It's October, and hockey fans across the continent are beaming with excitement for the young and budding NHL hockey season. Fans of both the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils have a lot to look forward to this season. Devils fans are already looking forward to:
- Ilya Kovalchuk averaging four goals a night.
- On an off night by Kovy, when he only manages a hat trick, Zach Parise picking up the slack and registering at least 5 points.
- Marin Brodeur's 700th win. Or is it 800? Who can keep track these days.
- Placing Brian Rolston on Long Term Injured Reserve.
Similarly, Avs fans have a lot of exciting questions to be answered this season, too:
- Who will take Marek Svatos and Darcy Tucker's role at taking a poorly timed 3rd period penalty?
- Approximately how many total team concussions will the Avalanche sustain this year? 5-10, or more like 10-20?
- Will a freak injury take out David Jones for the season or Paul Stastny? Or both?
- Who will wear a snazier suit in the press box: Jonas Holos or Mark Olver?
- Will Craig Anderson play 80 games, or will he be victim to some Keith Ballard-induced injury, forcing Coach Sacco to give Budaj a few starts?
While these question are pretty damn interesting in their own right, the story lines surrounding tonight's game are even more so! Jump with me and see why tonight's game is particularly exciting for the Avalanche and their fans.
- Due to Salary Cap constraints, injuries, and suspensions, the Devils will probably be playing with a reduced roster, while the Avalanche will get to play with a full roster until approximately five minutes into the game when some fourth liner takes a bad penalty and Sacco benches them.
- Patrick Elias will probably cower in fear every time he's on the ice with Ryan Wilson.
- The Devils early season struggles have been pegged on Martin Brodeur's new off-season work regimen. Previously, the future HoFer kept in shape by eating a carton of Krispy Kream donuts daily, but this summer he cut back to just three donuts a day. Now opposing forwards find themselves with much more of the net to shoot at.
- The Devils, strapped for money as they are, are much more likely to trade Jamie Langenbrunner to the Avalanche for a 7th round pick while we're in town so they don't have to cough up the money for a plane ticket. Get it done, Shermanator!
- Craig Anderson probably won't be too distracted by the Devils' Ice Girls, as they probably all look like Snookie from Jersey Shore.
- Ilya Kovalchuk will soon enough realize that he just committed himself to play in New Jersey for the next fifteen years. There's a good chance crippling depression will set in mid-game.
- We're pretty much guaranteed that Martin Brodeur will make at least one terrible attempt to play the puck leading to a free Avalanche goal.
- The team will play extra hard tonight, because they know they'll probably be caught in traffic going over the George Washinton Bridge into New York for the next three days and will have to forfeit their upcoming games against the Islanders and Rangers.
- This doesn't really have anything to do with hockey, but the current Colorado Rockies are bound to move to the Meadowlands eventually, and two decades later Denver will have a real baseball team.
- Most sports fans in the New York/New Jersey area care much more about the New York Giants than the Devils, so no one in the stadium will be surprised when the Avalanche elect to decline all their penalties.