An NHL Season Preview by Ottawa’s bRian5or6

Faces Magazine has gratuitously tasked me with writing their Official NHL 2018-2019 Season Preview. I am basically an NHL expert, so they know that I know what I’m talking about. Not only am I an expert when it comes to all things hockey, I am also an expert of predicting things. For example, I successfully predicted that super celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie would get together and live happily ever after. I will thus accurately predict the standings for all 29 NHL Teams. I for one cannot wait until hockey starts! The second most exciting season in Canada after maple syrup tapping season.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks of…. Anaheim

The Ducks embarrassed everyone in and out of the league last season by getting swept by hated division rivals San Jose. No one saw that coming as they have been a model of consistency by winning five straight Pacific titles before their devastating first round loss. So devastating, in fact, that I heard head coach Randy Carlyle cancelled the summer. This season, they’ll look for leaders Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to guide them back to the promised land. But what’s even more exciting, the Ducks have unveiled a new third jersey that harkens back to their originals, the ones in the award-winning movies Mighty Ducks, starring Emilio Estevez. SO EXCITING!!

Predicted Division Finish: 2nd

Arizona Coyotes

Same old, same old. I literally watched 0 Arizona games. Wait…no I watched them all, hence why I’m an expert. They didn’t do very well, but one cool thing that happened this off season is that they traded Max Domi to Montreal for Alex Galchenyuk. But what excites me even more is that they have reintroduced their original retro logo. I love fashion. 

Predicted Division Finish: 8th

Atlanta Thrashers

Well I’m embarrassed! I’m having a hard time finding anything on the Thrashers. They don’t even have social media. They’ve gone dark. It must be a strategy. Nobody is talking about them, and that’s exactly what the team wants. They’ll be led by superstars Todd White and Ray Ferraro. I can’t even find stats from last season.
So weird. 

Predicted Division Finish: 93rd

Boston Bruins 

I think Boston can and have won Stanley Cups in both the future and the past. One cool thing about them is they are coached by Ottawa, Canada born Bruce Cassidy. They also have former Sen Zdeno Chara, who is really tall. So tall that he can clean the top of your gutters without a ladder. So tall he can pet the head of a giraffe. The Bruins have a great mix of veterans and youth. They should be a contender this season, unless Brad Marchand licks
someone again. 

Predicted Division Finish: 2nd

Buffalo Sabres 

Three simple words: Rasmus Dahlin. The Swedish prodigy may be the second coming of Jason York. He’s that good. He has the ability to single-handedly get the Sabres back into the playoffs. But don’t forget, they also have superstar Jack Eichel, who changed his number from 15 to 9, meaning he’ll win the Stanley Cup in 9 months probably. They also added former figure skater Jeff Skinner to their lineup. 

Predicted Division Finish: 3rd

Calgary Flames

A lot to like about Calgary. Sean Monahan played for the Ottawa 67’s and has emerged as a force on a line with Johnny Hockey. Yet, they have a hard time making the playoffs, why? Because of the Canada Curse I bet. I think the moment Hortons decided to get rid of fan-favourite Dutchie donut, all Canadian teams were doomed to fail. At least Calgary was able to say goodbye to class-act Jarome Iginla, an amazing player who had a great career. But until Hortons brings back the Dutchie, then nothing else will matter. 

Predicted Division Finish: 7th

Carolina Hurricanes

What an off-season! They’ll go into this year with a new owner, new president, new GM, new head coach, Dougie Hamilton, Andrei Svechnikov, and a brand-new karaoke machine. Boosting one of the best defensive cores in the league, they should be competitive this season. The only thing holding them back is the lack of an elite goaltender. They will be going with Mrazek and Darling this year. That’s hardly what dreams are made of. Speaking of dreams, I had a dream that I was in a Hurricane, and so I hid inside The Real Canadian Superstore and ate Passion Flakies all night long.  

Predicted Division Finish: 6th

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks missed the playoffs for the first time in 9 years last season and EVERYONE panicked, including myself. This is a team that still boasts Toews, Kane, Keith, and Dennis Savard. So, what happened? Simple: they couldn’t recover from the loss of Ottawa born Superstar Marian Hossa. Throw in injuries to goaltender Corey Crawford and Bob’s your uncle. Not Bob McKenzie. Although imagine Bob McKenzie was your uncle? He’d probably get you free NHL swag and even a lifetime supply of Drumsticks, the kind with the chocolate center.  

Predicted Division Finish: 4th

Colorado Avalanche 

I don’t really want to talk about the Avalanche. But why bRian? Great question! Maybe we can start with the wicked trade Colorado pulled off this season when they dealt Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators for the Sens first round pick this coming draft. But not only that, the moment the trade was made, Nathan MacKinnon was like a starving lion released from his zoo enclosure to feast on the rest of the league. He went on to record 97 points and vaulted the Avalanche into the playoffs. Meanwhile in Ottawa, well you know what happened, and Bob’s your uncle…. wait. 

