Thoughts on Hockey’s First Week (Plus a little)

I know hockey started overseas a little while ago, but In all reality, the NHL as we know it started about a week ago.  Since hockey never gets any coverage at all, I figured I’d throw out my observations from the first week.

  • The New York Rangers are 5-1.  The Rangers lost for the first time last night with the Sabres beat them 3-1.  The Rangers are led in points right now by enforcer Aaron Voros and second year man Brandon Dubinsky who each have 7 points.  If anyone tells you they saw this coming, they’re lying.
  • The Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks are a combined 0-7.  Not the start that Anaheim had in mind with their high powered offense.  The Ducks have given up a league-high 17 goals through 4 games.  In Colorado, goalie Peter Budaj has a paltry .824 save percentage.  I kind of expected a down year from the Avs, but this start from the Ducks is shocking.
  • Alexei Cherepanov.  Cherepanov was a former 1st-round pick of the Rangers who collapsed and died on the bench during a Russian League game on Monday.  The 19-year-old had a heart condition and was a victim of cardiac arrest.  This is very similar to what happened with Jiri Fischer a few years back but the medical care here in the States is better than it is Russia.  Unfortunately, this tragedy has been the biggest story in hockey this year.  Truly a shame to see this happen.
  • This morning, the Blackhawks fired their coach, Denis Savard.  We knew Savard’s seat would be a little warm if the Hawks started slow, but I think management was a little quick on the trigger after a 1-2-1 start.  They promoted Joel Quenneville to the head coaching position.  Coach Q spent 8 years in St. Louis and has the most coaching wins in Blues history.  Quenneville’s first game comes on Saturday against the Blues at the Savvis Center.  It will be interesting to see the reception he receives.
  • The St. Louis Blues powerplay.  You knew I was going to mention them somehow.  Through three games this year, the Blues have gone 7/14 with the man advantage.  Keith Tkachuk has four powerplay goals to lead the NHL.  Unfortunately, since they have scored 7 of their 11 goals in the powerplay, they are -32 as a team, which is killing my fantasy team.
  • Ryan Hollweg.  He got suspended for two games in the preseason for his third boarding major in 41 games.  Upon his return, Hollweg promptly crushed Alex Pietrangelo and received his fourth boarding major in less than half a season.  He was assessed an automatic three game suspension by the league.  I think they really dropped the ball here by not suspending him for more.  Hollweg has proven to be a thug and should be punished as one.  10 games would have been a start.

It’s about time for the Blues and Stars to drop the puck, plus the Rays are leading the Sox 2-0 in the 2nd, so I’m going to end this.  Let me hear your comments…that is, if anyone out there still watches hockey.

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