Happy first full week of hockey season, everyone! Welcome to the first Weekly Update post of the season! Every Wednesday, I’ll be bringing you my five biggest NHL opinions from the past week in the league. Please remember: I am a Penguins fan first and foremost. They’re the team I watch the most and pay the most attention to. I’m also slowly, but surely gaining more and more love for the Dallas Stars, and I’m able to see them play live pretty frequently. You might say “You always mention the Penguins every post” or something similar, but this is why. I will try my best to talk about all teams equally, but I will often stick to what I know best.
This first week has been very impressive! We still have several teams who are undefeated after the first week and they’re still going strong! Who am I impressed with? Well, I’m going to give shout outs to two of the teams that I saw play live during my Opening Weekend trip: the Vegas Golden Knights and the Anaheim Ducks.
Vegas killed the Sharks, not once but twice. Enough said. Marc-Andre Fleury is still the best there ever is and ever was. It was an honor to see him play live again, especially during his 800th game. Also, he definitely deserved one of the stars in that second game against San Jose on Friday – he killed it! I most definitely think we’ll see Vegas go very far in the playoffs again this year. In a comment on someone’s Instagram, I projected them or San Jose (we’ll talk about it) as the Cup winner this season. I know I’m only giving props to Fleury in this post, but that’s only because I couldn’t see the full potential of the rest of the team because the Sharks were playing so badly. (We’ll talk about it.)
I think I’m a Ducks fan now? We’ll talk more about my Opening Weekend trip in a later post, but they definitely showed up and played a great game on Saturday against San Jose! Again, we’ll talk about San Jose in a minute, but I think the Ducks are holding their own and playing good hockey. Are they someone to watch out for? Eh, maybe. Who am I to say? But I really, really liked the atmosphere of their arena and, for that, I’ll say something nice about them. 🙂 And I also want to make it back to a game at the Honda Center very soon!
Evgeni Malkin is injured. Along with the rest of the Penguins.
Can Evgeni Malkin PLEASE catch a break?! That poor man. First, he talks so much during training camp about how he wants to do better and this is going to be a great year and all of that. (YAAAASSS Malkin!) Second, after the first game against Buffalo, he rips into his team and tells them to step their shit up – well, that’s my paraphrase of what he said. (YAAAAASSSS Malkin x2!) And then third, when the Penguins are doing well against Columbus and kicking some ass, HE GETS INJURED. Then we’re told it’s a LONG TERM INJURY. Then we’re told it could be a month. Okay, okay. Whew. That’s long, but not THAT long. Sad to not see him in Dallas in two weeks, but it’s okay as long as I can have him back for a bulk of the season. Still though… I hate this for him. He was so pumped to get back into the season and kill it and he gets hurt. Love to you, my friend!
Then Tuesday, October 8th, happens and pretty much the entire Penguins roster is injured. Crosby scores his first goal of the season in the first 30 seconds (snaps to you!), and the rest of the team proceeds to get injured one after the other. My bad, not the entire roster – the entire offense. WHAT IS HAPPENING IN PITTSBURGH?! I love my team, y’all know that. I know that one day they won’t be the team they were in 2009, 2016, 2017. (Huh, those years sound familiar.) But we still have some talent and some years left. I need my team healthy and kicking ass RIGHT NOW.
What happened to the San Jose Sharks?
Can someone go check on the San Jose Sharks? For real. It’s okay to have a bad game or two. Especially with this messed up NHL schedule that we have this year where teams are basically playing each other back to back. BUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THIS TEAM?! I was extremely excited to see them play in San Jose on Friday night! I’ve had a lot of respect for the Sharks over the past few years and I think they could win the Stanley Cup soon, this year even! But they have fallen apart and I’m not sure what happened. Friday’s game was YIKES – even though I did enjoy the 10 person fight that happened after the Sharks finally scored a goal with 5 minutes left! I was ready to see that level of passion for the team. Then I was super surprised when they didn’t win in Anaheim on Saturday. Guess I shouldn’t have judged the Ducks so early. It’s still EXTREMELY early in the season, and I’m hoping the Sharks will wake up and hit the ground running.
Who is this guy named James Neal and how is he scoring four goals?!
This is a new development from Tuesday night’s lineup of games, but JAMES NEAL SCORED FOUR GOALS IN ONE GAME! I have always been a James Neal fan. Loved him in Pittsburgh, kept up with him in Nashville, was excited to see what he was doing in Vegas, and then covered my eyes whenever he hit the ice in Calgary. But he is showing up with Edmonton and I am proud of him! That was a pretty popular opinion on Hockey Twitter – Calgary wasn’t a good fit for him, but he would bounce back in Edmonton. It’s still very early in the season, but it was great to see a fabulous game for James Neal and I hope he keeps it up!
It’s only the first week of the season, y’all.
I know what you’re thinking – Alana, you should be telling yourself it’s only the first week of the season, the way you’re going in on certain teams and all. Yes, you’re right. I should not be crying in a corner because most of the Penguin’s offense is injured. (SOMEONE PROTECT SIDNEY CROSBY WITH YOUR LIFE. SEVERAL SOMEONES.) And I’m not crying into a corner just yet. But I don’t think anyone else should be crying into a corner about their team either – not yet at least! Sharks fans, continue to cheer for your team and be proud of them! Stars fans, keep the faith alive – Roope Hintz is taking care of your team. Blues fans, know that your Cup win was a fluke and enjoy that honor. #Shady
All I’m saying is that it’s only the first week of the season and we have a lot more hockey to watch. And, just know, that I will not be that person who says “Well, the Blues were last place in the League on New Year’s Day and they won the Stanley Cup”. Eww, no. Shut up. I’ll just stick with my “don’t cry in a corner yet” phrase from earlier.
Teams I’ll be watching closely this week: San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes
If the Stanley Cup was won today based on this past week’s games, I think this team would be winning it: Vegas Golden Knights
What have you thought about the first week of the season? How is your team doing so far? Who are you projecting to win the Stanley Cup this season? Let’s chat in the comments or find me on social media! Instagram: @life.of.alana | Twitter: @thelifeofalana