Carson Babbini | October 2nd, 2019
Welcome to the first edition of Five For Thought! Each week, I will give you five things to look for in the week to come. This week is the opening week in the NHL, so there will certainly be some interesting storylines to watch. I hope everyone is excited because the NHL season is upon us!
1. The Blues Begin Their Defense
With the season opener comes a battle of the past two Stanley Cup Champions as the Washington Capitals take on the St. Louis Blues. This is something that has not happened in the NHL since 1962. Led by captain Alex Ovechkin once again, how do the Capitals respond to last year’s playoff disappointment after being eliminated in the first round by the Hurricanes? We will get an insight tonight on how they respond starting tonight with the NHL’s best. As for the Blues, they begin their Stanley Cup defense tonight. The Blues come into this game hot off of making, perhaps, the biggest trade of the offseason acquiring defenseman Justin Faulk from the Hurricanes. How will Faulk fit into the Blues lineup? Where could he potentially slot in? And can the Blues pick up where they left off last year? All things to watch for tonight in the clash of former champions.
2. Hughes and Kakko Debut, Among Others
NHL fans will get a chance to get their first looks at the first and second overall picks as Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils and Kaapo Kakko of the New York Rangers will both make their NHL debuts this week, both surprisingly will play the Winnipeg Jets in their first game, with Kakko and the Rangers suiting up tomorrow, and Hughes and the Devils opening their season on Friday. Making his NHL debut tonight for the Vegas Golden Knights will be Cody Glass, the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft as the Golden Knights will start their season against their bitter rivals, the San Jose Sharks. Will we get an early look at what could be a heated Calder Trophy race this week?
3. Old Faces, New Places
With the offseason comes players moving to different teams and changing the course of the NHL. Just to name a few of the names that changed places include Artemi Panarin moving from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the New York Rangers, speeding up their rebuild, Sergei Bobrovsky moving from the Blue Jackets to the Florida Panthers, and P.K. Subban being traded from the Nashville Predators to the New Jersey Devils. Which free agent will have the most impact on their new teams? We’ll start to find out this week.
4. Byfuglien Watch
One of the interesting storylines in the offseason that came about late in the offseason leading into the preseason was Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien suddenly going missing and reportedly contemplating retirement. However, he hasn’t returned to the team yet and it doesn’t seem like he will be returning anytime soon. Now for Jets fans, and for the team themselves, they will be without their best defenseman for potentially the entire season and beyond if he decides to retire. But for now, the question remains will Byfuglien be back?
5. The NHL Season is Upon Us!
That’s right I’m including the fact that the season is starting as a storyline in itself. It’s been a wild ride of an offseason and the season is finally here for us to enjoy! Bucke up everyone, because the NHL season is here! Enjoy the ride, and we’ll be back next week for the next edition of Five For Thought!
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