The NHL pre-season officially kicked off today starting with a 5-3 win by the Predators over the Panthers. Right now I sit here contently as I write this watching the Maple Leaf vs. Senators game on NHL Network on my television. This is the time of the year that I am at my most comfortable. A Stars game on 3 nights a week, more or less. When the boys in black aren’t playing then I have 8 other games to pick from. It’s the best ambient noise for me as a writer (even better than Journey’s greatest hits).
But that’s not all that is making it feel like hockey season is here. The Stars completed day 2 and 3 of PEI and tomorrow they will be in Montreal for their own first pre-season game against the Canadiens. With a scrimmage that saw a 4-3 game ending in a shootout (with Tommy Wandell of all people scoring the winner) and a whole slew of great interviews by Ralph and Razor coming in the training camp’s wake. Over all you have to think that this was the best idea; repeat the successful team building exercise of taking camp to Prince Edward Island from last year and putting it back into play this year with 7 new players on the roster – and some new rookie faces as well.
But, tomorrow is the first real test. Can the Stars take to the new system that is a lot more about details under Coach Gulutzan than anything? I think that’s the biggest question going into the pre-season and while it may change when the regular season starts, this years pre-season could be more important than any in the past few years simply because of the new players and the new coach behind the bench needing these games to really meld… even more so than the “Crawford experiment”.
We learned a lot about what the players think and we learned about some of the personalities of the new players, in all of those aforementioned great interviews that are over on the Dallas Stars official website.
What did I learn?
- Tom Wandell is completely awkward on camera with a lot of “ellipsis” moments. I think like it.
- Ralph and Razor don’t need training camp, they come in at the top of their games ready to go beast mode on the commentary.
- It seems like the Stars are taking a big jump into coverage. All of these interviews and the videos on the RAW channel on the site are filled with little short videos that give you a look at the Stars. Please, start visiting it regularly and tell them through your hits that you like what they are doing and to “keep doing it”.
- Godard is awkward during interviews, because he seems to treat every question like its stupid. I don’t think I like it.
- Burish is Vice President of Awesome.
- Ott is the President of Awesome.