Hockey from the Blind Side, Here We Go!
By John Panarese
Yeah, I have admitted it several times. I also will never deny it. I am a hockey nut. I am a hockey geek. I live for this time of year.
As the preseason games begin, my enthusiasm gets cranked up to full blast. Unless you enjoy the game of hockey as much as I do, you won’t understand this statement, but life begins in October for me.
The summer is my favorite time of year as far as the weather goes. It’s ironic that I prefer the warm weather and the chance to be outdoors without having the displeasure of freezing my you know what off. The beach, the pool, barbecues, I love it all.However, hockey season is simply MY TIME of year. It just captures my attention fully and I find myself getting drawn into every game I can listen to. The NHL
Game Center package subscription was both the best thing and the worst thing to happen to me, as I have no qualms about putting on games all day and paying attention to as many of them and as much of each game as I can. It looks like I’ll be playing in three fantasy leagues again, so my free time over the next six months is already slated for hockey “geekdom”. I make no apologies or excuses for that either!
I didn’t catch any of the Isles game in Boston last night. I know that many of the guys who will be playing for the team were not in the lineup, such as JT, Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner. Ricky DiPietro started in net and played the first two periods, but, unfortunately, newcomer, Anders Nillson took over in the third and the 3-2 Islander lead turned into a 6-3 loss by game’s end. I don’t make much of preseason games, to be honest, so I am not at all concerned about a loss right now, unless an injury is involved.
Nevertheless, here we go! I can feel the energy building and my enthusiasm increasing. I can’t wait for the regular season to start. To be immersed in the world of stats and searching for that “sleeper” I can grab for my leagues before anyone else picks up on him mixes with trying to catch as much of every Islander game I can. Of course, I am first and foremost an Islander fan, but playing fantasy hockey forces one to have to Know about the rest of the league …. not that I have to be forced …..
So, folks, it’s HOCKEY TIME. Come follow me into the world of skating, hard hits, highlight reel goals and big saves. Keep track of those goaltender games started to be sure you have, at least, the minimum amount required for the week, tally up those PIMers, count those shots on goal and keep an eye on those valuable shutouts and shorthanded points. Yell at the television or radio as if you really are a coach and love and curse the guy at the same time that helps your team in one league, but kills you for the week in another. Become fans of someone on a team you generally hate because you happen to own them in a league and they helped you steal a win from a buddy Sunday evening and give you bragging rights for Monday morning.
In two weeks it gets kicked into high gear. Who will be the hot commodity, who will be the big bust and who will be the unexpected surprise. If you love the game of hockey and, especially, if you play fantasy hockey, get as pumped and fired up as me! GAME ON!
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