Group Therapy: Hockey Heals All Wounds

Harry How

The return of hockey and the return of sanity! Group therapy time!

I don’t know about you, but I could certainly use some therapy! Hell, after the drama that has ensued over the course of the last ten months, I think we could ALL use some therapy.

Blah, blah, blah...NHL Lockout...blah, blah, blah.

Okay, that's done, lets move on!

There are going to be many hot topics to discuss throughout the course of this short season. With everything so compact - each stepping stone, road block and hiccup in the game is going to be magnified and exploited. Especially when it comes to contracts, the trade deadline and wether or not this team can make the playoffs.

Just as I do every year, I have high hopes for this group. I always feel like somehow the formula is going to work out great and I'm going to be pleasantly surprised. Why shouldn't this year be any different?

Contract years:

This might just be what the Ducks need in this abbreviated season. Two of their best players going all out to get every last dime at the end of the season (whether that dime be paid by Anaheim or not, well that's another day of therapy, folks). If this means that we get to see both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf playing their absolute best, then perhaps we'll be arguing about who we WANT to keep instead of who we think should be shipped off!

The defense...rests?:

No, I wasn't overly excited when the Ducks signed an aging Sheldon Souray, but since camp opened, I've heard nothing but really great things about his attitude and what he can contribute to this team. I'm going to go out on a limb and give this guy a chance. Unfortunately for him, he's only got a very short window of opportunity to make me like him. If there is a chance that the Ducks defense is stronger than last season, I'll take it. This team could definitely use a blueline boost!

Hiller time:

This guy has his work cut out for him this season, doesn’t he? There are at least 48 games (knock on wood) that the Ducks are going to need some serious goaltending. The question remains if Hiller is up to the task for such a heavy work load, and, more importantly, will the backup options fill the bill? Can Hiller realistically play 48 games, which include several back-to-back scenarios? And, heaven forbid, if the season isn’t going well for him on the whole, do you think that Anaheim’s back-up goal tending will get the Ducks where they want need to be? Play GM for a moment, which of the many options do you want waiting in the wings if Hiller needs some relief?

There will definitely be more to come in terms of therapy this season, so stay tuned. In the meantime, vent those frustrations before the season starts and we all begin bitching about how awful this team is in the face-off circle, why the power play isn't better and when Scott Niedermayer is going to get fed up enough with the defense and throw the skates back on.

Hockey is back - it's time to warm up those vocal cords!


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