The New York Rangers are off to their best start in 25 years (5-1). They won back-to-back 2-1 victories in Prague against Tampa Bay as the NHL tries to expand its interests in Europe. Lundqvist has sparkled in goal with a 1.61 GAA and a sturdy offense leads the league with 17 goals.
Similarly, the San Jose Sharks were quick out of the gate (4-0) and are getting great goaltending from Nabokov (1.33 GAA) They are second in offense with 13 goals. Important to the success of both teams is goaltending. The Rangers and Sharks both have first rate net minders that have proven their abilities, now let’s see if they can maintain.
After the Jump: Chitown, Detroit & LA
OVERREACTION IN CHITOWN????
Just four games in and the 1-3-1 Chicago Blackhawks have fired head Coach Denis Savard. Did owner Rocky Wirtz make a rash decision based on a slow start? Will Wirtz make decisions in the future based on pressure for the Blackhawks to be a contender this year? I hope not. Did they need to fire Savard? Absolutely not. If they truly needed to they would have done so before the season started. Is it the worst thing ever for this young team? Absolutely not. The Hawks new coach is Joel Quennville. He’s proven his success (438-283-118) with the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues over 11 years of coaching. He brings experience and will likely tame the wild youngsters on this talented team. Note to Wirtz: Chill out dude, and let things flow.
DETRIOT ROCKS, UPSIDE DOWN!!!
Some NHL teams in their desire to compete with other major sports try to be hip and cool. Such was the case with the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings at the festivities surrounding their Stanley Cup banner raising home opener. In the lineup to perform was 80’s English rock band Def Leppard. Lead singer Joe Elliott, after hoisting the cup to the crowd, placed Lord Stanley upside down on the podium. After being made aware that it was upside down Elliott said “We’re soccer boys, what do we know”. Next time let Canadian born hockey girl Alanis Morissette, who also performed, hoist the cup. If that weren’t embarrassing enough the Wings fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2.
BUILDING A KINGDOM
Los Angeles has found their King in Anze Kopitar then signed, sealed and delivered him a 7 year/46.7 million deal. The 21 year old center from Slovenia was also named assistant captain last week which ensures his rise and respectability among players and coaches. He’s well deserved of all that’s coming his way. He is confident, talented and mature. He has a work ethic unlike any in the league and led the Kings last year with 77 points. Being a year of rebuilding the Kings need to find quality Princes to support Kopitar and then just maybe the Staple Center will be a Castle worth going to watch hockey again.