I’m posting late because I was at the Calgary Flames game tonight. I managed to score a seat from a friend of a friend – fancy, expensive corporate seats. We sat right in the front row against the glass. I wouldn’t want to sit there all the time – you can’t really see the opposite end very well – but it is a truly incredible view when the play is right in front of you. Three or four times during the game there was a big hit right in front of us, and it was amazing – your whole body shook. If you like hockey then you really need to see a game from that viewpoint – you see things you don’t notice from other places, and you get areal appreciation for the size, strength, and speed of these guys.
The game itself was very annoying. The Flames were playing the Colorado Avalanche – by far the biggest surprise of the NHL season so far. I honestly believed that the Avs would be a virtual lock for last place in the West, and quite possibly in the whole league. Instead, at this point in the season – about 13 games – the Avs are the best team in the league. Watching them play it’s not a surprise, either. They aren’t a talented team at all, but they play hard, they are extremely disciplined, they show amazing hustle, they never miss assignments, and they have a fantastic, red hot goaltender. It’s an extremely well coached team. Calgary jumped out to a 2-0 lead in just over a minute at the start of the game, but then the Avs woke up, tightened up, and proceeded to come back and win 3-2. They were badly outshot , but goalie Craig Anderson was amazing, and the team earned the win. Colorado will obviously slow down their pace a bit, but this isn’t a team that isn’t completely going away. Color me impressed. As for Calgary, the Flames have been a very hard team to to cheer for for a long time now, and they are as annoying now as they have ever been. They will never be a great team until they are built around someone other than Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf – they are a couple of bums.
This is certainly not the start the Cavs were looking to get off to in the Shaq era. They have lost twice, and from what I have seen they have been outplayed both times. I am very pleased to see the Raptors get off to a strong start – I am high on that team – but theCavs have to be very concerned that they aren’t looking better. I think the most striking thing was that the Cavs didn’t lose at home for their first 24 games or whatever it was last year, and they dropped their first one this year – and to their biggest rival in the conference in Boston, no less.There is no need to panic yet, of course, but Cleveland needs to get their act together soon.
The night after Boston won in Cleveland with a strong defensive showing they held the Bobcats to 59 points at home. Think the Celtics are ready for the season? I figure they remember last year and really don’t want it to happen again.
Stephen Curry had 14 points, seven assists and four steals in his debut for the Warriors. Blake Griffin had better hurry back soon if he wants a shot at the rookie of the year award because Curry clearly means business.