Predicted Division Finish: 3rd

Columbus Blue Jackets

All I know is that when Columbus scores at home and they shoot off that canon, I go to the bathroom where I’m standing, in blind fear. Why do they have to shoot that thing? Ridiculous. Anyways, Columbus has a great up and coming team that should compete for years to come. Their focus on youth has generated budding superstars Zach Werenski and Pierre-Luc Dubois. Throw in Vezina award winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and they have a chance to compete for
the Cup. 

Predicted Division Finish: 3rd

Dallas North Stars

Why did Jason Spezza have to leave Ottawa, Canada? I mean, seriously? Not only was he Ottawa’s best center, in Dallas he is third on the depth chart behind Tyler Seguin and Radek Faksa. No team should wield that much power. Then you’ve got Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov and you have maybe the deepest forward unit in the entire league. Also, Marc Methot….I love Marc Methot. Dallas didn’t make the playoffs last season for some reason, but that could be a fluke. There are also rumors that Dallas is aggressively pursuing Erik Karlsson. And if he goes, I run away from home. 

Predicted Division Finish: 6th

Detroit Red Wings

They stole Daniel Alfredsson. Nothing else to say. 

Predicted Division Finish: 
Last forever

Edmonton Oilers

Home of The Great One, Connor McDavid. There is him and then there is everyone else. For whatever reason, Edmonton just can’t build around him, as they missed the playoffs completely last season. For a team that has 1 million first overall picks, it just doesn’t make sense. They didn’t make many changes in the off season, so it will be up to the team to get back on track. Here’s an idea, why not bring in Gretzky and Messier to coach and Paul Coffey to be the mascot? It just might work. 

Predicted Division Finish: 5th

Florida Panthers

It’s very hard for me to talk about the Panthers because when I see their logo, I get flashbacks of when I was dragged into a forest by a rabid lynx. Yes, I know a lynx is different from a Panther, but it’s still in the cat family. The Panthers made a splash in the off-season by landing enigmatic forward Mike Hoffman from Ottawa. A pure sniper that can get you 40 goals, especially if you pair him with Aleksander Barkov. Will that be enough to get them into the playoffs? Only the lynx knows. 

 Predicted Division Finish: 4th

Los Angeles Kings

Exciting times in LA these days as LeBron James arrives in town. A lot of the focus will be on basketball, but the Kings may turn out to be the Crown Jewel….see what I did there? Crown…. Kings? Anyways, Ilya Kovalchuk comes out of retirement to join an already deep team that should be a number one contender this season. If I played for the Kings, I’d be going to Universal Studios every single day and pretend I’m getting eaten
by Jaws.  

Predicted Division Finish: 1st

Minnesota Wild

Is it just me, or does the Wild logo look like a lynx dragging a man into a forest? Geez Louise. The Wild are a veteran laden team that is in a “win now” mode, as they have aging stars Zach Parise and Eric Staal. I’m really not sure they are strong enough to compete this year, unless they let the Hamburgler Andrew Hammond do his thing. I wonder if he still gets free McDonalds? I’d be there for breakfast, lunch, second lunch, snack, and dinner.

Predicted Division Finish: 7th

Montreal Canadiens 

Montreal could be on a one-way ticket to Lotteryville this season where they’ll home to land prized prospect Jack Hughes during the draft. The center position is in disarray, led by Jonathan Drouin. He oodles talent but hasn’t quite put it together yet, and unfortunately, he doesn’t have much support. Max Pacioretty may want out and Shea Weber will start the season on the shelf. Where’d that saying ‘put on the shelf’ come from, anyway? I put picture frames and various trinkets on my shelves at home, not a full-grown man with a broken knee. It’s just not physically possible. He’d break it on the first sit down, no? Dumb.

 Predicted Division Finish: 6th

Nashville Predators

This is a team to be officially jealous of. They just seem to have everything: skill, grit, character, personalities, etc. Imaging having Kyle Turris and P.K. Subban on the same team? The atmosphere at the arena is also unreal. They will win the Stanley Cup this season, and Turris will bring the Cup back to Ottawa, Canada, place it in front of CTC, and allow everyone to look at it. But not touch it.

Predicted Division Finish: 1st

New Jersey Devils

I had a Devil of a time trying to figure out this team. They went from the basement one year to the playoffs the next! This happened in large part to the dominant season Taylor Hall had. He won his first Hart Trophy as the MVP of the league. But in order to avoid a letdown this season, they’ll need goalie Cory Schneider to be elite because their defense is still Greene. Greene as in green grass, like new grass….as in new…new as in young…. you know what, never mind f***. 

Predicted Division Finish: 5th

New York Islanders

John Tavares is gone. That’s like Pizza Hut losing the pizza. That’s like Giant Tiger losing RC Cola. That’s like Beckers losing milk. How do you recover from that? You probably don’t. The Islanders should be going full rebuild right now and build the team around Calder Trophy winner Mathew Barzal.  

