Popsicle Brothers’ Report: NHL 2017 – 5
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief, and Gary Norris Gray, Columnist
PHILADELPHIA (www.basnnewsroom.com) As we hit the first furlong of this season, the effect and contributions of all of The Goal Brothas is out on Front Street.
Success and stability have been the hallmark thus far, and as we will prominently display their ongoing efforts, we will go Old School – and recognize in the Three Stars format as each section of the season carries on…
Here are the Popsicle Brothers /BASN Newsroom Three Stars after the first 10 games:
Third Star: MALCOLM SUBBAN, G, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Subban, cast off from the Boston Bruins, was snatched off the waiver wire and immediately paid dividends after starting net minder Marc-Andre Fleury’s injury. As Fluery’s 3-1 start in goal energized the fan base, Subban didn’t miss a beat. He went 2- 0, his first in beating his former team 3-1 with 21 saves over Boston.
Subban would’ve made it 3-0 were it not for a lower body injury (groin?) after stopping 39 shots in another Vegas victory (Oscar Dansk replaced Subban in the win midway through the third period) and was becoming a fan favorite (with fans chanting ‘SUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!’ after each save).
Clearly expansion teams are not expected to play at this level, but the 7- 1 start the Golden Knights have generated through focusing on team hockey has been laudable; and Knights’ Fever has been hotter than the desert weather. Overall Vegas’ save percentage is .930 – putting it in the top five; and you know what they say about defense!
For this, we award the Third Star to P.K.’s not-so-little brother; seeking to carve his own niche…
SECOND STAR, CHRIS STEWART, RW, MINNESOTA WILD
For Stewart, finding his groove has been a search since 2009.
After leading the Colorado Avalanche in goals that season (28), and causing havoc in the playoffs versus San Jose in 2010, Stewart seemed on track to be a consistent performer in the League.
A trade to St. Louis sidetracked Stewart and politics within the team had his role changed. At 6’2″ and 235 pounds, Stewart had the ability to throw his weight around in front of the net a la his Scarborough, Ontario homie Wayne Simmonds…
Having bounced around with other teams (including a previous stop in Minnesota), Stewart seems to have found his scoring touch again, with a hot stick potting six goals (had a seventh waved off versus the NY Islanders last night) in his first eight games.
If the beginning is any indication, Stewart looks to be back in form, and, more importantly, in a system which appreciates his skill sets – Minnesota gets over like a fat rat in a cheese factory if Stewart has 25 goals or more by the end of the regular season; and Mr. Stewart gets our Second Star for his efforts…
Oh…happy birthday, Brother! (Chris Stewart’s birthday is October 30)
FIRST STAR: WAYNE SIMMONDS, RW, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
As the season commenced for Philadelphia, very few (Popsicle Bros. an exception) expected the Flyers to do much, especially with a brutal California road trip to begin the beginning of a potential horrible start…
That was before Philly went into its back pocket and pulled out their Swiss Army Knife in Simmonds, who helped the Flyers leave Cali with a 2-1 mark and two game winning goals, saving the Flyers from another bad start…
Since then, save a minor stumble, Simmonds has had a hand in four of the Flyers victories; by either a GWG or game tying goal. With nine points (six goals) in his first 10 games, The Wayne Train keeps chugging on!
Since his trade to Philly from Los Angeles, Simmonds’ skills have blossomed. He is now a consistent 30 – goal scorer, is always among the leaders in power play goals, will scrap when necessary, and is sneaky fast on rushes up ice…
Of all the current roster, while some might say Claude Giroux or Jake Voracek, there is only one player who has the pedigree of a true Flyers’ throwback – and that one, in our humble opinion, is the player wearing #17 (and, ironically the other player who wore #17 before Simmonds, Rod Brind’ Amour – from Back in the Day would also fit this script)
Because of his efforts in allowing the Flyers to tread water instead of drown in an early slump, we present our First Star to the Scarborough Spider, Wayne Simmonds!
Popsicle Bros. Penalty Box
Arizona Coyotes (two minutes, sheer stupidity)
What the hell is going on in Arizona? You’ve got Anthony Duclair skating on a fourth line!
No sense in asking why they broke up “The Killer D’s” with Max Domi. The pair made sense because they had been playing together since juniors and Team Canada in the amateurs.
This is a kid who has the ability to score 20 goals a season in his sleep! He already has five points (three goals) in spite of limited ice time. If the Coyotes are stupid enough to allow The Duke to head elsewhere, they will regret it…
Milestones: Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Phil Kessel scores his 300th NHL goal in style, earning the win for the Pens in a 2-1 overtime victory versus Winnipeg.
Sippin’ on a “40” – I have always loved Jonathan Quick – and the Los Angeles Kings net minder handled his bizness against Carey Price last night in Montreal in a head -to – head of two of the best goalies in the NHL.
Although Montreal really had no firepower to match L.A. they peppered The Quick with 40 shots – every one turned aside in a 4-0 Kings victory – all this on the 500th game he played between the pipes in the NHL.
To be continued…
Goal Ingram 1 (Gray, McClean), 9:48, third period;
always outnumbered…never outgunned.