What’s the ceiling for this Winnipeg Jets team?
For this year, I think they could not only make it to the playoffs, but they could do some damage once they get to the big dance.
For this year, I think they could not only make it to the playoffs, but they could do some damage once they get to the big dance.
You could go read a magazine or go to major websites for season previews… but then it’s the same thing that tens of thousands of people read. So here is the start of my unique division by division season previews, which get you set for upcoming NHL season.
Added: A. Radulov – B. Bishop – M. Hanzal – M. Methot – B. Flynn – T. Pitlick
Lost: P. Sharp (fa) – C. Eakin (e) – J. Hudler (fa) – A. Niemi (bo) – A. Hemsky (fa)
I get the sense that Jim Nill isn’t a very patient man. After the team saw their point total slip by 40 last season, their GM went out and solved their goaltending problem, solidified their d-core and just for fun, added a few more solid offensive pieces. They added a laundry list of impressive names to a team that already featured Benn, Seguin, Klingberg, and Spezza.
This team has a plethora of high-end skill, especially down the middle, where I don’t think there’s a team in the league that can match them. Seguin-Hanzal-Spezza-Shore is a terrific group and should be able to carry this team to a fantastic regular season.
Are there worries? Yeah. I don’t love their depth on the wings or on the back end, even though they are improved. Maybe that’s something they can look to add at the deadline, although they don’t have cap space as of now.
Regardless, I’m feeling bounce-back performance from the team in Texas and their off-season moves back up that feeling.
Add: S. Hartnell – N. Bonino – A. Emelin
Lost: J. Neal (e) – C. Wilson (t)
I did not like their offseason. The Scott Hartnell reunion is a nice story, but he is not the player he used to be. They also paid a lot for Nick Bonino, a player who I question can be a competent second line center. He’s never cracked 50 points and his GF% drops 11% when he goes from mid-level competition to elite competition (via puckiq.com). I don’t think he’s a good second line center.
So then why do I have them so high? Well, they still have Pekka Rinne and one of the best group of defensemen in the league. We also just witnessed some breakthrough performances during the playoffs and I believe guys like Freddy Gauthier, Colton Scissions, and Pontus Aberg are ready for full-time NHL duty.
The injury to Ryan Ellis stings, but again, their depth is incredible and I have full confidence they can survive the few months without Ellis.
If there’s an x-factor, I’d say it’s Ryan Johansen. Fresh off a big extension that pays him like an elite #1 center, he’ll need to produce more than the 14 goals & 47 points he got in 82 games last year.
Despite seeing declines in their point totals the last 3 years, I expect the Preds to have a strong season in a tough central division.
Add: D. Kulikov – S. Mason – M. Sgarbossa
Lost: P. Postma (fa) – C. Thorburn (fa) – O. Pavelec (fa)
They couldn’t keep pucks out of their net. That was the only reason this team didn’t find any success during the regular season. They finished 7th in goals for and the difference between their goals for per game and goals against per game was just (0.11).
To put that into perspective, only one other non-playoff team in the west had a better differential, that was the LA Kings at (0.02). Simply put: the Jets had a really solid regular season last year, their goaltending was just horrendous.
They went out and improved their goaltending situation by grabbing Steve Mason, who should be a little more stable than Pavelec/Hutchison were as backups. The addition of Mason, combined with a more experienced Connor Hellebuyck should help drop that goals against per game number.
They also went and added Dmitry Kulikov, who does have holes in his game but is an upgrade on Paul Postma.
Combine that with a group of forwards that’s deep, highly skilled and only getting better, I think the Jets have a winning team and have no problem slotting them into a playoff spot.
Add: M. Foligno – R. Murphy – T. Ennis
Lost: M Hanzal (fa) – J. Pominville (t) – M. Scandella (t) – E. Haula (e) – D. Kuemper (fa)
The Wild went all in last year, paying a king’s ransom for Martin Hanzal at the deadline. It didn’t work out, but they still have a pretty solid core intact. Their solid wing depth is still there, and while I worry about their depth down the middle, maybe someone like Joel Eriksson Ek can thrive playing on a line with someone like Zach Parise or one of their other skill guys.
Their solid wing depth is still there, and while I worry about their depth down the middle, maybe someone like Joel Eriksson Ek can thrive playing on a line with someone like Zach Parise or one of their other skill guys.
