Lil’ bit of this and a lil’ bit of that….

For the most part, the pre-season games are over, although I have the waning minutes of the Blackhawks/Caps game on as I write this.  The pre-season is only the pre-season, but I think it has taught us quite a bit.

I’ve kept quiet in the wake of the suspensions handed down by the new discipline czar, Brendan Shanahan, as I tried to figure out the rhyme and reason behind his decisions.  I’ve cheered the rookies who made the roster and read everything I could to understand just why this player was better or better suited to the team than another player.  I admit that my hockey knowledge has huge, gaping holes, but I have learned a few things.

This is what I’ve learned:

1)  The mere fact that someone is a “prior offender” seems guaranteed to give a player at least 5 games.  Time in between prior offenses and the types of offenses does not seem to be taken into consideration.  All players will need to walk a very fine line to avoid being labeled a prior offender; under the new regime, any prior offenses no matter what they are, will cause extra games suspended.

I am very much in favor of targeting those players whose actions cause serious injuries and I hope that the added vigilance by the league reduces the number of serious injuries.  However, despite the informative explanations of the reasoning behind the suspensions, I can’t help feeling that there is more of a subjective element to this process than I would like.

2) Our prospects and rookies are GOOD.  Like, seriously good.  As in, I would not want to be in the decision makers’ shoes in order to determine who stayed and who went.  I firmly believe that the team in Springfield is going to go all the way this year with the talent we have.  Write it down.  The guys who made the team are exciting and I think they can hang with the big boys.  We’ll know soon enough how they do, but for the next week it is fun to daydream.

3) The last pre-season game had more fans and was consequently, louder and more um, I guess “intimidating” would be the word I’d like to use.  Clutterbuck made some comment about not caring if the fans disliked him, but I hope we fill every seat on Friday as I know for sure there are busloads of Preds fans coming to Columbus.

4) I am crazy, silly, can’t-stop-grinning excited about Friday night!  This is going to be a season to remember!