Thoughts From The Penalty Box: Vegas, Lou, Rasmus, and Game Seven

There as been a lot going on in the NHL this week and I just wanted to share my thoughts on a few of the big stories.

Golden Knights are Storming Lord Stanley’s Castle

How about that headline? Pretty corny, huh?

We are watching one of the greatest sports stories of all time unfold before our eyes. The Vegas Golden Knights, in their inaugural season, have not only made the playoffs, but won their division and have now steamrolled their way into the Stanley Cup Finals, where they will face either the Caps or Lightning.

Many people were predicting the VGK to be a bottom-feeder this year, mostly because expansion teams are traditionally trash. Before the season started, I declared that the Golden Knights may be sneaky good, but I’ll admit that I didn’t expect much more than sneaking into the playoffs. Now, all of a sudden, people are crying about how the expansion draft rule changes being unfair. Hmm…no one was complaining about the rules when the draft happen almost a year ago; seems like the nerds out there are just a bit jealous. Vegas selected a bunch of guys that were 3rd and 4th liners on their old teams…doesn’t seem unfair to me; they basically took other teams’ scraps. What Vegas did well, in that time, was to cultivate picks and players through trades, where they agreed not to take certain players in the expansion draft. Is it the rules fault that the Florida Panthers basically paid the Knights to take Reilly Smith and Marchessault off their hands? Face it, they are just better than most (all?) of the teams in the NHL. Good management, great coaching, and an electric home ice environment have helped this team a hell of a lot more than the expansion draft rules.

Long Island Lou

Sounds like the suburban alter ego of Jimmy Buffet…

Hall Of Fame executive, Lou Lamoriello, is taking over hockey operations of the New York Islanders. Lou is best known for his work with the New Jersey Devils, where he ran the team for nearly 30 years, leading them to three Cup wins in five appearances. More recently, he has been the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he brought the team back from the dead like a red priestess of the Lord of Light. Toronto apparently wanted him to transition into a lesser role within the organization, but thankfully, Lou said “Fuck that,” or something to that effect, and came back to the good ol’ U S of A.

I’ve always had a soft spot of the Islanders; they have had some talents players over the reason, but management has always seemed to fuck that up somehow. It’s great to see that they finally have someone more competent than that bum of a GM, Garth Snow. Hopefully, he is able to keep Tavares on the island (unless he wants to come to Buffalo) and start re-tooling this team into a contender. Kind of pulling for him to go all-in by firing the Islander’s coach and taking over that as well. Classic Lou.

Ras on Ras on Ras-mus

Today, the Sabres signed 2016 2nd round draft pick, Rasmus Asplund, to an entry-level deal. Asplund has been been one of the prospects, in the Sabres’ system, that I have been looking forward to the most. I would not be surprised to see him competing for a roster spot in 2019.

Even more important, however, is that this addition puts the team’s number of players named Rasmus at three, already having Ristolainen and Dahlin on his way. I don’t think I had ever even heard of this name until a couple years ago, but the Sabres are doing well to corner the market on these guys. Something about this name just screams hockey star.

I’m starting to think that former Sabres legend, Erik Rasmussen, used cloning technology to create an army of Rasmusses(Rasmusi?).

Game Seven

As I write this, I am watching the Washington Capitals take on the Tamp Bay Lightning in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Caps are dominating as of right now, old time hockey (like Eddy Shore). Would love to see Ovechkin finally get a shot at the Cup. Either way, I’m not sure that either of these teams can take on Vegas.

Update: The Capitals absolutely shitpumped Tampa for a 4-0 win. Can’t wait to see this Vegas-Washington series. Official prediction is Caps in 6.

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