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.
- Red Wings
- Maple Leafs
- Blue Jackets
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…
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
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