BASN PRESENTS THE POPSICLE BROTHERS – NHL PLAYOFFS 2016

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Updated: April 13, 2016

 

 

 

 

nhlPOPSICLE BROS. REPORT 2016-1 THE NHL PLAYOFFS

By Michael – Louis Ingram and Gary Norris Gray

BASN

 

 

PHILADELPHIA (BASN)Ice…is nice.

 

 

The National Hockey League’s second season is about to throw down; and if you’re not careful, you may see some real competition.

 

Over the past decade, the hockey post – season has surpassed every major sport (in this viewer’s opinion) by far.  The possibility of higher seeded teams being knocked off is very real; and the Grind to get to Lord Stanley’s cup is far more intense than any other of the major sports.

 

We will split the bill as I will feast on the menu from the East – and my brother Gary G – will showcase The Test in The West…

 

The Goal Brothas have made their mark this year as new talent has made the scene (Anthony Duclair) and the oldies just keep on’ playing (Jarome “Goal Brotha #1” Iginla). We will recognize them and others in a later piece, but for now, let’s get to the matchups:

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS V.FLORIDA PANTHERS

 

It’s not that Florida snuck up on everyone this year; they simply started well – and stayed solid throughout the season. Jaromir Jagr has been doing his Gordie Howe impression fairly well and has taught a new crop of snipers how to grind by example. Now that New York’s other team is off Strong Island, can the move to Brooklyn turn the Isles into the Kings (county) of New York. Isles’ goalie Jaroslav Halak is out, so coach Jack Capuano is hoping a little ‘Greiss’ Lightning’ to strike as Thomas Greiss will start Game One. Also available is Goal Brotha Christopher Gibson, who won a game in net to help Brooklyn tread water down the stretch.

 

The 44 year Jagr led the Panthers in scoring with 66 points (27 G , 39 A) and will be making his 18th playoff appearance in 24 seasons.

 

Our X – Factor? Kyle Okposo. Never shies away from the net and will have to make good on his chances to take the heat off on John Tavares. – BROOKLYN IN 6!

 

 

Gary Gray sez:

 

Florida Panthers vs. The New York Islanders– The NHL bean counters could not be more overjoyed with both of these teams in the playoffs this year; It has been a few years for both teams. The Toy Rats are flying once again on the ice in Florida while the Islanders have a new home in Brooklyn and a new third uniform.

 

The Panthers had a yearlong battle for first place in the Atlantic Division with the Tampa Bay Lightning; this battle might have prepared the cats for the Stanley Cup run with old man Jagr leading the way. Panthers are multi-talented without a superstar.

 

Goaltender Roberto Luongo finally might get a chance to hold the Stanley Cup. The Vancouver Canucks found ways to lose it time after time. Moving to South Florida might be a good thing for Luongo.

 

FLORIDA PANTHERS IN SIX GAMES

 

 

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING V. DETROIT RED WINGS

 

 

The saying goes, “old age and treachery will always defeat youth and skill (kinda sorta)” but here youth may well be served. The Red Wings will need a heaping helping of “Duck Soup” (Pavel Datsyuk) to get past Tampa and their 6’6″ tower in net, Ben Bishop.

 

Sniper supreme Steve Stamkos will not be in the lineup due to injury, but now the talented but troubled desired/trade bait Jonathan Drouin will finally show why he was coveted after picking up the slack for the Lightning in April. Goal Brother J.T. Brown played well against Detroit in their win last year, but Drouin could be the missing ingredient as the old guard of Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Howard look to get down for Hockeytown. LIGHTNING IN 6!

 

Gary Gray sez:

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning vs. The Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings just made it at the deadline with their 25th straight appearance in the playoffs. This is the longest current playoff streak to date. This should not take long. Tampa Bay is too talented to lose to the Wings even with the injury to Steve Stamkos and Stralman.

 

This is another goaltenders dream with the Lightning Bishop and the Wings Howard in net. This will keep the series short but interesting.

 

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING IN FIVE GAMES

 

 

NEW YORK RANGERS V. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

 

The key to Noo Yawk’s success every time they’ve run up on Pittsburgh has been exploiting Pens’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury; they have read him like the New York Times in finding the holes in his net game over the years, but Pittsburgh was steamrolling down the stretch. Fleury, who sustained a concussion, may be out a game or more, so Jeff Zatkoff could start Game One in goal. I know Rick Nash seems to wake up in the playoffs but that wakeup call had better be immediately. A very smooth move by Pittsburgh was snatching up the very reliable Goal Brother Trevor Daley for their backline prior to the trade deadline; the longtime Dallas Star is as steady as the day is long, and will throw a wrench in the Rangers’ post season plans – PITTSBURGH IN 7!

 

Gary Gray sez:

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers– The series could get ugly early-with multiple minor penalties because these two teams really don’t like each other. Each team believes the other are spoiled brats which they are, now the question is which spoiled brat will win? Which brat will control their temper and win the series.

