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Saturday, October 06, 2007

One Month In

Just over a month in to the 2007/8 season, how are things shaping up so far.

Ryan Shmyr seems to have set out his stall early on and appears to be dropping the gloves at every opportunity. It gets some criticism is some quarters for his hugging style, yet on numerous occasions has really opened things up and given us fight fans some great action. He tussle with Brett Clouthier may have ended with both players being tied up but started with both guys swinging quite freely. Shmyr's tilt with Jeremy Cornish was one of the best fights I have seen in a long time, a classic toe to toe battle. And just this week, Shmyr went toe to toe with Adam Stefishen. (see below) If he can keep this up Panthers are certainly in for an entertaining season and the rest of us can mark their visits to our rinks in our diary's as must see games.

Of last years other top tough guys, Clouthier and Cornish have been relatively quiet while the usual suspects of Voth, Payette and Cruickshank have also been amongst the action. From the new comers, both Stefishen and Lewis standout as most expected and will no doubt be in the mix of things come the end of the season when we are all discussing who have been the top enforcers. It's still early days however, but hopefully things will continue like this over the coming months.

From the hockey side of things, Coventry again seem to be setting the standard and are the early pace setters and team to beat. Behind them there appears to be a lot of parity with both Newcastle and Manchester getting off to great starts while Edinburgh, Basingstoke and more surprisingly Hull all showing considerable improvement from last season. Perhaps the biggest surprise so far is the poor performance of Belfast and Cardiff. In Cardiffs case, being down on players is probably the biggest contribution while in Belfast the general under-performance of many of the team sees them helping Cardiff prop up the table. Indeed many Giants fans would like to see numerous changes including an almost complete overhaul of the defence and netminding.

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