Their solid d-core and Devan Dubnyk should leave them looking good in their own end. If there is one concern I have it’s a lack of that superstar presence, someone who can be a game-changing presence on offense. Is Mikael Granlund that guy? His point total increased by 25 last year, so will we see another big step forward?
If they get some big performances, which I expect they will, I have no doubt about the Wild being a playoff team.
Add: B. Saad – P. Sharp – C. Murphy – A. Forsberg – J. Berube – J. Rutta
Lost: A. Panarin (t) – N. Hjalmarson (t) – M. Hossa (i) – M. Kruger (t) – T. Van Riemsdyk (e) – J.Oduya (fa) – S. Darling (t) – B. Campbell ®
That’s a long list of departures from the Windy City, and the new names are honestly quite underwhelming.
Just looking at their offense, they essentially swapped out Hossa and Panarin for Saad and Sharp. I understand the cap relief element of things, and they got a great deal with Sharp, but the bottom line is they got two players who produce less than the players they now have. The combined GF/60 of Hossa and Panarin is 4.9, while that number for Sharp and Saad is 4.3.
On defense, they lost their second best dman in Nik Hjalmarsson and two good supporting players in Van Riemsdyk and O’Duya. To replace them is 27-year-old rookie Jan Rutta and Connor Murphy. Another sizeable step back.
They also lost Scott Darling, who was an outstanding backup. Berube should be fine in that role, but it’s another step back, even if it is small.
Now despite getting worse in all three areas of their roster, they still have a good chunk of their core so they should stick to the playoff picture. Their depth isn’t god either so one big injury could really put them in a hole. The flip side of that, they have some good young players. If Debrincat, Schmaltz, and Murphy can prove their solid NHL players early on, there is some potential for the Hawks to challenge for the division.
Their depth isn’t good either so one big injury could really put them in a hole. The flip side is that they have some good young players. If Debrincat, Schmaltz, and Murphy can prove their solid NHL players early on, there is some potential for the Hawks to challenge for the division
Just going off their roster right now, gotta slide them lower than others may have them.
Add: B. Schenn – B. Bennett – C. Thorburn
Lost: D. Perron (e) – J. Lehtera (t) – R. Reaves (t) – N. Yakupov (fa)
In a division as close and deep as the Central, you need to always be improving. The Blues didn’t do that.
It may be a storyline for a few years, but they still don’t have an elite centerman to play with Tarasenko. Schenn is good, but he isn’t a top line center.
They’ve seen a decline in points over each of the last 4 seasons (111-109-107-99) and with a slew of their direct competition making serious strides forward, the Blues may be the odd team out. They didn’t get any help from the schedule makers either, playing 6 of their first 9 on the road. A bad start can really set a team back, and again, in a division as loaded as the Central, a bad start could ruin your season.
If there’s a bright side, they should still have strong special teams (PP = 8th & PK = 3rd). A solid 60-65 starts from Jake Allen would also help. They have some cap space heading into next offseason with Paul Stastny coming off the books, so maybe a high pick and a little reset heading into 19/19 wouldn’t be the worst thing for the franchise.
Adds: N. Yakupov – C. Wilson – J. Bernier
Lost: F. Beauchemin (fa) – M. Grigorenko (fa) – C. Pickard (e) – P. Wiercioch (fa) – R. Bourque (fa)
It’s hardly a hot take to predict the Avs to finish in the basement, but it’s difficult to expect an organization that’s as lost as them to bounce back from a historically bad 16/17 season.
I liked the 3 additions they made over the offseason, all are essentially no risk and could pay off, but they didn’t get any better. Losing Beauchemin and Pickard won’t exactly help them gain points in the standings.
Joe Sakic also, to this point, failed to deal Matt Duchene despite everyone in the hockey world knows it’s coming. I don’t think this is exactly a very inspired group of guys heading into the new season so expect the same old, same old from the Avs.
1 – Dallas – Loaded up this offseason, filled almost all their holes.
2 – Nashville – Not a good offseason, but are still built like a Cup contender.
3 – Winnipeg – So much potential, goaltending looks better.
4 – Minnesota – Lost some decent players, no one too crucial. Another playoff appearance.
5 – Chicago – Every aspect of their team got worse. In the playoffs, but barely.
6 – St. Louis – Don’t think they’re good enough to take out Chicago for final WC spot.
7 – Colorado – Dumpster fire. Going to pick high in next years draft. Dahlin?
