NHL Puck Culture

A ‘Taking Back Sunday’ NHL Eastern Conference Preview

The new NHL season is finally upon us, so naturally, it’s time for some largely pointless and eventually irrelevant season previews.

Except, these previews are going to be slightly different.

For the Eastern Conference, I will preview each team by way of Taking Back Sunday songs. Surely you’ve heard a Taking Back Sunday song before…. Well, by the time you finish reading this and our ‘Brand New’ Western Conference Season Preview you’ll know much more about the East Coast post-hardcore scene, but probably much less about hockey…

Boston Bruins – You’re So Last Summer
“Don’t let it go to your head. Boys like you are a dime a dozen,  Boys like you are a dime a dozen ”

Finally, the Bruins did the right thing and held onto one of their young high skilled high scoring kids. After trading away Phil Kessell, Tyler Seguin and even Dougie Hamilton in past Summers, the Bruins learnt from their previous mistakes and resigned David Pastrnak to a long-term contract.

Buffalo Sabres – New American Classic
“If chasing our dreams is just a distraction, I want to remember when I know that I can’t go back”

It’s all about the American saviour for Buffalo. Jack Eichel fresh off signing an 8 year $80Million contract will decide the fate of the Sabres and with another American hero just up the road in Toronto, the Sabres/Leafs rivalry will be fun to watch for a long time.

Carolina Hurricanes – Great Romances Of The 20th Century
“September never stays this cold where I come from. And you know I’m not one (I’m not one) for complaining”

No team in the Eastern Conference has analytics folks fawning over them more than the Carolina Hurricanes. A new goalie and one of the best young defense cores in the league, but can the ‘Canes live up to all the attention?

Columbus Blue Jackets – This Is All Now
“I am owed this now. I am owed this now. I am owed this now”

The time has come for the Columbus Blue Jackets. This will be the year they will win the Division and go deep into the playoffs. That is if Sergei Bobrovsky stays healthy…

Detroit Redwings – A Decade Under The Influence 
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this. I’ve got a bad feeling about this”

The Detroit Redwings missed the Playoffs last season for the first time in what seemed like about 40 years and sadly for the once mighty franchise things will only get worse this year. At least they have a nice new building….

Florida Panthers – Miami
“You have to, you just have to trust me. Whoever I was then, I can’t ever be again”

After “repositioning” Dale Tallon and going all in on analytics, Dale Tallon is back and in charge and already moving out most of the players acquired during the analytical movement. Will Dale go full “old school” or incorporate the new thinking as the blueprint in South Florida?

Montreal Canadiens – Call Come Running
“Hey, you can call on me. If you called on me, I’d come running”

Here comes the saviour in Montreal. Jonathan Drouin a French-Canadian kid coming home to La belle provinceto save the day. But, can he play centre? We’ll find out… This team will go as far as Carey Price will take them though…

New Jersey Devils – The Timberwolves At New Jersey 
“This is you trying hard to make sure that you’re seen with a girl on your arm and your heart on your sleeve ”

The Devils won the Draft Lottery and walked away with the belle of the ball Nico Hischier. New Jersey has looked pretty good in the preseason and Taylor Hall will be doing everything he can to get into the playoffs for the first time in his career. Unfortunately for him, it won’t be this year…

New York Islanders – MakeDamnSure
“I’m gonna make damn sure that you can’t ever leave. No, you won’t ever get too far from me”

It’s all about doing everything you can to keep John Tavares happy for the Islanders. They brought in Jordan Eberle to play on his wing and now they just need to sort out the elephant in the corner of the arena and get out of Brooklyn!

New York Rangers – Cute Withouth The “E” (Cut From The Team)
“Hoping for the best just hoping nothing happens”

If King Hendrik gets injured this season the Rangers hopes could be over. In the past, they’ve had Cam Talbot or Antti Raanta to fill in when Hank was injured or struggling but now it’s Ondřej Pavelec…

Ottawa Senators – This Photograph Is Proof (I Know You Know)
“It will all catch up eventually well, it caught up and honestly the weight of my decisions
were impossible to hold”

The Senators made an improbable/miracle run to within one goal of the Stanley Cup Finals last year and the likely hood of that happening again isn’t great. Erik “D’Artagnan” Karlsson will miss the start of the season which won’t help.

Philadelphia Flyers – What It Feels Like To Be A Ghost
“So what’s it feel like to be a ghost? Are you up for, are you up for this?” 

Can the Flyers get back into the playoffs? If they can it will be off the back of their young defense group led by the Ghost Bear keeping every shot from getting through to Brian Elliot…

Pittsburgh Penguins – You Know How I Do
“So obviously desperate, so desperately obvious.”

The most terrifying thing for fans of other NHL teams is that Sidney Crosby isn’t happy with winning back-to-back Stanley Cups, he wants the three-peat…

Tampa Bay Lightning – One-Eighty By Summer
“Go on just say it, you need me like a bad habit, one that leaves you defenseless, dependent, and alone.”

No team has a better chance of going from out of the playoffs to Stanley Cup Champion than the Tampa Bay Lightning. If they can stay healthy… Even EA Sports predicted in their season simulation that it would be Steven Stamkos lifting the Cup in June.

Toronto Maple Leafs – My Blue Heaven
“We swing and we sway as this tiny voice in my head starts to sing you’re safe, child, you are safe.”

The Kids are alright! Welcome to the new blue future of the NHL. Between the Oilers and the Leafs, it’s possible the Stanley Cup winner will exclusively be from the great white north for the foreseeable future.

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