I had plans, a New Season's Resolution of sorts; it was easy: boycott the Montréal Canadiens and the Bell Centre for at least a year and follow the other teams I like: Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Florida Panthers. And attend games at the Ottawa Senators' Canadian Tire Center.
Why? Because of the P.K. Subban-for-Shea Weber trade.
Well, I'll revise that to "no Habs games", because I went to the World Cup pre-tournament game tonight:
Team Europe and the North American U-23 Team?
Jaroslav Halak still has it, and he may be the difference between a projected seventh-place finish (only Team Czech Republic is worse on paper) and, say, a fourth place if one of Russia, Canada, Team USA, Finland or Sweden slips up.
Zdeno Chara, however, cannot keep up. Marian Gaborik has a bit of a temper but can still score.
Johnny Gaudreau is no one-hit wonder; he was dominant (as much as Jonathan Drouin and Aaron Ekblad) on a team that also features Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews - you know, the last four "next Sidney Crosbys".
John Gibson was in net for the kids, and he hasn't reached peak form yet, which just reinforces the impression that Matt Murray - who along with Phil Kessel may have been robbed for the Conn Smythe Trophy in June - will be the team's goalie of choice for the tournament.
And Murray happened to sign this card in blue sharpie:
2012-13 Between The Pipes set and CHL Prospects set, showing him in the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds' red (away) uniform.
Ironically, sitting right in front of me was the Concordia Stingers' head coach, meaning I got to talk about their new goalie, Philippe Cadorette, in person tonight.