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Hockey Night(s) In Europe

The NHL season hasn't even really started yet, but the Tampa Bay Lightning already have two losses. That's the same number of losses my rec league hockey team has and we didn't even have to go to the Czech Republic to earn them. (Heck, we don't even have uniforms.) The New York Rangers are the beneficiaries of this comeuppance, taking the early two game series in front of two Ranger-friendly sold out Prague crowds. Of course, they were Ranger-friendly and sold out partly because no bothered to tell the Czechs that Jaromir Jagr doesn't play for that team anymore. Meanwhile in Stockholm, Ottawa and Pittsburgh split their two games series, a 4-3 OT win to the Penguins in game one and 3-1 to Senators in the other. Dany Heatley has three goals so far for the Sens, earning him the title of Champion of European NHL Scoring. All four of those games were sold out too, making this whole European vacation a raging success—unless these teams lose 7 of their first 10 games the way the Ducks did last season after they opened in London. In which, case screw you, Earth, and your stupid rotation. But otherwise, look for many more across the pond games in coming seasons, because ... why the heck not? Hockey pucks are certainly more welcome than Robo-Jason Taylor. Now hockey fans (and yes, it may not seem like it right now, but we count ourselves among that group. The NHL just doesn't make it easy for us) must sit patiently and wait for the real season kick off on Friday. That's plenty of time to find a way to freeze over your backyard kiddie pool. • Rangers Czech in with win, [NY Daily News] • Senators: Losing their looks [Sportsnet] • NHL Capsules [AP] • Trips abroad can help forge team ties [Yahoo]


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