The sole indicator I had for a reminder (outside of previews on the major blogs, mostly written by Eric McErlain) was that I declined to participate in the usual fantasy hockey league I’d been part of on Yahoo for several years (mostly because there are too many players and teams to keep up with consistently; fantasy hockey and basketball are the most annoying for me personally.)
Sadly, the NHL itself has not done a heck of a lot to help someone like me, who used to be a die-hard, but moved away from the market and doesn’t get to see a lot of games of the favorite team any more (really, guess which team it is, I dare you.) Shoveling national games off to Versus post-lockout didn’t help, and I don’t want to watch the Kings play, period — I’ll be content and interested, but not emotionally attached to Ducks games in the same way. Despite ESPN’s lackluster treatment of the NHL in general, I would love nothing more than to catch national games twice or three times a week. Also, the unbalanced schedule pisses me off — every other game on FSN here is Kings-Ducks, Kings-Sharks, or Ducks-Sharks, I swear (you could mix in some Stars, too), never mind the aesthetic hate I have of hockey teams wearing colors at home. Only the NFL gets to do that, boys. On you, it looks lame.
As it stands, I’ll try desperately to keep up through the wire copy, Internet, fan sites, etc., and it may be better for my health this way — if there’s a more dysfunctional and ineffective goalie tandem on an otherwise smart-looking and effective team than the Avs’ duo of Jose Theodore and Peter Budaj, I’ve yet to see it. Ryan Smyth is probably used to having poor goalie play choke away games — he was playing in Edmonton and on Long Island last season. Anyway, as long as I can snag a few Avs games on TV and know that Joe Sakic is still wearing the C, the world will be all right — until they get busted out of the playoffs in the first round.
Come back, Patrick. Even 40-something year old you would be better than either of those two sad sacks.
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