Over at BTI HQ, we were trying to think of a way to pass the dog days of the hockey off season. As you can imagine, trying to find content to write about in August can be tough.
We decided to start a bracket. But a simple bracket of who is the best player in the NHL would end one of two ways: Connor McDavid defeating Sidney Crosby OR Sidney Crosby defeating Connor McDavid in the final. So we switched it up a little.
Most recently, Brent Burns was joined by Patrick Kane in the second round after he took down Stars forward Jamie Benn.
Who will be next, Seguin or Tarasenko?
The common thought is that Vlad Tarasenko is more of an elite finisher and produces more offense. That statement would be false. In the past 3 seasons, Seguin has played 14 FEWER games than Tarasenko and they have the EXACT SAME amount of points over that span (222).
My argument for Seguin to win this matchup is fairly simple: versatility. If you want him to centre your top line, he’ll do it. If you need him to shift to the wing, he can do that as well. That’s something Tarasenko simply doesn’t offer.
While Tarasenko may score more goals, Seguin does a better job of complementing his linemates and making those he plays with much better.
Where Tarasenko may be the sexy pick, ask yourself: If you were starting a franchise today, who would you choose? I would go with the versatile centerman who has put up over a point per game in 3 of his last 4 seasons.
Vladimir Tarasenko is one of the game’s best finishers and has proven so over the past three seasons; only Alex Ovechkin (136) has light the lamp more than him – Tarasenko scored 116.
Also throughout those three seasons, the Russian winger has single handedly carried the Blues’ offense scoring 222 points with the next closest, Alexander Steen, coming in with 167 points. Only one other team in the Western Conference had a bigger gap between their highest scorer and their second highest scorer: the Chicago Blackhawks with a 77 point gap.
Tarasenko has played on much less talented teams, offensively, compared to Tyler Seguin who has been able to play alongside somebody as talented as Jamie Benn.
Although Tarasenko may not be as versatile as Tyler Seguin, if he can go out there and score my team 30 plus goals a season you simply cannot complain about that.
So over at BTI HQ, we were trying to think of a way to pass the dog days of the hockey offseason. As you can imagine, trying to find content to write about in August can be tough.
So we decided to start a bracket. But a simple bracket of who is the best player in the NHL would end one of two ways: Connor McDavid defeating Sidney Crosby OR Sidney Crosby defeating Connor McDavid in the final. So we switched it up a little.
A few week’s ago we had Jeff Carter and Brent Burns go head to head. Brent Burns came away victories in that battle and now this week we’ve got two heavyweights ready to battle it out!
Patrick Kane is very very very very (you get the point) skilled. You know that I know that, everyone knows that.
Majority of hockey fans know how good Jamie Benn is, but sometimes I feel as though his effectiveness gets lost in today’s fast paced, skilled NHL.
Benn is a big body who actually skates very well for someone who’s 6’2 and well over 200 pounds. He can park himself in front of the net and wreak havoc, or he can sit on the wingers and fire home one timers with his surprisingly strong shot. He can kill penalties as much as he can make other teams pay for taking them. You want a player you can trust to protect a lead late in the game? It’s Benn. You want a player who you can throw out with a minute left and you’re down a goal? Benn can do it.
As for scoring, Kane has an edge there obviously, but the gap isn’t huge. He’s eclipsed a point per game in 2 of the last 4 seasons and was dangerously close to that mark in those other two “off” years (69 points in 77 games & 79 points in 81 games).
Three time Stanley Cup champion, Patrick Kane is one of the biggest names in the NHL.
He’s consistently been on the box score since day one of his NHL career, always coming up clutch when the Blackhawks need him the most. Kane has been a huge asset in changing the Blackhawks culture into a winning one. His tremendous 72 point rookie campaign helped Chicago to their first winning season since 2002. Since Kane has been with the organization they have not had a single losing season and have only missed the playoffs once: 2007-08.
Kane is a prolific scorer and over the past three seasons, nobody has scored more points than him. A big chunk of those points came from his outstanding season where he won the Ted Lindsay, became the first American born player to win the Art Ross, and took home the Hart Trophy: beating out Jamie Benn. That same year, Kane went on a 26 game point streak which became the longest in Blackhawks history and also the second longest streak since Mats Sundin in 1993.
Kane’s elite scoring touch is better than anybody else in the league today. He’s a big time player who makes big time plays.
