The Lorenzi Line
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 09/20/11 at 04:59 AM ET
Can you feel, hear or even taste it? The puck dropping to gracefully dance on the ice for a split second before it’s batted away by a curved piece of wood. I’m having trouble sleeping so I am writing this at 3 in the morning. It’s like before the first day of school or Christmas. There is no way to describe exactly how long the summer feels to someone when they are not a hockey fan. I hope that this feeling lasts every year till I’m old and dying but we’ll let Gary Bettman decide that for now.
Today is the first pre season NHL game for both the Columbus Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets. It’ll be an interesting match just behind the bench. Columbus’ head coach Scott Arniel wore a Jets sweater as a winger for 424 games and was head coach of the Manitoba Moose for 4 years from 06-10. Winnipeg’s head coach Claude Noel was the interim coach for the Blue Jackets in 09-10 accruing 10 wins in 24 games before handing off the position to Scott Arniel. Last season Claude went on to become the head coach of the Manitoba Moose. He had a successful season and led them into the division finals but fell to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Also he looks like Jeff Goldblum.
But enough about the coaches, the real question is: “who the heck is playing where tomorrow?” Luckily Winnipeg was kind enough to answer that for us by releasing a list early:
With players like Blake Wheeler, Evander Kane and goaltender Chris Mason it’s bound to be a huge bout in Columbus. It would be in their best interest for the Jackets to keep Rick Nash, R.J. Umberger and Steve Mason in Columbus to ensure a good solid Jets win as they pop their NHL cherry once more in Winnipeg. I’m desperately hoping Columbus doesn’t due to the Mason factor and how annoying it is to hear the play by play on the radio when you’re trying to figure out which Mason just got scored on. Back in Winnipeg the players to watch will no doubt be Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Nikolai Antropov and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
For a team that has popped 2 goals in on Columbus since 2007 in the regular season I wouldn’t expect much. The spirit of the fans could be playing a huge part in any victory that the Jets could grasp against Columbus. For former Detroit Red Wing, Derek Meech, this would be a dream come true if it was decided that he was to play in his hometown of Winnipeg. Too bad, just remember Derek it’s just preseason during a split squad NHL game, no biggie. See you in Columbus.
On the Jackets end we’ll get to see our prospects take to the ice. To name a few: Cam Atikinson, Boone Jenner, Ryan Johansen, Michael Chaput, John Moore and David Savard. In a goaltending worried franchise we will all be keeping close eyes on Mark Dekanich, Allen York and Curtis Sanford to show their stuff between the pipes. Until the roster is released it’s anyone’s guess where they end up but my guess is Mason and York go to Winnipeg and Dekanich starts in Columbus.
It’s late and time to retire to dream of today’s game but don’t forget to catch the action in Columbus through their website streaming live tomorrow at 7pm est.
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