A Beginner’s Guide To Radio Arts & Entertainment

So, you want to be a Radio Arts & Entertainment program? Well, you may have some questions going into it. BCIT has many great programs for you to take but the Radio Arts & Entertainment program is one of the best ones you can take. It’s not exactly what the name implies as you will be learning a plethora of things. Whether it be performance, production, writing, filming or whatever it may be, there is so much you can learn in this program that will help you in your journey in the media industry.

But before you go in, you may need some advice on some things and that’s why I’m here. As someone who is just about to graduate from the program, I thought it would be only fitting that my final article is used to help the next wave of Radio Arts students. So let’s get started because you have an incredible journey ahead of you!

Your first day of school is going to be a weird one. You will have a lot of information thrown at you and it can seem pretty overwhelming at first. But trust me, it’s not nearly as bad as it seems. You probably won’t know anyone on the first day and that is totally okay, but I will tell you that you will make friends with your classmates very quickly. Since this program is done in cohorts, you have the same people in all your classes. Very quickly you’ll get to know everyone and I recommend trying to at least talk and try to become friends with the people you meet. Your classmates will be more than willing to help you learn things you may not know and you may get the chance to collaborate in projects you may not have thought of before going into the program. So talk to as many of your classmates as you can because it will be useful in the long run and you will likely make some great friendships out of it.

(That’s me in the white long sleeve)

The first semester may seem like a lot but it’s manageable if you just manage your time well. Don’t leave things off until the last minute and try to create a schedule to get things done because it will save you so much stress. One class that may seem odd at first is Media Performance. The reason being that you have to do yoga in this class. While it may seem weird at first, I would recommend trying your best with the yoga and vocal exercises because it can be very useful for finding your voice and helping you relax as a performer. The yoga techniques may not be for everyone but give it a shot because you may find some useful things out of it.

The other thing I would mention is to try your best at everything you do. You may go into the program thinking you want to be a sports play-by-play announcer, for example. You may think you mainly need to focus on just the performance side of things but make sure you do your best at the other aspects as well. The classes you take on audio production and video production and incredibly useful to learn and will really help you out with the rest of the program and as you go throughout your career. You may think you want to do one thing in the program but then decide you want to do something else because of what you’ve learned. I mostly wanted to be a broadcaster but have now found myself very interested in pursuing avenues in writing and video production as well. Keep your mind open because it will be useful in the end.

When you start the program, you may be scared by some assignments you’re given. An example of this is the digital stories in Rachel Hunter’s second Business Communications class. While it seems very intimidating at first, trust me, you will be fine. I was very nervous when I first heard of the digital story assignment but that assignment is probably my favourite assignment I’ve done in the entirety of all my schooling. There are some assignments where you will get nervous at first but things will be okay if you simply just ask for some help.

Never be afraid to talk to your teachers and do it as often as you can. Obviously don’t go to their office every day and ask them things, but do go as much as you can because you will learn so much from them. They are there to help you succeed and they are excited to give you advice on how you can do that. You may notice that some teachers will give you different advice than what some other teachers will give you but that’s not a bad thing. Having different perspectives on how to go about things in this industry is very important. What worked for one person may not work for another person. All these teachers have very unique experiences in the industry and are here to share their advice with you. There’s no right or wrong way to go about things so don’t take conflicting advice as a negative. Find what works for you and go from there. There are no wrong answers about what you want to be.

As you go through the two years, one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is to take advantage of the opportunities while you’re there. Don’t skip class all the time and actually show up and talk to your peers and your teachers and get to know them. They could be your co-workers in the future and just good friends as well. Go have lunch with your classmates, try in all your classes and don’t half-ass anything. The amount of great things that have come to me in this program just from making friends with people has been amazing. I’ve made some of my closest friends in the program and have learned so much from the instructors. There’s so many tools you can use for your projects so use them while you can. Brian will also send you opportunities of things you can do outside of school and they’re pretty cool to try out if you can. Use the facilities as much as you can because you only have them for so long.

There’s so many other things I could tell you but this is going to get too long and probably a bit emotional, but jut know you’ll be okay if you just put in the effort and try your best. And don’t ever be afraid to ask for help from anyone.

The last thing I’ll say is just enjoy you’re time while you’re there. I expected to have fun going into this program, but it was a lot more fun than I thought. I can honestly say that my two years in the Radio Arts program may be the best two years of my life and that has a lot to do with the amazing people I’ve met and how much this program has helped me grow as a person. On the first day of class, I was so nervous to say anything to the class, and now I have much more confidence to do anything like speak in front of the whole class and I’ve learned and achieved so much in my time here.

I’m going to miss spending time in the workroom with friends and talking about utter nonsense, but it was such a fun time and really brought us all together. You’re going to enjoy working in the workroom. Trust me, you’ll make a lot of memories in there.

It’s very bittersweet to say goodbye to this school because it has been an absolutely incredible journey that I will never forget and I hope you will enjoy the program as much as I did. So buckle up, because you’re in for two of the most incredible years of your life. You got this!

How Will The NBA Playoffs Go?

Well would you like at the time, it’s silly season time!

The NBA playoffs are right around the corner with the play-in tournament being played in less than a week. The NBA has sometimes been criticized for having very predictable playoffs in the past. Last year showed that that isn’t exactly the case anymore since there were a lot of lower-seeded teams making it far including the 8th seed Miami Heat who made it all the way to the Finals. This year maybe even more unpredictable because it feels like it could be anyone’s year to go far. With the playoffs right around the corner, there’s no better time to make some playoff predictions for how things could go in this postseason. I will be giving my predictions on how teams will do and who will win it all.

Before we get into this, I do want to mention a couple of things. This won’t be a playoff bracket as that will be too hard to predict considering many matchups aren’t fully decided yet. The play-in tournament can change a lot of things so it makes building a potential playoff bracket difficult because things can shift quite a bit. The other thing is I will mostly just discuss each team briefly and talk about their chances, and then I’ll do a top four where I discuss a potential conference finals and who will make it to the finals. Alright, let’s get into it!

Indiana Pacers

It’s been a better year than most people expected for the Indiana Pacers and they look to be a good time in the future. Tyrese Haliburton has had a great year despite slowing down towards the end. If they can keep Pascal Siakam in the off-season then they can continue to be a good team next year while some of their younger guys will continue to get better. For this season, however, I see them not getting past the first round but will have a decent showing.

