30 Teams Worth of Questions

From NY Times Slap Shot blog:

All around the world, the puck drops on the 93rd N.H.L. regular
season today, a premiere that stretches across nine time zones.

It was 7 p.m. in Helsinki but noon hereabouts when the Hurricanes and
Wild faced off at the Hartwall
, home of the famous Finnish club Jokerit.

About seven hours afterward, the puck will drop on the North American
portion of the schedule, the Canadiens skating in Toronto and
Pittsburgh hosting the Flyers. Two more games follow from further west
later on, the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks in Colorado and the Flames
confronting their provincial rivals in Edmonton.

While the N.H.L. start has never been more global — six games in
three European cites over the next four days — this season won’t have
the international component, nor the interruption, that the Vancouver
Olympics provided last year. With so
many claims that last season’s entertaining hockey may have been the
best ever
, the league will be challenged to approach, if not
duplicate, the entertainment and drama that the game produced in

“There will be challenges, but rather than symptoms of a league’s
struggles, they seem to be signs of growing strength,” writes Jeff
Z. Klein in a preview story from today’s Times
, one of a few Times
articles published this week on the new season.

Klein also wrote a sidebar on some
teams to watch
(Coyotes, Sabres, Flyers and Canucks) beyond the
usual suspects (Blackhawks, Capitals, Red Wings, Penguins).

Earlier this week, he looked at the
impact of the rule changes on goaltenders equipment
this season, as
the league tries to combat the Michelin Man Effect that overstuffed
netminders have had on stifling goal scoring over the past 15 seasons.

And we collaborated on a piece in Wednesday’s Times on the retro movement in N.H.L. sweater and
logo design
, a story that was accompanied on The Times Web site by a
slide show
, showing pictures of the jerseys and crests in the

Continue reading “The Morning Skate: 30 Teams Worth of Questions”>>

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