Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Class is in Session

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, hockey fans all across the globe, the time has finally come for the much anticipated blogging debut of Professor Prax here on Everything Hockey! So take a seat, take out your notebooks and #2 HB (pun intended… most of you will get that one) pencils, and make sure to pay attention because Class is in session!

We’re at the beginning of the 2007-2008 NHL season, and it’s shaping up to be one of the tightest races in memory in both conferences. And we’ll have plenty of chances to talk about all aspects of that race between now, the start of training camp and the preseason, and early June, when we crown the 2008 Stanley Cup champion (*cough* Canadiens *cough*… hey a guy can dream, can’t he?), but for now, let me take some time to introduce you all to your teacher for the upcoming season (and for those of you who already know me… I’m sorry).

What is there to say? I’m an accounting student in university from Montreal, I’m a hockey nut, and I’m a bit of a nut in general, as if these first few paragraphs of your Prax Experience haven’t been indicative of that thus far. Specifically, as an earlier comment seemed to have implied) I’m a Montreal Canadiens fan, so consider me your Habs correspondent for the season, although I’m a fan of all hockey and will blog about whatever comes to mind and whatever grinds my gears at any particular moment.

Other than Habs talk, expect your professor to enlighten you about business related topics in the hockey world. As a business student, the business aspect of hockey and most sports is constantly buzzing through my head. Cap issues, accounting issues, financial issues all throughout the league and in industries that affect the league, you can be certain that we will be talking about all of these things as the season progresses and as people start to get sick of my rantings every time the Habs lose (so you know to expect those rants fairly often).

Speaking of the Habs, after their loss to the Islanders tonight in Moncton, they fall to a record of 1-2 in their preseason campaign, and, to be completely honest, as a unit, they haven’t looked impressive at all in any of the three games, even though several players have stood out. Kovalev in the first game, who provided 3 points, along with linemate Andrei Kostistyn, brought a lot of energy to the team and squeaked out the squad’s only win. Mark Streit and Josh Gorges were solid as a defensive unit in that same first game, and last night in game 2, Ryan O’Byrne, the big strong defenseman coming off great season in Montreal’s Hamilton AHL affiliate, made a case for a 6th or 7th spot on the team. Bryan Smolinski started earning his paycheck in his first game as a Hab, and Cristobal Huet shined in game 1 (although he was relatively weak in game 3).

But other than that, the two squads that took the ice the last three nights looked weaker than they should’ve preseason or not. Mikhael Grabovski looked fairly impressive and full of energy, but he needs to do more if he has any hopes of making this team for good. Dandenault and Bouillon, two experienced defensemen that can be valuable assets to this team, need to do a lot more if they want to keep their spots on their team. In reality, considering their salary and their experience, both will most likely make the team, but if I were a coach or a GM, I’d make sure to make it clear to both of them that performances like Dandenault’s in game 2 vs. the Pens last night (he was a -5) are just unacceptable, and that their spots aren’t as safe as they would imagine.

And that’s only naming a few… but I’m sure I’ll have many opportunities to whine about Montreal players as the season starts and progresses. For now, enjoy preseason action if you can, hope for some training camp trades, grab a beer and sit tight and wait for the season to start.

Since it’s the first day of class, I’ll let all of you out early. No homework. It is, after all, just the preseason.

Class is dismissed.


Eggshmeg said...

Wow, a French accounting student. How exciting ;)

Avsfan19 said...

Took you long enough, Prax. :P

Professor Prax said...

Who ever said I was french?

*Sends Eggshmeg to the principle's office*

Eggshmeg said...

I assumed from the line "I’m an accounting student in university from Montreal"...

Also, it's principal, not principle. Maybe you should brush up on your English :P

Professor Prax said...

Fact: Montreal has one of the best English business schools in Canada, even North America.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

And I'm an accounting student, not a grammar student.