Stanley Cup Prediction

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*Because of lockdown madness, the 2020-21 NHL season will have the four divisions playing against each other in their regions. This is a breakdown of my prediction for the Stanley Cup Playoff participants for the 2020-21 season. The top 4 teams from each division will play each other in the first two rounds. Then what would be the Conference Finals, the four remaining teams will be ranked 1-4 on their regular season point totals. The one-seed will play the fourth-seed and the second-seed will play the third-seed. Continue reading

West Division

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1. Colorado Avalanche

They proved in the playoffs last year that they are among the best offensive teams in the league.

2. Vegas Golden Knights

Adding a Stanley Cup winner in Alex Pietrangelo on defense shows they are still in a win-now mode for this young franchise.

3. St. Louis Blues

Losing Pietrangelo will hurt, but getting Torey Krug isn’t a bad consolation prize.

4. Minnesota Wild

Their team depth and playing in a weaker division has them primed for a playoff spot.

5. Arizona Coyotes

Too much turmoil in the front office, but the talent is there for playoff contention.

6. Anaheim Ducks

They’re probably another year away from contention, but the offense needs to start showing more progress.

7. San Jose Sharks

Their run for a Cup has come and gone.

8. Los Angeles Kings

The growing pains will continue as will the cap crunch for goalie Jonathan Quick and defenseman Drew Doughty. Continue reading

North Division

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1. Vancouver Canucks

It should come as no surprise that Vancouver played as well as they did in the Playoff bubble last season.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

There is far too much talent on this team to fail once again. But the frustration will grow when the cap crunch comes.

3. Calgary Flames

A few shrewd moves in the offseason have Calgary hoping they solved their glaring issues. Mainly in net.

4. Edmonton Oilers

Expect huge scoring numbers from the offense. The rest of the group needs to be above average or better to clinch a playoff spot.

5. Winnipeg Jets

They could be a sneaky good team with Connor Hellebuyck in net.

6. Montreal Canadiens

A lot has to go right for them once again. Unfortunately they play in a very talented Canadian division.

7. Ottawa Senators

The future is quickly coming for them and this season will be an interesting one to watch. Continue reading

Central Division

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1. Tampa Bay Lightning

The defending champions didn’t have to dismantle what they’ve built and another Cup run seems likely.

2. Dallas Stars

Not having Tyler Seguin for a large portion of the year could come back to hurt them. Thankfully their defense is their bread and butter.

3. Carolina Hurricanes

If they can get a consistent goalie during the playoffs, they’ll be tough to beat.

4. Columbus Blue Jackets

Just when you think they won’t be contenders they always find a way.

5. Florida Panthers

If goalie Sergei Bobrovsky can regain his Vezina trophy winning form, they should be a playoff team.

6. Nashville Predators

It looks like the days of ‘Smashville’ are just about over.

7. Chicago Blackhawks

There is no denying that they are rebuilding now and for the foreseeable future.

8. Detroit Red Wings

The growing pains will continue with some veterans being stopgaps for the prospects this season. Continue reading

East Division

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1. Philadelphia Flyers

Last year might not have ended the way they hoped, but they are far too talented to not make another run.

2. Boston Bruins

Their defense took a hit in free agency. Their depth on offense should help offset any issues on the blue line.

3. New York Islanders

The Barry Trotz system is working to near perfection on Long Island.

4. New York Rangers

This is their chance to show a quick turnaround in their rebuild to become contenders.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins

It would be shocking to see them miss the playoffs, but there are too many holes that could be hard to overcome down the stretch.

6. Washington Capitals

The cap crunch is coming and some players are starting to show their age on the ice.

7. Buffalo Sabres

If they weren’t playing in a stacked division like this one, they could be contending for a Wild Card spot.

8. New Jersey Devils

They fell flat on the ice last year and this season won’t be any better for them. Continue reading