Predicted Division Finish: 7th

New York Rangers

Speaking of rebuilding, Rangers are now in full rebuild mode with rookie coach David Quinn. It will be a rough year in the Big Apple as they will rely youth to fill the holes. Unfortunately, star goalie Henrik Lundqvist is 36 years old. 36 is like 101 in hockey years unfortunately. As soon as you finally know your s*** they show you the door. I turn 36 this year and I just started scheduling my own doctors’ appointments. On the bright side, the Rangers have Mika Zibanejad, who should break out this season on the ice, and hopefully release a Grammy winning album off of it.  

Predicted Division Finish: 8th

Ottawa Senators

Erik Karlsson is the best hockey player in the league and would also be my best friend if he chose to be. No matter what happens, if Erik remains with the Senators, we have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Erik will raise it and then pass it to Alfie. Alfie will then pass it to Stone. And then Stone passes it to Duchene. And then Duchene passes it to Hotsam Batcho. And then Hotsam passes it to Randy Cunneyworth, who then passes it to me. I will also lead the Stanley Cup Parade down Bank Street on a giant beer float where I get all the beer I want. They will then raise me in the air while everyone chants, “bRian, bRian, bRian”.
Predicted Division Finish: 5th

Philadelphia Flyers

Another team with an embarrassment of riches, led by Ottawa, Canada born Claude Giroux, who had a monster season. Philly is a goaltender away from winning a Stanley Cup, and they may have a stud in Carter Hart. Imagine Carter Hart won the Hart Trophy? That’d be like Maurice “Rocket” Richard winning the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Hilarious. 

Predicted Division Finish: 4th

Pittsburgh Penguins

Everything about Pittsburgh is unfair for the rest of society. Picture this: Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel… unfair. Imagine your only worry about the franchise was whether or not you can get the day off for the Stanley Cup Parade? They’ll probably win another one again this year. Unfair.

 Predicted Division Finish: 1st 4 Life

St. Louis Blues

The Blues went nuts during the off-season and added Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Tyler Bozak, and Patrick Maroon. They ain’t playing this year! Well, they are playing, what I meant was they are playing hockey but they ain’t messing around. Tarasenko will probably score 50 goals and will have the rest of the league singing the blues. I’m so good at this.

Predicted Division Finish: 5th

San Jose Sharks

Like their namesake The Meg, the Sharks are taking a big bite out of the competition! Actually, The Meg ate a lot of people. It’s quite frightening to be honest. San Jose will look to get over the hump this season. They are heavily involved in trade rumours. They desperately tried to land John Tavares and are rumored to be interested in Erik Karlsson. But they can’t have Erik. I will handcuff him to the Sens dressing room door and swallow the key. 

Predicted Division Finish: 4th

Tampa Bay Lightning

Pfffffffffft. Try to steal Erik Karlsson eh Steve Yzerman? I don’t care you were born in Ottawa, Canada. So was Tom Cruise. Big deal. Doesn’t give you the right to steal Ottawa’s best player. You already have Victor Hedman. You already have the best team that everyone including my Granny predicts will win the Cup this season. And my Granny doesn’t even know where she is half the time.

Predicted Division Finish: 1st 

Toronto Maple Leafs

The John Tavares show. All I’ve seen all summer is John Tavares wearing Maple Leafs pajamas. He even wears them when he goes grocery shopping. He even wears them in the bath!! Let me get this straight, Toronto has Tavares, Matthews, and Kadri at center? That’s not very good. You need to have good centermen to win in this league, and Toronto just doesn’t have them…

Predicted Division Finish: Last probably

Vancouver Canucks

They probably won’t be very good this season as they say goodbye to the Sedin twins, but who cares? It was just announced that they will soon be wearing their retro skate jerseys, which is the nicest jersey every created. It doesn’t matter if you’re bad, as long as you look awesome doing it! Look for Brock Boeser to have a monster season, as he will become THE MAN. A new era has begun in Vancouver and I predict Pavel Bure will come out of retirement and wear actual rockets on his skates.

Predicted Division Finish: 6th

Vegas Golden Knights

Who could have predicted that the Golden Knights would be playing for the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season? Actually, Nostradamus did. Look it up! He said, “Las Vegas will get a hockey team even though it’s a desert. And they will steal fan favorite Marc Methot from the Ottawa Senators and then trade him just to piss bRian off. And then they will go to the Stanley Cup Final but not win the Cup. Also, Salt ‘n Vinegar Ruffles will finally come back full time. I mean seriously, what were they thinking taking it away? Ridiculous”. 

Predicted Division Finish: 3rd

Washington Capitals

Ovechkin FINALLY won his Cup, and then he went on a bender that would make Jim Lahey blush. What do the Caps do for an encore? Who knows? All I know is I want to party with Ovechkin. He’s basically Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s.
But alive. 

Predicted Division Finish: 2nd

Winnipeg Jets

Even though it is beyond cold in Winnipeg, the hockey team is HOT. They are Canada’s best hope of bringing a Cup home this season. Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele have so much chemistry together that they are basically Jack and Rose on the Titanic. Why did they have to speed up the Titanic? Because they wanted to set records. Kinda how like the Jets are setting records. Speed records. Because Jets are fast… okay I got nothing. 

Predicted Division Finish: 2nd


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