The NHL Today

The NHL Today: What is going on?

I don’t know if it’s me, but there seems to be something happening behind the walls of the NHL.
And I am not so certain it is for the good.

Without the aid of a super awesome HD mega LCD plasma LED Quattro wall mounted television, or having the sufficient funds to subscribe to game center from NHL.com, I rely upon the good old internet to understand what’s happening around the league. A lot has changed from the beginning of this season, and I am going to take a non biased look at it.

At the beginning of the season we saw teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota Wild and the Edmonton Oilers at the top of the standings. These teams were playing well when the teams that had been predicted to be doing the same, were going through terrible stretches. The Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks and the Buffalo Sabres were having some difficult times.
Now that the regular season is almost at its end, and became balanced the way most professional analysts predicted, we have seen some odd things happen. Record breaking home win stretches, amazing goaltending, heartbreaking seasons and tragic endings. We have seen the media blow up and become a monster, personal achievements never thought possible before and the word concussion becoming a normal everyday discussion.

Right now it seems that there is a bit of a lull going around the NHL. Lately, those same teams I mentioned before, are back being subpar teams, whether it be due to injury, sickness, complacency or what have you. Vancouver, Boston, New York, San Jose, Detroit and countless others, just don’t seem to have the heart as of late. Granted Vancouver Boston and NY have all pretty much punched their ticket into the first round already and probably relaxing before going as hard as possible come April 8th. For the other teams fighting for playoff spots, some of them look plainly embarrassing some nights, and like supermen the next. Some teams are putting themselves on the brink of elimination just by sitting back and hoping the other team loses. Teams like San Jose, Winnipeg, Calgary, Toronto, Buffalo and Phoenix are now hard put to make the playoffs because they simply can’t pull the trigger. They all look to be golfing unless they pull themselves together. In fact the only team that hasn’t been having an up and down month is Pittsburgh, who look downright amazing, especially with getting the player of decade back in Sidney Crosby.

Another factor that may be weighing down upon the players and management maybe the fact that the NHLPA’s collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of this season. There is a lot to discuss, re alignment being the elephant in the room. With the Winnipeg Jets coming back into fruition, the league needs to make changes. They had already suggested a proposal that made no sense whatsoever, and rightfully so the players association shot it down in flames. All of this however after the league announced it to the media like it was a done deal and was already in the process of. This is the biggest part of the puzzle that needs to be rectified in order to right the ship. Salary caps, travels and scheduling will also headline the news that the mammoth new CBA will deal with. As more factors become prevalent to the here and now, the masses become aware and we all have our opinions. All of us not on the board of governors or player representatives have some input as to what we would like seen. However, because we are not a part of those said special groups we have no power over what happens. Owners and coaches to players and hockey fans are all going to be widely affected by what happens in the summer months of renegotiation, and if all does not go well, which I am predicting it won’t, we will all be in for a very long and cold “summer”.

With all that said, something needs to happen. I wasn’t as closely involved with the politics of hockey during the last signing of the agreement, but I know that both sides are looking to get the best for their chosen sides, which of course is not what the other side wants. Be it East or West, Player or Management, Jedi or Sith, we all have something huge to lose this off season.

@mattthemascot

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