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The NHL’s opening weekend was both meaningless and awesome

What the Puck?
Autumn McDowell

Sports Editor

After enduring 113 painful days of separation, hockey fans are finally reunited with their old flame: the National Hockey League.

Jan. 19 marked the official anniversary that the players and owners of the NHL took their heads out of their asses and gave their loyal – albeit idiotic – fans what they deserve: good old fashioned hockey.

The opening weekend was not without its share of controversy, but with teams only having a maximum of two games under their belts at this point these first few games are mostly used for the players to get their legs back, and for fans to rekindle their hatred for referees, rather than being used as a measuring stick for a future Stanley Cup matchup.

With that being said, possibly the most important part of the weekend is that my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins managed to escape with a 2-0 record. I might as well start ordering my championship sweatshirt right now.

Penguins stud Sidney Crosby is back to his old ways and already set two new records this season. First of all, it only took roughly two minutes into their season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers for the captain to take his first dive of the season. I love The Kid, but that seriously must be some sort of record.

Oddly enough, Crosby has also now made it two full games without suffering a concussion, a record that Penguins fans will be holding on to for dear life as the season progresses.

However, despite the lack of head injuries as of late, Crosby also only recorded one assist in two games, so I think it’s safe to assume that his ongoing concussion problems have caused him to lose his touch. I hope my sarcasm is coming across in this.

To give the Penguins any edge I could, I texted the Flyers not-all-there goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and told him I killed a tiger, he was rattled in the cage – if any of you have yet to see HBO’s 24/7 Rangers Flyers, we are no longer friends. 

Anyways, as a result of Crosby’s snake bitten hands, teammate Evgeni Malkin was forced to pick up the slack and registered four assists in his first two games.
Although he was shutout in the goal department, after his strong weekend it’s obvious that he was scoring more that just assists after the game. Let’s not forget that I saw the heat Malkin was packing in the shower last year, and it’s safe to say he has no problem wheeling broads.

While the Penguins lighting it up in the NHL is nothing new, there were a couple of surprising moments that came out of opening weekend.

First of all, previous Montreal Canadians poison, Scott Gomez, who had been bought out by his former team one week prior to the start of the season – you know you’re terrible when a team will pay you to not play for them – actually has some interest from other teams.

The San Jose Sharks were in talks with the train wreck during the past few days and it appears that Gomez may be back on the ice instead of having his butt where it belongs – stapled to the pine. I think I speak for everyone when I say, “What the hell are they thinking?”

The other Ripley’s Believe it or Not moment that was featured in the first weekend of action was that the Toronto Maple Leafs actually won a game.

I had to read that over a few times just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and no, it’s not a typo; although spell check seemed confused when the words “won” and “Toronto” were used in the same sentence.

With all of that into consideration, possibly the greatest part of this rekindled romance between fans who aren’t stubborn enough to boycott, and the NHL is that I won’t have to endure soccer highlights every night.

Photo courtesy of thestarphoenix.com

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