with hot goal-tending or career years meaning that even YOUR TEAM may be competitive.

    I don't really care how teams fare in the regular season since the NHL play-offs are such a grind in themselves that, as Tampa Bay proved last year, coasting through the regular schedule can allow a veteran team to save itself for the final push : as a Leaf fan, it has become doubly clear that success during the season does not necessarily translate into success in the play-offs.

    I do expect this year to be different for Toronto however and my chief concern is that an injury to a key player while celebrating winning the Cup ( as happened with the Canadian women's team during their gold medal celebration at the Women's World's at the end of August ) might jeopardize their dynasty potential. Maybe, I'm worrying too much since they have enough talent to overcome any adversity off or on the ice.

    I am not a fan of the Montreal Canadiens but I wish Carey Price all the best in dealing with whatever issue has taken him out of the start of the season. May he be rejoining a last place team !

    Enjoy the season !!
    The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable : John Kenneth Galbraith

  • #2
    Last season is the most NHL I've ever watched. really got into it. I'm excited to see how Seattle does.
    RHR: "I'm a proud American boy right now!" -2014 Indy 500 Victory Lane

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    • #3
      Hey guys! You know I'm in my happy place now that the season is about to start. I didn't see much pre-season action but I caught about 4 Blackhawks games and 2 Penguins games. I managed to miss every single game that Columbus had. For some reason they weren't televised here in our home market nor on ESPN+. I didn't stress too much about it since it was just pre-season and I wanted to watch the Blackhawks more anyway.

      I guess you all heard the news this summer? I don't have to watch Vegas play anymore. My favorite NHL player is now a member of the Blackhawks. (Marc-Andre Fleury for those who need the refresher) The Hawks also picked up Seth Jones from Columbus and Jake McCabe from Buffalo. Things are looking better for Chicago this year...especially in goal. I wish I could say the same for my Pittsburgh Penguins. Hopefully the tandem of DeSmith and Jarry will come through this year better than last. They got the team into the playoffs where the defense let the team down yet again. That's going to be the weak spot again this year. In the off season the Pens didn't go shopping for a couple of d-men. In fact, they let Cody Ceci walk. He's now in Canada somewhere playing. I think he's up playing with McDavid in Edmonton. Hope the money was worth 11 months of cold and snow. Crosby and Malkin are both on IR after having surgery. Sid just had surgery in September. Seriously? He didn't know in June that his wrist needed work?

      Someone needs to let me be the GM up in Buffalo for a day. I'll fix their Jack Eichel situation. I'll trade him for a bag of pucks. I'm still not sure I would get a taker because of that big money contract he's sitting on. If no takers, I'd just buy that contract out it's pretty much the same difference at this point. This will be year number 2 he will get paid not to play because of his neck. His whining is a pain in my neck too and I don't live that close to Buffalo. It's just the Arena I go to when I want to see a game and not have it cost me an arm and a leg. (2015 was my last game. Buffalo vs NYR)

      This brings me to my home team, Columbus. They are just hosed this year. Unless Korpisalo and Merzlikins figure out how to shut the door in the net every single night this is going to be a long season for them. They lost a few key players like Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson in the off season and they still miss their Captain Nick Foligno who was traded before the playoffs in the spring. Fliggy was the heart and soul of this team. And dare I say they will miss John Tortorella. Some players anyway...we'll see if Patric Laine will produce better under Coach Brad Larsen or if he needed Torts tough love approach.

      The big question that everyone is asking is can Tampa Bay 3-peat? The Penguins were the last team to have a shot at it. and they failed. I kind of hope they do it because they have the best goaltender in the NHL in Vasilevskiy. Viktor Hedman is one of the best defensemen on the ice today. They kept their top line together. So why not? Go try and get that 3rd consecutive Cup. At least it's Tampa hoisting the Cup and not some team like Boston.....ugh.

      I think Tampa Bay does three-peat. I pick them to hoist the Cup in 2022.

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      • #4
        Wonderful to see your post, Slim !! . When I opened the thread, I was hoping to see you back with your comments and insight and now I know it'll be a good season, regardless of the actual action on the ice.

        I do agree that Chicago is going to be an intriguing team this year, with Toews for the full season and Fleury wanting to prove himself again, even with the Vezina from last year,

        What a terrible dig about where Ceci is playing. He's from Ottawa so he's used to the cold and Edmonton doesn't have a full 11 months of cold and snow, averaging little if any snow for almost three months of the year, most of the time.

        I almost have some sympathy for Jack Eichel. He has been a whiny disruption for the team but he has plenty of skill and Buffalo has handled the decisions on his medical treatment very poorly, for the player and in terms of public relations. He'll likely miss another year getting his neck disc replaced but if he then gets his head on straight, he could be a top star with any team willing to take his contract.

        I think Patric Laine will have a terrific season but Columbas will need everybody else to have career years to do much overall.

