Season Predictions

With Doughty signed and rosters set it looks like time for the yearly predictions….


1 Washington
2 Tampa Bay
3 Montreal
4 NJ
5 NY Rangers
6 Philly
7 Boston
8 Carolina

9 Buffalo
10 Pittsburg
11 Winnipeg
12 Toronto
13 Florida
14 Ottawa
15 NY Islanders


1 Vancouver
2 Chicago
3 SJ
4 Anahiem
5 Detroit
6 LA
7 Minnisota
8 Columbus

9 Calagary
10 Dallas
11 St.Lois
12 Edmonton
13 Colorado
14 Nashville
15 Phoenix

Hart: Stamkos
Norris: Green
Vezina: Price
ROY: Schenn
Breakout season: Skinner

50 Responses to Season Predictions

  1. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Bold predictions.

    Surprised by Buffalo though, granted some are question the moves, but the roster is way better then when they've made the playoffs the last two seasons.

    The new faces of Regehr, Ehrhoff will help the defence while Leino should improve the O. Also, Derek Roy basically did not play last year so him coming back is huge.

    With an imporving Myers and Ennis, I think we could see FINALLY see something special brewing in Buffalo.

    Hey, even I'm saying, Let's go Sabres.

  2. Boston_Bruins says:

    1. Caps
    2. Bruins
    3. Rangers
    4. Sabres
    5. Flyers
    6. Penguins
    7. Canadiens
    8. Lightning

    9. Devils
    10. Hurricanes
    11. Leafs
    12. Islanders
    13. Panthers
    14. Jets
    15. Senators

    1. Canucks
    2. Sharks
    3. Red Wings
    4. Kings
    5. Blackhawks
    6. Ducks
    7. Predators
    8. Blues

    9. Wild
    10. Flames
    11. Blue Jackets
    12. Stars
    13. Avalanche
    14. Oilers
    15. Coyotes

    Hart: Ovechkin
    Art Ross: Ovechkin
    Richard: Ovechkin
    Lindsay: Ovechkin
    Vezina: Lundqvist
    Jennings: Thomas/Rask
    Norris: Weber
    Calder: Bernier
    Selke: Datsyuk
    Adams: Tortorella
    Breakout: JVR

  3. Boston_Bruins says:

    I think the Caps will have an insane regular season with 120+ points.

  4. Leafs_Wallace says:

    I'm going be dead wrong on a couple for sure but each year we see some big change ups. 

    I only ranked Pittsburg low because I expect injuries to kill them.  As for Buffalo, being a Leafs fan I know first hand that adding a couple defenseman doesn't really make you a better regular season team and they did lose Connolly up front.

  5. blaze says:

    I'm with you I have Buffalo winnning the division, Montreal barely making it and only because of Price, swap Price with one of our goalies and the Habs miss the playoffs.

    New Jersey and Carolina out and Pittsburgh and Buffalo in. Pittsburgh did so well last season without Crosby or Malkin. Malkin looks poised for a big year and I really liked the addition of Sullivan.

  6. blaze says:

    You are bang on about the change-ups though. Every year the mock standings that everyone seems to agree on are never close to how it actually goes down.

  7. reinjosh says:

    I'm not that impressed with the changes. 

    Leino is a replacement for Connolly, nothing more. He's not even a full replacement for him. Even injured Connolly puts up numbers that are comparable. Leino isn't anything special, he just benefited from playing against weaker competition because the other Philly forwards took the pressure off. At best Leino is a 50 point center who can play 80 games. A very slight improvement over Connolly and then only in because he will be a body on the ice.
    Regehr will help but he's nothing special. He might help the defense improve slightly but he won't be a gamechanger. At most he helps cover some deficiencies that Myers has. 
    Ehrhoff wil help. He provides some nice offense from the back end, something thats really been missing since Campbell. Getting Roy back will be good too.
    I just don't think its enough. They will be a 5th to 8th team but they aren't anything special. They might hit lightning in the bottle alla Montreal and make in to the Finals but they won't win the conference and they won't win the cup.
    And no Miller won't bring them anywhere. He's not an elite goalie. The 2010 season was a goalie playing above his head, nothing more. He's a good goalie, but not an elite one. 
  8. mapleleafsfan says:

    I definitely see buffalo making the playoffs but I like how you switched things up a bit.. I like how NJ is there, I think people write them off way too easily… As long as goaltending holds up I can't see them not making the playoffs.

