September 22, 2010

The return of ice hockey

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

Sure, it’s only the first game of pre-season, but that won’t stop fans from getting fired up about ice hockey again. While some think the summer was too long, I don’t think it was nearly long enough. Was there even enough time for every Chicago Blackhawk to get a turn with the Cup since they won it in June?

Well it’s back to work for the boys on ice and that means an absolutely ridiculous pre-season schedule that will see

I also know that fans are stoked to see games again, but is a tailgate for a pre-season game really necessary? Shouldn’t people be at work instead of drinking outside of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto? Last night’s game featured probably a dozen guys who don’t even have a chance at making the team. This isn’t the Maple Leafs of 2010-11 that the people are rooting for, it’s just a thrown-together squad of guys who play ice hockey.

The only thing that pre-season hockey is really good for from a fan’s perspective is the fights. And boy were there a few of those last night. Three tussles, in fact, which is actually a slow night by past pre-season Leafs games standards.

I think it’s really sad that some of these guys who know they aren’t going to make the team are simply going out there to start fights and garner some attention, as negative as it may be. I realize that fights happen in ice hockey — but I’ll argue another time that there should stiffer penalties for pugilists — but why chuck knuckles for no other reason than just to do it. It’s a Neanderthal move by crappy players.

And finally, after that 5-0 drubbing by their rival Senators, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the most pessimistic Leafs booking their April golf dates right now.

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