Anyways.. 67% of the Canadian teams played last night, while there was a barn burner going on in Chicago. What a way to celebrate your banner raising night too, huh? Come back after giving up the lead and win it. Holtby has to have that last shot though, that just stunk. Although Washington lost, the plus side is Mikhail Grabovski looks to be working out, netting a hat trick and a helper, in his first game. He's going to be a great story this year, because he's hungry to play. The Leafs never used him to his full potential, and playing with countrymen Ovi-wan Kenobi will bring out the best in him.
Another great story is going to be Michael Frolik, the guy has just been waiting to be on a team that's not stacked to the nines with forwards, or Florida.. He wasn't being used to his full potential in other places, and I can see him meshing well with other guys in the room. The Jets are going to be sneaky this year.. people forget that they brought in Frolik, as well as Setoguchi. They also have young guys like Mark Scheifele, and Jacob Trouba that can make an impact. They did. The two rookies combined for three total points, and two goals. Trouba also netting the tying goal, in last nights come from behind victory against the Oilers.
The other two Canadian teams squaring off (literally), were the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs. This was a brawl, with 25 total penalties handed out, and 10 fights. Good 'ol North East hockey. Best part about all these fights.. We got to witness our first ever self inflicted knock out. Which you can see... here. Nasty fall.. everyone here at E2W hope's he's ok, but that's the nature of the business. If you're gonna go in swinging, you better believe you're gonna take a couple on the chin, just not from yourself. Leafs take this blood bath 4-3, and Mason Raymond scores the winner. Another funny thing about this game was, we saw two guys square off, and oblige each other to take off their helmets.. but neither wanted to be the first and get the extra penalty. So you see them talk for a second, and come to a mutual agreement on timing, and than proceed to beat each others faces. Side note: Travis Moen.. Prust can handle his own, down boy.
Speaking of the leafs, Mr. Irrelevant Phil Kessel signed his new contract, for 8 years at 8 million dollars per. Is he REALLY worth that? Yeah, in that neighborhood. Although he's been criticized for his lack of a defensive game, he's a monster offensively. He's fourth overall in points over the last two seasons, and 4 fourth overall in goal scoring over the last three. Maybe he's worth a little less because his defensive game stinks, but he's worth around there 7-8 mill a year. He was really starting to rev it up last year two, and without the lockout-shortened season, he would have had a career year.
Reimer started in net last night for the leafs, which is strange considering they traded for the promising young Jonathan Bernier. I'm sure Reimer will have a season ending injury within the next few days and Bernier will be in there in no time. In other goalie news, the Flyers are starting Steve Mason, not Emery for their opener. Not sure about this one.. the goalie situation isn't ideal in Philly, but if you're going to start someone, at least give the seasoned guy the nod. Unless Mason kills it to start the season, they're going to eat him up just like they do to every goalie in the city of brotherly love. Also, the Flyers brought in big boy Hal Gill to a one year deal. Kind of irrelevant.. but at least he'll bring some size to a mediocre defensive core.
Last thing before I run out of breath. Tim Thomas has decided to put politics aside, and start for the Panthers opening night. How happy is this guy.. he won a Stanley cup, took a year off, insults the president, and now he lives on the beach. On top of that he has a mustache that makes the Brawny man look like a 12 year old. He could be a nice little surprise for a franchise that could use a serious turnaround. Either way.. Thomas gets the nod to start, and play hockey, right near de beach.. BOY-EEE.