I must say, I caught a little bit of the Flames-Oilers game last night from a stream, and it was strange to see Travis Hamonic in a Calgary jersey and likewise for Ryan Strome in Oiler... dark orange? Even more bizarre to see them line up for a shift against each other. Wonder if they spoke ahead of the game.
Anyway, hockey is officially back, and it kicked off with an offensive bang. The Islanders open their season tomorrow night in Columbus. Mark me down as “cautiously optimistic” about their chances this season.
- Doug Weight believes that Nick Leddy is extremely close to being mentioned in the same breath as the elite no. 1 defensemen. [Newsday]
- Stan Fischler believes the same thing about Leddy, and also that the Islanders will make the playoffs. Thank you, Stan. [MSG]
- Down Goes Brown, however, does not. Though, he does leave some room for us to bombard him with tweets should the Isles make the playoffs.
- Having the league’s 11th-best netminder in Thomas Greiss should help some with that cause. Not to mention, a perfectly competent backup in Jaroslav Halak. [Sportsnet]
- In the end though, predictions are absolutely meaningless. (Thought this amazing quote from Dan, about the team finally making some sane-ish decisions, summed up the Islanders as I’ve known them quite well:) [LHH]
“But for the Islanders, an ant farm that’s fallen off your dresser, broken open and is trying to colonize the dust under your bed, that simple decision represents a drastic change in philosophy.”
- And, as for those predictions, every team, including the Islanders, is bad in some way. [Deadspin]
- But at least they’ve got that new, blue outline around the logo on the road white jerseys (plus updates on every jersey changed by the switch to Adidas).
- And there’s always the future. Let’s check in on the future with five questions facing the Sound Tigers. [CT Post]
- Speaking of Bridgeport, Ben Holmstrom has officially signed on for a third consecutive season. He will, presumably, return to his post as captain down there (organizationally, up there geographically.) [CT Post | Sound Tigers]
- (Don’t think I can make a cute little story with this part of the Bits, so you can relax now.)
- Oh, I’ve waited so long to type this again: last night’s NHL scores. The NHL’s first evening of 2017-18 featured a lot of goals and a whipping in Winnipeg, as well as late-night hat tricks for Connor McDavid and Wayne Simmonds.
- Check out the teams that Down Goes Brown thinks are #ActuallyGood.
- The aforementioned beat-down Jets announced they’ve extended Nikolaj Ehlers to a 7-year, $42 million extension that will kick in next season. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
- Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts this week consider Winnipeg’s chances at getting to the postseason and making some noise. [Sportsnet]
- Cody Franson, invited to Blackhawks camp on a PTO, officially signed a 1-year deal worth $1 million now that Marian Hossa has been placed on LTIR. [Second City Hockey]
- The Penguins are on the verge of history, looking to be the first team since the Islanders of the early 80s to three-peat. They’re a weaker team this year, but hard to count out their core.
- The Golden Knights are selling a lot of jerseys ahead of their franchise debut this week.
- Marc Dumont will be stepping down as managing editor of Habs Eyes on the Prize. When I saw the headline, I joked to myself that he was probably joining The Athletic, and sure enough... [EOTP]
- Jiri Hudler is accused of threatening a flight attendant, using and demanding cocaine, and attempting to pee on a food cart during a flight from New York to Prague. You might say his flight experienced some... turbulence. Austin Powers voice: “I thank you.” [ClickOnDetroit | TSN]
- The New Jersey Devils have partnered with the New York Riveters of the NWHL, which permits the Riveters to play games in Newark rent-free and provides marketing and advertising assistance, among other things. Very cool, and hopefully leads to the league being able to properly pay its players.