The last time "the first day of hockey season" was uttered on a January day, the year was 1995. Eighteen years and a couple lockouts later, it is being uttered again. Hockey, even in an abbreviated form, is still sweet.
Thirteen games will be played today, with only four teams having to wait for their official start to the seasonette.
The Los Angeles Kings, who were the last team standing in June, get to finally raise their long awaited Stanley Cup championship banner. I suppose it is fitting that a team who had to wait 35 years to even win the Cup had to wait longer to raise the banner as well. The Chicago Blackhawks get the privilege of watching the brouhaha before getting down the business at hand.
The Anaheim Ducks start on the road in Vancouver against the Canucks. It seems hard to believe that this is the Ducks 20th season.
Anaheim has a young roster, relying on a lot of young kids to fill holes left by veterans. The average age, however, is skewed...