It's hockey day today!! There's only a couple games on the slate for tonight's opening ceremonies in the NHL, but that doesn't diminish the fact that the NHL will now play 82 regular season games per team. No more bullshit 48 games, no more starting to play hockey with snow on the ground, none of it. We're finally back to some fucking normalcy!
So with a new season comes new hope, new opportunity and the idea that every team outside of Florida, Texas and the country of Canada have a shot at winning the Stanley Cup. With that, Team DOY will run down their predictions for the upcoming season in who will finish atop their shiny new division:
Pizz: Bruins, Red Wings, Senators, Canadiens, Lightning, Maple Leafs, Panthers, Sabres
Justin: Bruins, Red Wings, Senators, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Lightning, Panthers, Sabres
Jon: Bruins win by four points over the Red Wings. I think the Bruins start and finish the season. I think that Cup loss to the Blackhawks motivates them even more than we can envision. So why only four point lead over Wings? I think glass groin Rask gets hurt at some point during the season and misses a couple weeks. Bruins slump at first, but Chad Johnson embarrasses us for all the bad things we say/said about him.
Greg: Bruins, Senators, Red Wings, Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Sabres, Lightning, Panthers
– Boston wins the division with Ottawa and Detroit fighting for second. I think Ottawa takes it, but Craig Anderson comes back to Earth a little. Other than that, there are questions with Toronto and Montreal. How good can the tandem of Riemer and Bernier be? Will Carey Price be good again? Can Dion Phaneuf get any uglier?
Pizz: Penguins, Rangers, Capitals, Devils, Islanders, Flyers, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets
Justin: Penguins, Capitals, Rangers, Devils, Blue Jackets, Islanders, Hurricanes, Flyers
Jon: Penguins run away with this division. Before you mock me, keep in mind this isn't the playoffs we're predicting. The Penguins are still regular season machines. Much like the Bruins refusal to keep 30-40 goal scorers if they aren't fantastic two way players, the Penguins refuse to get a goalie that will excel in the playoffs. And as much as Fleury is a sieve in the playoffs, he's actually pretty good in the regular season. Surprise, surprise, only thing that could derail the Penguins from winning the division is more Malkin and/or Crosby injuries.
Greg: Penguins, Rangers, Blue Jackets, Capitals, Devils, Islanders, Flyers, Hurricanes
Pizz: Blackhawks, Blues, Stars, Wild, Predators, Avalanche, Jets
Justin: Blackhawks, Blues, Wild, Predators, Stars, Avalanche, Jets
Jon: Blackhawks. No explanation needed. Even Flyers fans are smart enough to see how awesome Chicago is.
Greg: Blackhawks, Blues, Predators, Stars, Wild, Jets, Avalanche
Pizz: Kings, Sharks, Canucks, Coyotes, Oilers, Ducks, Flames
Justin: Kings, Ducks, Sharks, Canucks, Coyotes, Oilers, Flames
Jon: I'm predicting big falls for San Jose and Vancouver. San Jose had way too much trouble scoring last night after the first month of the season and I don't see that improving. Torts is an awful coach and I think he's completely wrong for the Canucks and that will show early.
So really it comes down to the two obvious choices. Calgary and Edmonton.
LOLOLOLOL JK JK. Edmonton might make the playoffs, but they're still a ways off from Cup contention. I want to say LA runs away with this division but I don't really see what they've done to bump up their scoring. Lil Jonny Quick is certainly going to steal his share of games but you can't win every game 1-0 or 2-1. So I'm going to say Anaheim wins the division in a VERY close race. Sure, Bobby Ryan is gone but the Ducks have a bunch of young kids who should be able to more than make up for what they're losing in Ryan. Plus Getzlaf and Perry are too good to slump again, right? RIGHT?!
Greg: Kings, Canucks, Sharks, Ducks, Oilers, Coyotes, Flames.
And just for funsies, here's my playoff prediction:
(1) Boston Bruins vs (WC) Montreal Canadiens
(2) Ottawa Senators vs (3) Detroit Red Wings
(1) Boston Bruins vs (3) Detroit Red Wings
(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (WC) Washington Capitals
(2) New York Rangers vs (3) Columbus Blue Jackets
(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (2) New York Rangers
Eastern Conference Finals:
Boston Bruins vs New York Rangers
(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs (WC) Anaheim Ducks
(2) St. Louis Blues vs (3) Nashville Predators
(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs (3) Nashville Predators
(1) LA Kings vs (WC) Dallas Stars
(2) Vancouver Canucks vs (3) San Jose Sharks
(1) LA Kings vs (2) Vancouver Canucks
Western Conference Finals:
Chicago Blackhawks vs LA Kings
Stanley Cup Finals:
LA Kings defeat the Boston Bruins in 6 games