Let’s drop the puck! NHL Hockey is finally back and yours truly has 5 things to watch for this season.
5) The kids takeover the NHL
Tim Stuetzle, Nick Cousins, Trevor Zegras, Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte, Alexis Lafreniere Kirill Kaprizov, Ilya Sorokin, Igor Shesterkin, and Nicholas Robertson. All of these names could be household names by the end of the season. If you watched any part of the world juniors the past few years these names were in the back of your head as a watch out for this kid. Well guess what they are here and they are scary good.
4) The Canadian Division
Because of COVID-19 Restrictions all seven Canadian teams are in the same division and have to play each other anywhere from 8 to 10 times this season. Rivalries between Canadian teams like The Oilers and Flames or the Leafs and Habs are already rooted in years of discrimination, and fighting for the attention of the Canadian media. Well it is about to get worse. Whoever wins this division will get the crown from the Canadian media, and perhaps a giant target on their back as well.
3) Unique Stanley Cup
Because of the realignment the playoffs have changed. The first two rounds will be played inside of the division. However, after that when the top team from each division emerges they will be reseated as according to their regular season record. This creates a scenario where two teams who traditionally play in the same conference could play each other in the cup. For example Edmonton could play Colorado or Toronto could play Boston. Creating one of the most unique cups in years.
2) The Penguins miss the playoffs
The Penguins organization has tried to recapture the glory of the 16-17 seasons by re-tooling with younger players who are “faster”. But, what GMJR and Mike Sullivan seem to not understand is those 16-17 roster had no less than eight future Hall of Fame players. That is not including the likes of Nick Bonino, Carl Hagelin, Trevor Daley, Ian Cole, Brian Dumoulin, Bryan Rust, Justin Shultz, and Matt Murray. You can’t re-capture that depth by getting faster. Hell, look at Montreal they are super fast, but they are just an average team. That is all the Penguins will be this year is an aging average team in a division of young talented rosters.
1) Philadelphia Flyers Win The Cup
Step right up for your dose of news you didn’t want to hear. Everything is peaking at the perfect time for the Flyers. Their young star players have grown into other seasons. Their goalie is in conversations for a Vezina Trophy. They are playing in a division where physicality will win you hockey games. They gained some serious momentum in the playoffs last year and are poised to unleash holy hell on the NHL this season.