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans seems to be due for a decent showing in the playoffs with the talent they have. Zion Williamson has been able to stay healthy for the most part this year and the team has been preforming quite well. However, I don’t think they’re quite there yet and could use another good guard to elevate this team. They won’t make it far in these playoffs but they could next year if they make a few tweaks to their roster and I expect them to be a possible contending team next year.

Orlando Magic

The Magic are in a similar spot as the Pacers. They’re a young team that has a bright future but they probably won’t do much in these playoffs. However, these playoffs will be good experience for the young team and giving Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero some playoff experience will be vital later on. The Magic won’t go far but could be a conference finals team next season if all goes well.

L.A Clippers

Things have seemed to fall apart for the Clippers toward the end of the season. This is a team that can win a championship this season but they need things to go right for them. They have such a talented team but they need everything to come together when the playoffs start. I would have them higher but I think they will lose to Denver in the second round or another team I will discuss later in the first round.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland has the makings of a good team but something feels off about them. Donovan Mitchell is a great player but he doesn’t feel like the fit for this team’s best player. He’s someone who may be on the move just because the fit is strange and I think it could be beneficial for both sides. As for these playoffs, The Cavaliers could make some noise, but because of some of the odd fits, I say the farthest they make it is the second round.

Minnesota Timberwolves

This is a team I may be wrong about because I can see them making it all the way to the finals or they could fall in the second round. The Timberwolves have been great this season and hope to have a deep playoff run. However, I have them losing in the second round because of the concerns of how Rudy Gobert plays in the playoffs. If he falters like he has in years past then teams will feast against him. It could go either way for this team though and I’m excited to watch them play playoff basketball.

New York Knicks

I would have the Knicks making the Conference finals if Julius Randle didn’t get hurt but that is not the case. I don’t think this team will have enough scoring with him gone and that makes life difficult for them. They could still manage to do it, but for that reason, I say they lose in the second round. Big things are ahead for this team though.

Oklahoma City Thunder

It’s crazy that I don’t have this team in the final four but I think one team will overpower them and the Thunder’s inexperience could be an issue. It would be no surprise if they make it to the conference finals but I think their lack of experience will be a factor as to why they won’t.

Conference Finals

Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks

This seems to be the obvious Eastern Conference finals but even then, I highly question how good the Bucks will be. I’m not a fan of Doc Rivers as their coach and they haven’t been all that great under him. Boston has been the best team in the league all year long and I think they’ll walk past the Bucks or whoever they play. I have the Celtics winning this in 6 games.

Denver Nuggets vs Dallas Mavericks

Yeah, I’m very high on the Dallas Mavericks. They made some good moves at the trade deadline and they seem to have found their game to close out the season. Luka Doncic has been great in previous playoffs and if the team can stay healthy, I think they make it to the conference finals. However, I think they fall to the Denver Nuggets because this team just plays so well. Their chemistry is unbelievable and it’s near impossible to stop Nikola Jokic. If the Nuggets defence can be good then they should be able to win this series, but the Mavericks will put up a fight. There will be some close games but Nuggets will take it in 6 games.

NBA Finals

Denver Nuggets vs Boston Celtics

This surprisingly wasn’t the finals last year but I think we get it this year. These two teams match up very well against each other and it will be a fun series to watch. Both teams are deep and either team could take it. However, I’m going with the Denver Nuggets pulling off the repeat. While Kristaps Prozingis has been good defensively this year, I don’t think he can stop Jokic and I don’t think anyone will. Jokic is such a good player and a very selfless one who will lead his team to back-to-back championships. This will be a close series though as the Nuggets will win it in 7 games.

It’s such a good time to be an NBA fan and these playoffs are going to be great. I hope you enjoy them and laugh at me when my predictions are completely wrong.

A Prediction Of The 2024 NHL Playoffs (Pt.2)

Well, here we are once again going through the NHL playoff bracket and making some predictions about what will happen. You may have disagreed with some of the things that I predicted in my first round one article but I’m here to double down and be even more wrong. So let’s not waste anytime and get right into this bracket that will be based off my round one bracket. This one will be the rest of the entire playoffs and will once again have brief reasonings as to why I made the decisions I made.

Round 2

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Regardless of what my predictions are, I want this series to happen at some point in the playoffs because it will be a blood bath. The battle of Florida is one that has heated up over the years and it seems pretty clear that these two teams don’t like each other. We are in for another war if they do end up playing each other this time around. However, I think this time around, the Panthers will get their revenge from the last series. The Panthers have gotten more skilled and meaner since the last time these two teams played in 2022. The Lightning have been an on and off team this season due to some injuries and losing some key players in the offseason and I don’t think they’re recovered enough to beat the Panthers. The Panthers are a deeper team and are true cup contenders this year whereas the Lightning have a few question marks. I’m going with the Panthers in 6.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Carolina Hurricanes

The Penguins pulling off a first-round upset would shock the entire hockey world as they went from barely making the playoffs to now beating the top team in the east. I think they have the ability to do it and Sidney Crosby will be spectacular when the playoffs begin. However, this is as far as I have the Penguins going. The Carolina Hurricanes are a juggernaut this year and them having Jake Guentzel now may give him more motivation to beat his former team. If Freddy Andersen is as good as he has been to end the year then I think the Hurricanes will have no problem getting past the first two rounds. I think the Penguins don’t match up very well against the Hurricanes and that the Hurricanes will overwhelm them with their deep roster and good goaltending. The Penguins will put up a fight but I have the Hurricanes in 6.

Colorado Avalanche vs Dallas Stars

On paper, this series looks to be spectacular and one that will go down to the wire. However, I think there’s a clear winner here and it’s the Dallas Stars. The main reason I say that is I am not confident in the Avalanche’s goaltending. Alexander Georgiev hasn’t had a very good year, and trust me, I know as someone who had him on my fantasy team. On top of that, the Avalanche’s defence has been spotty at times which makes matters worse. The Stars are just so well balanced and I think Ottinger will hit another gear when the playoffs start. The Stars will smoother the Avalanche in this series and beat them in 6 games.

Vancouver Canucks vs Edmonton Oilers

Okay, I may take some heat for this one. I have the Canucks winning this series. Yes, I know you think I’m just a homer but let me explain. All things considered, I think Edmonton should win this series, but they won’t. The reason I say that is I think Thatcher Demko may just steal this series for the Canucks. It’s virtually impossible to stop Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl but if the Canucks can at least keep up with the Oilers goal scoring, then I think Demko could win them some games they shouldn’t be winning. If J.T Miller, Elias Pettersson or Elias Lindholm can match up well against the Oilers’ big two then the Oilers may have some trouble. The Oilers will put up a valiant fight but I have the Canucks taking this in 7 games.

