Popsicle Brothers 2013 – 4
By Michael – Louis Ingram and Gary Norris Gray
PHILADELPHIA (BASN – STR/ITR) If there is one thing The Brothers enjoy about hockey, it’s when the trade deadline comes up; in no other sport does a team’s intentions to fix what might be broken become more defined than in the National Hockey League.
The “rent-a-player” mentality heightens the drama for fans because they can see who is trying their hardest to gain the missing ingredients to get to the League final – and Lord Stanley’s cup.
The April 3 deadline and abbreviated season seems to have sparked some front offices to be more aggressive and jump the gun; possibly to solidify rotations, get the chemistry on track, whatever – you get the feeling the best really is going at the best when it’s money time.
Besides that, playoff hockey has a different Flava. For puck neophytes, if we were to throw a basketball analogy at you, in the playoffs you need to be able to score in the half – court and play defense. Well on the ice, you have to be able to score down low (near the net), be physical and that means extra efforts on special teams (power play and penalty killing) where you can see the basketball – like elements in greater detail.
The consistent theme of this year has been all about streaking. From Chicago’s ongoing excellence to Pittsburgh’s late burst to those nasty ass Anaheim Ducks just quacking at the bit for the Blackhawks to let up, this year’s playoffs look to be potentially awesome!
But back to the main theme of this column – the trade deadline, no matter what a team is shopping for, always has one profound element to it; to recognize those seeking to conclude their careers sipping from The Cup…
And this year (as intimated in a previous column) the League is looking to show Goal Brother Number One some love.
Jarome Iginla, the captain of the Calgary Flames, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for two prospects and a number one draft selection in the upcoming Draft. Iginla, who soldiered for the Flames for what would’ve been his 17th year upcoming had he not vetoed his no-trade clause, now goes to a team loaded with so much firepower, it’s a “get in where you fit in” proposition for Iggy (especially knowing you could line with either of the most talented scorers in the League in Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby).
Iginla has been one of the most respected players in the game. In 2004, when he led Calgary in the seven – game Stanley Cup final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he was arguably the premier power forward in the League.
But the first of two work stoppages the next year killed any momentum Iginla and the Flames may have had.
In addition to scooping up Iginla (who was also courted by the Boston Bruins, with Iggy apparently having final say) Pittsburgh also acquired Brenden Morrow from the Dallas Stars, and, as per what most teams are looking for this time of year, a big bruising defenseman in Doug Murray (from the San Jose Sharks).
Many Canadians are alive and well today thanks to Iginla goin’ to the boards and digging out the puck to feed Crosby the pass for the golden goal which won the Winter Olympics against the U. S. When my middle girl and family saw Parise tie the game with less than 30 seconds left, it was as if everyone in the household had gotten that Three Stooges’ slap across the face!
In those Games, Iginla scored five goals and we’ve always maintained that if you pair him with a front line center (Alex Tanguay was good, just not good enough), he can do major damage. While the shortened season may likely break Iggy’s streak of 11 years with at least 30 goals (presently 9 goals and 22 total points), I think he’ll take his name on The Cup as fair trade.
But don’t give Pittsburgh the Cup just yet; we’re sure Anaheim, Minnesota, Montreal, Boston, New Jersey, Winnipeg (told you!) Los Angeles and Chicago may have something to say about that – as the trading heats up. Penguins were first to act – and we doubt they won’t be alone over the next five days!
While Tony McClean is chillin’ in the box on a two-minute minor (interference) the puck takes a gratuitous bounce off the boards and the Brothers have numbers coming down; Gray hesitates briefly as he sees Ingram streaking across ice…
Goal Ingram 9 (Gray) (sh) 3:11, third period;
Copyright c 2013 Michael – Louis Ingram, Gary Norris Gary PBros2013 all rights reserved.