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Hockey Season Is Here, Bitches

115 days. 2,760 hours. 165,600 minutes. That’s how long it’s been since the Pittsburgh Penguins won their 2nd consecutive Stanley Cup Championship and put an end to the 2016-17 season. That’s how long we’ve gone without hockey. Sure, we had the draft and preseason and everything else. But nothing is the same as real life NHL games that actually mean something. And tonight? Well for the first time in 99,360,000 seconds, we finally have that shit back in our lives.

Obviously there’s a ton to look forward to this season. For starters, we have a brand new franchise for the first time since the Blue Jackets and Wild came into the league in 2000. There aren’t high expectations for the Vegas Golden Knights. Chances are that they’ll most likely finish in the bottom 5 of the league. But for a city that could really use a pick-me-up right now, I hope they come out of the gate flying.

You have the Pittsburgh Penguins looking to become the first time to win 3 straight Stanley Cups since the Islanders in the 80s. You have Connor McDavid looking to take the league over from Crosby and get the Oilers back to the Cup Final for the first time since 2006. You have Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel and Patrik Laine and the rest of the young talent in the league looking to follow up what they did last year and prove that the NHL is now a young man’s game. You have players looking for a fresh start with a new team like Jonathan Drouin in Montreal. You have old players looking for one last shot at the Cup with a new team like Patrick Marleau in Toronto. You have an instant rivalry with #1 and #2 draft picks Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick getting drafted to the same division. There are going to be dirty dangles, filthy fights, surprising teams, surprising players, surprising trades. And it all starts tonight, bitches.

A couple of quick predictions here, not that they mean anything.

– The Edmonton Oilers will make it to the Stanley Cup Final. Not sure if they’ll win it or not but I like Connor McDavid winning the West in the last year of his ELC.

– Mark Scheifele will win the Art Ross this year. He’ll be turning 25 in March. Has gone up from 49 to 61 to 82 points in the last 3 years. Eventually you throw him on the same line with an older, bigger, faster, stronger Patrik Laine this year and there’s no chance that point total doesn’t keep climbing.

– A lot of people are talking up the Carolina Hurricanes this year as a team to watch out for. They’ll be a much better team this year, no doubt. But I don’t think they make the playoffs this year.

– Teams that make the playoffs this year that weren’t in it last year: Stars, Jets, Flyers, Lightning.

– Teams that were in the playoffs last year but won’t make it in this year: Blues, Wild, Senators, Rangers.

@BarstoolJordie