If you turn on the television set right now, all you’ll find are some meaningless college basketball games, even more meaningless NBA games and some replays of Ray Lewis doing his little dance. Again.
We get it ESPN and everyone else. He’s retiring at the end of the year. Good for him. Hopefully he’ll slice his way into retirement and take a stab at a TV gig. Oh, then there’s Lance Armstrong. Wait, he was doping?!?! Great mother of Manny Ramirez’ estrogen levels?!?! Is anyone surprised? Psssht. Next.
Oh yeah, hockey is back. Not quite yet, but it will be here in just four more days. The greatest sport in the world run by the biggest bunch of clowns in the world has finally decided to drop the puck. If you haven’t already had your fantasy draft it’s coming up soon.
Little tip: Yahoo has hidden Pavel Datsyuk, Shea Weber and Marian Gaborik randomly in the rankings. It’s Puck Daddy-Greg Wyshynski’s middle finger to the world, or just a terrible oversight. You’ve been warned all you spark plugs out there.
Opening Day/Night for the NHL is Saturday January 19, 2013. Games begin at 3 p.m. EST on NBC Sports and run all day on CBC where available (check your local cable provider) There are 13 games on the slate which means that almost every team will be in action. Here is a preview of some of the top games to follow.
5. Chicago at Los Angeles-California gets reminded that their own Los Angeles Kings in fact won the Stanley Cup last season. The defending champs begin defense of their crown by facing a Chicago Blackhawks team hungry to rebound after a disappointing season last year.
4. Colorado at Minnesota-The “State of Hockey” introduces their two new free agents to the NHL against an up-and-coming Avalanche team. This could develop into a very nice rivalry between two young teams looking to establish dominance in the Northwest Division.
3. New York Rangers at Boston-The Rangers bring their shiny new offseason prize, Rick Nash, to Boston. The blue shirts will face a Bruins team that features a new centerpiece with goalie Tuukka Rask. A potential Eastern Conference Final preview?
2. Washington at Tampa Bay-The Capitals visit Southeast Division rivals Tampa Bay and their new-look defense. Swiss cheese took offense at the comparison to Tampa’s goalie tandem last year. New Caps coach Adam Oates will make his debut behind the bench as Alex Ovechkin goes up against goal scoring king Steven Stamkos.
1. Pittsburgh at Philadelphia- Two teams that hate each other. The best players on each team hate each other. The fans hate each other. This matchup is the best rivalry in hockey right now, and possibly the most volatile in all of professional sports. Claude Giroux gets to rock his new captain’s “C” in front of the home fans. Sidney Crosby opens the season on the active roster for the first time in two years. Fireworks will ensue. Count on it.