Make sure to vote on our Twitter poll (@belowtheice) for whom ever you believe won this argument!
We’re now in the second week of NHL free agency and one of the greatest players to ever play the game is still available: Jaromir Jagr. He is coming off a 46-point season, whilst playing all 82 games for the first time since 2014 when he was with the New Jersey Devils.
The Florida Panthers announced that they do not want to bring Jagr back to the organization, and according to Jagr, neither does any other organization.
Despite the apparent lack of interest, Jagr is no rookie when it comes to moving teams. Since returning to the NHL, after three years in the KHL, the 45-year-old has played for five different teams in six years.
Regardless of his age, Jagr’s numbers indicate one thing: he still knows how to score points.
Jagr has totaled 159 points in his last three seasons with both New Jersey and Florida – more points in fewer games than Patrick Marleau (151), who just signed a three-year $18M contract with Toronto.
Last Tuesday, another top free agent, Alex Radulov, just went off the board to one of Jagr’s former teams, the Dallas Stars. Radulov signed a deal worth $31.25M, $6.25M per year, over the next five years. In 2017 against even strength opponents, Radulov scored 31 points (goals, 23 assists) whilst Jagr scored 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists).
Numbers don’t lie. Scoring wise, Jagr can still compete with the top free agents on this year’s market yet he is still unsigned. Take away the age and your team will be getting a scoring winger, which plenty of NHL teams need.
Jagr has proven year after year that age will not define him. People can complain about his speed as much as they want, but if he keeps scoring points does it really matter?
With the list of free agents getting smaller each day, the Czech is becoming the top free agent available.
Jagr is obviously in search for another Stanley Cup ring to add to his collection, however, a team in the lower half of the standings should show interest in him as a mentor. A team like the Arizona Coyotes could be one of those teams. During his time in Florida, Jagr was a major part of the success the Panthers experienced from both Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. The Coyotes are in a similar stage of their rebuild much like the Panthers were. The future Hall of Famer could do the same in Arizona but this time with the likes of Dylan Strome, Maxi Domi, Clayton Keller. The list of young talent is really endless in the Copper State. As previously mentioned, Jagr is in pursuit of a Stanley Cup ring, however, he would be waiting a long time in Arizona for that ring, making an Arizona unlikely destination. On the other hand, most old people eventually move to Arizona later in life so why wait till then?
Until the last few days, the Dallas Stars would’ve been a great destination for the 45-year-old. Over the summer, GM Jim Nill has made some huge moves in order to not only get his team back in the playoffs but to go all the way. Trading for Ben Bishop and signing two of the biggest names on the free-agent market, Martin Hanzel and Alex Radulov, would attract any player at the back end of their career. The Stars did lose offense at the trade deadline in Patrick Eaves, and then Patrick Sharp, Ales Hemsky, and Jiri Hudler to free agency. Jagr seems like a great fit. However, with the Stars resigning both Radek Faska and Brett Ritchie it now leaves no room for the future Hall of Famer.
Another talked about destination for him is in Western Canada with the Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames. The Flames seem like the more likely stop in this situation, now that the Oilers have signed Jussi Jokinen. Edmonton will likely want to give Jesse Puljajarvi another chance in Alberta’s capital after spending the second half of the season in Bakersfield.
Now as for the Flames they’ve been busy bringing in defense, resigning Mark Stone, signing Travis Hamonic, and trading for Mike Smith. Last season, the Flames ranked in the lower half of the league in goals for, meaning it is probably time for them to invest in some offense. Jagr could slide perfectly on the top line complementing Calgary’s two stars Monahan and Gaudreau.
Over in the East, the Columbus Blue Jackets emerged last season as one of the best teams in the NHL. On draft day, they bolstered their offense with the addition of Artemi Panarin in exchange for Brandon Saad. Their only real loss this off season has been Sam Gagner who left to join the Vancouver Canucks. Jagr could easily come in and fill the void left by Gagner: he’s a much better player. They are a young team on the rise with only one player over the age of 30 on the offensive side of the puck, Brandon Dubinsky. With the current Vezina winner and one of the best defensive cores in the league, Columbus is ready to go on a deep playoff run and win the cup, just what Jagr wants.
Other teams that could be potential new homes for Jagr are the Montreal Canadiens who are looking for more offense, or the Carolina Hurricanes who want to take that next step.
