Or at least it will be when the Pens finally play their first game on Friday night. I ever took off Saturday so I could at least watch the home opener. Why don't I have tickets to the home opener you ask? Because all the bandwagoning fucks (i.e. the people who couldn't be bothered to go to a game back pre-strike when the team was on the ropes thereby making it a huge possibility that the team almost moved but are going fucking now that we're a Cup contender) have bought them all out and the prices have gone astronomical. Seriously, I was looking at $70 easy just to sit up in the E section, and that sir is almost as moronic as a Fox Newscaster.
But fine, whatever, the season's here and it's time to celebrate. I'm off to a good start in Fantasy Hockey already with four goals out of just five starters tonight and the anticipation for the rest of the season is bloody well killing me. I've already sworn whole and true that I'm going to the Ice Bowl on New Year's Day if it kills me... or, y'know, several dozen people in the immediate vicinity of me.
Anyway, as for any predictions on my part, me being the little hockey guru that I am, fine, here we go. Here's my calls per Conference for the playoff seedings:
1 Ottawa Senators
2 Pittsburgh Penguins
3 Tampa Bay Lighting
4 New York Rangers
5 Buffalo Sabres
6 New Jersey Devils
7 Florida Panthers
8 Atlanta Thrashers
Yes, I know, I didn't take the homer approach and put my team first. I simply couldn't do it. Much as I hate those fucks that play for Ottawa (I hope Chris Neil takes a stray blade to the throat and bleeds out on the ice this year. Fuck, I'll YouTube that seven times the day it happens) the only real competition they'll have in that Division is Buffalo who isn't what they used to be to be able to take that title. And the Pens probably have the hardest Division in the league what with the Rangers beefing up, NJ still having one of the five best goalies of all time in net, and the Flyers making some decent upgrades, but not enough to hit the playoffs.
Sadly, I also have my Pens losing in the Conference Finals. They're just not there yet. Next year though, next year.
As for the West, I figure something like this:
1 Detroit Red Wings
2 Vancouver Canucks
3 Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks
4 San Jose Sharks
5 Calgary Flames
6 Colorado Avalanche
7 Nashville Predators
8 Minnesota Wild
I hate to put the Wings at the top of that Conference, but that Division is too much of a fucking cake-walk outside of the Preds who aren't even all that and probably won't even be around within two years. Ducks are going to struggle early on but once everyone is healthy, and yes, Selanne comes back (I just don't see him not going for one more) they'll right the ship. The rest is a toss up but I'm confident it'll look something like that. Watch out for the Flames and Avs, they've got a lot of pinache going their way. They could upset a lot of teams.
As for Dallas? Stick a fork in them, they're done. Modano has never been all that and now he's past time, and having really only Zubov and Turco isn't going to make the team. That's all she wrote there.
And as for the Cup? Well, I know it's a long shot for this to happen, but I seriously, honestly and truly have Anaheim taking down Ottawa again to be the first repeat Cup in, what, six years now I think. Fuck it, I'll live with that. Hate the franchise but like the way the team is put together. Have Pronger will travel.
But yeah, that's all I got. Hopefully I can score me another jersey for X-Mas from my dear old mom. I want a Fleury jersey because, a) he's the 2nd best player on the team (yeah, you heard me) and b) I think he's in for the long haul. Once we start losing players to big contracts I think him and Sid will the two big names standing for us for a huuuuuge run the next decade or so. At least that's what I hope.
FUCKING HOCKEY SEASON GODDAMMIT!!! WOOOOO!!!!!