The Ducks are this year’s trendy pick for the Stanley Cup, but a number of quality teams will challenge Anaheim this season.
I’ll take the New York Rangers coming out of the East, and defeating the Ducks in the finals.
Here’s the “short-list” of my predictions for the 2015-16 NHL season:
MVP: Steven Stamkos
Top Goaltender: Carey Price
Top Defenseman: Victor Hedman
Top Rookie: Connor McDavid
Points Leader: Sidney Crosby
Pacific Winner: Ducks
Atlantic Winner: Lightning
Metropolitan Winner: Rangers
Central Winner: Blackhawks
West Winner: Ducks
East Winner: Rangers
Stanley Cup Champion: Rangers
Who might win if not the Rangers? 1. Ducks 2. Lightning 3. Blackhawks 4. Capitals 5. Predators
My Darkhorse Team: Blue Jackets
NHL Coaches On The Hot Seat: Everyone not named Mike Babcock. The first coach to go will most likely be Ken Hitchcock, if the Blues don’t get off to a good start.
Game–Changers this year: The three-on-three overtime is introduced that will decide a large percentage of games that are tied after regulation (75+%), along with the coaches challenge for offside and goalie interference.