    1. Washington
    2. Boston
    3. NYR
    4. Buffalo
    5. Tampa
    6. Philly
    7. NJD
    8. Pittsburg
    9. Montreal
    10. Carolina
    11. Toronto
    12. NYI
    13. Winnipeg
    14. Florida
    15. Ottawa
    1. Vancouver
    2. SJ
    3. Anaheim
    4. Chicago
    5. Detroit
    6. LA
    7. St louis
    8. Minnesota
    9. Colombus
    10. Calgary
    11. Nashville
    12. Dallas
    13. Edmonton
    14. Colorado
    15. Phoenix
    I think St Louis has a good season and makes the playoffs.. Theyve got some good young players and some leadership now. If halak plays well I think they're in. 
    Man, looking at the east is depressing. I was writing my list trying to see where t.o will fit.. I'd made my top 8 and then realized I'd forgotten Pittsburgh all together.. I really can't see any way the leafs make the playoffs this year, the east is stacked and definitely the better conference this year. 
  9. reinjosh says:


    1. Washington
    2. Pittsburgh
    3. Boston
    4. Tampa Bay
    5. Toronto
    6. Montreal
    7. Carolina
    8. NYR
    9. Buffalo
    10. Philly
    11. New York Islanders
    12. Winnipeg
    13. New Jersey Devils
    14. Florida
    15. Ottawa
    1. San Jose
    2. Vancouver
    3. Nashville
    4. Los Angeles
    5. Detroit
    6. Anaheim
    7. St. Louis
    8. Minnesota
    9. Chicago 
    10. Columbus
    12. Colorado
    12. Calgary
    13. Edmonton
    14. Dallas
    15. Phoenix
    Hart: Malkin (Hon: Rinne, Ovechkin)
    Norris: Burns (Hon: Phaneuf, Doughty)
    Vezina: Rinne (Hon: Price, Fleury)
    ROY: Scheifele (Hon:Brett Connolly, Jake Gardiner)
    Breakout: Mikko Koivu (Hon: Kulemin, Frans Nielsen)
    The New IT Prospect: Max Reinhart (Hon: Sam Carrick, Emerson Etem)
  10. mapleleafsfan says:

    Hart: Ovechkin
    Art Ross: Malkin
    Richard: Ovechkin
    Vezina: Lundqvist
    Norris: Weber
    Calder: RNH (lame choice I know)
    Selke: Datsyuk
    Adams: I want to put Trotz but considering they are out of the playoffs in my picks I'm gonna go Tortorella. 
    Breakout: Jamie Benn

  11. mapleleafsfan says:

    Just hopeful or do you really see the leafs coming 5th? 

  12. leafmeister says:

    Expecting a big year from Dion? How much offense do you think?

  13. Leafs_Wallace says:

    I did the same thing, listed 8 playoffs teams then still left with the Pens.  The Atlantic should be tight this year.

  14. TheLeafNation91 says:


    1. Washington Capitals
    2. New York Rangers
    3. Buffalo Sabres
    4. Boston Bruins
    5. Tampa Bay Lightning
    6. Montreal Canadiens
    7. New Jersey Devils
    8. Pittsburgh Penguins

    9. New York Islanders
    10. Philadelphia Flyers
    11. Carolina Hurricanes
    12. Florida Panthers
    13. Winnipeg Jets
    14. Ottawa Senators
    15. Toronto Maple Leafs


    1. Vancouver Canucks
    2. Chicago Blackhawks
    3. Los Angeles Kings
    4. San Jose Sharks
    5. Detroit Red Wings
    6. Columbus Blue Jackets
    7. Minnesota Wild
    8. St. Louis Blues

    9. Anaheim Ducks
    10. Calgary Flames
    11. Edmonton Oilers
    12. Nashville Predators
    13. Colorado Avalanche
    14. Dallas Stars
    15. Phoenix Coyotes

    Hart: Ovechkin
    Norris: Chara
    Vezina: Miller
    ROY: Schenn
    Breakout: Kulemin

    I have Toronto ranked last because I hope their injured all year and get the first overall pick. I would love Yakupov…And with the addition of a first-line center they could be Stanley Cup favourites in a few years.

  15. blaze says:

    I disagree about Miller, when he is on his game his downright intimidating to play against. There were games against the Leafs where it seemed like there was no hope of beating him with anything other than a crazy bounce or deflection. There are very very few goalies in the NHL I would take ahead of Miller.

    I'm very curious how you can say Miller isn't an elite goaltender. Every season his numbers are great, consistently. At the Olympics the biggest stage of all he was head and shoulders above every other goalie there including Luongo and Brodeur (with Ron Wilson as his coach!!).

