2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

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Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

1. Florida Panthers vs. 4. Washington Capitals

Players to Watch: F Jonathan Huberdeau and Goalies Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov

Who Wins: Panthers in 5 games

2. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Players to Watch: F Auston Matthews and D Victor Hedman

Who Wins: Lightning in 6 games

Metropolitan Division

1. Carolina Hurricanes vs. 4. Boston Bruins

Players to Watch: D Jaccob Slavin and F Brad Marchand

Who Wins: Hurricanes in 6 games

2. New York Rangers vs. 3. Pittsburgh Penguins

Players to Watch: G Igor Shesterkin and F Sidney Crosby

Who Wins: Rangers in 6 games

Western Conference

Central Division

1. Colorado Avalanche vs. 4. Nashville Predators

Players to Watch: F Nathan McKinnon and D Roman Josi

Who Wins: Avalanche in 6 games

2. Minnesota Wild vs. 3. St. Louis Blues

Players to Watch: F Kirill Kaprizov and F Vladimir Tarasenko

Who Wins: Wild in 7 games

Pacific Division

1. Calgary Flames vs. 4. Dallas Stars

Players to Watch: F Johnny Gaudreau and F Jason Robertson

Who Wins: Flames in 5 games

2. Edmonton Oilers vs. 3. Los Angeles Kings

Players to Watch: F Connor McDavid and G Jonathan Quick

Who Wins: Oilers in 6 games

NBA Finals and Award Projections

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* – indicates playoffs

MVP – G Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks

Rookie – C Evan Mobley – Cleveland Cavaliers

Coach – Taylor Jenkins – Memphis Grizzlies

Defensive Player – C Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat

Most Improved – F Andrew Wiggins – Golden State Warriors

Sixth Man – G Tyler Herro – Miami Heat

Executive – Arturas Karnisovas – Chicago Bulls

Playoffs

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

NBA Finals and Award Projections

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* – indicates playoffs

MVP – G Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks

Rookie – G Anthony Edwards – Minnesota Timberwolves

Coach – Lloyd Pierce – Atlanta Hawks

Defensive Player – C Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat

Most Improved – G Markelle Fultz – Orlando Magic

Sixth Man – F Montrez Harrell – Los Angeles Lakers

Executive – Travis Schlenk – Atlanta Hawks

Playoffs Continue reading

Pacific Division

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1. Los Angeles Lakers

As long as Anthony Davis stays healthy, they will be championship contenders for many years.

2. Los Angeles Clippers

After the way last season ended the only way to erase that memory is to make it to the Finals and win. Do they have it in them?

3. Phoenix Suns

Adding Chris Paul puts them in the ‘most interesting team to watch’ category in the Western Conference.

4. Golden State Warriors

Not having Klay Thompson does diminish the thought of contending for a title, but if Stephen Curry is healthy this roster has some good complimentary pieces in place.

5. Sacramento Kings

It is clear that De’Aaron Fox is the face of this franchise. Now will the rest of the roster take the next step with him? Continue reading