Personally, I would love to see Jagr back in the black and white of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The right side of their offense may be crowded with Phil Kessel, Patric Hornqvist, and Bryan Rust but that could work in Jagr’s favour. He won’t be forced to play in every game and with him being the age he is it may actually extend his career to 50 like he believes. Also, with the talent on the Penguins roster, he would have a great shot at hitting the 60 point mark, again. The Penguins have just won back-to-back cups, I wouldn’t put it past them to win it again and obviously, Jagr wants another shot before he hangs up the skates.
I could easily make a case for every team and why Jagr would be a good fit, but ultimately we won’t know what will work best until we see him skating next season with his new team.
We are now coming into the month of May and are starting up the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
For many teams, their post-season will consist of many rounds of golf down in sunny Florida.
We’re almost at the halfway point of the NHL season and the Edmonton Oilers are still holding a playoff spot. However, if the Kings and Ducks were to win their games in hand it would create a very tight race for the final 2 playoff spots in the division. The Oilers are going to have to “buck-up” during the last half of the season if they want to stay ahead of the experienced teams from SoCal.
BTI back at it again, this time predicting round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Washington Capitals (1) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (2)
Tyler Yaremchuk: This one is going to be so tight. It’ll go the distance (6-7 games) and I really like both of these teams, whoever can escape here is my pick to win the cup. Holtby has been a monster in the playoffs and the Capitals have better offense in my mind. This Caps team also plays much better when the games get close, their Goals For % is 57.1% when the games are close. Ill take the Capitals in 7.
Taylor Paniccia: Sit back and sort of relax? This series is going deep. Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, hell even depth players for Pittsburgh are chipping in. Pittsburgh’s offense can’t be tamed and it won’t slow down this series. Washington had troubles against a weak Philadelphia offence and the Pittsburgh Penguins will now expose Washington’s lack of scoring from round 1. You can argue goaltending for the Washington Capitals but it doesn’t seem like Pittsburgh’s goaltending has blemished. Pittsburgh in 7!
Josh Goodings: This series is very hard to predict, but I’m confident that it very well might be the best series of the playoffs. I agree with Tyler, whoever takes this series will be my pick to take it all. The Pens have been on another level for months now, and looked amazing taking out the Rangers in 5, but the Caps have been at the top of the standings all year long for a reason. Each team has plenty of stars up front, Crosby-Malkin-Kessel, Ovi-Backstrom-Kuznetsov, but in terms of overall forward depth I like the Caps. Kris Letang is the best defenceman in the series, but once again I think the Caps take the edge in overall defence depth. Although they’re facing some of the best offensive players in the game, I think both Murray and Holtby will be impressive in this series, but I don’t think the rookie will outshine the soon to be Vezina winner. I’d love to see the Pens move on, but this is the Caps year, it’s their time. Capitals in 7.
Niti Krasniqi: It’s safe to predict it’ll be a long series (Can you imagine a sweep? That would be something). Even with Crosby, Malkin and Kessel I can see Holbty standing his ground. Over the past 2 playoff campaigns Holbty is sporting a .950 SV%. We did see that Washington had some trouble scoring against the Flyers, but, I think that will turn around. They’re facing Matt Murray, and Washington has enough fire power to rattle the rookie. Though, even if it was Fleury in net, I don’t think I would feel any different given Fleury’s history. I have Capitals in 7.
Consensus Pick: Capitals
Tampa Bay Lightning (6) vs New York Islanders (5)
Tyler Yaremchuk: On paper, this should be the Lightning easily. If Ben Bishop can play like the Vezina Finalist he is then Tampa should be going to their second straight Conference Finals. But it’s never that simple. Tavares and Greiss are giving the Islanders a lot of hope. If they can get a few players to contribute some secondary scoring (Lee, Nelson, Nielsen) then they could take this series. Although the Islanders finished higher in the standings, it will still be an upset if they win and I like upsets. Islanders in 6.
Taylor Paniccia: Tampa Bay’s roster is deeper and more experienced and you can’t leave out the fact that Greiss is going up against a Vezina finalist in Ben Bishop. While the Islanders did prove me wrong in round 1 it was a very tight series not very many mistakes were made. Look for this series to be a little more offensively open than the Islanders 1st round and Tampa will run away with their better transition game and high powered scoring offense. Tampa in 7.
