The best thing about NHL/Stanley Cup predictions in October?
Nobody remembers a darn one of them in June.
Sometimes not even the author, which is why they’re so much fun. This is not science, it’s entertainment.
So without further ado, let’s stick our neck out with some guesses now and only refer to them again next summer if most of them are right.
(Eight playoff qualifiers from each conference).
- Washington Capitals: Can’t see the Stanley Cup champions slipping too much.
- FLYERS: With a little luck and a bit of good health, should clear the 100-point mark.
- Pittsburgh Penguins: The former two-time champions are beginning to show some cracks.
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Fifty years (since last Cup) and counting for the “masters of the hockey universe.’’ Greatness on the horizon.
- Tampa Bay Lightning: Kucherov, Stamkos and Hedman legit stars but there are some question marks after that.
- Boston Bruins: Hate him if you want, but Brad Marchand gets it done and leads this blue-collar squad.
Wild cards: Columbus, Florida.
- Winnipeg Jets: Stunned by the Golden Knights last year but won’t get fooled again.
- Nashville Predators: In Laviolette we trust.
- St. Louis Blues: No big stars but find a way to get it done.
- San Jose Sharks: Addition of Erik Karlsson makes them the sexy pick but not sold on their depth.
- Los Angeles Kings: Coach John Stevens gets the former two-time champions back on track.
- Vegas Golden Knights: The Cinderella ride hits a bump in the road.
Wild cards: Edmonton, Dallas.
Stanley Cup finalists: Toronto, Winnipeg.
Stanley Cup winner: Winnipeg.