by Adam Hostetter
The National Hockey League’s 97th year of play is officially underway. The excitement builds with fans in anticipation of Lord Stanley’s precious silver.
For nearly a century, fans of the NHL have anticipated the glorious moment that their team’s captain raises the Stanley Cup and all its might. This honor is notorious around the league and is responsible for the intensity from elite players all around the league. With Dustin Brown and the Los Angeles Kings hoisting their 2013-2014 Stanley Cup championship banner during their first home game, all other teams set their focus to taking a Cup back to their home team.
This season has brought considerable changes around the league. With the Penguins losing their top defensive line of Niskanen and Orpik to Washington, they need a strong sense of direction. They brought in former Asst. Coach of the Kings, Mike Johnston to lead the Pens as Head Coach. He has brought them a 2-0 record, with staggering victories over Anaheim and Toronto.
Also the Caps have made changes to their staff. Longest tenured head coach in NHL history, Barry Trotz, has taken over the Caps bench. He has restructured the team, implementing a strategy that focuses on disciplined defense that will create offensive opportunities. Washington also added a new GM, Brain MacLellan, who was formerly the Assistant General Manager for the Caps.
The Flyers are also making headlines this year, with the contract extensions of tender Ray Emery and blue liner Kimmo Timonen both to one year deals. They also named Gord Murphy the Assistant Coach. This has been unsuccessful as the Flyers have gone 0-2-2 in their first four games.