Today The Rink fires up the Wayback Machine. Journey with us, back to a simpler time. To set the scene, George W. Bush was still in his illegitimate first term as President, the country had recently begun its disastrous occupation of Iraq and Usher was king of the pop music world. Free love reigned and you could fill up your car's gas tank for less than $50. The NHL was different back then, too. The League had rules - both written and unwritten - that stymied scoring, creativity and overall entertainment, even going as far as to require games to end before a victor had been decided. This "old" NHL, as it is now referred to by historians, was thought banished forever following the Great Fan-Screw of 2004-05. For one day, though, it was a return to the bad old days for the NHL.
On Monday, October 31, 2005 the NHL averaged only 4 goals per game. Sure, there were only two games played. And neither ended in a tie. But this glimpse into the past should confirm what we already knew - that hockey in 2005-06 is the best it's been in years. Hopefully the League comes back to the present on Tuesday night.
In Capland, the local scribes are back at it, delivering that brand of hard-hitting journalism we've come to expect. The WaPo details the team's conditioning routines ("Some drills call for players to wear vests filled with 30 pounds of sand"), notes a few injuries (a couple of relatively minor ones to Dainius Zubrus and Matt Bradley and a more significant one to Chris Bourque down in Hershey) and points out that goaltender Olie Kolzig has as many or more points as 12 of his teammates. Yikes. The WTimes elaborates further on Bourque's injury (he'll be fine), and adds Petr Sykora to the list of the non-skating wounded.