        I like Tampa Bay but this is the Leafs' year.
        The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable : John Kenneth Galbraith

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        • #5
          A friend from Vegas invited me to the opening game between Seattle at Vegas. Seems his wife was unable to go so he invited me. Interested that its the start of the season plus i get to see the NHL's new team play their first game. After the game back to Phoenix where i will watch the Coyotes all year. Glad they moved to the central division from the Pacific. Will enjoy seeing Chicago & the other midwest teams more often. Likely here in Arizona the biggest news this season will be about the building of the new stadium ( long overdue) rather then the teams performance on the ice this season although the Coyotes have a new coach.
          Last edited by stockblock; 10-12-2021, 07:36 PM.

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          • #6
            It is never the Leaf's year.
            I wish I knew - Dennis "Cutty" Wise

            When its game time, it's pain time! - Terrible Terry Tate

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            • #7
              Originally posted by don7031 View Post
              It is never the Leaf's year.
              It's kind of a shame though because they have all that young talent. I could root for the Leafs once they disposed of that pylon Dion Phaneuf. Oooh, how much I despised him. The Leafs are weak in goal with a young Campbell and an older Mrazek. I don't know who they are going to start more but I hope it's Mrazek. The wiley veteran still has some tricks up his sleeve. They need to platoon these two goalies wisely and let Campbell learn from Mrazek. But Mrazek has been injury prone the past few years. I hope he can stay healthy.

              It kind of needs to be Edmonton's year. They are stacked with talent too and they just seem to fizzle year in and year out as well. I kid about it being winter up there 11 months of the year...I had Edmonton confused with Winnipeg, .

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Slim View Post

                It's kind of a shame though because they have all that young talent. I could root for the Leafs once they disposed of that pylon Dion Phaneuf. Oooh, how much I despised him. The Leafs are weak in goal with a young Campbell and an older Mrazek. I don't know who they are going to start more but I hope it's Mrazek. The wiley veteran still has some tricks up his sleeve. They need to platoon these two goalies wisely and let Campbell learn from Mrazek. But Mrazek has been injury prone the past few years. I hope he can stay healthy.
                Toronto will win this year using their old talent, Simmonds and Spezza and save the younger players to extend the dynasty; after all, the team has its logo on Canada's flag.

                As far as goaltending, Campbell will be Number 1 unless he falters, in which case Mrazek, who is more experienced, will take over. Surprisingly, both goalies are 29, a heck of a lot younger than Mike Smith in Edmonton, but no spring chickens.
                The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable : John Kenneth Galbraith

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                • #9
                  The Kraken's management, wasted on crack decided to steal a Vancouver Hotel's logo due to a lack of imagination.
                  unnamed.jpg

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                  • #10
                    I certainly think the Kraken could make the playoffs. The Pacific division is very weak beyond Vegas & Edmonton there is not much else. A 3rd or 4th place finish in the Pacific is not out of the question.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by stockblock View Post
                      Likely here in Arizona the biggest news this season will be about the building of the new stadium ( long overdue) rather then the teams performance on the ice this season although the Coyotes have a new coach.
                      The last news I'd read said they hadn't gotten buy-in for a new arena yet. I'm still unhappy that Rick Tocchet was let go. He was one of my favorite Flyers. My ex and I even named our Bouvier des Flandres (a hard-headed strong-willed breed) "Tocchet".

                      Good to see you posting again Slim! Hope you are doing as well as can be...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by akh View Post

                        The last news I'd read said they hadn't gotten buy-in for a new arena yet. I'm still unhappy that Rick Tocchet was let go. He was one of my favorite Flyers. My ex and I even named our Bouvier des Flandres (a hard-headed strong-willed breed) "Tocchet".

                        Good to see you posting again Slim! Hope you are doing as well as can be...
                        Take it to the bank. Glendale cut them off because the new owner was already in serious discussions with 3 locations on the east side. If the Coyotes are going to a major sports player in the Phoenix market they have to be on the east side of Phoenix metro were their fan base is. The Glendale location is terrible. If you leave work at 5 you likely would not even make it to the start of the game Monday thru Friday if you work on the east side. For me its a 2 hour ride assuming no traffic. If going during the week in rush hour forget it.

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                        • #13
                          Really enjoyed being at the Seattle at Vegas game. Since being a Arizona resident i did not favor either side. Vegas has a great stadium with a great fan base. Place sure got quiet when Seattle turned a 3-0 game to 3-3.... As a side note a fair number of Seattle fans were there.

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                          • #14
                            I will miss NBC but I think having TNT and ESPN will help grow the fan base and inject some excitement into the sport.

                            The Pacific division is so bad, the Kraken might very well sneak in this year. Especially if they make a couple midseason moves, which I would expect. I hope to see hockey do well in Seattle. I like their colors but not hugely excited by the logo or name. Maybe they'll come out with a cool alternate jersey in the near future.

                            It's good to have the Blues back in the Central and playing a normal schedule.

                            I have no idea who will win this year, but I'm picking not Tampa and someone a bit unexpected.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by West View Post
                              The Kraken's management, wasted on crack decided to steal a Vancouver Hotel's logo due to a lack of imagination.
                              unnamed.jpg
                              They should have gone all the way and stolen Vancouver's old yellow/red/black color scheme, too.

                              At least until the Canucks change and Seattle could get the same colors as all the other teams in town.

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