So we’re a little over 2 weeks into the NHL and our 4 blog writers decided to collaborate on some predictions for the season. After a couple minutes of discussion, we realized that there is no possible way to come to a consensus. The reason being that half of us are San Jose Sharks fans and the other 2 are Los Angeles Kings fans who can’t stand the sight of an undefeated Sharks team (6-0, what?)[still no Stanley Cup, what?]. Instead, we decided to each write up our own descriptions and let you tell us who think is closer (smarter). These are some high stake predictions too. The person with the worst prediction loses their job and the person with the closest prediction takes home the loser’s salary. Not really, but for legal reasons we cannot say.
Even being an LA King’s fan and a religious SoCal sports fan, I think there’s a great chance we see Los Angeles bring home their second cup. The Kings look prime for another cup run this year, with an already proven squad that will have hopefully have a healthy Willie Mitchell and the speedster Matt Frattin. We’re off to a slow start but it’s a long season.
Eastern Conference Final: Detroit over Pittsburgh
Western Conference Final: Kings over St. Louis
Stanley Cup Champion: Los Angeles Kings
I apologize for Chase’s bias. That said, I choose the Sharks.
No matter the team that actually takes it, I will put money that they are from the Western Conference. The West is 28-7-3 against Eastern Conference teams this season. Enough said. Well, the season is still young.
As one of the aforementioned Sharks fans, I can’t be happier with the start of the season. A 6-0 start with an incredible goal differential puts them on top of the NHL can only make me smile. With such incredible depth that puts an Olympian like Joe Pavelski on the third line, the Sharks will be my pick this year. Call me biased if you like, but do the math: Couture + Thornton + Marleau + Burns + Pavelski + Hertl + Boyle + Vezina candidate Niemi + 9 straight years of playoff runs = a cup ready team.
Toronto is looking filthy out in the East. They almost pulled off a long playoff run last season, but I think they have the team and the goaltending this year. As long as Kessel, Lupul, Kadri, and Raymond keep netting pucks and their netminders keep up the good work, then the Leafs’ fans will be cheering their way to the Cup final.
Detroit is always a cup contender and now that they’re in the East, they’re immediately a contender for the conference final.
Patrick Roy’s Avalanche squad still continues to impress me. They may be young, but they can win games. With Landeskog, Stastny, Duchene, Parenteau and top pick Mackinnon, expect this team to go deep.
Eastern Conference Final: Toronto over Detroit
Western Conference Final: San Jose over Colorado
Stanley Cup Champion: San Jose Sharks
Chase beat me to the punch by picking the Kings, so I’m calling it a repeat year for Chicago. They return most of their Stanley Cup winning core from the 2012-13 season. Patrick Kane has the filthiest hands in the league (see video for evidence). Corey Crawford is back between the pipes and they have a solid core of veteran defensemen returning.
I really like Toronto this year too. I think the goalie battle up there between Reimer and Bernier will elevate both their levels of play. They have a roster full of grindy players including Dave Bolland from the Hawks and Phil “Lumberjack” Kessel. Look for the Leafs to go deep in playoffs this year.
The Sharks look very good right now, but like they do every year, I’m predicting they choke in the first or second round. Colorado’s squad of young guns look phenomenal to start the season, but I don’t think they are quite ready to win the cup.
Eastern Conference Final: Toronto over Pittsburgh
Western Conference Final: Chicago over Colorado
Stanley Cup Champion: Chicago Blackhawks
As some of you may have deduced from my last post, I am a hardcore Sharks fan. Not saying I have a bias (which I do) towards the Sharks, but they are looking like a pretty solid contender for at least the President’s Trophy. Rookie Tomas Hertl and Matthew Nieto have already contributed quite a bit to the cause, and Jumbo is throwing sauce to just about anyone in teal for apples.
But, as mentioned before, it’s a long season and there are several other contenders that have just a good of chance as the Sharks……like the Colorado Avalanche, who look just as good, if not better than the Sharks. Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Paul Stastny, PA Parenteau, veteran Alex Tanguay, and rookie Nathan Mackinnon are playing unreal, some of the best hockey I’ve seen in awhile.
But we can’t give all the credit to just them, the tendies Semyon Varlamov and J.S. Giguere combined are definitely the best starter-backup combination in the league right now, so that definitely helps. But without Patrick Roy’s coaching(which is mostly yelling), they wouldn’t be where they are right now. But only time will tell how well they do throughout the entire 82 game season, which is a long one.
Pittsburgh is always a solid contender for the Stanley Cup, with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, James Neal, Chris Kunitz, and Fleury in net. Detroit, who has made the playoffs for 22 consecutive seasons is all that needs to be said right there.
Eastern Conference Final: Pittsburgh over Detroit
Western Conference Final: Colorado over San Jose
Stanley Cup Champion: Colorado Avalanche
I know a lot of you will disagree, so comment your guess below. Who knows, you might win something if you’re right.