Literally. Devils coach Brent Sutter stayed at the hotel and didn’t go to practice today because he was under the weather.
First, however, I want to congratulate my assistant blogger Strawberrie who got her first full time teaching job (Kindergarten) and will be starting Monday. Good luck Jen!
Now back to hockey. I’m going to boycott watching games. The one game I missed they won.
It’s certainly not time to hit the panic button (I prefer the Staple’s Easy button myself), but this is an ominous start to the season. The tornado hasn’t ripped through, but the sky is looking very green lately.
Although last year they had a better record, I find the games more exciting to watch. They seem to be playing a more aggressive and complete 60 minutes of hockey, but are merely missing the skills required to work well with each other.
Could this be a dreaded “rebuilding” year? It’s too soon to tell.
One thing I dislike is the excuses. I don’t buy into the fact that it’s because they’re on the road too much. They have enough of a break at the beginning of the week to go home and relax. And while a number of the calls were questionable Thursday night, and most of the hockey world agrees, they still took too many penalties and their penalty killing was not performing well.
They simply look out of shape. It’s a well known fact netminder Marting Brodeur is a little flabby, but I think he should try and fix that – it can’t hurt.
Here’s a problem: the Devils are accustomed to a defensive style disciplined game. Can they make the change to an aggressive style team and remain disciplined? Is it possible Jay Pandolfo might wind up the penalty leader for the team this season? Will Kevin Weekes wind up with more wins then Brodeur? Hey, I know it sounds bad, but after four games he is beating Brodeur in that category.
By the middle of November, we’ll have a better idea what to expect, but a dismal start of the season may be difficult to recover. I guess the only solace we have is the fact that over 50% of the NHL makes it in to the post season.