Opening Night Misery
Why does the NHL act like the NHL? Seriously, its a league that cost Teemu Selanne two full seasons of sharing an all time great career with fans. A league that did it’s best to prevent Martin Brodeur from becoming the Cy Young of goaltending wins. Its a league that has poisoned labor-management relations every chance it gets. And it’s a league that treats its fans like they’re George Lucas and we are episodes 1, 2, and 3. They are truly a league of bunglers, and in an abbreviated season, their turd blossoms are magnified.
Case in point- one of the greatest rivalries in professional sports is the Islanders versus the Rangers. Not trying to establish my credibility as an Islander fan here, but if Henrik Lundqvist was on fire right in front of me, I wouldn’t pee on him. Conversely, if GoaliewithaStupidlySpelledLastName was in front of me and NOT on fire, I would absolutely pee on him. I’m inconsistent, I know. Anyway, it’s common knowledge that this is no longer Fort Neverlose, and that the Rangers use the Coliseum as the Long Island branch of the Garden when they play here, but that actually creates a House of Parliament back and forth that energizes the crowd. The fans watching at home will be amped to see an all time great rivalry unfold to kick off the season. Local bars and eateries can promote opening night excitement and bring some of that cash they lost out on since October right back. And what better way to start off a year, then with that delicious venom that Isles- Rags creates?
Which is why the NHL scheduled an Islanders-Devils game for opening night. Because as we all know, there’s nothing more exciting than Devil’s hockey. Even if they changed their style and are more uptempo, they’re still the boring, nap inducing 2-0 final score Devils. How did the NHL get the Flyers-Penguins right, then look at NEW YORK and be like hmmm….lets give the Rangers a Bruins game, put Islander fans to bed early, and give the awful city of Buffalo another night of nothing to do? It makes me think that Pens-Flyers was an accident. Someone actually looked at the schedule and said “damnit, how did we miss that one? We could have had Pens- Panthers, and Flyers-Bolts!”
Fools. The NHL should have been looking at every single rivalry that exists and made all of them opening night games. If a team has two rivals, have all three on the ice at once! That would garner some attention! But time and time again, when the NHL has an opportunity to step up and do something that other big boy sports do (see: Knicks-Nets opener), they show time and time again why they’re irrelevant. It’s because they do it to themselves.
Filed Under: Boston Bruins • Buffalo Sabres • Eastern Conference • Florida Panthers • New Jersey Devils • New York Islanders • New York Rangers • NHL • NHL Teams • Pittsburgh Penguins • Tampa Bay Lightning
About the Author: We are two long time hockey fans who certainly have our own opinions and points of view. Feel free to share yours. Follow on twitter @joshbarely