2017-18 POPSICLE BROTHERS REPORT- #4
By Gary Norris Gray, Columnist, and Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor – in – Chief BASN NEWSROOM
OAKLAND, CA (www.basnnewsroom.com) Mr. McClean, Mr. Ingram and Mr. Gray aka “The MIG Line” take the ice one more time with the rest of the Western Conference. We will take you through the 2017-18 season with our news and views from Centre Ice to center stage…
The following teams will muck and grind for the Western Conference title this spring of ’18. There is not a dominate team in the west but the conference is a much stronger as a whole than the East where the Pittsburgh Penguins rule and have won the Cup the last two years.
Before we start in the west we must address the racial/political issue of sports protest. The Tampa Bay Lightning forward T. J. Brown continues his silent protest on Sunday October 15. Brown raised his fist as the American anthem was played with head bowed. Brown had received death threats for his actions.. Brown stated he wanted to do something in support of his fellow football players.
The political, racial, and social nonsense continues in the United States. What the owners are saying to their African American/Black players in all sports “Just shut up and play, I’m paying you. The fans are complaining/whining that they do not want politics in their game. That horse left the barn in 1936 in Berlin, Germany at the Summer Games. Ever hear of Jessie Owens? Americans wanted politics in sports then, Right? So why is it different now?
Many things have happened to this club and it’s not even the end of October yet. The Golden Knights were the emotional rock for the city of Las Vegas after the mass shooting incident on October 1.
The Golden Knights are now Vegas Strong and won the opening home game with gritty play and strong defense against the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. The Knights paid tribute to the cities first responders and then went out and rewarded their fan base with a victory. The surprise is that they keep on winning.
Veteran goalie Marc Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots and Tomas Nosek started the party two and half minutes into the game with a score with an assist from Goal Brother Pierre Edouard Bellemare. Deryk Engelland hometown hero scored the second goal and the party was on.
Fleury went down with a injury and Goal Brother Malcolm Subban stepped in and took over in net and beat his former team the Boston Bruins 3-1 and defeating the Buffalo Sabers 5-4 in overtime.
The question can they keep this up all year long. They have already passed the records of expansion teams winning percentage the first month with a 5-0-1 record.
Yes, the Golden Knights are Vegas Strong
The team that moved from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota to Dallas Texas in 1994 are still trying to find a permanent home. They are currently in the Central Division after being in the Pacific Division for many years. The league wanted to cut down on traveling time and many west coast teams complained that they did not like going to Texas during the playoffs season.
The Twin cities now belong to the Minnesota Wild.
The Stars now have two veteran goalies in Ben Bishop and Kari Lehtonen and the question is who will be number one in the nets or are they going to use the two headed monster. Right now Ben Bishop will make his fourth straight start with 2-1-0 record.
Goal Brother center Gemel Smith should spark the Stars offense if he can get in the lineup. The 5’10” 190 pounder will make the Stars a threat up the middle but Smith has been a healthy scratch the past six games.
Center Jason Spezza will have to carry the men in green this year, too much for one player.
Do not expect this team to go above 500. Not enough offense to beat the classy teams of the Western conference.
Still wondering how they acquired Jonathan Bernier from the Anaheim Ducks? The veteran goalie will help Semyon Varlamov get the needed rest. This should help Colorado but they need better defensemen. Not impressed with Nikita Zadorov and Tyson Barrie helping their goaltender. They need a P.K. Subban clone to make the playoffs this year.
Center Tyson Jost is the future for the Colorado Avalanche but he has to have help from right wing-Colin Wilson and left wing-Carl Soderberg
Older fans are still questioning the placement of this team in the Southwest in 1996-97. This team over-used the home team “white out” in critical games driving the opposition crazy with the white ice, white jersey, and crowd wearing white clothes made it tough to play in Phoenix. It finally induced the league to finally change the rules. Home teams now wear their colorful uniforms at home and the white uniform on the road.
After the first few weeks of this season they look worst than they did last year Goalie Antti Raanta is currently on the disabled list forcing the young Adin Hill to start in net.
The Derek Stepan, Max Domi, and Clayton Keller line is going backwards with -15 rating and only 12 points.. That will not get it done for Coyotes.
Center Brad Richardson also has to show up on the ice
Goal Brother forward Anthony Duclair signed a 1 year free agent contract after a good year in the desert last year with 20 goals and 20 assist. Still upset the New York Rangers let him go two years ago, the Blueshirts are now paying for it being in last place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Vancouver Canucks could be looking at the Pacific Division basement as their defense continues to crumble.
They have two unknown goaltenders Jacob Markstrom and Anders Nilsson that will be thrown into the fire in 2017-18.
The Sedin Brothers (Henrik and Daniel) are one year older, a bit slower, and another year wiser but opponent’s forwards are flying by them to score.
Left wing Derek Dorsett passed his 500 career game and right wing Thomas Vanek passed his 700 point another Sutter, Brandon became the sixth member of the family to reach 600 games. In other words this team is old and may need to start rebuilding for the next decade.
Do not expect this team to reach 500 too many problems.
Right wing Markus Granlund and left winger Loui Eriksson are the bright new stars for Vancouver.
END OF FIRST SERIES
Count on The MIG Line (McClean, Ingram, Gray) to score throughout the 2017 – 18 season for The BASN Assassins!
NEXT: THE REST OF THE LEAGUE-WESTERN DIVISION
Thanks: NBC Sports, Yahoo.com, NHL.com
Goal Gray 1 (Ingram, McClean) (pp), 5:10, first period.