Life is busy and sometimes things you love to do get put by the wayside.
Blogging, as evidence would show, was one of those things. I'm now a fan. A season ticket holder after being on the media pass dole for 8 years (I owned two seats for the first 4 seasons in the Rec Plex).
And, as you will discover, I'm bored. Not bored by the game - it seems to be as good a hockey as ever - but bored not being able to share an opinion, make a call or just plain comment about the game.
So the blog is back, at least on a consistently inconsistent basis, as I'm going to try and do this once a week, life permitting.
It'll be all things Ice, a little Junior B and a little NHL sprinkled in for good measure. It'll try to be short and sweet and about as concise - something I've never been accused of - as I can be.
Just a warning: I have no more insight that you, the other fans, do. I don't have access to the players or coaches anymore so this will be just from a fan's perspective. I might miss a play, fetching a coffee or a beer, or be just shooting the breeze with a co-fan, and miss something entirely. You'd be amazed how easy it is to miss something when you're not completely engrossed in it.
1. To begin the year I was skeptical about Sam Reinhart's ability to be selected the club's first and obviously highest NHL Draft pick. 1st overall? 8 games in, I'm convinced that he'll be at least top three. Reinhart could also win a scoring title and set the Ice record for most points in a season. At 2.38 pts/game he's on pace for 171 points, blowing away the Ice record for most points in the season. (Stoll 2001 - 106 pts). He's also on pace for 63 goals, which would also set the team record for that too. (Dawes 2004 - 50).
2. Calling all Euros, any Euros...... Where is this D-man that has been held up by the work stoppage? It's over and Rinat Valiev played last year in the U.S. (Indiana Ice, USHL, I believe), so it shouldn't be that hard to get his visa renewed no?
3. Speaking of D-men, the already thin blueline could use a boost. Tanner Faith is out for awhile with a shoulder injury. Landon Peel's leg injury is getting better and he'll play tonight but with a 20-spot open there's been a few that would've fit nicely here. Surprised that D Jesse Forsberg couldn't be pried from Seattle but he went to Moose Jaw, so maybe he wanted to play closer to home. But there's got to be a 20-year-old D-man out there to help the cause.
4. Surprised to see both F Kyle O'Connor and F Colin Shirley sitting out as healthy scratches last weekend. Spoke to McGill in passing and asked the question, to which he replied, "They needed a 'rest'. Lots of young guys to get into the line-up."
5. That being said, thought the new wonderkid in Zak Zborosky has been a welcome addition. Still can't believe the number 1 PP time he's getting though. I like the kid but surprised at the time he's getting.
6. I could talk about the fans again, really, does anyone want to go anymore? Averaging 2201 a game through five games, I fear the bell could be ringing for this franchise. FYI, the Saskatoon Blades sold for a reported $9 million in August to Edmonton Car Dealer mogul Mike Priestner, father of former Wheat King goaltender James Priestner. That's the same price that the Winnipeg Jets owner True North Sports was rumoured balking at paying for the Ice last winter. Watching the possible #1 overall NHL pick is reason enough to go sometimes.
7. Speaking of potential number 1 overall picks, Seattle's new wonderkid Matt Barzal was everything he was advertised last Sunday night. 1 goal, 1 assist and a +2 and serious minutes. Not going too far out on the limb here and saying he's the best 16-year-old I've seen in a long, long time. Yes, that includes RNH and Sam.
8. Barzal looks like he's easy to hate however as he can mouth it up when he wants to.
9. Could we see a goaltending controversy soon? Hoflin has looked very good in the two starts he's had. He'll push Skapski and he should, at 18-yrs-old.
10. PA is here tomorrow night for a Thanksgiving tilt. The Raiders are in an unfamiliar being ranked one of the top clubs in WHL. I'll sneak out of Turkey Dinner to catch the 2nd and 3rd. And yes, the ranking of the Ice in the CHL top ten was a stretch at the beginning of the season. Club was ranked 10th to start the season. They haven't been seen since in the rankings. Maybe a case of Reinhart-itis. Sam's good, but competing for a championship?