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What are you anticipating the most from NHL 2016-17 season?


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As a Lightning fan, I will be anticipating a Stanley Cup run for my team.

They've already come so close previously and the "out" always was, "Well, they are still young and need more seasoning".


Well, they've GOT their seasoning, Stamkos is in the fold longterm, they basically kept their core intact (still waiting to see what will happen on the Kucherov situation though), and have a good starting goalie in Ben Bishop, playing in a contract year.


I think this group is about as good as this group is going to get (not saying they still can't make some improvements mind you), and anything less than another Finals appearance, I think, would be failure.

But WINNING the Cup is the goal...and see no reason (Washington Capitals be damned) why they can't get THAT done this year after coming within arm's reach previously!


As for Minnesota, their window may be closing, slowly, but perhaps closing nonetheless with the current group.

They no longer are that "very young team" that needs to learn to win.


They have guys who are now entering their primes and veteran players (in some cases VERY highly paid vets) who aren't getting any younger and are closer to their decline years than they are to their 'entering prime' years.


I am not fully convinced the Wild are a Stanley Cup team, but I think for this group, for this year at least, they need to make a run to the Western Finals at least.

No more excuses of Blackhawks, injuries, not enough talent or coaching.


They got Boudreau (yea, yea, I know about his lack of playoff championship success), they still got very good players who can compete at a high level and have good young talent who need to get their collective heads out of their arses and just consistently produce already.


The ingredients are there. As for that missing #1 C...well, not gonna deny it, but that's where either newly signed Eric Staal needs to step up, or Mikael Granlund, who Wild fans have been waiting on for a few seasons now, becomes that guy and parlay that into that big contract he and his agent have been after.


You only get the big money if you are a big time player, Granlund. The time is now!

So my anticipation for the Wild is a Western Conference Finals appearance at the very least.

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Some other anticipations for this season:


Nathan MacKinnon, Filip Forsberg, Jonathan Drouin, Darnell Nurse, Seth Jones, Matt Dumba.


6 still young players, 3 are forwards, 3 are defensemen.


What do they all have in common? Well, the fact that all six are highly talented and have either shown flashes of brilliance or have been steadily working their way towards true NHL star status.


My anticipation is that these six players take those final steps THIS season that solidifies them as bonafide top level guys at the NHL level.

Consistency will be the key for all six.


MacKinnon has showed he is capable of putting teams on their heels VERY quickly, but for some reason, has had trouble being much of a threat in the last two seasons.


Filip Forsberg made some nice strides last season, but then disappeared for stretches at a time....but still finished with nice production numbers! Imagine if he had been a consistent player....


Jonathan Drouin had some growing up to do....from the looks of how last season ended, he might have done just that, the Bolts never did trade him thus showing confidence in him, and I expect him to move onward and upward from here on out. Possibly getting extensive time on the top line with Stamkos.


Nurse, Jones, Dumba...three highly touted defensemen who have either gotten less than ideal ice time or have been given chances, have done well, but then regressed in some area or two that has seen them lose the ice time they fought so hard to get.

I think all three of these defensemen have had enough time at the NHL level and all three are on teams that could REALLY use boosts from their position (Edm, Cbs, and Min respectively)....I think its high time they took their games to the next level THIS year!

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To see what the NHL has cooked up over the summer (in secret) to sneak more advertising into the game. :ph34r:


It could be something as simple as a new camera (with sponsorship mention attached to it), video based ad overlays covering the entire ice surface and scrolling ads during each play stoppage, replacement of play stoppage music with vocal ads for beer and viagra, advertisements on the underside of the player benches (so the "toe cam" can see them when it's looking up at the players spitting their drinks all over the place). Perhaps the NHL will extend video review to more situations or prolong the duration that the video review takes. 


I'm also looking at things such as increased intermission length or the NHL trying to sneak a 4th period into the game and change to using quarters like the NBA.  


And to see how good Auston Matthews is (in Toronto of course, not after we trade him away and he finds his game elsewhere). :5726b5f6e7bd6_bigteeth:

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