Three weeks into the National Hockey League's new season, some odd stories are emerging. The Nashville Predators bumped their record up to 8-0-0 with a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. On the same night, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins lost AGAIN and fell to 0-5-4.
This does not compute!
DVDs; Blog Calgary Flames: 4-5-1-0 Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights: 2-3-0-2
I got to watch the Penguins-Devils game the other day on tv, and have to agree with something the commentators said. They have the talent but not the chemistry. Perhaps they are trying to hard to get it right, or perhaps the other teams skate just a bit faster when facing the Pens but they just weren't making the right plays.
As a friend said: "They are the new NY Rangers!"
The Predators? Who would have thought. Probably the right chemistry at the right time. Before the season several previews mentioned that last season they were almost there (being a bonafide playoff contender)and the goalie was/is one of the most solid around. At one point though they will fall back to earth and eventually end up in the middle of the pack.
(edited by dMp on 26.10.05 1535) *sigh* Why bother?
Got to think of the 8-0 start, one of the best ever.. When you really think about it, it's bullshit. I think it will be easier to get long streaks (win or loose for that matter)as there are no ties. The Penguins would have pulled out a tie in some of their games, and the Preds would have been stuck with a 5-0-3 record if they didn't have rocked at the penalty shootouts.
Might make for an interesting 'new era'
Just as it might fuck up (or perhaps put back into perspective) some goalie records and accomplishments. But that's a different story all together..
Originally, Lemieux and Crosby were going to skate together, and the second line would be centered by the #1 pick in 2004, Evgeni Malkin. But the Penguins couldn't reach agreement to bring Malkin here from his Russian league for this season, so he won't be with the team until 2006. Since they were now without a viable second line center, they broke up Crosby and Lemieux so that they could each center a line.
Now, I've felt that to be most effective at age 41, Mario would have to be a left wing, and I thought that that Ryan Malone could play center. Plus Lemieux skating with Crosby is just too cool to pass up. But Crosby had skated with Ziggy Palffy and Mark Recchi, and Lemieux had played mostly with Malone and John LeClair.
The CPR (ha) line has been stellar, but Lemieux's line hadn't really been able to get going. So last night, 66 and 87 were united for the first time on a line with Recchi, and it was a sight to behold. Plus, instead of two balanced units, they put together the SUPER POWER PLAY for the first time, and tied a team record with 6 PP goals.
I can't believe the Penguins resisted the urge to put Sid and Mario on the same line from the beginning, just for the poetry of it.
Now that they're together, it's going to be a lot better for Pens fans.
On the flip side, congrats to ABC for hiring Tim McGraw to tailor the lyrics to "I like it, I love it" for every halftime highlight show throughout the "Monday Night Football" season. Just last week, my buddy House and I were discussing Cosell's classic highlight narratives in the '70s, and how nobody had approached them since, and I told House, "Only one thing could ever come close, and I know it's a long shot, but what if ABC hired Tim McGraw to tailor the lyrics to 'I Like it, I Love It' for each week of NFL highlights throughout the season?" And wouldn't you know, it happened! See, dreams can come true. --- Bill Simmons, www.sportsguy.net