The Pastor offers up 4 prophesies for the coming season - straight from above (his garage)

In my Thursday night men's hockey league almost every one has a nickname.  None are creative in the least.  95% simply involve modification of a guy’s name.  Usually it is the last name with a "y", "sy" or "co".  You can play in the league for years and not know someone’s actual name.  I don’t know why we don’t use our actual names; probably a way of coping with middle age. Every now and then someone comes along whose nickname is not a variation of their name – I am such a case.  My nickname is based on my day job.  I have been dubbed "Preacher"

---- Pick up the 8th annual DobberHockey Fantasy Guide right here (updated through yesterday) ---- 

This means every week if I’m lucky I’ll hear "Nice goal, Preacher." I'll certainly hear "Get up off the ice, Preacher."  And the always amusing and little ironic “#$!@ off Preacher!” since my intensity is a little higher than what rec. hockey calls for.  Those of us without skill have to rely on hustle.  Yup, I’m that guy.


Being "Preacher" means guys are quick to attribute any good fortune I receive as having come from above.  When a puck bounces in off my helmet, when I get the last beer, or when the chronically cold locker room showers suddenly warm up the lads are quick to attribute it to the "Big Guy" or "the Man Upstairs".   I seriously doubt God is saving the last beer for me but I don't deny it either.  It adds to my mystic to be seen as a man of the cloth, especially when the only visible cloth is my Dora the Explorer towel as I truck off to the soon-to-be toasty shower.


In this article I want to exploit the “Preacher” mystic and go further than offering predictions.  Predictions are for analysts.  Prophesy is for preachers.  You can get the predictions anywhere.  You can only get the prophecies here..


1.  Mason Raymond


Prediction:  Raymond makes the Leafs only to fight for third line ice time behind Lupul and JVR.

Prophecy:  Raymond makes the Leafs and finds himself with first line minutes because Joffrey Lupul gets injured in a Tim Horton’s DriveThru.  This sweet gig sees Raymond score at nearly a point per game pace for nearly half the season and puts him around 60 points for the year. 


2. Tim Thomas


Prediction: Thomas starting plenty of games for the hapless Panthers and having a decent save % based on the volume of shots he faces.

Prophecy:  Thomas inspiring performances help a maturing and healthy Panthers team knock on the playoff door.  He posts 30+ wins in the process and his GAA becomes nothing to sneeze at.   He will be the goalie steal of the 2013-2014 fantasy season.


3. Jarome Iginla


Prediction:  The 36 year old Iginla has been slowing down for years.  No longer the go to guy he is a solid member of a supporting cast and should be counted on for no more than 25g and 25a.


Prophecy: The 36 year old Iginla has a ton of gas left in the tank.  He'll find Craig Conroy-esque chemistry with David Kreji and be closer to 40g and 40a. 


4. Mark Scheifle and Olli Jokinen


Prediction:  The OHL stud (Scheifle) and up and down veteran (Jokinen) are fighting for the second line center position on the Winnipeg Jets.  Nice work if you can get it, but it's not really that fantasy relevant since whomever gets the job is probably good for 45 points.

Prophesy:  By November it is clear that whomever is centering Evander Kane and Devon Setoguchi is actually not centering the second line - this trio has become Winnipeg's first line.  Kane's breakout year of 40g and Setoguchi's accompanying 25g means whomever is centering them gets 60+ points.


Of course, every prophet has his nay-sayers.  However, only Father Time is able to judge if I am a true or false prophet (and I don’t mean the wise guy who is going to name himself “Father Time” and comment below). Nevertheless, I will accept the consequences should I prove to be a false prophet.


Allow me to clarify the acceptable consequences.


In ancient times, false prophets were stoned.  To be clear "stoned" here refers to being crushed with rocks not "stoned" in an illegal substance sense.  Although depending on your take on the above prophecies you may be wondering.  For the record, neither version of stoned is a desire of mine. 


In modern times false prophets have it much easier.  False prophets like failed brokers, stock analysts, venture capitalists, and your retirement fund manager are no longer stoned, but instead given healthy severance packages and cushy jobs with the government.  I will grudgingly accept these consequences hoping it leads to a cooler rec. hockey handle – “Senator”.


Grace and Peace for another week.  See you next Monday. 

Recently from the Puck Pastor:


The Ballad of Keith Ballard 
Follow Your Heart 

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