Round 3

Carolina Hurricanes vs Florida Panthers

A rematch of the Eastern Conference finals from last year is what we get for round three. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, I think it ends the same way as last year. The Panthers are a team that can perfectly match up against the Hurricanes as they can essentially bully them and win the series. If Sergei Bobrovsky can play well in this series then I think the big guns on Florida like Matthew Tkachuk, Alex Barkov and Sam Reinhart will be able to put up big performances to outmatch the star power on Carolina. It’ll be a good series but I have the Panthers taking it in 7.

Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars

Alright, here’s where my bias ends. I think the Stars are going to take this series as I don’t see any team in the West outmatching them. The Stars are good at pretty much every position and the crazy thing is that they still have some younger guys coming will make an impact for this team. As I’ve mentioned earlier I think Jake Ottinger will be good in these playoffs and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a Conn Smyth favourite for the Stars, The experience factor also helps for the Stars as the Canucks core has only made the playoffs once before this and it wasn’t the same because it was when there was no crowd. The Canucks will try their best but I think the Stars are too good for them. I have the Stars winning this in 6 and advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Stanley Cup Finals

Florida Panthers vs Dallas Stars

So here we are in the Stanley Cup Finals with two teams that have both lost in the Cup Finals in recent memory. The Stars fell to the Lightning in the 2020 finals and the Panthers lost last year’s finals to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Finals will often come down to which team is the healthiest so it’s sometimes difficult to predict. However, I think these two teams match up really well with each other. Both have deep forward cores, both have three dependable defensive pairings, and both have goaltenders who can carry the team to the finals. It will be razor-thin close and will be a fantastic series of two teams who can grind each other down. But in the end, I think the Florida Panthers slay their demons from last year and win the Stanley Cup. One of the biggest issues for the Panthers last year was that they had so many injuries when the Finals rolled around and they just couldn’t keep up with Golden Knights. I mean Matthew Tkachuk was playing with a broken sternum. There was just no way the Panthers were winning that one. However, this time around, I think the depth of the Panthers will be able to overpower the Star’s depth and put away this series. The Stars will come close, but I have the Panthers winning the Stanley Cup in 7 games.

I’m very excited to be proven wrong about all of these predictions throughout the next two months because that’s the beauty of playoff hockey. I hope you’re ready for the ride because this year’s playoffs are bound to be a great one and it’s one that Canucks fans finally have a chance to enjoy.

Happy playoffs season!

A Prediction Of The 2024 NHL Playoffs (Pt. 1)

It’s playoff season, baby! You have to love this time of year because it’s when we finally start to know what the NHL playoff bracket is going to look like and we can start to look at the matchups we’ll see. The first round of the playoffs is always pure chaos and I don’t expect this year to be much different. The brackets are almost ready to be made but I want to get a bit of a head start and share with you how I think the playoff bracket will end up going. I’m going to be so very wrong with my predictions so get prepared to clown on me in about two months.

One thing I wanted to mention before going into this is that I’m writing this before the end of the regular season and some playoff matchups haven’t been finalized yet. Because of this, I am going off of an educated guess as to how the standings and matchup once the playoffs roll around in about a week. I’ll also keep my reasonings brief so this article doesn’t get crazy long. So, let’s get into it!

Round 1

Pittsburgh Penguins (WC2) vs New York Rangers (1)

My article about how the Penguins weren’t going to make the playoffs looks pretty stupid now. The Penguins had a crazy resurgent to end the year and it looks like they’re playoff-bound now. Unfortunately for them, they have to go up against one of the best teams in the league to start. The Rangers have been one of the best teams in the league and might win the Presidents Trophy this year. However, I have the Penguins pull off an upset in this one. I like the Penguins star power still and although the Rangers may out-match them in certain areas, I think that the Penguins will beat them because Sidney Crosby says so. He’s had a great year and I think he could be the determining factor in this series. I’m going with the Penguins in 7.

Tampa Bay Lightning (WC1) vs Boston Bruins (1)

The Boston Bruins were great this year and have been better than most people expected. So they get the wonderful reward of getting to face the Tampa Bay Lightning. I think the Lightning’s top guys will be too much for the Bruins as Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov will cause a lot of issues for the Bruins. Andrei Vasilevskiy hasn’t had the greatest year but that’s been due to injury and I think he will turn it around for round one. If the Bruins win, it will be because their goaltending stole them the series, but I don’t see that happening. I have the Lightning in 6.

Carolina Hurricanes (2) vs New York Islanders (3)

I’m not even really sure how the Islanders got here. There defence first system has got them some wins and they have a solid core but not one that’s nearly as good as the Hurricanes. I think the Hurricanes have way too much fire power for the Islanders and Freddy Andersen has been great since returning. I have the Hurricanes winning this series convincingly in 5 games.

Florida Panthers (2) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (3)

This series is such a tough one. I really like both teams and think that whichever team wins this series will go on a deep playoff run. It’s a tough one but I think I give the edge to the Florida Panthers. The main reason is that they can play a meaner style that fits more with playoff hockey and a style the Leafs haven’t done well against in the past. I say Panthers in 7 but honestly, this series could go either way and wouldn’t be surprised if the winner of this series makes it to the Cup finals.

Dallas Stars (1) vs Vegas Golden Knights (WC2)

A rematch of the Western Conference finals may take place in the first round this year and if it does, it will surely be a great series. While Vegas is the defending champs, I think I’m going with the Stars on this one. I think the Stars are more well rounded and I think they have the better goaltending. Ottinger has had an okay season but I feel like he’ll turn it around when the playoffs start. For Vegas, I’m not too confident in their goaltending this year despite Adin Hill having a pretty good season. His recent injury is a bit of a concern for me but overall I think the Stars have the better team and end up winning this series in 6 games.

Vancouver Canucks (1) vs Nashville Predators (WC1)

This one will be totally unbiased and will not be a complete homer towards the Canucks. In all seriousness though, the Canucks should win this series. While Nashville has had a good run recently, I don’t think that will sustain in the long run. Vancouver has a deeper team and more star power as well. With Thatcher Demko coming back as well, the Canucks should take this series but I don’t think it will be easy for them. Nashville is a team that will give you trouble and make you pay for any mistakes you make. I’m taking the Canucks in 6 for this one but Nashville could make things very interesting in this series.