 

New York has the advantage in net with the self proclaimed King-Henrik Lundqvist. Not confident in Marc Andre-Fleury in net for Pittsburgh, you do not know which Marc will be in net from day to day.

 

The Penguins have been on fire the last three weeks closing in on the league leading Washington Caps and passing both New York teams the final month of the season. It they had another month to play the Pens would have caught the Washington Capitals.

 

This series will end up who can outscore who in seven games. The Pittsburgh Crosby line has to be silenced if the Rangers want to win. The Penguins have to find a way to beat the King in net. Number 71 Evgeni Malkin is still out with arm injury and that is a key to Penguins offense.

 

PITTSBURGH IN SEVEN

 

 

WASHINGTON CAPITALS V. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

 

Two words. Ed Snider.

 

The man who became synonymous with the City of Brotherly Love ascended just as he discovered his beloved Flyers had finished their season long grind and made the playoffs. Snider, who had been fighting cancer, was the face of hockey in Philly for 50 years, and the Fly Guys without captain Claude Giroux and high scoring forward Jakub Voracek for significant stretches, got a boost from Calder candidate Shayne “The Ghost” Gostisbehere, goalie steal Michael Neuwirth from Brooklyn, a renewed Steve Mason (now making goaltending a strength for Philly) and the steady hand of Wayne Simmonds, who has improved every year as a Flyer, breaking the 30 goal barrier this year (32G 28A) with his presence in front of the net…

 

Yes Washington has a very improved Braden Holtby and scorers like John Carlson on defense, TJ Oshie – and the Great Eight Alex Ovechkin, who has kicked a lotta Flyer ass…

 

But not this time. Philly is 2-2 versus Holtby this season; they don’t fear him – and the motivation will be like none other. FLYERS IN 6!

 

Gary Gray sez:

 

The Washington Capitals vs. The Philadelphia Flyers– The President’s Trophy Team (Washington) could be out in the first round-AGAIN.
The last two months of the season the Flyers were on fire hitting everything that moved on the ice. The new Broad Street Bullies played for their late owner (Ed Snider) who had been very ill and passed away the day the team clinched a playoff spot. The Orange and Black could be this year’s team of destiny. Goal Brother Wayne Simmonds carried the flyguys the last month and a half scoring rocket goals in the crease. Simmonds had a career goal scoring year with 32 goals and 28 assists.
Goaltender Steve Mason has the job to himself and has played very well the last two months. This could be the battle of the goaltenders and a very low scoring series.
The Washington Capitals high octane offense got the early lead in the Metropolitan Division and never looked back winning the division by 18 points. The Caps have been playing team hockey all year something number 8 (Alex Ovechkin) sometimes forgets.
Goalie Braden Holtby tied New Jersey Devils superstar-Martin Broduer with 48 wins. Holtby failed to get number 49 and the Caps ended the season going backwards. This is not a good matchup with each team going in different directions. The Washington Capitals this year will be watched closely because of their past playoff performances. Choking in the playoffs has become their specialty in spring.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS IN SEVEN GAMES

 

 

With the “too many men on the ice” penalty Gary Norris Gray takes the point on the PBros’ Power Play: and The West…

 

 

WEST COAST POPSICLE REPORT

 

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter

 

OAKLAND, CA– This year the National Hockey League will start its second season (playoffs) without a single Canadian team. This is tragic and should never happen because hockey is Canada national sport. The NHL re-aligned the divisions three years ago to create geographic rivalries but the league bunched up the Canadian teams in the Eastern Conferences.

 

The Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, and Toronto Maple Leafs are in the Atlantic Division. The Metropolitan Division is devoid of a Canadian team and that needs to be corrected. The Central Division has one team the Winnipeg Jets and last The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks.

 

Out of the seven teams only one had a chance to make the playoffs this year and that team was in the Canadian Capitol of Ottawa. The Montreal Canadiens tanked after the injuries to goaltender Carey Price in the middle of the year and to all star defensemen and Goal Brother P.K. Subban in early February with a hand injury.

 

There are 31 Goal Brothers in the league and they are showing the world that they can play too. These are the Brothers in the playoffs this year J.T. Brown-Tampa Bay, Kyle Okposo and Christopher Gibson-New York Islanders, Chris Stewart-Anaheim Ducks, Johnny Oduya-Dallas Stars, Trevor Daley-Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Reves-St. Louis Blues, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Wayne Simmonds-Philadelphia Flyers.

 

Johnny Oduya enters the Stanley Cup with his third team New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, and now the Dallas Stars.

 

For Trevor Daley this will be his second team to the playoffs after a distinguished career heading the first defensive pair in Dallas.

 

WEST

 

The Dallas Stars vs. The Minnesota Wild- This will be the first time the Dallas Stars will visit the City of Minneapolis-St. Paul for a playoff series. The Stars should win this series in four games because of their scoring power.

