My 2014-2015 NHL Standings Predictions
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2013-2014 Mini Review
It’s that time of year again where hockey fans everywhere anticipate another great and compelling season just like how it was last season. Last years’ 2014 NHL playoffs was marked as one of the most dramatic and entertaining post-seasons in many years because of the suspenseful 3rd period comebacks and constant momentum changes within almost all of the series’ played.
There weren’t too many surprises with what teams had a good regular season and good playoff runs except for Colorado and Tampa Bay who made great strides in returning to the post season. Of course Chicago, San Jose, Boston, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles who won their 2nd Stanley Cup in 3 seasons are perennial playoff teams but surprisingly the New York Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Finals even though they were dominated by the Kings in the series finale.
1. Anaheim Ducks
Addition of Ryan Kesler makes this team a legit Stanley Cup contender.
2. Los Angeles Kings
Didn’t lose anybody with significance and once again will challenge for the Stanley Cup
3. San Jose Sharks
Will play with a lot more fire this year due to blowing a 3-0 series to the cup champs; Los Angeles Kings
1. Chicago Blackhawks
Will again be dominant this season especially with the addition of Brad Richards to their explosive top 6 forward group.
2. St.Louis Blues
Another team contending with the big boys for the Stanley Cup. They have one of the best defensive core in the league.
3. Dallas Stars
I love how this team is turning it around. Acquiring Spezza and Hemsky will make this team an offensive juggernaut.
Management for this team has decided to spread the talent to increase their depth up front but sacrificed pure sniper, James Neal to do this. Regardless of losing Orpik and Niskanen, they will still be one of the top teams in the East.
2. New York Rangers
Not too many changes besides adding Dan Boyle. They will be one of the fastest skating teams this year.
3. Washington Capitals
Gambling on the investments of Orpik and Niskanen, they will help get this team allow far fewer goals than they did last season.
1. Boston Bruin
Physically superior to most other teams, they will take the Atlantic Division again this year.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
Jonathon Drouin, Ondrej Palat and Brett Connolly are primed to have breakout seasons as the youthful Bolts look fresher and more talented than they did last season.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs
Regardless how much negative press they get, they have a good team and they can make the playoffs when they put their minds to it if they amid the distractions.
Wild Cards For West:
They have pure goal scoring ability, good goaltending tandem and an alright defensive core. To me it’s just enough to make the playoffs.
Will be a very exciting team to watch as they have a great mix between experience and youth. Will make a strong playoff run as an underdog.
Wild Cards For East:
x-Detroit Red Wings
Will extend their playoff streak to 23 years because of their emerging youth in Nyquist, Jurco, Smith and Dekeyser.
x-New York Islanders
The only reason this team will make the playoffs will be because of offense and they have the ability to score more than their opponents amid average goaltending and mediocre defense.
Bottom Dwellers: Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils
I know that some people will have their thoughts and suggestions about the standings (Can put in your input in comment section by the way) but there is a reason why had predicted the standings this way. I have the Capitals, Islanders, Oilers and Leafs as new entrants in this years playoffs because I feel they have something to prove after long rebuilds and past disappointments. It is a year of redemption for them and I believe those teams are ready to take the next step unlike the Canucks, Sens, Canes and Jets whom I believe need a couple of star players to push themselves just enough to compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
With new teams rising there has to be old teams that fall. The Blue Jackets, Avalanche, Canadiens and the Flyers in my eyes have not done well enough to improve from last year and will likely slip out of the playoff picture. As impressive as the Avs were last year, I don’t think they’ll do well because of improvements in the Central Division with all the new free agents that signed up with teams in their surrounding area.
A few miscellaneous predictions I have is that Anaheim will win the President’s Trophy, Jonathon Drouin will win the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the year), Sidney Crosby winning the Art Ross Trophy (Leading scorer in the league) but I truly think Pavel Datsyuk will be the most valuable player to his team; The Detroit Red Wings winning the Hart Trophy as he will be essential to helping the Red Wings make the playoffs.
The usual regular season dominance from the Blackhawks, Sharks, Blues, Pens and Bruins will continue but I think the Blackhawks in particular will win the Stanley Cup beating the Red Wings in the Cup Final in an epic 7 game war. The Flames, Panthers, Sabres and Predators will continue their long rebuild cycle as it looks like they won’t be crawling up from the bottom anytime soon.
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