The Cougar Crier

NHL Predictions

Benji Ferarro, Article Editor

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A new NHL season is soon upon us, and the main headline entering the 2017-2018 campaign is the Pittsburgh Penguins’ possible ‘three-peat’ for the first time since the Islanders won four straight in the 1980s. Rising clubs like the Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres, and the New Jersey Devils are trying to break playoff droughts, while young players, like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and Patrick Laine are trying to replicate their rookie successes this year. It should be exciting to see what unfolds, but for now, here are my predictions to the season.

One team that everyone should keep an eye on in the Eastern Conference is the Columbus Blue Jackets. With Nick Foligno, Cam Atkinson, and Artemi Panarin along with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky– Columbus will be a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. For the New York teams, however, the Islanders are looking for a return to the playoffs after last year’s campaign in which they fell one point short of making the final eight in the conference. The Rangers are looking to rebound after a bitter second round loss to the Ottawa Senators in last year’s semifinals round. One team to look out for in the Western Conference is the Nashville Predators. While some may fear that a Stanley Cup appearance last year will result in a subpar 2017-18 season, Nashville still features great defensemen like Roman Josi, P.K Subban and Ryan Ellis. Look for this club to possibly get back to the Stanley Cup Final to represent the Western Conference.

Overall, it should be another great season filled with highlight-reel goals, fantastic saves and clutch defensive stops.

Eastern Conference Playoff Teams: Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes, NY Islanders

Western Conference: Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Nashville

Stanley Cup Final: Chicago over Columbus

 

[Editor’s Note: These predictions were made before the season started, and have not been adjusted based on game play.]

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NHL Predictions