I apologize for my absence last week. Hurricane Sandy left my house powerless for a few days, and I know many of us had far greater things to worry about than the sport of hockey. I hope everyone made out safely and securely, and wish nothing but the best to those who may have been affected by the tragedy that struck our Northeast community.
The NHL and NHLPA met for almost a full working day yesterday. They are also doing so today. After canceling the crown jewel of the NHL regular season in the Winter Classic, it’s about time there were some positive vibes coming from lockout chatter.
Maybe it has something to do with election season drawing to a close, in that the candidates break down the barriers that an election creates to once again (hopefully) get down to business. Or maybe it just has something to do with the legalization of pot in two states. Whatever it may be, it’s time to work together to move forward and do what is right.
We want the pinnacle of hockey back, before it’s gone for yet another painfully slow and unjustifiably long offseason. There is no more time to waste.
Lets keep riding the positive wave: if the season were to start soon, what would you be most looking forward to seeing from the Flyers? Personally, there are a few things that come to mind.
First and foremost, I would be most excited about the re-uniting of Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. I am very curious to see how the two are able to repeat their stellar debut together last season, especially when you remove a Hall of Fame player from the mix. While Jake Voracek seems poised to be up to the task, it will be interesting to see if his lack of experience against some big time defense pairings effects his ability to react to the play as quickly as his superstar counterpart.
He’s always shown a creative instinct in his approach; but can he keep up with Giroux, one of the greatest play-makers and puck-handlers I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing? And if so, can he do it consistently? It will be an interesting experiment that could prove quite fruitful for the home team if it works out.
Another thing I look forward to is the ongoing development process of Sean Couturier. I was very excited last season when his hockey sense translated from the juniors to the NHL level because it was one of the biggest assets of his game. Not only did it translate, but by season’s end he was skating with the best of them. Now, we get to see if he continues to follow the path that Jordan Staal took by adding a level of offensive finish to his game to truly make his presence felt in the lineup.
While it is highly unlikely to happen right away, the more he can impose his game on defenders, the more successful he will be. Does he think he belongs yet amongst the men of the NHL? If he believes so, points might soon follow.
What are you most excited about if the season starts up soon?
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