OK, so it doesn't have nearly the ring or cachet that "Breakfast at Wimbledon" does, but at least we don't have to listen to Bud Collins. The 2007-08 NHL season begins in England later this afternoon (12:00 pm ET), and hockey fans in the U.S. have fingers crossed that Center Ice is up and running by then. (Sunday's game 2 will be carried by Versus.)
The typical lede in the local press has been hockey as curiosity. (Indeed, the BBC ran a story on Thursday titled, "NHL Circus in Town".) Some of the highlights:
From the BBC,
Two-time NHL All-Star, Todd Bertuzzi said: "It's something different to start the season. We'd usually be over in the US preparing so this is different and exciting."Makes one wonder what Bertuzzi quotes ended up on the cutting room floor.
From the IHT,
"We're cross-town rivals, and we really don't like each other," Kings coach Marc Crawford said.King's coach doing his best Don King.
From the The Guardian,
No game loses more in the translation to television than that played by 200-pound men skating at up to 40 miles an hour, laden with body armour, chasing a disc of vulcanised rubber and using a combination of balletic skill and basic thuggery as the tools of their trade."Laden with body armour"? What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen right wing?
SkyBet likes the Ducks in game 1,