Well with the ’10-’11 season not getting here fast enough, and also the recent slow down in news/discussion, I figured let’s have a little fun.

I recently read an article in “Hockey: The Magazine” where 12 of their writers made some extreme predictions. Each “expert” ranked each team by conference, 1 through 15. Also Each predicted the Stanley Cup winner, the Presidents’ Trophy winner, as well as the Hart, Art Ross, Maurice Richard, Vezina, Norris, Calder, and Jack Adams.

The Overall Standings, as Predicted by the “Hockey: The Magazine” 12 experts were as follows:

Eastern Conference: Western Conference:

1. Washington 1. Vancouver
2. Pittsburgh 2. Chicago
3. Boston 3. San Jose
4. New Jersey 4. Los Angeles
5. Philadelphia 5. Detroit
6. Tampa Bay 6. St. Louis
7. Ottawa 7. Phoenix
8. Montreal________ 8. Colorado
9. Buffalo 9. Nashville
10. Atlanta 10. Minnesota
11. Toronto 11. Calgary
12. Rangers 12. Dallas
13. Carolina 13. Columbus
14. Islanders 14. Anaheim
15. Florida 15. Edmonton

Stanley Cup: Vancouver
Presidents’ Trophy: Washington
Hart: Sidney Crosby
Art Ross: Alex Ovechkin
Maurice Richard: Alex Ovechkin
Vezina: Roberto Luongo
Norris: Drew Doughty
Calder: Taylor Hall
Jack Adams: Guy Boucher

At the end, they invited “you” to make your own predictions and compare with the “experts”. I took the challenge and came out with the following

Eastern Conference: Western Conference:

1. Pittsburgh 1. Chicago
2. Washington 2. Vancouver
3. Boston 3. Los Angeles
4. Philadelphia 4. San Jose
5. New Jersey 5. Detroit
6. Tampa Bay 6. St. Louis
7. Montreal 7. Colorado
8. Ottawa_____________ 8. Phoenix___________
9. Buffalo 9. Calgary
10. Atlanta 10. Dallas
11. Rangers 11. Anaheim
12. Toronto 12. Minnesota
13. Carolina 13. Nashville
14. Islanders 14. Edmonton
15. Florida 15. Columbus

Stanley Cup: Montreal
Runner-Up: Los Angeles
Presidents’ Trophy: Chicago
Hart: Crosby
Art Ross: Crosby
Maurice Richard: Crosby
Vezina: Price
Norris: Doughty
Calder: Subban
Jack Adams: Boucher

Ok, So I’m not going to review each of my decisions, I’ll just talk about the more bold ones that may create a stir. First, I think this year is Crosby’s year, (I know it seems that way almost every year) but I mean he will absolutely dominate this season and make it a Sidney season across the board. I also think Chicago didn’t lose much if at all in this off-season. Aside from Byfuglien, there’s no one who can’t be “re-placed” in some respect. Strong core kept intact, and great depth to the Hawks.

Columbus won’t be last in the league bu i believe they’ll see the basement in the West and Edmonton will sneak by them purely based on the youth experiment.

Now the East is usually the main focus of this website which is why I’ll explain myself more here. The top 5 in the east is more or less a difference of opinion on ranking among the same teams. Afterwards is where things get sticky. The next 6 or 7 teams could rise or fall ANYWHERE and should all be battling within a point or two for those last 3 playoff spots. I think this off-season was glorious for Tampa Bay which will catapult them into the sixth playoff spot. To get the bottom three out of the way, i just don’t see them being strong enough to compete on a night in night out basis. Which leaves us with 6 teams to fight it out for 2 spots. Toronto will make big strides this year and could possibly crack the post-season but ultimately I feel their inexperience and being one of the youngest teams in the league will catch-up to them. Also the lack of team Chemistry will play into things as well. Atlanta I believe will benefit in the standings from playing in the weakest division in the NHL. Based purely on that is why I ranked them ahead of the leafs and Rangers. And Finally I believe this is indeed Price’s coming out party season. He’ll finally show the hockey world what he’s capable of. With the Habs having a year of experience together under their belts it will only increase the stats more of Price. Bringing the Habs into the 7th spot with 36 wins a .920 % and a 2.08 GAA he’ll bring home the hardware. Subban will also win the Calder with a 56 point season, 15 goals, 41 assists. And finally I chose the Habs to win the cup, yes because I’m a known Habs Fan, and honestly i could have went with a logical prediction, and chose Pittsburgh or Vancouver or along those lines. But if the Habs win i look like the genius who believed in my team……… or just the idiot who got dumb lucky on an absurd prediction…. either way I’ll take it !! haha…

SO HTR bloggers……. Have at it!….. let’s see your bold predictions and compare results…. Let’s have fun!