Last week, former tough guy Dave "Tiger" Williams went on record saying he doesn't like the new NHL. Gee. That's a surprise coming from a guy who collected 3,966 penalty minutes during his 14-year NHL career, tops on the all-time list. And while it's interesting to note what former players and coaches think of the league's efforts to remake itself in the wake of the lockout, surely there's a line that shouldn't be crossed. And for us, Williams is it. What's next? Walt Poddubny waxing poetic on the new icing rules? Orland Kurtenbach on the shootout? Pat Riggin on the new goalie equipment? Enough.
If players keep up this pace, we could see some huge numbers this season. According to a Canadian Press report, the NHL could have its biggest 50-goal club since a record 14 players reached the milestone during 1992-93. During 2003-04, only three players came close to 50 as Jarome Iginla, Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash finished with 41 goals apiece. Other landmarks in reach this season: 60 goals and the 100-point mark. We last saw 60 from both Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96, and Sidney Crosby is on pace to become the youngest player in NHL history to eclipse the 100-point mark.