    Buffalo has incredible depth in every position. Losing Connelly was nothing Roy is back and healthy and I would take Leino over Connelly. I think the biggest improvement for Buffalo isn't on paper but is actually more mental. Buffalo has regained a bit of swagger now, with the new owner they spend with the big boys. When Ruff re-signed you could see the new importance of winning. Combine a great new owner, great depth and a solid market in Buffalo I expect a very good year from the Sabres.

  16. Leafs_Wallace says:

    I think that would be the best case scenario.

  17. blaze says:

    I think NJ is on the outside looking in for sure. Hard to believe I'm saying this but for the first time in years goaltending is a big question mark. I fully expect Brodeur to retire after a very mediocre to dissapointing year.

    Parise is coming off a lost season so who knows what level he will perform at. A carousel of coaches doesn't help the issues at hand. The D is mediocre. Not impressed with NJ.

  18. blaze says:

    I don't think Yakupov ever plays center as RW is his natural position. Either way would still be a sweet pickup. If the Leafs can get there hands on a top 5 pick though they should have a shot at a potential first line center. In no order any one Grigorenko, Forsberg, or Galchenyuk should be available and could be ready for the role as soon as the Connelly contract expires.

  19. LeafsFTW17 says:

    I really don't think the canadians are going to make the playoffs, other than Price, the arent that great..

  20. Leafs_Wallace says:

    I used to say that every year too, but they play a system, they're conistent unlike any other team in their division.  Gainey's last few moves gave them stability, maxing out their cap space meant they're not always chasing another big trade or FA, they have a set roster and everyone is accountable and grows together.  That's good enough in today's LNH.

  21. mojo19 says:

    ewww…. Wallace, I hate your picks. All due respect, and you could be right about some teams but I'm not loving this. I'm right there with you about New Jersey though. I think they will rise up and be one of the best in East after the bad start from last year. Also I'm sure someone else has probably already pointed thsi out but Washington and Tampa are in the same division, and Skinner scored over 30 goals and had 63 points last year, define a break out season – 70, 80 points?

    Anyway's I'll take swipe at it:


    2. Philadelphia
    3. Buffalo
    4. Tampa Bay
    5. New Jersey
    6. Boston
    7. Pittsburgh
    8. Toronto
    9. New York
    10. Carolina
    11. Montreal
    12. Florida
    13. Long Island
    14. Winnipeg
    15. Ottawa


    1. Vancouver
    2. Detroit
    3. Los Angelas
    4. San Jose
    5. Chicago
    6. Anaheim
    7. St.Louis
    8. Minnesota
    9. Nashville
    10. Calgary
    11. Columbus
    12. Dallas
    13. Phoenix
    15. Colorado

    Thanks for posting the article. Actually i think I put the same top 6 teams in the West as you in a different order.

    Hart – Ovechkin
    Norris – Chara
    Vezina – Vokoun
    Calder – Adam Larsson
    Breakout season (I'm assuming from your Skinner example you mean "breakout from being a good player to a superstar) So I'm going with John Tavares.

  22. mojo19 says:

    I gotta say, Connolly was not a big part of that Buffalo team. In the playoffs Gaustad was playing just as much and was more impactful.

    I think Leino is a great addition. He'll do pretty good in the regular season, but will be a beast in the playoffs. Really solid signing (lots of money but that's the deal on July 1).

    Regehr and Ehrhoff definitely add a ton to the blueline but I think Gragnani could make a big impact as well. He's potentially poised for a bust out, surprise year after posting 7 points in 7 playoff games.

    Myers had a monster rookie season, then had a sophomore slump last year. So we'll see how he reacts and bounces back. If he does live up to his potential then this is a great blueline they've got in Buffalo.

    Ryan Miller is a top 5 goalie in the game in my opinion, so we disagree on that one.

  23. mojo19 says:

    Hey I just realized that Price is listed as the Hart and the habs listed to win the NE division…. someone inform HTR that habs_Wallace broke into Leafs_Wallace's account.

  24. Leafs_Wallace says:


    They're going have a good season in a weak division and every French writer will vote Price. They don't make it by the first round because they're no longer the darling underdogs and buckle under expectations.

