NHL Heading into Winter Part IV

Updated: January 17, 2014

NHL Heading into Winter Part IV

By:- Gary Norris Gray- BASN- Staff Reporter


Before we look at the Western Conference there are a few items that must be addressed. The National Hockey League will have to implement new crosschecking rules. Just as NFL with their clipping rules, if you can read the number and name of the player you should not touch them. Crosschecking from behind has created three major injuries and it was only three weeks into the season. How about the league instituting explosions, suspensions, and or fines? This is very dangerous and can put players out of the game. 

The rookie class this year might be one of the best in years.  

1) Goal Brother Darnell Nurse – Edmonton Oilersimages

2) Goal Brother Seth Jones- Nashville Predators

3) Tomas Hertl- San Jose Sharks

4) Jacob Trouba- Winnipeg Jets

5) Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche

6) Sean Monahan- Calgary Flames

7) Alexander Barkov-Florida Panthers

8) Eddie Lack-Vancouver Canucks- Goalie 


The New Goal Brother Rookies that will change the league

imagesCA2FXIIN1.) Justin Bailey- Buffalo Sabers, 

2.) Jordan Subban- Vancouver Canucks, 

3.) Madison Bowey- Washington Capitals, 

4.) Jonathan Diaby- Nashville Predators,

 5.) Anthony DuClair- New York Rangers

The League has started to move toward the future with these Black youngsters putting on skates in 2013.


There may be more pink slips in the coming weeks. Calgary, Dallas, Edmonton, and Winnipeg are struggling.

The Western Conference became a balanced conference at the top with the exit of the Red Army, The Detroit Red Wings. Now teams like San Jose, St. Louis, Chicago and Vancouver will no longer dread meeting the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs.


In this division they are California Dreaming with San Jose, Anaheim, and Los Angeles charging in the lead near the halfway point.

imagesCAJB7BC0The San Jose Sharks could be on the right track to win Stanley Cup this year with rookie winger, Tomas Hertl scoring five goals in the first week of the season. Hertl is still making a mark on this team with 13 goals. They are scoring at will, unlike last year and they are playing hard core defense. Center Joe Thornton is still a question mark as a leader. The Tank Line has to produce left winger Patrick Marleau, center Logan Couture and center Joe Pavelski are on the hot seat this year.  Defensemen Dan Boyle continues to be the sparkplug for this team. The last question for the Men of Teal is, can Brent Burns convert from being defensemen to winger in the middle of the season? Love the way left winger Raffi Torres plays and fires up his line-mates. Lastly, Goalie Anti Nemi will guard the nets this year but the question remains can he play 50 plus games this season.

The Anaheim Ducks started the year correctly 6-2 and that could keep them pesky all year long. They have kept pace with the San Jose Sharks anchoring second place in the division. This team will not go away and will not surrender. This will also be the last year for future Hall of Famer Right winger Teemu Selanne and he would like to retire with another Stanley Cup Championship in Southern California. Still do not trust their goalies Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth who might have to repeat the performance of last year to keep the Disneyland team in contention. They both faded in net at the end of last season.. Centers Ryan Getzlaf and Saku Koivu will have to lead this team to the playoff. The Ducks weathered the storm playing without Sheldon Souray on defense. Right winger Cory Perry will carry the offense lead in Southern California. The only way to beat this team is too speed skate them to death which it seems nobody can do. Anaheim seems to get tired in the third Period and that might be a problem when the Stanley Cup playoffs arrive. 

imagesCACVTPTUThe Los Angeles Kings are two years removed from a Stanley Cup Championship and it seems like yesterday. Jonathan Quick will have to repeat his Stanley Cup performance for this team to advance in playoffs because defense has been suspected. Centers Jarrett Stoll, Anze Kopitar, and Colin Frazier have to turn on the red light many more times. The Purple and Black have to also get production from right winger Dustin Brown and Center Mike Richards. The Kings are moving into the future with youngster 21 year old center Tyler Toffoli.   

The Phoenix Coyotes this could be a make it or break it season because of the currency woes. They have played in the playoffs the last three years but they cannot attract fans. The move to Quebec City is still a possibility that would mean another realignment putting them in the Eastern Conference. Goalie Mike Smith has to do it again to get this desert team howling to the playoffs. Center Mike Riberio gets a new four year contract and has contributed to the mounting problems… Through it all the Coyotes are in fourth place in the Pacific division.  

 Vancouver Canucks fan must be very frustrated right now. Vancouver has teased the great Northwest so many times with talented teams and now that same talent is getting a little older and slower. The Canucks have given the net minding duties to veterans Roberto Luongo who must carry the load because backup star rookie goalie Eddie Lack does not have NHL experience. Ex-backup goalie Cory Schneider now plays at the Rock and the Jersey Devils. Eddie Lack might have to replace Luongo Vancouver gets too far behind early in the season. The Northwest Canadian team rides the rollercoaster of Luongo. 

Rookie Goal Brother Jordan Subban will be the west coast version of his older brother P.K. Subban in Montreal. Guess what? There is another Subban on the way; little brother Malcolm who plays goal with the Belleville Bulls could be joining his older brothers next year. The Subban’s might be called Hockey’s First Black Royal Family. 

The Sedin (Henrik and Daniel) twins are coming to the end of their careers and want to get another chance to play in the finals. Centers Brad Richardson and Ryan Kesler have to lead this team in scoring or they will end up in the middle of the pack. Vancouver might find it harder to win this division unlike last year when they sled into the very weak Northwest Division title.

The Calgary Flames are reorganizing again and it will take at least two years of playing together before they can move up in the Western Conference. Left winger Jiri Hudler and center Sean Monahan are the scoring leaders but need seasoning. Old man Goalie Joey MacDonald was the man in net but now goalies Karri Romo and Reto Berra are sharing duties in the Calgary net. The Flames cannot decide which one to stay with. Last year the Flames traded Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester. It has cost the Flames. imagesCAP7EG44

The Edmonton Oilers will follow their Alberta Southern rival with re-organization. They are a very, very, very, young team and the future is so bright. Goalie Devan Dubnyk will be peppered all year long. Last year the Oilers had the record for most shots at their goaltender, which has to change. The question is can he last the whole year? Next question will the Oilers give Goal Brother Defensemen Darnel Nurse a chance to play. They have four other defensemen under the age of 24 and that might be a good thing in the future    

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com



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