The month of September is behind us, and the regular season is here for the Buffalo Sabres and the rest of the National Hockey League. While the league opens up tonight with contests in Montreal,
Chicago, and Edmonton. The Chicago Blackhawks will be raising their Stanley Cup banner in front of their home crowd.
This is the second championship for the Blackhawks in five years – and is the closest thing to a repeat since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings.
The National Hockey League will be using hybrid-ice this year, after the NHLPA voted to approve the measure. Other rule changes players have to get use to this year, the jersey tuck – and you can’t take your helmet off before a fight. A glaring problem with that rule, is it sounds like it was written by a partisan divided government, because there is no ruling on when you take off your opponents helmet. So how many fights now are going to start with guys taking off another guys helmet? [NHL].
The Buffalo Sabres could surprise a lot of people this year, and win a few more games than expected if they are not shown respect from around the league. Play your backup goaltender against us and it could cost you. Here are the factors that are going to sink or swim the Buffalo Sabres this year. [Bleacher Report].
I could go on about the inaccuracies of this article on Yahoo – but they make small valid points on teams that could have heated rivalries this year. Dallas – not so much a rival, albeit the fact that this year they have Ruff and the last time the two teams played it seemed like a team we played all the time. Pittsburgh? Not so much – a rivalry doesn’t revolve around two players. Trade out Pittsburgh and put in the Philadelphia Flyers – and the list is a little more accurate. [Yahoo Sports].
There is still the question of the captain – which will be announced today after the team is told who will wear the letters this year. Will Cody Hodgson be handed the keys to the city? Will it be used to entice Thomas Vanek to stay the course in Buffalo? With the Buffalo Sabres hand it to Tyler Myers based on his rebound from last season? Is Christian Ehrhoff a good long term guy? We find out today.
The Olympics loom larger than any other story line this season. If the tournament doesn’t amaze and entertain – could this be the last hoorah for the NHL going for Gold? [New York Times].
What are the top storylines of the year? From the Olympics to new faces, a boat load of outdoor games – what will make this year special? [Bleacher Report].
Some pressing questions answered on the upcoming season. [USA Today].
I always get a chuckle when the Wall Street Journal trys to cover hockey. [Wall Street Journal].