Colorado Avalanche (2) vs Winnipeg Jets (3)

I’m not going to lie, I kind of think the Winnipeg Jets are frauds. I’m sorry, but they just seem like a team that has been carried by really good goaltending. That’s not to say that this team isn’t talented because they absolutely are. I’m a big fan of Gabe Vilardi and Nikolaj Ehlers and a few others on the Jets as well, but I feel like Rick Bowness’ style of coaching really limits this team offensively. Ehlers should be more heavily used but he’s not and there’s a few other things that I’m not a huge fan of. The Avalanche on the other hand are a wagon. The only real weakness they have is goaltending but I think with how good the rest of the team is, they’ll be fine. For this series I’m going Avalanche in 6.

Edmonton Oilers (2) vs LA Kings (3)

The third straight year that we get this series and it’s going to end the same way it did the last two times. The Oilers should easily beat the Kings and make their way to the second round. I’ve never been a big believer in the Kings and I feel like the Pierre Luc Dubious trade made their team worse. It wasn’t a trade they needed to make and I feel like they could’ve upgraded different areas on their team. The Oilers on the other hand have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. I don’t need to say anything else. Both these players are borderline unstoppable in the playoffs and the Oilers seem to have found a new gear since making their coaching change earlier in the season. I have the Oilers taking this series convincingly in a 4 game sweep.

Well, I thought I could get through the entire playoff bracket but I’ve already run out of room and only got past the first round. So it looks like we’ll do a part two to this. Stay tuned because you don’t want to miss more of my takes that will be incredibly wrong.

Why Are The Minnesota Wild So Mediocre?

How are you doing right now? Are you doing good? I hope everything is going well. And even if things are going bad, that’s okay. I promise you things will get better, At least you’re not feeling mediocre because then you would be the Minnesota Wild.

The Minnesota Wild have to be one of the strangest teams in the league to get a gauge on. They’re good enough to be a playoff team but not good enough to the point where they could contend for the Cup. They have the foundation of a contending team but they don’t have the supporting cast around them. Kirill Kaprizov is a legit star in this league and can be relied upon as a number one guy who you can build your team around. Matt Boldy has started to establish himself as very good top-line winger and could continue to get better. Joel Eriksson Ek is maybe one of the best two-way centers in the game and is slowly starting to put up more points. Brock Faber has been a great rookie for the Wild and it looks like he’ll be the top defenceman for this team moving forward.

There’s some good pieces here, but that’s about it. They have some intriguing young guys who could turn into great players like Marco Rossi, Marat Khusnutdinov, Jesper Wallstedt and a few others are all interesting pieces that could be great for them but maybe not anytime soon (outside of Rossi). There’s reasons to be intrigued by the Wild but as of right now, they’re a bit of a mess.

This season was pretty disappointing for the Wild as they had hopes of making the playoffs but fell a bit short. This season was defined by some untimely injuries and mediocre goaltending. The Wild were dealt with some key injuries during the season that made life for them more difficult. Jared Spurgeon had season-ending injuries as he had to get surgeries on both his hip and his back. My goodness, his sleep must’ve been awful after dealing with that. Spurgeon at the time, was the Wild’s top defenceman so losing him was a big loss. Not to mention that whenever you lose your captain, it’s gonna hurt your team. Brock Faber was able to take over the role as top defenceman but there’s only so much you can ask of a rookie. The other big injury was Joel Eriksson Ek who got injured in mid-March which was right in the middle of their push for the playoffs. The Wild aren’t very deep at center so losing Eriksson Ek was a noticeable one, especially when you lose a a great two-way forward like Eriksson Ek. He returned recently but it’s too late for it to matter.

While injuries hurt the team this year, so did their goaltending. Filip Gustavsson was expected to take over as their starting goaltender but that didn’t really happen. He put up a .898 save percentage which is just not good enough for an NHL starting goalie. Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t any better either. Fleury had a .899 save percentage and it just felt like neither goaltender could catch heat this season. Even when it seemed like one of their goalies was getting hot, it was quickly derailed by an injury or one bad performance killing all their momentum.

So not a lot has gone right for the Wild this year and all they can do now is look forward to next year. The problem for them is they don’t have a ton of money to work with as they only have $7 million dollars to spend. That’s due to the fact that they have over $14 million in dead cap space due to the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter buyouts. This seems like a recipe for mediocrity to continue for the Wild.

Or maybe not. While the Wild don’t have a ton of money to work with, they could get some big contributions from internal additions. I talked a little earlier about some of their younger guys who weren’t quite ready to take the jump to be a full time meaningful player for the team, but that doesn’t mean they won’t develop into great players for next season. The Wild have a pretty solid prospect pool and some solid young players.

Marco Rossi has had a pretty good rookie season considering what it took for him to get here. A big part of his development got derailed because he missed quite a bit of time being on the sideline as he was dealing with long-term covid effects. Despite that, Rossi had a respectable season as he put up 38 points and 21 goals. He also looked decent in his showing as the top-line center when Eriksson Ek went out with an injury. Rossi may not reach the ceiling he had when he was drafted in 2020 but he has shown some promising development and he could take another leap next year and be the team’s second-line center and one that is more offensively minded.

Now that the Wild’s playoff hopes are gone, they are giving chances to some young players as these may be some guys who will be roster players for them next season. Liam Öhgren is a player that intrigues me a lot as he isn’t necessarily great at anything but he is reliable for many different things. He’s a good winger who can do a lot of heavy lifting and work well for smaller players who are more offensively minded. I don’t know about you but that sounds like the perfect linemate to have next to Marco Rossi. Öhgren could be a big player for them next year and I’m interested to see how things go for him.

With Marc-Andre Fleury likely leaving the team in free agency, this opens the door for Jesper Wallstedt to be the full-time backup. Wallstedt will eventually be this team’s starting goaltender in the long term and next season looks like it will be the season he establishes himself as a legit NHL goalie. If Gustavsson slips again next season then we could see Wallstedt become the starter and I feel like he could do well in the role with how confident he is. Regardless, he should have a good season next year with some expected growing pains in between.

Marat Khusnutdinov is also getting a shot and it looks like he could end up being the third-line center for next season. He hasn’t been too productive in the time he’s got so far in the NHL but next year is more so the year for him to shine if he does. If he works out for them then the Wild who once had some pretty weak center depth are suddenly doing pretty okay at that position.

There are a few other younger players I could talk about who could step in next year but you get the point. This is exactly the way the Wild have to go about next year because of their limitations with cap space. It helps them a ton that they’ve drafted quite well the past few years. Shout out to Judd Bracket.

