It’s shocking that the season has come so fast, isn’t it? The night is upon us and I haven’t even done a predictions blog yet… Well folks, get your asses ready because this is going to be a doozy!
I’ll be using the same format that the Sportsnet panel did to make this a quick and fun read. They’ve got some stupid questions about Jonathan Drouin and Auston Matthews that I didn’t include though… Hope you won’t miss those…
Here we go!
STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS
WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPEENS
EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPS
TEAM LIKELY TO EXCEED EXPECTATIONS
I wanna say either Winnipeg or Carolina but that feels like jumping on the media bandwagon. So, I’ll say Columbus. Their 1st round sweep from last year I think had a lot of folks fall off their own proverbial bandwagon. I like their mix of skill/grit as well as the combination of vets/youth and I want to believe they’ve learned their lesson from last season and will come out and at least make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs.
TEAM LIKELY TO DISAPPOINT
It would be easy to pick the Oilers or the Penguins here given they are being mega-hyped to meet each other in the Cup finals. But I’ll take Nashville. I think a lot of things went well for them last season… Almost too well…
CANADIAN TEAM WITH THE HIGHEST POINT TOTAL
Edmonton Oilers easy. (F-me if McDavid or Talbot get hurt though…)
# OF CANADIAN TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFFS
I’ll say 4.
Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Winnipeg
God, it’s always a mistake picking Winnipeg isn’t it? I don’t like Calgary’s goaltending, Montreal is going to struggle to score, and Vancouver are being run into the ground by Jim Benning…
ART ROSS WINNER
I really want to say Charlie McAvoy (BOS) or Clayton Keller (ARI) but I’m not sure it’ll be that cut and dry. I reckon Brock Boeser (VAN) is going to be shooting the lights out in Vancouver Joel Eriksson Ek sure had a fine introduction last year. Is Alex Debrincat (CHI) going to spend the year on a line with Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews? What about pre-season goal-scoring sensation Kailer Yamamoto (EDM)? Will he stick around? Then there’s Matt Barzal (NYI) and Josh Ho-Sang (NYI) in Brooklyn to think about. Nolan Patrick (PHI) is another out of the Metro division and how’s about Jakub Vrana (WAS)… I don’t even want to talk about Nico Hischier (NJ)…
I’ll go with Joel Eriksson Ek out of Minnesota.
Victor Hedman all the way. I love the way he plays. Such a beast!
Cam Talbot or Pekka Rinne. Longshot being Vasilevski out of Tampa…
Seems too easy to pick Carey Price or Braden Holtby doesn’t it?
JACK ADAMS WINNER
Todd McLellan or could it be *GASP* Glen Gulutzan if their goaltending can hold up and the magic of Jaromir Jagr can do what it does best… It’ll probably be someone like Bob Boughner (FLA) or John Stevens (LA) for taking their teams to the playoffs though.
COACH IN THE HOT SEAT
Has to be Paul Maurice doesn’t it? Guy is the best worst coach in NHL history.
GM ON THE HOT SEAT
Brad Treliving. He’s mortgaged the Calgary Flames foreseeable future to try and win now. I don’t think they’ve got a 1st round pick until Matthew Tkachuk’s kids are draft-eligible.
AFTER THE TRADE DEADLINE JOHN TAVARES WILL BE A MEMBER OF THE…
Arizona Coyotes. The NHL needs a face for that franchise if they’re going to keep the team in Arizona or move it to Quebec City or Seattle or Beijing. The team has the pieces to send back to the Islanders to boot. Dylan Strome could go, Christian Fischer, or Nick Merkley too.
Adding a player like Tavares would go a long way in kick-starting the Coyotes franchise.
MATT DUCHENE WILL FINISH THE SEASON AS A MEMBER OF THE…
I could say Arizona here too but Montreal seems to be the noisiest team in the rumor mill at the moment. I don’t think they’ve got what it takes to get him though. I’ve heard Columbus and I like that destination for him but what about Ottawa? A Turris/Duchene swap would make a little sense, no?
|New Jersey||Detroit||Vancouver||***= Wild Card|
There you have it folks! Nothing crazy. Hopefully I’ll be right on everything and that’ll give me at least one thing to take to the grave 🙂