Josh Goodings: This series shouldn’t be a problem for the Lighting, they have better forward depth, better defence, and a Vezina candidate between the pipes. Even without Steven Stamkos they’re the better team. But not so fast, John Tavares and Thomas Greiss were amazing in the first round and carried that over into Game 1 of this series, giving the Isles a 1-0 series lead and taking away home ice advantage from the Lightning. I still think the Bolts are the better team and will win this series but don’t count the Isles out. Tampa in 7.
Niti Krasniqi: Tampa Bay may be missing their best player, but, they’re still a deeper team with Vezina candidate goaltending, backed up by a very solid Vasilevskiy. The Islanders deserve more credit than they’re getting from the hockey world, but, they were outplayed a lot of the time during their first round match-up against the Panthers. However, John Tavares was outstanding for them in the first round and if he can keep it up this could be a long series. I’ll take Lightning in 6.
Consensus pick: Tampa
Dallas Stars (1) vs St. Louis Blues (2)
Tyler Yaremchuk: Dallas proved me wrong in round one, I dont think they can do it again against a much better St. Louis team. Elliot is too hot and they’re getting contributions from all parts of their lineup. A Seguin return may spark something but I don’t think it will be enough. Blues in 6.
Taylor Paniccia: Dallas simply can not fall asleep like they did at times against the Minnesota Wild. They are going up against a much better St. Louis team. Based on goaltending and how good Elliot has been I have the Blues taking this one quickly. Blues in 5.
Josh Goodings: The Blues biggest challenge in the west were the Chicago Blackhawks, and they conquered them. I think by beating the Hawks they proved they’re the top team in the Western conference, and I think it’s easy sailing to the west finals. Dallas did look impressive against Minnesota… at times, but that just won’t be enough to beat the Blues. Throw in a Tyler Seguin injury and a very hot Brian Elliot and I think this is an easy series for St.Louis. Blues in 5.
Niti Krasniqi: One of these teams is better all around than the other. Though, 3 of their 5 regular season matchup’s needed OT. The other 2 were 3-0 victories for each side. I can see the Dallas Stars putting up a fight and dragging this one out longer than they probably should. Stars obviously miss Tyler Seguin but his production in the post season is pretty poor in comparison to his regular season stats. (0.83 PPG vs. 0.42 PPG) – almost slashed in half. At the end of the day I don’t think Seguin’s absence will be the deciding factor in this series. Blues have the better team. Blues in 7.
Consensus pick: Blues
San Jose Sharks (6) vs Nashville Predators (7)
Tyler Yaremchuk: A battle of two strong possesion teams (both top 10 in CF%) and whoever can take this series is who I will be rooting for to win the Cup. Nashville played very well against Anaheim in round one, but I still look at that series as Anaheim loosing not Nashville winning. Rinne has been spectacular and Smashville’s defense is the best in the league, but this is San Jose’s year, I think beating the Kings gives this team so much confidence/momentum. Sharks in 5.
Taylor Paniccia: Wow did Nashville shock me. While they played well and shut down the Anaheim ducks they will not do that against a way heavier offense in the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are high as ever coming off that big series win against the LA Kings and will take this series because Nashville will not be able to keep up with their scoring. Sharks in 6.
Josh Goodings: This will be an interesting series, both teams coming off of first round upsets looking to prove they’re not a one and done team. The Sharks finally got their redemption with the Kings, looking dominant and finishing them in 5 games. The Preds were up and down in their series with the Ducks, losing games 3, 4, and 5 in a row, but still taking the series in 7. I think these two teams match up quite evenly, but the likes of Pavelski, Thornton, Couture, and Marleau, will be too much for the Preds to handle. Sharks in 6.
Niti Krasniqi: Sharks have more ability on the offensive side of the game and I think they’re good enough defensively to top the Predators. Although Pekka Rinne had a very good first round, he’s been very unlike himself this season so it’s tough to predict which Pekka we will see this series. These two teams are Corsi Kings, but, the Sharks’ goal differential was +31, whereas the Preds was only +13. I think Jones is good enough to help them win this series, if not, they’ve got Reimer waiting. I have the Sharks in 6.
Consensus pick: Sharks
(photo via thehockeynews.com)
The match-ups in the Western Conference this year have to be some of the tightest we’ve seen in years. Our writers/podcasters sat down and took their hacks at who will win each series. Enjoy and feel free to debate in the comments!