Stanley Cup prediction
Can they add some defense and find the right players to surround the phenom McDavid? If so, they could be on the rise. Six straight playoff appearances. Only five series wins. It looks like the window for Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf is rapidly closing. The Hawks had their playoff streak snapped after nine straight years of extra hockey. A healthy Corey Crawford certainly helps. Despite regular season success, the Blue Jackets have only three wins in a pair of first-round series losses over the past two seasons.
Will this be the year they break through? The Flames went down in… flames in the second half of the season. Will he be able to turn the talented, underperforming team around? The Flyers have ten picks this year, including two in the top 20 of the first round. Plus, they have rookies on the rise as well as Nolan Patrick entering his second season.
They may not go far next year, but should be very good in two or three years. Last year, Claude Giroux had one of the quietest point seasons ever. The Kings have made the postseason twice in the last four years, failing to win a series. Their Cup-winning team is their last taste of success.
The Wild have six-straight postseason appearances but only two series wins to their credit. General manager Chuck Fletcher has been replaced by Paul Fenton.
With newly-inked Evander Kane on the roster and a giant question mark swirling around Joe Thornton, the Sharks future is unclear. Nathan MacKinnon literally carried his team into the playoffs last season with a personal best point season.
Can they take the next step? The Panthers made a late-season push in the second half of the season and only missed the playoffs by one point. If they can play more consistent hockey, they could be a darkhorse. A great season by Taylor Hall vaulted the Devils into the playoffs last year, snapping a five-year draught. Taylor Hall was part of the Devils quick turnaround. The Blues started last season strong, but then fell apart and missed the playoffs.
This sounds like a broken record for the Blues over the past several seasons. They lack a true No. They Canes are in a state of flux.
Even with the No. As Lou Lamoriello settles in to his perch high atop the front office, will John Tavares be packing his bags? The last two teams to pick No. Then again, with Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt in the lineup, the Sabres could make it three for three.
Will the addition of Rasmus Dahlin vault the Sabres into the playoffs? These teams are pegged to be at the bottom of the regular season standings. Looking in the mirror and to the future, the Rangers held a fire sale at the trade deadline last season. The Red Wings have gone two straight seasons without making the playoffs, after a streak of 25 straight postseasons. They have four picks in the first 36, so it bodes well for the future. Just not right now. Bergeron line needs help Boston hopes to get balanced scoring, continued solid play from young players.
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