BASN’S POPSICLE BROTHERS PRESENT NHL 2016 – 10 THINGS

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Updated: October 19, 2016
San Jose Sharks v Colorado Avalanche

 

 

 

 

 

POPSICLE BROTHERS’ REPORT – #2

NHL 2016

By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor – in – Chief

BASN

 

 

PHILADELPHIA (BASN) The puck has dropped and our Popsicle Brothers are more the happier for it!

 

 

Before we drop this year’s Roll Call, here are ten things to consider for the upcoming season:

 

 

dustin-byfuglien

 

 

1. There will be at least one Canadian team playing past the first round of the playoffs – or else:

 

 

Failure across Canada to go post-season is a very expensive undertaking, especially with RDS (the Quebecois sports cable station) losing a shitload of ad revenue due to the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens being out of the playoff loop. Even though hockey is in Canada’s collective DNA, it is a moral imperative they represent for a shot at the Cup. I’m feeling Winnipeg will be one of those teams at the end to gain the post-season…

 

 

2. The Winnipeg Jets will lead the league in short-handed goals…

 

 

While Ottawa lead the League in short-handed goals last year with 17, Winnipeg’s 10 shorties were among the leaders. Always liked Andrew Ladd’s two – way ability on ice, and Dustin Byfuglien still rules overall in being physical and skillful on special teams. With a little extra effort in goal, I’m thinkin’ The ‘Peg will be the place to be for Canadian hopes after teams get X’d out of the playoff equation…

 

 

 

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3. Kyle Okposo will be a 30 – plus goal scorer with the change of scenery.

 

 

After signing a seven year, $42 million dollar contract with the Buffalo Sabres, Okposo should blossom even in spite of the early season injuries to Jack Eichel and Evander Kane. Always believed many among the NY Islanders thought he was an afterthought to the great John Tavares, and they should have made him part of their corps for the future. Okposo will greatly improve the Sabres ability to be sharp on ice, and his grinding style will be greatly appreciated in upstate New York.

 

 

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4. Jarome Iginla is STILL Goal Brotha #1!

 

Even as his first ballot Hall of Fame worthy career is into his 20th NHL season, the man everyone knows as ‘Iggy’ has quietly defined what leadership is about. He needs a speedy centre to get him in flow now, but Iginla is tough, tenacious – and can still score 20 goals a season in his sleep. With 1, 273 points (611 G, 662 A) Iggy’s 970 penalty minutes make him the closest thing to Gordie Howe today in embodying the concept of ‘old time hockey’ power forward (no ‘Slap Shot’ references necessary). Colorado is the latest stop in the Cup Quest for one of the NHL’s greatest – and we unashamedly root for the former Captain – and one of Calgary’s greatest Flames to continue to do damage in the low – key manner he always has. Iggy won’t be idle while waiting on The Hall to call – he is a part – owner of the Western Hockey Association’s Kamloops Blazers…

 

 

 

 

5. PK Subban will propel the Nashville Predators to a 100 – point season:

 

 

 

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators

 

 

 

This one comes from my line mate Tony McClain – and while 100 points (or so) will not guarantee the Preds the Presidents’ trophy (and given the post-season results from carrying it, most don’t want it) but (as stated in our first PBros report) the best facilitator in the NHL will be kicking a whole heap’o ass South of the Border; with centre Filip Forsberg being the greatest beneficiary of Subban’s on-ice awareness and play-making ability. After a season marked with injury, Subban is ready to again establish his status as the best defenseman in the league – no matter what the Old Guard attempts to defray his shine. Two dates to remember: January 3 (home) and March 2 (away) versus Montreal…

 

 

 

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6. The West will finally get some love!

 

 

In large part due to the Subban trade, teams out west should get some well deserved exposure. Out of the four major sports, the overall product for ice hockey has improved every year for the past three years; and the only downside to it has been the lack of exposure for teams out west. The San Jose Sharks over their years as a major contender and even the Los Angeles Kings during their Stanley Cup years never got nearly the exposure of the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Hockey Night in Canada already does a great job with this, but if Gary Bettman is truly serious about putting out a great product, a type of ‘flex – scheduling’ has got to be put in effect to get maximum exposure; or at the very least, make a better effort to have Western Conference teams on air when they come East in prime time…

 

 

 

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7. Who will benefit best from overtimes and shootouts?

 

 

My Philadelphia Flyers were far from the best when it came to shootouts – which made their sense of urgency of more import when they had to get down in overtime, producing double – digit wins; and I feel that trend will continue. St. Louis was second to Florida in shootout wins (5) but as long as T.J. Oshie wears a Blues sweater, they will always provide the best threat to close out an opponent at home….

 

 

 

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8. Gretzky’s return to Edmonton means Connor McDavid learns at the feet of the Master…

 

 

Wayne Gretzky’s selection as vice-chairman of Oilers’ Entertainment Group is front – office on the surface, but naming wunderkind Connor McDavid captain isn’t. Edmonton has spent the dough for a new arena and McDavid not only has to fill it – but thrill it…rest assured The Great One will be pulling the young man’s coat…

 

 

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9. The Vegas Watch begins…

 

 

Every pro league will be paying attention to preparation for the Las Vegas franchise to hit the ice next season; but feasibility studies begin in earnest everywhere else – because The NFL’s Raiders are watching like a buzzard waitin’ for something to die; and the NBA has been teasin’ with the idea for years. Let’s be real – so-called ‘fantasy sports’ have taken that so-called taint of gambling away, whether league officials care to admit it or not. As our colleague Robert Quarles likes to say, ‘Stay tuned…’

 

 

 

Evander Kane, Dave Lewis

 

 

10. Don’t fall into the referee trap:

 

 

With officiating becoming a bigger problem due to inconsistency in calling penalties, allow the skill players to be skillful – don’t wait until the playoffs to elevate the quality of play. I haven’t seen it be as egregious in hockey as other sports, but with the season being as long as it is, falling into bad habits would be a major step backward.

 

next time: The Goal Brothas Grind On!

 

Goal Ingram 1 (McClean, Gray) (pp) 6:50, first period;

 

always outnumbered…never outgunned.

 

michaelingram@blackathlete.com

 

Copyright (c) PBros Michael – Louis Ingram all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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