The NHL season restarts tonight! Of course, before you go getting all excited, keep in mind there is only one game being played tonight. And it's a makeup game between Carolina and Buffalo. So, for Stars fans anyway, it has all the relevance of a Jamaican bobsled team. With a less good soundtrack.
But that does mean that for one more day at least, the Western Conference standings will stay the same. It's been nice to not have to worry about any fluctuation there. At any point over the past two weeks I knew I could go online and look at the standings, and see the Stars firmly in a playoff spot. I didn't do that, but I could have. And I might today, before the chaos of the end of the season begins.
Right now though, isn't this a strange lull? For the past couple weeks we could at least distract ourselves from the lack of Stars hockey with the surfeit of Olympic hockey. Now though there's nothing. Just an eerie silence while we wait for things to get going again. Today there is NHL hockey, tomorrow there will be standings watching for Stars fans, and Thursday there will be hockey for the Stars. But not until Thursday.
Patience was never one of my virtues.
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So Alex Chiasson burst on to the scene last season with a ridiculous case of beginner's luck, scoring basically every time he stepped on the ice. He then re-announced his presence in the NHL at the beginning of this season, running at a point per game through the first nine games. Obviously, all that's needed for his scoring touch to return is some time away from the NHL. Right? Guess we'll see. [Stars Inside Edge]
Jim Nill on the upcoming trade deadline. And yes, of course he's going to sound like he's content with the roster. Lull us in to a false sense of security and then, bam! Change it all! Or not. [Sports Day DFW]
So remember how Steven Stamkos was all set to return before the Olympic break? And then they decided to play it safe and have him return after the break? Now he's all set to return in another two weeks. This makes me sad for Robi. [NHL.com]
I get it. It was 'banned' and so the IIHF is technically in the right. But I still think Nicklas Backstrom being made ineligible for the gold medal game was a farce. [NBC Sports]
I'm gonna start by saying that I'm not sure whether this qualifies as a Harrison Mooney article. Yes, it's by Harrison Mooney, but it's not really an article. It's hockey hugs! [Puck Daddy]
In compensation for the above non-article, and because Battle of California has nothing good up recently, I present you with a feature I'm sure you've all been desperately missing. Our very own Obscene Alex, with a fond look back at the [redacted] Olympics. [III Communication]
I guess a lot of things about the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL are strange, it is Vegas after all, but these rooftop games are a new one. [Puck Daddy]
Down Goes Brown is sticking with the Olympics, and thus, so shall we. One word for that women's gold medal match last week: madness. Sean McIndoe rates the madness, play by play. [Grantland]
And another, proposing other Olympic events that should be added for hockey, and the winners of these non-existent events. Jamie Benn getting overlooked though for 'Breakout Star of the Games'? Snubbed again! [Grantland]
And lastly, the Olympics are over, but, well, one final fond memory of the Sochi Olympics: