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The first half of the hockey season is in the can and now we get a few days to rest up, recharge and get ready for that push to the playoffs.

What have we learned so far? Plenty!

We’ve learned that the team is not an offensive juggernaut. As I write this it’s been just over 136 minutes since the team’s last goal. But the picture is not completely bleak. Several players have shown that they can score… it’s just a matter of doing it consistently. Brett Perlini has turned into a bonafide goal scorer. He is a danger every time he steps on the ice, but he needs the players around him to step up as well. You could feel Derek Grant’s frustration earlier in the season, and then he snapped out of his scoring funk for a bit. If he can get it back, and if players like Chris Forfar, Anthony Hayes and Daultan Leveille start to light the lamp with a bit of consistency, you’ll see the “L”’s start to turn into “W”’s.

We’ve learned that Drew Palmisano can take a game over… when he decides to. In my opinion, Palmy’s worst enemy is Palmy. He’s a very talented goaltender who sometimes reacts without thinking. [..]

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The start of the season is always a time of confliction for me. Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to the first game as much as anybody. To me, broadcasting is like caffeine. I get a real high from it, so I guess I chose the right profession. But the week of the first broadcast is also a very busy week full of long nights (or short nights depending on how you look at it) and days full of multitasking. And this season having the first game on Thursday shortened everything by 24 hours!

You need to make sure that all of the electronic equipment is working. (In fact, you have to make sure it hasn’t been “borrowed” since the end of last season!) You need to make sure that all of the elements for the broadcast are ready to go. Game opens and closes, commercials, format sheets all have to be produced, checked and double checked for accuracy.

Then add to all of that the things you have to do on a weekly basis to prepare for a weekend series. You have to familiarize yourself with the opponent, compile statistics for both teams. There’s the phone interview with that week’s opposing coach for The Rick [..]

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