So with the start of the NHL season over the last couple of nights and Panthers finally getting back to stand alone Elite League fixtures, its safe to say that the Hockey season has now started properly!
So what do I think this season will hold for all my teams? Well I guess its hard to say at present. Panthers look a decent side on paper but with several key injuries its been a very up and down start.
It will be interesting to see if Nathan Robinson, quite possibly the best player on paper in the league and also a former Belleville Bull will hang around for a few more weeks now that his CHL contract is complete. Only time will tell on that one but personally I hope he does and that even more chemistry forms between Lacho and himself.
With Chris Higgins back in the lineup this weekend and also the return of David Clarke that should give Panthers plenty more firepower than they have had recently.
I still think the defence looks very strong and confident on the puck but just need to cut down on the errors and turnovers. Lets hope over the next few weeks we start to build a decent base to a possible title challenge!
Do I think we’ll win the league? Probably not but I’d like to see us at least challenge all the way!
Over in North America my beloved Buffalo Sabres began their season with a 3-1 defeat in our home opener to the Blue Jackets.
A result that possibly could have gone the other way had the Jackets goalie not had such a great game! However I am still hopeful of a better season this time round, with the additions of Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges giving this young team some good veteran leadership.
Lets face it, it has to be better than last year!
Over in Belleville the Bulls, playing in the OHL, have got off to a flyer with 5 wins and just 1 defeat in their opening 6 games.
It seems that the team is building on what was a very impressive season last time out. Again we will wait and see if the team gives all the fans false hope at the beginning of the season again.
So after all of this, come April/May where do I think each team will be?
- Panthers I think will finish 3rd or 4th in the league this season and at least make either the Challenge Cup or Playoff final.
- Sabres I feel will just miss out on the playoffs! (Not bad for this young team)
- Bulls – Playoffs again but I can’t really see us going past the 2nd Round.
This weekend sees Panthers take on Fife Flyers in a home and home series, at the NIC on Saturday before travelling to Kirkcaldy for the return on Sunday.
It would be nice to take 4 points this weekend but realistically I can only see it be 2, maybe 3 if we can sneak overtime in Fife!