Pacific Division

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1. Vegas Golden Knights

A full season with the group they put together during last season should put them at the top.

2. Calgary Flames

They took a big step forward last year, but there are still questions in net.

3. San Jose Sharks

Their captain left via free agency, but they have one of the deepest defensive units in the league.

4. Arizona Coyotes

This is the year they need to put it all together and make a playoff push.

5. Anaheim Ducks

There should be improvements in many areas, but they’re another year away from contention.

6. Los Angeles Kings

The reset button has been hit, but they aren’t going all out for a rebuild just yet.

7. Vancouver Canucks

If their defense and goalie can match what their offense can dish out, they can make a leap in the division.

8. Edmonton Oilers

Not a lot is expected from them and that is a good thing for this franchise. Time to fly under the radar. Continue reading

Central Division

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1. Nashville Predators

Their defense is still stacked, but will the offense match?

2. St. Louis Blues

Coming in as defending Stanley Cup champions shouldn’t have any effect on this team.

3. Colorado Avalanche

They were a dark horse team last year, but they should be legit contenders this year.

4. Winnipeg Jets

The loss of a few key players will hurt, but this team is too talented to not make the playoffs.

5. Dallas Stars

If they remain a defensive stalwart they’ll be playing in the playoffs once again.

6. Minnesota Wild

They seem to always be a player or two away from making a leap in a stacked division.

7. Chicago Blackhawks

They could certainly make strides this year, but everyone above them is better by far. Continue reading

Atlantic Division

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1. Tampa Bay Lightning

They can’t have a repeat of last year and they shouldn’t.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

This is a crucial year for this group to finally live up to their potential.

3. Boston Bruins

After coming up short in the Stanley Cup final, they’re still contenders once again.

4. Florida Panthers

They have a new goaltender and a Stanley Cup winning coach to go with their high powered offense.

5. Montreal Canadiens

The health of goalie Carey Price will determine their fate this season.

6. Buffalo Sabres

Once again they made a coaching change, but their talent pool is as deep as it’s ever been.

7. Detroit Red Wings

With Steve Yzerman now in charge it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for them to be contenders.

8. Ottawa Senators

The long rebuild continues north of the border. Continue reading

Metropolitan Division

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1. Washington Capitals

With a few tweaks on defense this is still the best team in a stacked division.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

Even without Phil Kessel, the Pens have plenty of scoring potential.

3. Carolina Hurricanes

Their playoff run last year wasn’t a fluke and they should be contenders again.

4. New Jersey Devils

A healthy Taylor Hall with their off-season additions has them primed for playoff contention.

5. New York Rangers

Their rebuild got a big boost with the signing of Artemi Panarin.

6. Philadelphia Flyers

They finally have a franchise netminder, but who will be the focal point on offense?

7. Columbus Blue Jackets

A lot of changes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t compete and surprise some.

8. New York Islanders

The only reason they’re at this spot is because so many other teams made improvements. Continue reading

Stanley Cup Prediction

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Eastern Conference

1. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. 4. New Jersey Devils

2. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 3. Boston Bruins

1. Washington Capitals vs. 4. Florida Panthers

2. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 3. Carolina Hurricanes

Western Conference

1. Nashville Predators vs. 4. Dallas Stars

2. St. Louis Blues vs. 3. Colorado Avalanche

1. Vegas Golden Knights vs. 4. Winnipeg Jets

2. Calgary Flames vs. 3. San Jose Sharks Continue reading