Will the Wild be better next season? I think they should be better but I don’t know how much better. Having their newer additions be almost all rookies is a bit of a gamble as it’s pretty unpredictable to know how good these rookies will be. Either way, I think the Wild will be good going into the future, but they need to keep finding ways to add more talent.

It’s time for the Wild to break out of mediocrity and they’ve taken the steps to possibly do that soon. We’ll see how things go though.

See, even the Wild can figure things out so I believe that you can do whatever you want too. Just don’t spend half your money on a buyout.

Was WrestleMania 40 The Best Ever?

You know, maybe, just maybe, wrestling is cool again!

I’ll admit, I haven’t been the biggest WWE fan in recent times. The main reason is that I wasn’t a huge fan of WWE being PG because they feel very watered down and restricted. On top of this, the product felt very corporate and felt more like a drama show than a wrestling show as the wrestling was a bit secondary.

However, recently, it seems like WWE has found the right mix of the two and it has resulted in a great product. Evidence of that is WrestleMania 40. What a great night it was for professional wrestling fans and a fun couple of nights just to sit back and enjoy the Mania shenanigans. What a night it was and I kind of want to talk to you about some of my favourite moments from the weekend.

Before I get into things WWE has been doing well and shedding a positive light on them, I feel like I should mention something before I do that. While WWE is doing well right now, we can’t forget and ignore the ongoing Janel Grant lawsuit. This is a very serious lawsuit with many names involved and many that haven’t been named and we cannot excuse them just because WWE has a good product. This is something that should not be brushed off and WWE needs to take these things seriously and I hope the fans make sure they don’t forget.

So, now let’s take a hard right turn into the things I enjoyed about WrestleMania 40. Let’s start with the opening match which was a great way to open the show. The show opened with Seth Rollins vs Drew McIntyre which was a pretty solid match all the way through but this match seemed pretty clear with a goal of letting McIntyre have his moment. After Drew McIntyre won the WWE championship in front of no fans, it was his time to have his WrestleMania moment in front of a big crowd. And he got that moment as he won the World Heavyweight Champion from Seth Rollins. Well, for about 5 minutes. McIntyre was showboating in front of CM Punk and then got attacked by Punk which allowed Damien Priest to swoop in and cash in Money In the Bank to win the championship.

This was such a fun way to kick off the show as it creates a ton of drama, some fun and unforgettable moments, and continues on a rivalry with CM Punk and Drew McIntyre. It’s also great to see Priest get a shot at being world champion. He mentioned in the press conference that he used to be homeless and now he’s world champion. It’s great to see how far he has come and I’m excited to see what he will be able to do with a big role as a now main eventer.

Let’s move on now to the match that had the best wrestling of the night in my opinion. Bayley vs Iyo Sky was exactly what I wanted it to be which was two wrestlers just doing what they do best, put on a great show. I still think this should’ve main evented night one and I get why Roman Reigns and the Rock vs Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins ended up taking that spot, but it would’ve been nice to give the women their flowers by giving them the main event spot because these two deserved it with the work they put in for this feud.

Nonetheless, they did their job and put on a damn good performance. Iyo Sky is one the most athletic wrestlers in the industry and it’s an absolute joy to watch her perform. Her moonsaults never fail to impress and it makes you realize just how unathletic you are. Bayley was also so good in this match. She brought the emotion but she also brought out a top-notch performance. Again, I think this should’ve main evented night one as these two put on a great match and the story going into was really interesting. It was great to see Bayley get a big WrestleMania moment by getting the win and I’m interested to see where they go from here. I would love to see Bayley go up against Dakota Kai at some point and it seems we may get it at some point in the near future.

Alright well, I think it’s time to get to the main event of night two and boy was it a crazy one. I went into this match thinking that Roman Reigns would retain his championship over Cody Rhodes which I was wrong about, but gladly wrong about. However, I did know this match would be incredibly overbooked and have some crazy shenanigans and I am all here for that. The appearances from legends were silly but they were incredibly fun. I wasn’t expecting to see the Undertaker but it was a welcome surprise. This whole thing felt like the ending of a superhero movie and they did a good job of making Cody Rhodes feel like a superhero.

This match overall was really fun and Reigns and Rhodes deserve their flowers for making this story so interesting and having a great payoff with Cody Rhodes finishing the story. Hats off to Roman Reigns too for such an incredible title reign. It seems as though Roman will be back soon as well as he’s already training for another run.

The match itself was good but can be a bit overshadowed with the run-ins from other people but that’s fine because it was entertaining regardless. One issue I have with this match which seems to be an issue all across wrestling is how it seems like everyone kicks out of finishers nowadays. I get why they do it because there’s way more shock of kicking out of a finisher than some regular move, but it does feel like it diminishes some finishers. The Cross Rhodes feels like a weak finisher because of how many people kick out of it, but I suppose it’s hard to make it intriguing to make a dramatic ending if they don’t kick out of it. It’s probably hard to make it work like Kenny Omega does with the One-Winged Angel where no one has kicked out of it, but what they could do is just not use the finisher as much as they do to have fewer kick outs. Maybe two or three times a match maximum and that’s it. It’s a small issue, but one they could try to fix if they want to. This is very minor though and I don’t really care but thought I’d be nitpicky a bit just to mention it.

Regardless of all of that, this felt like the ending of a chapter in WWE and the start of a new era which WWE seemed to be emphasizing quite a bit during the weekend. Cody Rhodes is the perfect guy to lead this company forward and I’m glad he was able to finish his story.

WrestleMania felt like a storybook ending and it just might be the greatest WrestleMania of all time. In terms of entertainment value, I would say it is. WrestleMania 40 is a 10/10 in my opinion and it was a blast to watch.

It’s such a fun time to be a wrestling fan and I hope you’re in for the ride because it’s only going up from here.

NBA Awards Predictions

If you haven’t been watching the NBA this season then you have missed out on some great basketball. The regular season for the NBA is considered to be a bit lacklustre due to how predictable is can be after a certain point and many stars will sit out games. While some of this is still true to some extent, the NBA has been relatively unpredictable this season and predicting who will win and what players will do well has been very up in the air.

As we get towards the end of the season, it’s now time to consider who should win what awards and this year more than any feels like there are multiple awards where more than one player could win it. So let’s be completely wrong and make some predictions of who is going to win awards for this year’s NBA season.

Rookie Of The Year

The Rookie of the Year award is one that has really only been a two-horse race this entire season and that’s what everyone thought it would be. This award is probably the one that was the most predictable going into the season and there’s good reason for that. Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren both play like they’ve been in the league for years and yet they are still rookies. These two can sell you on their shot-blocking ability alone as to why they’re so good. Wembanyama ranks first in shots blocked per game and Holmgren is ranked fifth.

