Hey kids, are you like me and super pumped for some real life NHL action? Chances are you are planning your fantasy hockey draft and trying to negotiate some free Center Ice with your local cable provider. Good luck with that second one.
This time next week there will be countless real NHL scores as the league kicks off three months late. All may not be forgotten or even forgiven, but you know you’ll still watch as the NHL begins the season long apology for the latest lockout.
The 48-game season/sprint has been released and though there will be no inter-conference play, there are plenty of juicy rivalries to whet your puck-thirsty palette in the coming months.
The whiny pessimist says that this year’s Stanley Cup needs to be handed out with an asterisk. I say, shine that asterisk up real nice, turn it sideways……well, you know the rest. Last I checked, they weren’t abbreviating the Stanley Cup playoffs. To many folks, even the most grizzled of hockey fans, that’s when hockey REALLY starts to matter. You are still going to need 16 wins to lift the Stanley Cup, and that does NOT include an asterisk.
What I’m going to offer now is my prognostication for how this season will play out. 48 games will be enough to distinguish who is worthy of playoffs and who needs to golf. Half the teams make the playoffs anyway. If your crappy team can’t find it’s way in, they didn’t deserve it anyway.
Without further ado, or even a slight dusting of ado, here are my predictions:
Atlantic: New York Rangers
Northwest: San Jose
Eastern Conference Champion: New York Rangers
Western Conference Champion: Vancouver Canucks
Stanley Cup Champion: New York Rangers
Hart Trophy/MVP: Sidney Crosby
Art Ross/Scoring Title: Sidney Crosby
Norris Trophy/Defenseman: Shea Weber
Vezina Trophy/Goalie: Henrik Lundqvist
Jack Adams/Coach: Joe Sacco-Colorado