COLE’S NOTES: All feels right in the world right now
Would you believe me if I told you that I knew Cleveland and Toronto would sweep in the ALDS, and that the Cubs would eliminate the Giants in 4?
OK, would you believe me if I told you that I thought the Jays, Red Sox, and Dodgers would win in four and that the Cubs would need all five games to advance to the NLCS? Well that's where we sit at this point in the baseball post season from this couch potatoe’s perspective.
Now on to Canada's game.
Night one of the NHL regular season started with a bang. Auston Matthews did not disappoint in his debut scoring all four of the Leafs goals... the first ever player to score four in their first game. But in true Blue and White fashion they still blew the lead and lost to a division rival in OT.
As a Montreal Canadiens fan this result makes me very happy because not only do I not see the Ottawa Senators as a threat but I thoroughly enjoy watching Toronto lose.
I am glad, though, that the trend is heading in the right direction when it comes to Number 1 Overall Picks.
Connor MacDavid is already proving to be a point a game player and a legend in the making by becoming the youngest captain in NHL history (sorry, not sorry Crosby) but Matthews is leading the youth charge in Toronto which seems to be working just as Babcock drew it up.
The Leafs made a huge splash by trading for goaltender Frederik Andersen in the off-season. A move that surely would be exactly what they needed to push themselves into the playoffs.... a legit number 1 goalie (sorry, not sorry Bernier).
Is he a number 1 goalie? Yes! Is he one of those handfuls of goalies that can compensate for an awful D-core? Tonight, it looks like NO! Moving forward, he will get better... he has too.
Unfortunately for Toronto (and me) you can't have your cake and eat it too. I love cake. You want a team that scores 4+ goals but also gets shutout after shutout. That's not how a whole season plays out.
Leafs fans you better hope that Babcock can get his kids to buy in to a team defense mentality because it takes a village to raise the Cup. And giving up a handful of goals to an above average offensive team can not be something you see happen all that frequently.
But enough about Lou's Leaf's! What does the rest of the league look like?
Will the Penguins repeat? How much will it mean to have Carey Price back? Can a healthy MacDavid and a new arena help the OIlers? Will a Canadian team actually make the playoffs this year?
In a nutshell... no the Pens won't win Lord Stanley's Cup again. Price's return will mean a return to the playoffs for the Habs. The Oilers games are way more fun to watch with a young stud and a nice rink. And at the very least two Canadian teams will make the post-season this year.
It's too difficult, in any sport, to win back to back championships and injuries already seem to be playing a factor at the most important positions for Pittsburgh.
Furthermore, you've got the Blackhawks who will always be my default favourite pick as long as Toews is in the league. And the San Jose Sharks always seem to be a contender. Can you imagine how good the Lightning would be if they could keep a healthy line-up into the playoffs? Who knows... maybe this will finally be the year for Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. They have the skills but maybe just not the depth.
Only time will tell.
All just feels right in the world now with hockey and football back, baseball playoffs are on, and the NBA is almost upon us. Life is good for sports fan.
I'd like to wish you, and your team luck, but unless you bleed Bleu, Blanc et. Rouge, I want nothing but high numbers in the loss columns of all other teams in the league. Such a Habs fan thing to say, eh?
Happy Hockey, people!
P.S. This new Edmonton arena looks awesome. So does their offense. Taylor Hall, who? This is going to be a high scoring affair. Glad I took the over.
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