These two big men have been fantastic for each of their teams but if I were to choose one winner then I’d have to give it to Wembanyama. He’s putting up great numbers and just looks dominant on the court. It may also help him that he is far and away the best player on his team whereas Holmgren has a couple of all-star talents on his team so he’s not expected to do as much and doesn’t need to.

Both of these guys are going to get better, which is scary to think about, but as of right now, I think I’d give the edge to Victor Wembanyama just because his numbers and impact have been slightly better than Holmgren.

An honorable mention for this pick in my opinion is Keyonte George. He’s been fantastic for the Jazz this season and looks like he could be their starting point guard for the future. He still has some room to grow but he’s looking pretty good so far.

Defensive Player Of The Year

This award is kind of funny. The reason being that the person I think should win it shouldn’t come as a surprise because they’ve won Defensive Player of the Year more than once, but it is a bit of a surprise given how last year went. That player being Rudy Gobert. Gobert didn’t look like that good of a fit last season when the Minnesota Timberwolves traded for the French man and the trade was looking really bad after last season. But somehow, he and the team have been able to make things work and turn it around and now the Timberwolves are a top team in the Western Conference. Gobert has been back to his lockdown ways and is providing great defence to this team and fitting well alongside Karl Anthony Towns.

Part of this could be because of the influence of Mike Conley who is playing his first full year with the team and he seems to have found a way to make this team gel really well and that has greatly benefitted Gobert. He will likely win another Defensive Player of the Year award and after recovering from his bad season last year, he very much deserves it.

Honourable mention goes to OG Anunoby as he has been a clamp for the Knicks when he has played, but the injuries he’s suffered and the time he’s missed make it hard to give him this award. However, I fully expect Anunoby to be in the conversation for this award next year and I think he will win it if I were to make a prediction today.

Most Improved Player

It feels like this season there have been a number who have improved greatly. So many players have taken steps to the point where it was impossible to choose all-stars without having some significant snubs. The league is in a good place and we are seeing so many players improve.

However, I think for this award, there are two players who have shown some great improvements. Those two are Tyrese Maxey and Coby White. For Maxey, he had the impossible task of trying to fill James Harden’s shoes this season, and he ended up doing very well and passed with flying colours. Maxey has turned into a star guard who can be a legitimate number-two option on a contending team. He still has some places to improve in terms of point guard skills, but the jump he took this season has been incredible.

For Coby White, he has emerged as a solid point guard for a team that has been lacking a true one since Lonzo Ball got injured two years ago. White has seen an almost ten-point increase in his points-per-game average and has been a solid distributor as well. White has taken a big leap and looks to build on that for next season.

For choosing a winner, I will go with Maxey since he’s become an all-star calibre player. It’s pretty close but I’ll give the edge to Maxey.

Honourable mention to RJ Barrett who I don’t think will even be very high in the nominations, if he even gets any votes, but I wanted to give him a shoutout for how well he’s improved since joining the Raptors. He’s starting to show some of that potential he had in his draft year and I’m excited to see if he can take another step next season.

Most Valuable Player

MVP is a tough one to pick. To me, it’s going to be either Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, or Luka Doncic. The argument for Shai is a good one as he has been so fricking good this year as he’s putting up an insane amount of points per game and putting up a solid number of assists and rebounds while leading a Thunder team to be one of the best in the west. Luka Doncic is getting a lot of triple-doubles and has been a dominant force offensively for the Mavericks.

However, this award is going to Nikola Jokic. The guy is almost averaging a triple-double and he just looks dominant out there against opposing teams. He helps elevate his teammates and he will likely be leading his team to another deep playoff run this post-season.

The only reason I think Jokic didn’t win MVP last season is because of voter fatigue since he won the previous two years. He should win this year and this should’ve been his fourth straight MVP award because he’s been that damn good. Even if he doesn’t win it this year, you just know he’ll be back in contention for again next year because he’s an unstoppable force in this league that no one has been able to solve.

It’s been a fun year in the NBA this season and the playoffs are gonna bring a lot more fun as well. I hope you’re in for the ride because things are about to pick up in the NBA.

Predicting NHL Award Winners For Next Season

You’re probably wondering why I’m predicting who will win awards for next season when we don’t even know who’s winning awards for this season. Well, because I want to and you can’t tell me I can’t. So that’s why we’re here! It’s never too soon to look ahead to next season and make some predictions for things that could happen.

The way I want to go about this is to give my top pick or picks for each of the bigger NHL awards and also give a sleeper pick as well. So, why don’t we get right into it?

Vezina Trophy

This season’s Vezina trophy winner seems to be a pretty obvious one. Connor Hellebuyck has far and away been the best goalie this season. The Jets would be nowhere without him and he has been putting up better numbers than any other goaltender in the NHL.

However, for next year, it may be a lot more wide open. The NHL is trending more towards tandem goalies so the days of goalies playing 60+ games is becoming less likely. So with that being said, who is primed to be in the conversation of best goaltender in the league next year?

If I was to put a bet on it, I would say Jake Ottinger will be the one to win it. Ottinger has had a down year to his standards but I think he will pick it up next season. Not to mention that he’s just starting to enter his prime as he’s only 25 years old. On top of this, the Stars are a deep team that only seems to be getting better. The team being better will make Ottinger’s job easier and would make him a prime candidate to win the Vezina trophy. I can also see Thatcher Demko being a candidate as well as Hellebuyck again but those two will depend on how much they play, in my opinion.

My sleeper pick for the Vezina trophy is Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. This may be a long shot but he has been pretty good to end the year and if he keeps building up his confidence, he could end up being someone who is sneakily good next year. The Sabres haven’t had the greatest goaltending in the past few years and it has hurt them. If Luukkonen can be a solid goaltender for them then they will have a legit chance to break there playoff curse. I don’t think they’ll be able to make it if he isn’t good for them and if he is, he just might get a Vezina nominee nod.

Calder Trophy

The Calder trophy for Best Rookie of the Year is always a hard one to predict, especially when it’s a year in advance. You can make predictions all you want but many things end up factoring into whether or not a rookie actually gets a lot of ice time or even plays at all.

