Hockey's back, bitches.
The puck drops at 12 PM Pacific, or 9 PM Central European Time (CET) which, apparently, exists.
Anyone trying to do analysis at this point is a god damn lunatic, so I'll just share some brief thoughts about how the Sharks spent their off-season combined with some wistful links to the summer fun I had here at Camp BoC. As an extra bonus, I've also thrown in some facts about Sweden so we can all learn a little something today.
- May 25th: As soon as the Sharks were out of the playoffs we had to start thinking about salary cap issues. Marleau and Nabokov were the biggest questions to be answered. Remember back in those days, when people were saying Marleau was going to L.A.? Wasn't that weird? Anyway, here's how I dealt with cap issues. I basically let the young goalies fight for the job and spent the money to keep Marleau and Pavelski. I like the way it really worked out better.
- SWEDEN FACT! Sweden has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of about 4.8 million.
- June 9th: Sharks' captain Rob Blake retired. Around this blog there weren't many people who wanted to share fond memories of Blake. I did my best.
- SWEDEN FACT! Although having rejected European Union membership in two referendums, Sweden maintains close ties with the union and its member countries, as well as with the United States.
- June 11th: I made this handy chart to clear up blogger-confusion. Someone should update it.
- June 14th: For a long long time not much happened that was hockey related, so I started to go a little crazy. Hence Wiki-Sharks vol. 1 through 10. All that and I didn't even get to talk about Antti Niemi or Tommy Wingels!
- SWEDEN FACT! Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with King Harald V as its head of state and Jens Stoltenberg as its prime minister.
- July 1st: Evgeni Nabokov went to Russia and I was optimistic about Antero Niittymaki.
- July 9th: Some old lady crashed into my car and I had a moral dilemma, so I made the wise decision of asking BoC readers for advice.
- SWEDEN FACT! Sweden was united with Denmark until 1814, a total of 436 years. During the national romanticism of the 19th century, this period was by some referred to as the "400-Year Night", since all of the kingdom's royal, intellectual, and administrative power was centered in Copenhagen in Denmark.
- July 27th: As my mind continued to crumble due to a severe deficiency of vitamins N,H, and L, I imagined a world of parallel hockey dimensions, got angry at the poor story-telling of The Love Guru, and invented the idea of Mount Suckmore.
- SWEDEN FACT! The unique Swedish farm culture, sustained to this day, has resulted not only from scarce resources and a harsh climate but also from ancient property laws.
- August 26th: Rudy and I collaborated on one of the most popular posts in blog history. Then friends became rivals as I destroyed him in a round of Iron Blogger.
- September 2nd: After the Sharks signed Niemi I tried to trace their decision-making process in a version of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story, and then I was disappointed when the company didn't threaten to sue me.
- September 24th: The awe-inspiring days of preseason hockey.
- SWEDEN FACT! Some traditional Swedish dishes include lutefisk, smalahove, pinnekjøtt, Krotekaker and fårikål.
- This very week forward lines were revealed and Joe Thornton was named captain. And that put a merciful end to the longest off-season in history.
This afternoon, the Sharks are playing against something called the "Columbus Blue Jackets." I've never heard of them. Is this another German team or something?
Prediction: Sharks win 5 to 3, or $6.98 to $4.19 in American dollars. Goals by new top-line center Logan Couture, Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi, Ryane Clowe, and Sweden's finest representative, Hotel Magnate Douglas Murray.
I'm so happy.