This interminable offseason, with its endless speculation about line combinations and roster spots and salary cap implications finally ends tonight, with a REAL LIVE HOCKEY game to discuss (although the speculation continues, naturally).
I am officially excited, to the point that my eyes popped open at 5:30 this morning and I couldn’t fall back asleep. Which is great, except that sometime around 11 p.m., when I will be trying to put the finishing touches on my game story, I might do a face plant into my laptop. Or maybe not. Or maybe I will and the writing will actually be an improvement.
Meanwhile, some updates:
Not much to discuss, actually. The lines are expected to be the same, and so are the defensive pairings, with Marc Staal and Paul Mara officially penciled in and Jason Strudwick and Thomas Pock out. Still in question is whether Colton Orr or Marcel Hossa will occupy the right wing spot on the fourth line. It looked today like Orr will sit, but Tom Renney wouldn’t commit to it.
Panic alert: Henrik Lundqvist did not skate this morning. Easy. The goalie opted out of the skate only to prepare for tonight, as he did a number of times last season.
A year ago, one of the stories of the opener was the naming of Jaromir Jagr as captain. Tonight, there will be no such theatrics. Though he had weighed rotating some of the alternate captains on the road, Renney decided to stick with the same group of captains, with Jagr wearing the “C” and Brendan Shanahan and Martin Straka wearing the “A”.
To continue our discussion from before, Ryan Callahan is indeed a rookie this year.
OK, plenty more to discuss. But until then…