Happy New Year’s Eve!
Well, not today. But in a few short months, it will be December 31st, 2013-which will find all of the die-hard Phoenix Coyotes fans assembling at Jobing.com Arena to watch the Coyotes take on the Edmonton Oilers in the 39th game of the regular season.
The Oilers had a pretty busy summer of adding talent. In fact, they raided the pantry over here and came away with Boyd Gordon; the NHL’s human puck magnet. The bad news/good news is that while we’ll miss Gordon because he was excellent at blocking shots with everything and his stick, we will definitely be saving money because we won’t have to pay for his stitches and multiple ice bags. Another plus is this; we know exactly where Gordon is hiding the bruises from last season; and we know how to get around his Jedi puck defense. If anyone’s shots can get through the Gordy Wall of China, it’s the Coyotes.
They also added former Coyote Jason LaBarbera, our long time back-up net minder. First in goal for the Oilers is of course, Devan Dubnyk. Shaky and as of yet, unproven, "Double D" is going to have to come up big to get on the postive side of .500 for the upcoming season. Weakness on the blocker side and slow moves laterally could be overcome somewhat by the defensive play of the recently added Andrew Ference. But all in all, Mike Smith facing either Barbs or Dubs on New Year’s Eve looks like a pretty good reason to pop my cork.
Moving over to offense, the Oilers do have that pesky Nail Yakupov. I’ve got two words for ya, Nail:
Don’t feel bad buddy, it happens to the best of the best. In fact, a nice slump may even be karma for your silly celly last season.
Let’s see, what else will make this New Year’s bright? Ah yes, Edmonton has a new coach in Dallas Eakins. Oh sure, he was successful in coaching the Toronto Marlies but this is the big show. I’m giving the tip to the more experienced Tipp on this portion of the New Year’s match up.
So, that's a look ahead...way ahead...to the 39th game of the season on this 39th day before the first puck drop. Cheers!