I don’t like preseason hockey. I love hockey, sure, but preseason hockey is a weird animal. The player talent is all over the place. Marginal players are eager to make a statement by spilling buckets of blood (theirs or others’), good players look superhuman because they’re matched up against scrubs, and stat people don’t seem to care much for the inscrutable details like who actually scored the goals. Plus, I’m naturally skeptical about prospect players, who are often overhyped and rarely turn out to be viable NHL players. The whole exercise is wearying.
That said, we got a lot out of this (heavily televised) preseason: the rise of Connor Carrick, the rise of Nathan Walker, Recker vs Looch, some fancy Ovi stickwork, a crab on the ice, Joel Rechlicz winning a game using actual hockey, and Ovi looking tough.
But it’s over now. Saturday’s night game against the Cup-defending Chicago Blackhawks is the final exhibition game of the year. After that: real games for real points. Real net-crashing. Real line-up controversy. Real Caps hockey.
Bring it on.