My attachment to the great sport of hockey is on a deeply emotional level. I equate it with anything that causes a well of passion within me. Perhaps the only thing more passionate than the hockey game itself is the anticipation of the game. Especially passionate is waiting for the hockey season to begin. As a newbie, liking hockey was easy. Root for your own local team. Catch the games without the additions of Game Center and Center Ice. Without much knowledge or any real opinion, I went with what was the most obvious. However, as I gain in knowledge and understanding of the dynamics, politics and people who make up the NHL the excitement builds rather than diminishes.
So, my Game Center subscription is renewed and I will be signing up for Center Ice. It is late September and the air feels full of electricity. The days are cooler and the nights are growing longer. Football is in full swing and baseball is winding down. Pre-season is here and each team in the NHL is back on the ice. So what will this season bring? What predictions will be accurate? Which ones will go completely south? What kind of chemistry will be apparent in each of the teams with all their new players?
Probably the greatest thing about a new season in hockey is that no one really knows what is going to happen. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat will not be played out to the same song. This is true for the newbie as well as the seasoned fan. With the end of Playoff season, the Awards and the Draft, the decks are swept clean for a new season to begin. Where the teams and their fans will end up, no one really knows. There will be speculation and prediction but the final destination remains a mystery. For the teams who wound up on the bottom of the standings as well as the team who hoisted the Cup, it is a new beginning.
As a person who has learned so much about hockey since becoming a fan, (about 4 years ago) the excitement only grows. My team, the Bruins suffered a crushing loss to the Blackhawks in the final game of the Playoffs. The summer was spent lamenting. The pre-season buzz if full of recollections of how the Blackhawks achieved final victory. Will they do it again? Will the Bruins work through their issues that kept them from the Cup and go on to next year’s Playoffs attempting glory again? Those and many other questions are out there. The expert and the novice meet on the same untraveled road. The answers will only be found on the journey. A wild ride it will certainly be. Happy Ice Trails to all.