As has become tradition over the years I have pulled together my NHL bracket. Very strange to be doing it and not being overly optimistic about the Penguins winning.

2023 NHL playoff bracket predicting that the Colorado Avalanche will defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup final

On Christmas Eve we had a little family outing to the rink and I got to take Gwen for a bit of a spin around in addition to playing some hockey with my cousin’s children.

Gwen in a red snowsuit sitting in her stroller while I am pushing her around the ice surface of Kentville arena while wearing a hockey helmet and holding a hockey stick in my other hand.

First televised Penguins 🐧 game was today so Raquel broke out the tiny jersey she got Gwen when she saw us watching the game.

James and Gwen sitting on the couch in matching black and gold Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys
Gwen and I watching the Penguins preseason game together
Gwen crawling around the floor with her tongue stuck out
Gwen realizing there are more interesting things than preseason hockey

The 2021 NHL playoffs start today so I filled out the bracket challenge. Couldn’t help but hope for a 🌸 vs 🐧 matchup in the finals!
NHL Bracket challenge showing the Penguins, Hurricanes, Leafs, and Golden Knights advancing to the final four.Stanley Cup final bracket showing the Penguins defeating the Golden Knights in the final.

Choosing to not go play hockey tonight hours before the rink is closed for a few weeks is probably one of the toughest calls I have had to make in 2020.
At the same time, staying home was also a real easy choice.

It is a puzzling feeling to not be rooting against Philly for once.
The sooner this election is over and the NHL returns, the sooner balance will be restored 🏒🐧

Tonight is the first time since March that I get to play hockey.
My skates aren’t sharpened and this is the longest one been off the ice in 15 years.
At least I have freshly taped sticks. Looking good is 90% of being good… right?

Now that the play in round is finished and the first round starts tonight I have filled out the annual playoff bracket.
I have once again fallen for my personal biases and picked the Golden Knights as the champs.
2020 NHL Playoff Bracket with Vegas winning the Cup

It’s a big day! Late July is usually a dark time for hockey and I’m more than a bit excited that the NHL has managed to demonstrate some competence in their return to play.

Today featured a very different morning routine. Usually I watch highlights and read recaps of Hockey games from last night.