  25. mojo19 says:

    Also keep in mind the addition of Derek Roy into Buffalo's line up. He was sorely missed the 2nd half of last yaer. This is a good team, I think they'll contend for tops in the East and take the NE division:

    Pominville – Roy – Vanek
    Leino – Stafford – Ennis
    Gerbe – Gaustad – Boyes
    Kaleta – Hecht – McCormick

    Regehr – Myers
    Ehrhoff – Gragnani
    Leopold – Sekara


    Pretty talented team. I hope I'm wrong. I mean Ennis and Gerbe could take a step back this year. Brad Boyes could have one of his off years. etc. So we'll see, but I like their chances. Anyways watch them finish in 12th now and I'll look ridiculous

  26. Leafs_Wallace says:

    Skinner gets 40.

    If I was playing it a bit more safe I'd put your list but flip NYR with Philly.

  27. mojo19 says:

    okay, you won me back with that buckle comment.

  28. mojo19 says:

    Ya Yakupov is RW. And yes!!! This guy has crazy skill. I want him for sure.

    I think we'd have to be realllly banged up. And if were finishing last we probably still have goaltending issues to take care of.

  29. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Am I the only one giving Long Island respect?

    Come on, Streit has not played for a year and he's the real key to this team's success.




    It's not a bad roster. The forwards are young and very talented.

  30. mojo19 says:

    honestly, the Atlantic and Central divisions were by far the toughest for me to figure out and I'm not too confident about them.

    Other than the Isle's you've got NJ, NYR, PIT, and PHI and I could see any of those teams winning that division given the right cir*****stances.

    As for the Central, i really think it comes down to Detroit and Chicago to take it (I can't see many people arguing with that) But after that you've got –

    Nashville – sure they look on paper like they're poised to take a big step back this year and there's a cloud over them with Weber on a 1 year contract. But flip that around, and consider how big of a year Weber needs to have for his career. He's going to be a man on a mission, and Pekka Rinne is one of the games top goalies. Barry Trotz has never dissapointed and always seems to have Nashille somewhere in the mix.

    Jackets – I like the additions of Wiz, Prospal and of course Carter. They made the playoffs two seasons ago but took a step back last year, so if Mason can come close to what he was before they could take a run at a playoff spot.

    Blues – Same situation as the Jackets, making the playoffs two yrs ago and then missing last year. Lots of injuries, especially to Oshie and Perron killed the Blues last year. But with Halak going strong and with Arnott and Langenbrunner in there I think this could be a really solid team. Pietrangelo has proven to be a stud on the back end, and the Johnson for Stewart trade worked out really well.

    Tough call on how that division will play out, I think they'll all contend for playoff spots.

  31. mojo19 says:

    Don't forget that Larsson will be most likely making the team (any official word on that yet?) I actually think Brodeur will have a solid tandem year with Hedberg. Not a spectacular year but respectable.

  32. mojo19 says:

    Ya, they need everyone to really step up but they could be okay.

  33. reinjosh says:

    Hope and just being bold. I'm not a fan of going with the easy picks. I do honestly think though that they could make it that far. We have the depth in scoring now (hopefully), if Reimer is good and the defense holds up on special teams it wouldn't be a hard task. 

    I don't make crazy predictions with no basis to them. 
  34. reinjosh says:

    I'm not thinking defense leading scoring but I think he hits around 50 points and does a host of other things really well. He's grown a ton during his time with the Leafs. He started putting it together at the end of last season and he's a dominant player when he uses it all. 

  35. reinjosh says:

    He's going to be a first year though. Say what you will about playing against man in Sweden, its still a huge change to go to the NHL. I don't think his addition is going to be enough to help that terrible defense. Plus I agree with Blaze. Goaltending is a question mark.

    My gut says Brodeur is done. 
  36. reinjosh says:

    I guess I may have overlooked them. Maybe I'm so used to them just being ok I'm not giving them enough credit. That lineup does look pretty good. 

    personally I've never been sold on Miller. I mean, i don't think he's terrible, I just don't think he's the goalie of 2010, the one everyone thinks he is. That year was a huge statistical difference compared to every single year in his career. I just have a hrd time thinking he will be able to ever repeat that.
    Maybe the addition of the defense will help but he isn't a 2.20 GAA goalie or  .929 goalie. 
    But hey watch him make me look stupid this year haha. 
  37. reinjosh says:

    Look at his NHL and even AHL stats though. That year was something special (I don't deny that, he was just unreal then), but that year was a huge statistical change from almost every year he played pro. It was just so above what he's normally done I have a really hard time believing he will ever reproduce it. 