However, there are still some players who will be notable names when they play their first full NHL season. The obvious pick for many is Macklin Celebrini who is going to be the first overall pick in this year’s upcoming draft. He’s incredibly talented and will have an immediate impact for whichever team he goes to. I’m not going to pick him though just because we don’t know what team he will go to and that will depict how good he will be in comparison to his peers in my opinion. If he’s on a bad team where he has to carry the load, similar to Connor Bedard this year, then it will be much harder for. I say he does get nominated though. Lane Hutson could be a good choice too because he will likely be quarterbacking the Montreal Canadiens top power play unit. That however is not a guarantee so I won’t say him either.

For the winner, I’m going to go with Will Smith from the San Jose Sharks. Smith has dominated the NCAA this year and will have a big role with the rebuilding Sharks next season. He will have a lot of pressure on him since the Sharks don’t have a ton of offensive weapons, but I think he will be able to handle it. Pairing him with William Eklund will make for a great one-two combination and they should be great.

My sleeper pick will be Scott Morrow from the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are going to lose some big defenceman this off-season and Morrow is expected to be able to step in and take a big role. His offensive success will depend on how much power play time he gets, but with Brent Burns still there, he may be limited.

Norris Trophy

I’ll get straight to the point with this one. It’s going to be Quinn Hughes or Cale Makar again. Those two will fight it out for the best defenceman of the year for many years to come because they are just that good. They’re both in the top five best skaters in the league and are so gifted offensively. They will continue to dominate the league until other defencemen can match their skills.

If I were to choose one I’d say whoever doesn’t win the Norris this season since they probably want defenceman. For argument’s sake, let’s say Quin Hughes wins it this year so Cale Makar will win it next year.

My sleep pick will be Brock Faber. He’s had a great year as a rookie for the Minnesota Wild and has looked comfortable being their top D-man. He will continue to get better the more he plays and with how important he is for the Wild, he seems primed to have a fantastic sophomore season with the Wild.

Hart Trophy

When picking a Hart Trophy winner for most valuable player of the year, it’s hard not to just say Connor McDavid because he’s just that damn good. The guy is going to put up 100 assists this season. That is absurd considering that’s more assists than all but 7 players have points this season. He is a freak of nature and will continue to terrorize the league for years to come.

However, I’m not picking him. This may seem crazy but I think there is someone else who may have a bigger year than him next year. And funnily enough, it’s his teammate.

Yeah, I think Leon Draisaitl will win the Hart trophy. Why you ask? It’s simple. Contract year. There’s no doubt that Draisaitl is going to get paid handsomely for his next contract, but he may have some extra motivation to play even better than he already is to get a high cap hit. We’ve seen multiple players explode this season because it’s their contract year and the same could apply for Draisaitl. William Nylander, Sam Reinhart, and Jake Gunentzel are all examples of players who have had great years because they’re in a contract year. They may have been good anyway but the contract part of it probably adds to their motivation.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see Draisaitl become the highest-paid player in the league and to do that, he may want to motivate whoever is paying him by having the best season he’s ever had.

For my sleep pick, I’m going with Elias Pettersson. Call me a homer all you want but I think next year is going to be a good one for him. He’s got his contract now and this off-season will give him a chance to fully recover from whatever lingering injury he was dealing with at the start of the year. If the Canucks go out and get him a play-driving winger as well, then he will surely have a great season and one that could get him some Hart trophy votes.

Am I going to be wrong about most of these predictions? Probably. But dammit I like making far too early predictions because I’m weird like that. Just know that if you disagree, then you’re wrong, but I still think you’re a great person even though you’re wrong.:)

The Reason Why I Don’t Like Most Antagonists In Stories

How do you feel about movie villains, book villains or video game villains? Because for me, I’m kind of bored by them. When it comes to villains or antagonists I find myself feeling like there could be more to them in a lot of cases. It feels like so many have the same story of how they want revenge or they’re power hungry and want to rule the world or the city or whatever it may be. To me, this just feels like lazy writing.

Most protagonists have compelling stories and good reasons for trying to achieve the goal they are trying to achieve. But then they face the antagonist and their goals just seem childish. You look at something like Spiderman Far From Home. The antagonist is Mysterio and his motivation for doing what he’s doing was that Tony Stark named one of Mysterio’s inventions “BARF” and Mysterio was upset with that. There’s a bit more to it but that’s basically why he turns “evil”. This is just kind of boring in my opinion and could be done way better.

These types of antagonists are often seen in many Marvel and Disney movies and they make me less interested in those kinds of movies. They are of course targeted towards children so you can give them a bit of a pass but that doesn’t mean they can’t write these characters better.

They do occasionally have antagonists with good motivations though. Thanos is a good example in Marvel as his whole thing about balancing the planet by removing half of the population makes sense in some respects. Obviously, it is incredibly flawed but it’s interesting because you can see why he is right and wrong, and you can see how his opposition, the Avengers, are right and wrong in their own way. Having the audience be conflicted about which side is right are things I love to see and something I wish more stories did.

You can see this done well in many video games though. While many don’t, there are plenty that can get this conflict right. I’ll tell you a bit about one of my favourite examples of how a video game does the protagonist vs antagonist conflict very well.

I grew up playing a lot of the Assassin’s Creed series and it’s one that I have a love-hate relationship with. The first four games in the series are spectacular but everything after that is bleh in my opinion. Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag is a pretty good game though so that is one I’ll give credit to outside of the first four. However, there is one game of the four that I think is phenomenal that many people wouldn’t agree with. That game being the first Assassin’s Creed.

The reason people don’t like this game is due to the fact that the gameplay is quite repetitive. And they do have a point with that to be honest. There are reasons to justify why it’s not but that’s a longer talking point that we can skip over for now. The reason why I enjoy this game so much is the conflict between the two sides. This game revolves around the conflict between the Assassins and the Templars and is set during the Third Crusade. The Assassins have a goal of creating true peace and allowing people to live freely. The Templar’s goal is…well the same thing actually. They want to create true peace but not in the same way the Assassins do.

This type of conflict is one that I love because it makes you question both sides and you’re never really against one side because you can see where they are coming from. The Assassin’s goal is to allow people to be free, but the Templars disagree with this because they believe if you want true peace then there needs to be order because otherwise freedom will lead to chaos.

The Templars want to achieve this goal by using an artifact called the Piece of Eden which can be used to control people’s minds. The Templars want to use this to create order and free people from the prisons of their own minds. The Templars believe that the only way to create true peace is through systemic intervention.

And you know what, the Templars absolutely have a point here. Although they are seen as the “bad guys” in this story, they have a point in what they are doing. Freedom is good but it allows people to do bad. The Templars want to control people so they won’t do bad. The Assassins disagree with this because you are not allowing people to act on free will.

