2015/16 NHL Standings, Playoffs, and Award Predictions

It’s that time of year again where I make my sometimes awful predictions on how the upcoming season of NHL hockey will play out. Despite there always being a few surprises that no one accounts for, I’m fairly confident I’ll do quite well this season. It seems like most of the bottom feeders gunning for the chance to draft Auston Matthews are set in stone, while the heavy hitters look like they’re largely going to be the same as last season. Or not, who the hell knows?

First up are my final division standings predictions, with teams I’m picking to make the playoffs in bold.

Central

  1. Stars
  2. Blackhawks
  3. Predators
  4. Blues
  5. Avalanche
  6. Wild
  7. Jets

Pacific

  1. Ducks
  2. Kings
  3. Flames
  4. Sharks
  5. Oilers
  6. Canucks
  7. Coyotes

Atlantic

  1. Lightning
  2. Senators
  3. Canadiens
  4. Panthers
  5. Red Wings
  6. Bruins
  7. Sabres
  8. Maple Leafs

Metropolitan

  1. Penguins
  2. Capitals
  3. Rangers
  4. Blue Jackets
  5. Islanders
  6. Hurricanes
  7. Flyers
  8. Devils

Gambling on Dallas to win the Central division, while taking the safe picks in Anaheim, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh for the others. I also think Colorado makes it back into the playoffs with a healthier/improved defense, which along with the Stars now making it, unfortunately bumps both Minnesota and Winnipeg out of the playoff picture. Finally, the Blue Jackets better damn well make the playoffs this year and I’m probably wrong in dropping both Boston and Detroit out of the top 8 in the East, but whatever.

As for the playoffs, I’ll just pick what I think/hope the Stanley Cup Finals matchup will be…

Anaheim Ducks vs. Washington Capitals

Bruce Boudreau finally coaching a team to the finals, only to come face to face with his old team led by Alexander Ovechkin. That would be awesome!!

The Ducks are a safe pick as they improved in the offseason and came within a game of the Finals last season, falling to a Blackhawks team that shouldn’t be as strong this time around.

The Capitals are a slight gamble, but the East is much more of a toss up anyway. I think they’ll improve with another season under coach Barry Trotz, who much like Boudreau also hasn’t reached the Finals yet despite tons of regular season success.

Oh, and if I’m going to pick Washington to reach the Finals you know damn well I’m picking them to win the Stanley Cup, somehow. Seeing Ovechkin carrying that silver chalice around the ice would be glorious.

Lastly, here are some award predictions, which never goes well…

Hart Memorial Trophy: Sidney Crosby

Ted Lindsay Award: Sidney Crosby

Conn Smythe Trophy: Alexander Ovechkin

Art Ross Trophy: Sidney Crosby

Maurice Richard Trophy: Alexander Ovechkin

James Norris Memorial Trophy: Victor Hedman

Vezina Trophy: Braden Holtby

Calder Memorial Trophy: Jack Eichel

Frank J. Selke Trophy: Jonathan Toews

Jack Adams Award: Lindy Ruff

NHL GM of the Year Award: Jim Nill

Mark Messier Leadership Award: Ryan Getzlaf

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Anze Kopitar

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy: Jaromir Jagr

King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Mark Giordano

NHL Foundation Player Award: P. K. Subban

William M. Jennings Trophy: Jonathan Quick

NHL Plus-Minus Award: Jonathan Toews

Toews