I noticed an earlier post today, regarding pre-season games. As I love a good debate, I read just enough to determine the stance of the post, but hopefully not enough that my own ideas are all rebuttals. With that, here is my take on the flip side of pre-season games, hopefully understood as a good-natured counterpoint.
What is the point of a pre-season game? There are 82 games spanning over half the year in the regular season, plus up to 28 more games over another two months in the post-season; you would be hard pressed to find someone who thinks we need to add to this. Nonetheless, the awkward-child pre-season games still serve many purposes.
Without pre-season games, players would go half a year, quite possibly, without ever playing hockey, and then jump into the regular season in a hurry. Sure, there’s off-season training, but I would be curious to ask players how many of them train over the summer by playing with their teammates against another NHL team. I have my suspicions that it is few, if any, who do.
Maturity the key to succeeding in a team-first Senators game, defensive responsibility the key to winning and turning the corner from last season, full committment and dedication from the players expected to take the team to greater heights, Winchester working hard to prove his worth while staying grounded, and a few roster updates for tonight’s game.
The Sens beat the Flyers 3-1 last night as a solid team effort helped cover up a few individual lapses, the roster on defence remains full as the last few slots are still in play for all contenders, and the Sens trim their roster to continue the slow task of determining the best fit for the team this season.
Always a fan of predictions (since what else can you do, or would you want to do, at this point in the season), I happily stumbled upon a very targeted one for this season.
The stab in the dark? That the Ottawa Senators will finish the upcoming season ahead of the Montreal Canadiens. Whether or not this is a series of jabs at the Habs, or a rose-coloured lens on the Sens, I cannot be entirely sure.
Yet, somehow, I can’t stop wondering whether or not he may be onto something.
Alfie ready to go tonight after recovering from a sore groin, Hartsburg will ice a more prepared team tonight after reminding the team to keep a consistent playing style, Murray has plenty of positive things to say about his team and his staff even as he has plenty of roster trimming left to do, Heatley looking to step up his responsibility by trying to earn Redden’s ‘A’, Darth Gerber returns with what could be a menacing new mask that gives hope that he can strike back at last season and wage wars of revenge around the league for our disappointments last season, and Murray remembers his last NHL trip to Sweden as an experience not to repeat.
From CBC Sports,
CBC Sports announced Tuesday that it has bulked up its Hockey Night in Canada schedule for the upcoming NHL season by adding 18 games.
The additions to the schedule include 10 Montreal Canadiens match-ups and eight Ottawa Senators contests, bringing the grand total to 87 games for the 2008-09 regular season broadcast package.
“The addition of these games to an already strong broadcast schedule allows us to cater to a wider spectrum of hockey fans,” said Scott Moore, executive director of CBC Sports.
“Montreal and Ottawa are vibrant hockey markets and this reinforces our commitment to bringing viewers the most comprehensive coverage of Canadian NHL teams available.”
With the additions, the Habs will be featured 25 times on Hockey Night in Canada. Ottawa will play 21 times.
I suppose the Habs going from no playoffs to Eastern Conference Champions and the Sens climbing ever so slowly up various Conference standings predictions might have something to do with this good news.
Somehow I wasn’t the first to beat a path to a story about Spezza in the community posted by Paul, not that such a distinction matters to many. What is important to consider is how much a part of the city you have to feel you are to live in a (relatively) average neighbourhood, let alone to answer the door to hand out signed hockey cards to fans, or to accept the occasional welcoming cake.
As a hockey player, at least in Canada, you are a celebrity. Better than other public figures, not only do you entertain us every time you hit the ice, but you make us proud when you bring us home the Cup, or do battle for Canada on the World stage. Yet for all your grandeur, you have to wonder where you should stand in the public sphere, and what the rewards and consequences of such a stance are.
The Sens fall to the Rangers in an outmatched but not completely outplayed game, and last night was last call for several rookies looking to make an impression by leaving their mark on the ice and on Ottawa’s management and coaching staff.
Auld will start in net tonight and looks to excel for his new team, and Redden settles into New York as he prepares to make his preseason debut for his new and possibly last NHL team.
The Senators beat the Rangers in their first and very close preseason game, Foligno gets opportunities to show he is ready for an impact role on the team, and Murray is being realistic about his goals and expectations for the team this year.
Native of Northern California. Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.
I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle. I watch, I react, I write it down.
My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked. I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind. When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom. It hasn't, I don't think it will. At all.
Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.
I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.
I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org