With the NHL’s exhibition games in full swing and the the first games of the qualifying round almost upon us, we’ll soon have answers to some of the most pressing questions in hockey! Like: Who are the number-one goaltenders for Colorado, Arizona, and Vegas? Is Sidney Crosby playoff-ready? And… has anyone seen Brett Hull? Is he OK?
It was funny at first, during last year’s finals, when we encountered the Hall of Famer in his cups at the Enterprise Center. He was having fun! And why not? Game’s on! I wasn’t about to judge him from the barstool upon which I was perched to watch. I’d had a couple pops myself. (Of course, I wasn’t booked to appear on a national telecast. But still!)
As the series wore on, though, you couldn’t help noticing the cameras never seemed to find Hull in any other condition. His persona was less “Golden Brat” and more “cold Labatt’s.” Like any party that goes on too long, this one wasn’t fun anymore. Laura Branigan might have been singing directly to Hull over the arena P.A.: “I think you’ve got to slow down / Before you start to blow it / I think you’re headed for a breakdown.”
Has he? Slowed down?
If the Blues defend their title with vigor in the weeks to come, we may get to find out. Here’s hoping their playoff run is a long one. And as part of the attendant coverage, we all get a good look at their all-time leading scorer. And we see he’s doing fine.