1/30th Season Report

The Habbies are still first overall, tied with a team from the Motor City more familiar with this lofty postion in the standings. Starting 3-0, all three wins on the road, with victories over their biggest division rivals in Boston and Toronto - you can't ask for any more than that. Rumour has it that Theo was sub-par in the Toronto game Saturday night. I missed the game, and the HNIC season opener, in favour of a two day hike during a torrential downpour. Never again. Anyway, if you can post a perfect record with your cornerstone player off his game, you have durn good reason for optimism. The home opener on Tuesday should be a raucous event.

I have watched a few other games, and it looks to me like there is still a fair amount of clutch-and-grab hockey. Players still get away with a lot more than they do in the leagues I play in (as low-level as organized hockey gets). However there seem to be more pretty plays, exciting goals, and more offense in general. There have been 251 goals in the first 80 games played. If you check the standings you might be fooled by the GF/GA numbers which include a goal for shootout wins, of which there have been four this season. Excluding those goals you still get a sky-high average of 6.27 goals per game, so maybe the level of officiating is a good compromise. The part I like is that there seem to be a lot of comeback wins, although I can't back that up with numbers. A third period lead is no longer a death sentence for the team down a goal or two. So, 80 games into the season, I must say I like the product. We'll see if it lasts.


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