    I'm not denying that he is a good goalie. Easily top 10. I just don't think he's elite. Maybe my definition of elite is off or something. 
    To me elite is a top 3 goalie in the league. I don't even think he's top 5. I would take Rinne, Lundqvist, Price, Ward, Thomas and Luongo over Miller. If Hiller didn't have his vertigo issues, I would take him over Miller too.
    Miller isn't a .920 goalie. He's a .915 goalie. That's not elite.
  38. blaze says:

    Look at the stats of every goalie you just listed they all routinely drop below .920 and some even play on much better teams. I would take Lundqvist, Thomas(for a year) and maybe Price and Rinne ahead of him. Miller is a top 5 goalie argueably every year.

  39. Leafs_Wallace says:

    Yep, there is all of do I this team 8th or 13th.  CBJ, St.Louis, Calgary, Colorado, even Phoenix might be ok if they get some surprise goaltending.

    I always overlook Nashville because they're boring in terms of talent, aesthetics, geographic location ect….

    I put Minni in because somebody other than Van should emerge from from the North West other than Van.

    I like NJ, PHI and the NYR but one of them will end up tanking, I have no clue which one.

    It's should be tight in both conferences so I suppose that good news for the Leafs playoff chances.

  40. Leafs_Wallace says:

    If he cracks 10 goals I'm happy, cracks 15 I'm impressed, don't really care how many garbaage second assists he collects.

  41. mojo19 says:

    Ya that's fair. I think he's had about 4 really solid seasons in a row though. Like, I like Backstrom a lot too, he didnt have a great year last season but he is one of the best right now IMO.

  42. mojo19 says:

    He might not make a huge difference but I do think he'll be able to play. So you can just add some more talent on the back end which they need. Myers, Schenn, Hedman, there have been a few high picks from the last few years who stepped in right away. Larsson could contribute and Volchenkov, Tallinder, Greene, and Salvador should be a work-manlike defense that could get the job done.

  43. LeafsFTW17 says:

    I just don't see many of their key players improving or even playing as well as they can..

  44. reinjosh says:

    That was the only year he's ever been over .918 in the NHL. He's not top 5. 

    Hiller's lowest SV total was .918. Luongo's career average in .919. Even Bryzgalov has played at a higher rate over the past 4 years, with only one of those being below .920. Hell Vokoun is better than him. Guy is far more consistent on a higher level than Miller.
    Even Backstrom has played better than Miller has longer. Backstrom had a .903 and a .916 year and still has a career average that is at the same level as Miller's second best year. 
    Miller isn't top 5. He is the most overrated goalie in the league right now and its all because of that one mega year he put up. Kari friggin Lehtonen has an identical career average SV perecentage and he's widely considered a bust who played on some terrible teams. 
    Miller isn't elite and really hasn't been save for one season. He's a good goalie to have on your team and a pretty good one to have in the playoffs (he's pretty good at stepping it up then, i'll concede that) but he's still overrated. 
  45. reinjosh says:

    I suppose. I've never been very impressed with New Jersey and they proved me wrong every year but last year lol. Maybe I'm just riding high from last year and still hoping it holds. 

  46. blaze says:

    Agree to disagree, I've been impressed with Miller's talent for years having watched many Sabres games. I think any given year he has a legit shot at being considered a top 5 goalie. He's been the Sabres MVP every year, goaltending is most definitely the Sabres strength.  He's the reason the Sabres always remain competitive despite looking mediocre on paper (until this year).

  47. hockey_lover says:

    Shhhhh. Dont say the words “injuries” and “Pittsburgh” in the same sentence. I couldnt handle another season like the last one haha.

    Also .. uhh .. Washington and Tampa cant finish 1-2. They are in the same division.


    1 Washington
    2 Philadelphia
    3 Boston
    4 Tampa Bay
    5 Pittsburgh
    6 Montreal
    7 Buffalo
    8 NJ
    9 NYR
    10 Carolina
    11 Toronto
    12 NYI
    13 Winnipeg
    14 Florida
    15 Ottawa

  48. reinjosh says:

    Fair enough. I do understand the reason people see him as an elite goalie, I just don't agree. If he ever puts up a season like the '10 season, than I'll readily admit I'm wrong. 

    And I do agree he's the Sabres MVP year in and year out. I just disagree with the idea that he's top 5 in the league. 
  49. Boston_Bruins says:

    If Backstrom has another down year this year I think you have to drop him a notch simply due to the fact that Minnesota revamped their system going into last year to get away from their trap game. He might be more of a product of the system, but we'll see if he can back it up this year.

    Big fan of Miller. I considered him elite even before that one amazing year.

  50. mojo19 says:

    Truth: After McKay was fired the Devils had the best record in the NHL. We'll see what that translates into this year because Lemaire was the man who was leading them and now they've got DeBoer.

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