Welcome back all my friends!
After last years disgusting display of my Ottawa Senators and my least favorite team the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the cup,
I vowed that I would not watch NHL until the NCAA was finished all its Bowl games.
Then the small city that I reside in welcomed a new type of Hockey to the area, University hockey with the Nipissing Lakers! The energy in the pre-season game was electric, I felt as though i was watching the movie Major League when WILDTHING came on the field. The second home game was their regular season opener, playing a powerhouse team from Queens. After 2 periods Queens had a stranglehold on the game with a 4-0 lead. The third period came and the crowd was still full, and with 2 minutes remaining in the game the lakers were down 4-3 and were now on the penalty kill! It wouldn't be a great story unless they tied it up with a shorthanded tally and sending the game into OT and eventually losing in a shootout.
This created a desire to watch hockey again, gave me inspriration to look into the future of the season and to give my predictions for a great season ahead.
I don't know about you guys but I am excited to see the outcome of this season...
We will see a brand new NHL this year with so many player, coach and rule changes..Oh wait that was the NFL's Brady rule...
We finally see that Southern Ontario has been stopped from another NHL franchise or at least in the ownership of Jim Balsillie that is.
We will witness young fast hockey with a foundation of leadership from ol' timers on each squad, most importantly Doug Weight and his leadership towards the moulding of Johnathan Taveres on the Island and Victor Hedman being closely monitored by Mattias Ohlund's skill and discipline.
So here we go... I am simply going to throw out my predictions this year of the top 8 in each conference, in no particular order, and also make a Cup prediction.
Cup Final: Washington Capitals VS Anaheim Ducks
Now my reasoning behind these “crazy picks”. Some teams don't need justification such as the Red Wings, Bruins, Penguins, Sharks, Ducks... but the rest I probably have people going this guy is NUTS!
My philosophy on the NHL now is stay young, fast and most importantly healthy. Add some grit and you have a dynamite team, a Cup contender...simple formula right? I think so. Philadelphia will be the team to watch this year with kids like Claude Giroux showing why he is a first rounder and the acquisition of Ray Emery and Chris Pronger as a solid tough defensive core. But with Anaheim's first line Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, they set the bar for top first lines in the league. Speed, Skill and Toughness, they have it all. Washington's team of course who has Alex Ovechkin, who is just a pleasure to watch, is complimented by the likes of Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin. The loss to Pittsburgh last year in the cup chase has only made them hungrier.
So we will see how it unfolds! Wishing everyone a Great Season!