Spelling out another NHL season from A-Z
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Q is for quarantine, if players aren’t quick to quash any Covid cases. They might also have to sit out some time crossing the border into Canada.
R is for Rocket Richard. Who wins the goal-scoring trophy? Draisaitl, Ovie, Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak, McDavid, Jack Eichel? Will the silversmith get the chance to mis-spell Mika Zibanejad?
S is for Seattle. Release the Kraken! But before that, teams will release the expansion draft protected list in early July.
T is for Taxi. Not the classic comedy series with Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch, but a new cast of four to six understudies, satellite skaters in lieu of a farm team. They’ll be vital for salary cap juggling purposes.
U is for Underdogs. Short seasons make strange playoff bedfellows and we’d be wary of the Sabres, Devils and Ducks crashing the dance.
V is for Vaccine. This is the kind of spearing everyone wants to see, right in the arm.
W is for the women’s world of hockey. Continually making strides in management, scouting, coaching and broadcasting. Despite Covid, the NWHL is staging a big bubble tournament this month in Lake Placid, N.Y.
X is for extra points. Avoid overtime or shootouts this year, boys, with all the singles your opponent salvages now staying in the division — perhaps with dire playoff consequences.
Y is for yelling, as coaches amplify to be heard through their masks at practice and games. But more than one coach has humorously noted that referees can’t read their lips when bitter arguments heat up.
Z is Zdeno, with Chara now a Washington monument and in sight of 1,600 games.
Have a letter perfect season, everyone.