5 Things We've Learned From Opening Night
Hockey is a way of life. It's bigger than Christmas day. (Remember the Titans reference) So, as the chimes and bells ring in from the heavens, we have officially started the new 2017/18 NHL season. And, here are 5 things we've learned from opening night.
1) The Kids In Toronto Are Really Good
As if we needed another game to drive home this point, this group in Toronto is the real deal. They get scoring from all over the board and Anderson was a monster in net. The Jets didn't hold back with 37 shots on goal. They could have easily taken an early lead in the first, but Anderson was a wall. With scoring from all the usual suspects, including two for the old timer from San Jose, the Leafs grounded the Jets with ease.
2) Sidney Crosby Still Thinks He's A Lumberjack
Listen, we like the shit out of this dude, but NHL...it's okay to call a penalty every once in a while on him (in this scenerio...not the trips he had).
Last night the Blues, specifically Alex Pietrangelo, was giving The Cros a little business all night with some certain attention paid in front of the net. Nothing over the top, but Sid took exception and gave a blatant two hand across the heels. Now, as a former hockey player, that shit hurts!
Here comes an opinion...Crosby is our favorite player in the league. The way he handles himself outside the game, the way he continues to practice his craft despite being at the top. Buddy is a Hall Of Fame hockey player. Having that status, he does get liberties taken upon him but also dishes them out. It's up to the NHL to determine the outcome of those liberties, and quite frankly they have been the most inconsistent department in professional sports at doing so.
3) Wayne Simmonds Is A Beast
If there is a power forward in this league that we want on our team, it's Wayne Simmonds. Not only can he, and does he, play a physical game, but he can also score. #DangleSnipeCelly
Now, are you as surprised as us that in 10 years in the league, this is only his second hatty? We expect more to come, but damn...we like how the dude plays!
4) The Flames Need Jagr
Last night was a piss poor showing for the Flames as the single-handedly got beat by Connor McJesus.
First game jitters? Maybe. Star-struck? Maybe. Could Jagr have helped? Hell Yes!
Since his return to the NHL, Jagr has been a positive possession player. His Corsi has never been below 50%. So, how could that have helped the Flames last night? When Jagr has the puck, less time is spent in the defensive zone and his teams outscore opponents. Man, we wish we were that dominant.
5) Connor McDavid Is The Best Player In The NHL
While we were still on the fence with this (Crosby v. McDavid) McDavid proved last night he is the face of the NHL.
For the last several years, Crosby has dominated this conversation but Connor comes blazing out the gate to usurp Sid. If you watched the Edmonton v. Calgary game last night, you'd agree. He dominated the game!
One thing that still surprises us as we watch McDavid, his speed. It is insane to watch him skate up the ice, and to do it with the puck is even sicker. That second goal he chipped over Mike Smith....#QWHAT?!?! He started from the defensive hash mark while Calgary had guys in the neutral zone, only to beat them down the ice. Yeah, Edmonton is poised to make a run for the cup thanks to this kid!