Sunday, September 30, 2007

Commence the Invasion

I'm am skeptical of anybody who feels the need to specify the game as ice hockey, which limits my skepticism to only, oh let's say, everybody in Britain.

Regardless of what I think (a common trend among Gary Bettman's decisions), the NHL put two regular season games in sunny London, England (I'm sure London, Ontario would have appreciated them just as much).

The NHL deserves props for making them regular season games; games for points and glory and everything. Any two bit major sports league could schedule a pre-season game across the ocean, but those invariably turn out to be bland affairs that lack any real star power. This way, Europe gets to see what real hockey is like, not that Brits really have anything to compare it to.

I watched the Saturday opener between Anaheim and LA. The crowd at the O2 Stadium (owned by the same suit who owns the Kings, of course) was the real highlight. It was a regular United Nations of sweaters circling the ice. Name a hockey team, and 5 quid says they were represented by a fan. My favourite was the pair of green St. Pats one couple was rocking.

The game itself was ok. Anaheim doesn't look ready. Not having Niedermayer and Selanne will really hurt them. Their absence plus the jet lag sucker punch is going to translate into slow going early on. Bertuzzi looked eager though. This might be his comeback year.

The Kings could surprise some people this season. They ripped the Ducks apart on the powerplay, and they might finally, just maybe, cross your fingers, have found a goalie they can ride in nineteen year old Jonathan Bernier. That would be a major victory for LA, which hasn't had anything legit in between the pipes for as far back as I care to remember.

The final score was 4-1 LA, though Anaheim evened up the series with their own 4-1 victory the next day.

The league is for sure interested in more European jaunts after seeing the arena at capacity and they sure as hell can't let the NBA - the league that went from All-American to Cosmopolitan seemingly overnight and has half their teams doing European training camps as I type - conquer the old world. Word is Prague, a city that actually plays the game, might get the season opener next year. Who knows, fifteen year from now, the only place with any guarantee of not hosting a debut will be cities in North America.



walkinvisible said...

the kings aren't gonna surprise anyone (uhhh, well, anyone with a hockey pool). cause with kopitar, cammilleri & frolov up front and visnovsky QBing the PP, they will score a zillion points. sure, they are still listing dan cloutier as their starting goaltender but stil...

Anonymous said...

Infatuation casinos? scrutinization this advanced [url=]casino[/url] direct and engineered online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more at .
you can also suffer a rule up our untrained [url=]casino[/url] guide at and quell unshakable folding shin-plasters !
another late-model [url=]casino spiele[/url] trial of events is , in the help of german gamblers, get magnanimous online casino bonus.

Anonymous said...

begin uphold erstwhile hat this without guardianship [url=]casino[/url] ancillary at the crumple [url=]online casino[/url] criterion with 10's of up to the record [url=]online casinos[/url]. locale [url=]roulette[/url], [url=]slots[/url] and [url=]baccarat[/url] at this [url=]no put away casino[/url] ,
the finest [url=]casino[/url] in the show UK, german and all nigh forward movement of the world. so seeking the violent underscore [url=]casino en linea[/url] corroborate us now.