 

The Wild are too banged up to compete in this series. Minnesota needs Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek on the ice not in the MASH unit. Ryan Suter and Jarret Stoll will carry the Wild as far as they can

 

DALLAS STARS IN FOUR GAMES

 

Michael – Louis Ingram sez:

 

“Minnesota – I AM your father!” The former North Stars now Southern Stars are hoping to have their Minnesota kin seeing stars in a quick knockout – but The Wild will be harder to get rid of than in-laws no matter what Tyler Seguin and company can do – STARS IN 6!

 

 

The St. Louis Blues vs. The Chicago Blackhawks – This is why they call the Central Division, The Black and Blue Division. The Battle of Interstate 55 is on again. This is going to be a nasty series because these two teams don’t like each other. The Chicago Blackhawks-Big Brother has beaten little brother-St. Louis each time they have meet dating back to the early expansion days.

 

The Chicago old guard will do it again to the Blues. Kane, Seabrooks, Toews, and Keith know what to expect and will respond in kind.

 

Corey Crawford has to step up in net this year because the only weak point the Hawks have is their Penalty Kills they have given up too many goals this year and it has cost them in many one goal games.

 

We all get to hear that really dumb song every time the Blackhawks score a goal for at least another round.

 

The St. Louis Blues are still relying on the two headed monster in net with Jake Allen and Brian Elliott somebody is going to have to step up in net for the Blues to move on to the next round.

 

The Blues are waiting to see if their Captain David Backes can play the first two games with a lower body strain.

 

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS IN SIX GAMES

 

Michael – Louis Ingram sez:

 

The Midwest Tong War Continues! These two have been puggin’ since Jacques Plante wore the mask for the expansion Blues 40 – plus years ago! St. Louis’ insistence on using the two goaltender system has bitten them in the ass come playoff time – and I don’t expect this time to be any different.

 

While Alexander Steen has shown flashes of brilliance for St. Loo at times, Vladimir Tarasenko is the X-Factor. If Bad Vlad gets off, Blackhawks may finally get ‘Kane’d’  by St. Louis for all the years they’ve left them Blackened Blues…

CHICAGO IN 7!

 

 

The Anaheim Ducks vs. The Nashville Predators– The Anaheim Ducks are like the character in the old Dracula movies, you have to find a wooden stake and strike at the heart or they will keep coming at you. The Ducks have changed from an offensive machine to a defensive brick house and it has changed the mindset of many players on Anaheim. Defense wins Stanley Cups as they look to their cross town rivals Los Angeles Kings with recent Cup victories. The Ducks are playing better because they are feeding off of their defense to score goals.

 

 

The Nashville Predators have to watch Goalie Pekka Rinne because he has not played well in net the past two months. The Question can the Preds defense hold against Ducks offense.

 

 

ANAHEIM DUCKS IN SIX GAMES

 

Michael – Louis Ingram sez:

 

I always say “Them Damn Ducks!” every time I think of Anaheim; with a smirk of admiration. They get gritty funky and nasty when they are at their best – and if they are trying to play defense as well (special teams among the league’s best) – the West is gonna be in bigggggggg trouble!

 

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne is one of my favorite netminders, but I doubt Nashville has the offensive chops to hang with Anaheim…so this will be the first time that a Predator gets eaten…

 

by a muthafuckin’ DUCK!

 

ANAHEIM IN 5!

 

The Los Angeles Kings vs. The San Jose Sharks– This is the reason why the NHL realigned the league for these divisional matchups. Year after year these two teams seem to meet in the playoffs and Southern California beats Northern California almost every time. In 2014 The Sharks had 3-0 strangle hold on the series but the Kings managed to win that series and the Cup.

 

Here we go again. Living in Northern California and a Shark fan would love to see San Jose finally slay the dragon. The Sharks and Kings are basically even in almost every department.

 

If you love goaltenders, watching this will be the series not to miss Jonathan “The” Quick and Martin Jones will put on a show.

 

Round up the usual suspects for the Kings Lucic, Kopitar, Carter and Brown carried this team to the playoffs. Doughty and Martinez played better defense at the end of the season and Los Angeles needed it because they were not scoring goals in bunches. The Kings look vulnerable this year because they lack the fire power of years past.

 

The San Jose Sharks are still waiting for the explosion of the Thornton Line; Joel Pavelski has shown up this year to carry the men in teal to the playoffs. Goal Brother Joel Ward will be a great addition playoff time because he can teach the younger Sharks what to expect. San Jose’s strength is up the middle with Logan Couture, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau.

 

The tipping point will be coaching and the Kings have the playoff experience the Sharks do not. That will be the difference in this series.

 

The Sharks finally get the monkey (KINGS) off of their backs

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS IN SEVEN GAMES

 

Michael – Louis Ingram sez:

 

I agree totally with my colleague’s assessment of San Jose – they were a former Presidents’ Trophy winner and top seed who got taken out during the playoffs a few years back and never seemed to recover from it. Would love to see Joel Ward and San Jose move on but the playoffs are about The Quick (Jonathan) and The Dead (and I don’t mean Grateful)

 

KINGS IN 6!

 

Goal Gray 1 (pp) Ingram, McClean), 3:29, first period;

 

Copyright (C) 2016 PBros all rights reserved…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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