In no particular order:
I notice goalies have been getting much taller lately; I also notice that the "slap shot" is going away. Is this all a result of those mega flex sticks that do the work for the player? If there was an insane reversion to the wood sticks, would the goalies get smaller again and would the slap shot make a comeback?
The Sabres looked really good to start the year, especially after that winning streak. Yet, when the midseason grind came along - where you either out-skill opponents like Tampa Bay, or out defend them - they, and a few other teams, fell apart. They sort of remind me of the Islanders when they had Tavares. Then the Islanders, having lost a number one center, suddenly got better. Why? Because some GMs out here know how to build a core (tank, tank, tank!) and others know how to fill out a team (Lou): could the Sabres and the Oilers need the same type of GM now that both teams have a core? The Lou Lamoriello type of GM that knows how to fill out a team?
Speaking of Tavares: he reminds me of an ex girlfriend... two actually... who lied to me all the time. And then in the end, when the maximum damage was inflicted, I asked them why they lied and they said, "It's because I didn't want to hurt you!". That's exactly what Tavares did to the Islanders, isn't it? Were the fans supposed to be like "Oh, you were just being tender", or would they prefer the Panarin treatment, "Verily I tell ye: I want to play in x cities"? Parise gave the Devils fans the same treatment: Oh well you were second best (and caused maximum damage to the franchise in the process). Should players, going into the last year of their contract, simply be candid with their teams and with the media so as to make sure the franchise they supposedly love gets something in return for them taking off? Or are they going to continuously be the clumsy girlfriend that says "Oh, I was confused! I didn't want to hurt you!"
Is this year a lottery or what? If you score a top three pick, especially a top two pick, you score big time. The gap is so large between the top three and the rest that it's like it goes 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13... there might be some really good players in that top ten, but man, I'd hate to be one of those teams that "try hard but never win" this year only to end up with #4. No Cale Makars or Elias Pettersons this year, but you might get some guys who can fill out your team. This is not the year you want to miss the playoffs. Good news for Sens fans if they don't "win" any of those lottery spots I suppose. But it, of course, begs the question, since one of the best players in this draft might be Brett Leason, an overager: should they just drop the draft age to 19 already with maybe the exception of the top 14 picks?
The GMs are discussing rule changes this week, yet they aren't addressing the goals called off because of an offside five years ago. Hockey is a very fluid game, going from play to play to play, seconds apart from one another. How many of these plays do you consider it to take to make zone entries not matter anymore? I have a number in mind: ten seconds. A zone entry is only important for the rush that proceeds it: otherwise, you're in a butterfly effect game. A no-offside-called zone entry may give possession to a star defenseman who makes a one pass to a breakout player, resulting in a goal, though the other team can get an offside on that play. Sure, it hasn't happened yet, but it might! A good zone pressure goal is a good zone pressure goal: if the offside happened 9 seconds ago, take a snapshot of each puck entry and send it to the goal judges (since they have nothing to do anymore; do they even hire them) and then they'll slam a big red button that puts the offside horn on to interrupt a play instead of having a player pull off a really good play going to the net and scoring a 1/100 amazing shot only to have a missed offside from 25 seconds ago decide that the whole play was dead and the entire zone pressure element was for naught. Even if I'm the team scored on, let them have it. So how about it? Why should zone pressure be played at all if you doubt a zone entry? If you blow the whistle on a fair play, it stinks like dried up seaweed, but if you call a good goal off because of an offside 30 seconds ago, it's rotten tuna in a whale's breath stinky.
Thanks for reading.