Previewing the 2013 NHL season — sort of.
Yes, that video above is the intro to “NHL Hitz 2002” for the X-box. Why is that video being used for a season preview for the 2013 season?
Why the hell not?
In case you didn’t know, the NHL season, or what’s left of it, begins Saturday, Jan. 19. Most people probably didn’t know that. Most don’t care.
This is a half-assed preview because honestly, this is a half-assed NHL season. Bumbling Commissioner Gary Bettman locked the players out for so long, I didn’t think there would be a season.
Somehow, a deal was made then a brilliant announcement went out around 6 a.m. Pacific time on a Sunday of big NFL playoff games.
The NHL is not a league that could afford this lockout. Americans simply don’t care about it the way the NFL and NBA are loved. When the NBA and NFL were locked out, the mainstream media had daily updates on how close or far the owners and players were to a deal. They would show the players showing up in suits for their meetings, owners grumbling about losing money — since billionaires or near-billionaires have it so bad compared to the millionaire players.
These updates weren’t just on ESPN. This was regular news. Unless you live in Canada, the NHL lockout wasn’t mainstream news. A Montreal Gazette reporter actually covered the Canadiens’ season by doing write-ups on the simulation results of “NHL 13.”
You’re really fucking up, NHL. The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup last year … that would be great for hockey to saturate southern California. It did last season, but all that momentum is gone now.
The Lakers struggles and the Clippers ascension have all the coverage now. And it’s starting up the weekend of the AFC and NFC championship games. Be honest, hockey fans, the return of this season is extremely low on the totem pole.
“Training camp” was about a week long with no preseason games. Players are going to get hurt.
Since the NHL doesn’t care about its players or the fans, here is an extremely casual prediction for the division winners in this rushed season. No research whatsoever was put into these predictions:
Atlantic: New Jersey Devils
They played in the Stanley Cup Final so why not?
Northeast: Boston Bruins
Fun fact: Former Bruins right winger Cam Neely played Sea Bass in “Dumb & Dumber.” That was a hell of a loog Sea Bass spit into Harry’s burger. Very phlegmy.
Southeast: Washington Capitals
Alexander Ovechkin plays for his team. They must be good.
Central: Detroit Red Wings or Chicago Blackhawks
I couldn’t make up my mind, these teams usually do OK, right?
Northwest: Colorado Avalanche
The power of the Quebec Nordiques will fuel their fire when it’s cold!
Pacific: Los Angeles Kings
They won the Stanley Cup last season and Jarrett Stoll has been linked with TV hottie Erin Andrews (they were photographed at a New Year’s Eve party).
For your viewing pleasure here is Neely’s performance as Sea Bass. Enjoy.