As the season gets into full swing this week, there's bound to be something interesting going on. This is the post where I try to figure out exactly what story lines are out there.
- Getting the Islander mention out of the way: The Islanders and Sabres are two of the East's mystery teams. No one's quite sure how good the Sabres are going to be after losing their heart and soul. They could be cellar dwellers, they could be in the playoff picture all the way. The Islanders are in a similar boat, except for the fact that everyone but EJ Hradek and Bucci are picking them to finish last. With a revamped roster, anything is possible. The teams will square off Friday and Saturday nights in a home and home series that won't be watched by anyone outside of New York, but should give us a good idea of where these teams stand.
- Carey Price Watch: With the announcement today that the Habs have tabbed Uber Prospect Carey Price as their backup net minder for the year, the countdown until when he usurps Cristobal Huet for the top spot is on. The Habs open in Carolina on Wednesday, a team which they will play two additional times this month, and travel to Toronto for a Saturday match up with the Leafs.
- The moment we've all been waiting for: Hockey returns to Versus Wednesday night, with the Ducks and Wings at 7:00 PM EST followed by the Stars and Avs at 9:30. For those of you in Canada, TSN has Leafs/Sens at 7:30.
- I don't like you, and you don't like me... Got it? The Battle of Ontario resumes with a home and home series between the Leafs and Sens on Wednesday and Thursday. All this really means is that the crushing of the Leafs' hopes will start early this year. We'll have to wait and see, but by all indications the Sens are going to have any easy go of it in the East this season.
- I believe Kansas City has my stapler: Thursday night the Predators open their season at home, and things are looking bleak already. There are apparently still almost 8,000 tickets unsold for the game in an arena that seats about 17,000. I imagine Gary Bettman would play the role of Bill Lumbergh well; 'Yeah so... Nashville. I'm going to need you to go ahead and move to Kansas City, OK? Grrrreat. Yeahhhh.... and could you do that ASAP? Grrrrreat. Thanks.'