October 25, 2011
Preview:Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders, 7 p.m. ET.
Unless you were Rick DiPietro's(notes) cheekbones, you probably really enjoyed the 2010-11 season series between the Penguins and Islanders. First, there was that now-legendary goalie fight. Then, nine days later, the two teams went batcrap on one another, combining for 346 penalty minutes, including 15 fighting majors and 20 misconducts in a 9-3 Islanders win. Are the franchises looking to renew hostilities? Not according to Isles coach Jack Capuano, who said, "For me, it's not even a rivalry." But take this with a grain of salt, because he said it while wrapping a two-by-four in barbed wire.
Good news for the Senators: the Hurricanes have lost two straight. Bad news: they will be without Daniel Alfredsson(notes), who will miss the game with hip soreness. Good news: the Senators have won two straight. Bad news: they remain the Ottawa Senators, which is always a concern. Cam Ward(notes) and Craig Anderson(notes) get the starts in goal.
Last week, I boldly predicted that the Columbus Blue Jackets would wrestle their first win from the hands of the mighty Red Wings. I was way wrong, but that won't deter me from predicting it again. I mean, how can the Blue Jackets not be inspired by GM Scott Howson's recent blog post? Nothing inspires me like transparent hand-wringing from leadership.
David Booth(notes) makes his debut as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, skating alongside fellow countrymen Ryan Kesler(notes) and Chris Higgins(notes) on a line Canuck fans are calling the "American Express." One can only hope the Team America theme will get a spin each time this line scores. This game's definitely worth a watch, especially because Booth has about twelve seconds to score a goal before Canuck fans start booing him and his contract and proposing he be traded to Tampa Bay for Vincent Lecavalier(notes), as is tradition.
• Yes, Vancouver is a difficult hockey market. Booth dodged a bullet this morning when he attended the optional skate. [PITB]
• A Manitoba junior hockey team has been fined $5000 for hazing. Am I the only one who can't stand it when articles like this pop up and no one explains what they actually did? [CBC]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Vanessa, on Reebok's Fair Isle NHL Jerseys:
The more I look at these, the more I'd like them if they were for pets. Otherwise, fail.
Bold prediction: I'm telling you, man, Columbus is going to win. They're due.