by Dan Adkisson
What’s Happening in the World of the NHL?
In the modern era, humans are typically impatient creatures. This wasn’t always the case; back before the rise of technology, when messages could only be sent by horseback, information would take days, weeks, or even months to move from person to person if they were in different countries. News of wars in faraway lands would essentially be out of date by the time it arrived at its intended destination.
Now, with the rise of the internet and mobile/cell phones, we now have unlimited resources at our fingertips. No longer would we need to go to a library, or speak to an expert, if we want to know the answer to something that wasn’t readily available. A quick search on Google will bring us the required knowledge almost instantly, taking away any element of waiting.
Because of this, we now no longer want to wait for anything. If food takes more than 25 minutes to be delivered, we get annoyed. If a plane doesn’t arrive to take us to our intended destination as we arrive at the gate, we become furious. If we have to wait a few months before we’re eligible for an update on our phones, or if the new model isn’t being released until the next year, we start to panic. We’re not built for waiting anymore!
This impatience can be seen in the world of sport. Most of the top ones will require a wait of several months between seasons, meaning we have to find something to do most weekends, instead of mindlessly sitting in front of the TV screen for eight hours, watching all the games and matches we can. The off-season can become unbearable, especially if you aren’t the sort of person who gets too caught up in endless rumors and endless trade rumors and transfer speculation.
While the 2020-21 NHL season officially ended in July, that was actually much later than it ordinarily would due to the global pandemic delaying everything getting started. Ordinarily, the season runs from October to April. That means six long months of no games to watch, or no chance to find odds for NHL picks on some of the top sports betting apps.
Thankfully, the new season is due to get underway this week, and fans are already patiently counting down the hours until the puck is dropped for the first time in 2021-22. In the meantime, let’s catch up on some of the latest NHL news.
Pre-season: Inconsequential or an insight into how the season will go?
Pre-season games are there for the players to slowly get back up to speed after a few months away from the ice. It’s also to integrate any new players, and for a coach to try out some different tactics, in the hopes of pushing the team ahead and finding ways to progress. This means that the results can be erratic, not necessarily giving a clear indication of how the upcoming season will play out. On the other hand, some think that if you have good form during pre-season, then you’ll likely start fast once the real games happen.
In defeating the Montreal Canadiens, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the 2021 Stanley Cup in a five-game series. It was their second consecutive championship, and third overall, in team history. With this type of success, you’d think they’d be able to carry that form into the pre-season, but their results have been patchy at best.
Over their first four pre-season games, the Lightning only won once. They began with a 3-1 defeat by the Carolina Hurricanes, then followed it up with a 6-2 loss to the Nashville Predators. The third time was a charm, as they finally found success in a rematch with the Hurricanes, winning 8-5. However, in a rematch with the Predators, they lost 6-1. All three of Tampa’s final three pre-season games will be against the Florida Panthers, so it will be interesting to see if they can find their winning way in those games.
Top stories from the NHL Draft
One of the hallmarks events on the NHL summer calendar is the league’s Entry Draft, where young players from across the globe hope for their chance to be selected by a team. The first pick in 2021 went to the Buffalo Sabres, who selected defenseman Owen Power from the University of Michigan. Power also had recent experience with the Canadian national team in international competition.
Second to be drafted was Matty Benniers, who went to the Seattle Kraken, an expansion team that is joining the league for the first time in 2021-22. Behind Benniers was Mason McTavish, a center who went overseas to Switzerland during the pandemic and played for EHC Olten. McTavish was taken by the Anaheim Ducks, a rebuilding team looking to climb their way up the rankings, after finishing last in the NHL’s West Division a season ago.
Will these drafted players shine for their new clubs? Will the pre-season results count for anything once the season has started? We can’t wait for the action to unfold to find out!