You see what I mean? This story has two sides where you can agree with both to a certain extent and also disagree with both sides to a certain extent. Stories where you realize there is no good or bad side, there are just different perspectives are much more appealing than just “this person is evil because they want power.” Having conflict where you truly don’t know who’s right and who you should side with is so incredibly interesting and adds so much depth to a story. The Templars believe they are truly helping people and the people they help would sometimes agree as well. The Assassins believe what they are doing is the right thing and allowing people to live freely. Both these opinions come with their consequences and there is truly no right answer.

Although the later Assassin’s Creed games don’t really touch on this kind of concept, as the later games are pretty bad in my opinion, the way they were able to do this for the first game was phenomenal and I feel like more protagonist vs antagonist stories could do way better with their storytelling if they just wrote their antagonist in a way that makes them seem like not just an evil person, but rather a person with ideals, goals and convictions that what they are doing is right and will help the world become a better place.

I could go on for ages about this and go more in-depth into why the conflict in Assassin’s Creed One is so good but maybe we’ll save that for another day. But the one thing I will say though is that the writing of conflict can be done so much better than it is in a lot of stories and right now I am getting pretty bored with the lack of interesting conflicts we are seeing in movies, video games and books.

It’s just lazy writing to have a person be bad with no convincing motivation. While not every story has to have an antagonist with a logical motivation for doing what they do, I do feel like there are too many stories that don’t. Companies like Disney and Marvel have done it in the past so there is no excuse why they can’t do it again for their new stories.

Maybe this is something you completely disagree with me about and that’s okay. However, for me, I want the stories I consume to make me think and keep me engaged. So let’s do more of it, please.

What Is Wrong With The New Jersey Devils?

You know when you have an exam and you’re feeling super confident going into it and think you’ll ace it with flying colours? But then when you take the exam you absolutely bomb it and do way worse than you expected to do. Well, that sums up how the New Jersey Devils season has gone. The Devils did their homework, studied a ton, and learned all the things they needed to, but they neglected one part which may have been what sunk them. We’ll talk more about that more later.

The Devils went into this season with high expectations after a big year for them last year as they finally took a step into being a true cup contender. They had a great regular season and made it to the second round of the playoffs. However, this season they have been pretty bad. Some untimely injuries to Jack Hughes really hurt them as he was phenomenal to start the year but the first injury he had really slowed down his pace and hurt the Devils in the long run. The same could be said for the loss of Dougie Hamilton as the Devils lost their top offensive defenceman who was the quarterback of their powerplay. They do have younger guys like Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec who can fill those roles, but they aren’t experienced enough to take over Hamilton’s role effectively at this point in their careers. They will eventually, but they’re not quite there just yet.

The injuries hurt the Devils quite a bit but that might not be the main catalyst as to why they were so bad this season. The biggest problem they had this season was goaltending. Vitek Vanacek was nowhere near NHL starting calibre this season and Akira Schmid and Nico Daws were both not ready to be a full-time backup in the NHL just yet. The Devils currently have the fourth most goals against in the league and a large part of that has been the lack of good goaltending they’ve got. The Devils did eventually trade for Jake Allen and Kaapo Kähkönen who have been solid for the Devils since getting there but it’s too late for them at this point.

Another thing that has been a bit of a disappointment this season has been the play of Timo Meier who has been okay this season but not as good as you would want a player making $8.8 million to be. He’s had 48 points in 63 games which you would hope would be a bit better and hopefully, this isn’t a trend for him going forward and he can turn things around since he is just finishing up the first year of his eight-year contracts.

The Devils have also been misusing some of their younger guys in my opinion. Alexander Holtz has not been used very effectively as he hasn’t got much ice time and could be used more in different situations. He has a great shot and could be used more on the powerplay but his coaches have not given him much leeway. Holtz is a former top-ten draft pick and still has so much room to grow and he could end up being a great player for the Devils. They may end up trading him in the off-season but they really shouldn’t in my opinion and try using him in more situations to create offence. It’s a bit surprising that he hasn’t been put alongside Jack Hughes more often. It seems like a perfect fit since Hughes is a great playmaker and Holtz is a pure sniper. Those two should be a perfect pairing but they just don’t get put together.

They could also benefit from giving Simon Nemec a bigger role as well. He was the 2nd overall pick in 2022 and has looked pretty good since. However, he hasn’t been given that much of a leash. Nemec is still really young and will have plenty of room to grow, but he could use some more ice time and I think he should be manning the top power-play unit right now. He has all the tools to do so and giving him that opportunity could be great for his development. He seems ready to take on big minutes and be their number one defenceman. He will for sure have some growing pain along the way but it will be better for him in the long term. Nemec should be a big part of the Devil’s core and he should be treated as such. He’ll be one of the top defensemen in the league at some point in the future so it would be nice to see him given more of a chance.

So this season is a bit of a wash for the New Jersey Devils and all they can really do is look ahead to next season. And in doing so, they have to start with figuring out their goaltending. While getting Allen and Kähkönen is fine, they probably need to go out and find another legit goalie who can at least be a part of a tandem with one of these two goalies. It sounded like the Devils were close to acquiring Jacob Markstrom and the trade deadline so that could be an option for them. Another option could be Linus Ullmark who was also close to being traded and will likely be on his way out of Boston this off-season with Jeremy Swayman taking over as the number one guy for the Bruins.

The other thing the Devils need to do this off-season is find a way to make their defence not bad anymore. On paper, their d-core is pretty good but they haven’t been playing up to their usual standards, Having two rookies and their top defenceman be injured doesn’t help that so the hope is that with time they will just get better. They could try and add another top four defenceman if they wanted to but they don’t need to if they don’t want to.

With their offence, it’s the same kind of situation because they could add some players but don’t necessarily need to. It couldn’t hurt to add another top-six forward and then move Erik Haula down to the third line. They could go after a big-name free agent if they wanted to like Sam Reinhart or Jake Guentzel. They do have some cap space going into the off-season and no one too big to sign. This could be the perfect chance for the Devils to make their offence truly elite and an offensive force in the NHL.

The main area of concern for the Devils is goaltending and the other positions seem to be pretty good as of right now. Once the Devils figure out their goaltending situation, they should be back to being contenders for quite some time. I think they’ll be fine next year and go back to their winning ways. This is a young team after all and these types of seasons will happen.

Don’t you wish you could be like the Devils and just brush off having a bad test and then crush the next few? If only it were that easy right? But don’t worry, you’ll ace that next test just like the Devils will next season.