NHL Games Cancelled On October 20, 2012 – NHL That Could Have Been
Tonight would have been a thrilling night of NHL hockey. You know, if the owners and players weren’t fighting over which millionaires were entitled to more millions than the other millionaires. Every night the NHL Lockout goes on, 104.5 The Team will break down the games that both sides have stolen from us, because a world without hockey talk is worse than having another week and a half of games cancelled. To catch up on previous editions of the series, go here.
Bad news, hockey fans. The NHL has now cancelled another wave of games, wiping out 53 in total until November 1. On the bright side, there is NHL 13 for your video game systems. And there's also this column! That might have made it worse, but we're in this together. Don't ever forget that.
Dallas Stars at Boston Bruins: The Dallas Stars, of course, used to be the Minnesota North Stars, who were such a cool franchise when I was a kid. Then, they were whisked off to Dallas, dropped the North from their name, and here we are. Now we're stuck with the Minnesota Wild, who are way less cool. What does all of this mean? It means that we now know that any basketball team that returns to Seattle is going to be named the Seattle Wild, and we're all going to hate it.
Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs: Canadian supremacy battle alert! The Leafs finished two points above the last place Canadiens in the East last year, despite racking up 35 wins. In the NBA, 35 wins is good enough for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. With hockey being a way less predictable game, thanks to less scoring and guys getting knocked unconscious more often, finishing six games below .500 is terrible in the sport apparently.
Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadiens: The habitants let goalie Jaroslav Halak go to the St. Louis Blues after the 2009-2010 season, despite the fact that Halak was literally a brick wall in the postseason prior to his departure. Halak posted a goals against average below 2.00 last year, while the Canadiens finished in last in the East. That decision went well.
Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders: Buffalo and Long Island are two of the snowiest places in New York State, so I think a friendly wager between both teams is in order. The losers have to shovel the winners' driveways for the entire winter. You cannot convince me that the NHL wouldn't be more fun if the NHL Network got to air footage of Ryan Miller shoveling John Tavares' driveway after Tavarez beat him in a shootout. I think I'd be a better commissioner than Gary Bettman. With that said, so would anyone else.
Winnipeg Jets at Philadelphia Flyers: Obviously the Flyers' most prolific period as a franchise came during the Broad Street Bullies days. However, isn't calling a hockey player a bully ridiculously redundant? Are other hockey players not bullies all of a sudden? They might as well have been called the Broad Street Guys Who Are The Same As Everyone Else.
Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues: The Blues were founded as a part of the first wave of expansion teams in the NHL, which increased the league's membership from six teams to twelve. You always hear about the Original Six in hockey, but what do people call the second group of six? Do they just cop out and call them the Second Six, or did we as a nation get creative and come up with something better, like the Red Headed Six Childs? I'm dying to know.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators: With professional sports teams looking to squeeze every dollar out of their entity as possible, many use shameless corporate tie-ins to turn up their profits. Some teams, such as the New York Red Bulls in MLS have even sold out their team names for the almighty dollar. Wouldn't an opportunity like that be perfect for the Predators should another Predator movie ever be released. I bet their ownership has their fingers crossed for that to happen.
Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks: I have a feeling that Detroit shouldn't really stick with the whole "Hockeytown" moniker anymore. The Tigers are a perennial contender these days, the Lions aren't terrible at football anymore and have a legitimately exciting team, and the NHL has only existed for 75% of the last eight years. I'm just throwing that out there.
Anaheim Ducks at Phoenix Coyotes: Phoenix had the fourth fewest penalty minutes in the NHL last season. Was that because there were no fans there to excite with a momentum shifting fight, or were there no fans BECAUSE the Coyotes didn't like to fight? This is the NHL's version of the chicken and the egg paradox.
Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche: Joe Sakic, who spent his entire career with the Avalanche, is now an executive for the team. He has been involved with the franchise since 1987, when they were the Quebec Nordiques. That, folks, is dedication.
Carolina Hurricanes at San Jose Sharks: Another great promotion idea for the NHL would be for the Sharks to have their own Shark week, where the team played an excessive amount of back to backs and the NHL Network, or wherever hockey is televised these days, dedicates a ton of time to the team. At the very least, it would get people who were looking to watch the Shark Week about the marine animals to tune in by mistake.
Have fun playing NHL 13 in lieu of watching the games, everyone!