Hockey is back! I'm excited, I've missed it, and in my moment of weakness I found my television tuned to CBC for Hockey Night in Canada last night.
As an Ottawa Senators fan, I don't have much choice. The Senators are sitting on their hands while the rest of the league starts up the season, waiting around until FRIDAY to start their 2013-2014 campaign. Of course, after Friday we needn't wait long because OF COURSE the Sens play the Leafs on the second half of a back-to-back the very next night.
While the wait isn't ideal for fans like myself who are wrapped up in excitement about the new season, perhaps this extra time could be helpful to the Senators as a team.
- New Faces: Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur, Joe Corvo and Stephane Da Costa. None of them were on the roster the last time the Senators played a meaningful hockey game. Much has been made about the big Spezza-Ryan pairing, and the extra week will allow the new players extra time to fit into Paul MacLean's system and will give more time for new lines to hopefully gel.
- Injuries: Surprise, surprise, the Senators have injuries already. Jason Spezza (who was supposed to appear in a whole whack of preseason games according to Coach), has been nursing a nagging groin. Eric Gryba hasn't been seen since day one of training camp, and with the season about to start, having a healthy 7th blueliner will be important.
- Powerplay: Erik Karlsson. Jason Spezza. Bobby Ryan. Milan Michalek. Patrick Wiercioch. That is a fair amount of talent for unit one of the powerplay. While they showed flashes in the preseason, the man-advantage wasn't running at peak performance. Extra time to work out the kinks could prove very beneficial.
- Split-squad Nightmare: The beating(s) the Sens took from the Islanders on Sunday left a "bad taste" in MacLean's mouth, and he's not alone. Split-squad game on the last day of the preseason doesn't let you enter the season with much continuity. Luckily, the Sunday pre-season games will be a distant memory by the time Friday rolls around.
- Sucks to be a fan of the hometown team.
- Rust, Anybody?: Long time off for some of the guys, and it can get a touch boring just practicing against yourselves.
So what do you think? Overall, is the time off going to help, or hurt?
- Our Sterling Predictions are back! We try to make guesses look like informed opinions, so check them out and add your own! This time, how many goals for Blobby? [SSS]
- Did you know Amelia is awesome? Did you know she writes a really cool series called by the numbers? She's up to #38! [SSS]
- Chet Sellers provides a little comedy about the demotion of Mika Zibanejad! [RBM]
- Chris Phillips possesses the well known "old man strength". [SE]
- Sooooo Phil Kessel scored himself an 8 year, $64 million contract from the Leafs yesterday. What does that mean for Bobby Ryan? [6thSens]
- The Senators hope that the extra week helps rather than hurts! [SE]
- Ugly scene at the Bell Centre last night as George Parros bounced his chin off the ice, falling from a fight. He was taken to hospital. Here is hoping he makes a full recovery. [PD]
- Blackhawks sent their Stanley Cup banner to the rafters before beating the Capitals last night. [NHL]
- 30 Thoughts with a focus on Phil Kessel. [CBC]