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Jack Hughes is Elite
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30 nov 2017
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Devils du New Jersey
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Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite Jack Hughes is Elite
Forum: NHLil y a 8 heures
Full, almost finalized divisional predictions for the 2021-22 NHL Season. Will post complete predictions in a separate thread later.
(<strong>Bold</strong> indicates playoff team)
<strong>1) New York Islanders</strong> (I love the way they look. Losing Eberle hurts, but they still have a stacked offense, terrific defense (the only question is LD #2), and a terrific tandem in Varlamov and Sorokin.)
<strong>2) Washington Capitals</strong> (They're still loaded on offense, have a solid defense, and I believe the Vanecek-Samsonov tandem will do enough for them to win their usual amount of regular season games. Come playoff time, that's a different story...)
<strong>3) Carolina Hurricanes</strong> (It's a mark of how good their offense is that they'll still make the playoffs despite trading their goalie of the future for practically nothing, losing Dougie Hamilton and Jake Bean, and signing a bunch of MAJOR question marks. I think Andersen will be merely average, but with the Canes dazzling offensive weaponry, he and Raanta should be capable enough to let them get back to the playoffs.)
<strong>4) Philadelphia Flyers (WC #2)</strong> (IMO, the key question is whether Hart regains his 2019-20 form. If he does, they should make the playoffs, and a D bolstered by Ryan Ellis and Keith Yandle (NOT Ristolainen) should help in that regard.)
5) New York Rangers (They’re not there yet. Adam Fox aside, the D still needs work, the bottom 6 is thin (although maybe they have a sporting chance against Tom Wilson now), and Shesterkin has to prove that he can take that step forward if they want to contend.)
6) New Jersey Devils (Another team that’s not there yet, but they’re getting awfully close. The acquisitions of Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Graves should significantly help on D, Jack Hughes is primed for a breakout year, and Blackwood-Bernier is a solid tandem. I don’t see them making it this year, but the fact that it’s not out of the realm of possibility is a testament to where they stand.)
7) Pittsburgh Penguins (This is the year things start falling apart. Malkin can’t stay healthy, Crosby’s small but consistently nagging injuries are catching up to him, the bottom 6 is very weak (even when fully healthy), and Jarry is not a long-term solution in net. I even saw a piece suggesting trading Sid if things don’t go well. That’s not going to happen, but it doesn’t look good regardless.)
8) Columbus Blue Jackets (Duh. On to the next division.)

<strong>1) Tampa Bay Lightning</strong> (Not that I’m biased or anything, but this team is brilliant. Brilliant top 6, great bottom 6, phenomenal defense, and the best goaltender in the world. The quest for the three-peat begins October 12. #Let’sGoLightning)
<strong>2) Boston Bruins</strong> (I just don’t see this team struggling. Yes, there are questions, such as Coyle’s ability to slide into Krejci’s spot at #2C, and whether the Ullmark/Swayman tandem can take Rask’s place, but I think both situations resolve themselves, specifically for the latter in the form of Swayman emerging as the starter. The rest of the stacked offense and terrific defense are more than capable of doing their jobs.)
<strong>3) Florida Panthers</strong> (People don’t realize how good Alexsander Barkov is. Seriously, the man is a freak, and he and Huberdeau are an eye-popping duo. Them aside, the rest of the offense is terrific as well, and getting a healthy Aaron Ekblad back will definitely help the defense. In net, Sergei Bobrovsky stands a good chance of becoming the highest-paid backup in the league if Spencer Knight continues to play the way he did in his brief appearances last year, which IMO he will. A first-round matchup of Boston-Florida would be mouthwatering.)
<strong>4) Toronto Maple Leafs (WC #1)</strong> (The Petr Mrazek signing was excellent. He and Campbell should make a terrific tandem, bolstered by a very good defense in front, and although the bottom 6 is a bit thin IMO, as long as the top 6 in Toronto keep producing, the Leafs should have no problem making it back to the playoffs (even if they never win once there)).
5) Montreal Canadiens (Much like Philly, the big question is in net. If Carey Price plays like playoffs Carey Price, their chances of making the playoffs skyrocket. On offense, C depth is a bit thin, but they’re stacked on the wings, and the only concern for the D is the 3rd pairing (the David Savard signing was excellent). Montreal is very much in the hunt for that last spot.)
6) Ottawa Senators (They’re past the worst stages of the rebuild at this point. They have promising youth on offense, but still need major work on defense and in net, even with Thomas Chabot’s best efforts. The horrific goaltending (not helped in any way by the D) will continue to prevent them from getting anywhere until a long-term solution is found.
7) Detroit Red Wings (Very quietly, the Red Wings got better over the summer, mainly by robbing the Canes blind by getting Nedeljkovic for nothing but a 3rd. He has an abysmal defense in front of him and practically zero help offensively, but he still should be good enough to give fans some hope for what is to come when the rebuild is complete.)
8) Buffalo Sabres (Jack Eichel’s still a Sabre. This team is a joke. Horrendous from top to bottom, except for the injured Jack Eichel, who BTW is still a Sabre. This pathetic group will be even worse than the Yotes and if the lottery bounces their way, they’ll get Shane Wright. Oh, and Jack Eichel’s still a Sabre.)

<strong>1) Colorado Avalanche</strong> (Even with losing Donskoi, Saad and Bellemare, they’ll finish in 1st. The top 6 is so phenomenally good, the defense is excellent, and Kuemper is an absolutely terrific replacement for Grubauer (if not even better). That being said, the bottom 6 is quite thin, so a lot will be riding on the shoulders of the elite top 6 to finally do something in the playoffs.)
<strong>2) Winnipeg Jets</strong> (Perhaps no team improved on defense as much as Winnipeg, snagging Brenden Dillon and Nate Schmidt to help a blue-line group that was decimated the past couple of years. With a capable defense finally in front of him, Hellebuyck should have no trouble being his usual stellar self, and together with the stacked offense, they should be in good shape come playoff time.)
<strong>3) St. Louis Blues</strong> (Robbing the Rangers blind for Pavel Buchnevich was an excellent way to take care of losing Jaden Schwartz. If Tarasenko can regain his old form (a that’s a big if), watch out. A big question is here is whether Jordan Binnington can go from being slightly above average to recovering his 2019 form, and losing Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn in back-to-back offseasons won’t help. Nonetheless, I think the Blues defense is still solid, Colton Parayko should rebound after a meidocre-at-best 2021, and the offense is terrific. Watch out for the Blues.)
<strong>4) Chicago Blackhawks (WC #1)</strong> (In a word: Fleury. It could be a steal for the ages if the 36-year-old plays like he did last year for Chicago. Even with Jonathan Toews returning, a lot will be riding on the youngsters in Chicago, especially on defense, but if they can put it together and have The Flower play like he did in Vegas, they’re in for a good year.)
<strong>5) Minnesota Wild (WC #2) </strong>(Kirill Kaprizov aside, the offense is not very strong (to put it mildly), but the lockdown defense is too good for them to miss the playoffs. It also remains to be seen whether Cam Talbot will continue to hold onto the starting gig in net, or whether he’ll be surpassed by Kappo Kahkonnen. Regardless, it’s a good enough tandem for the Wild to have an outsider’s chance come playoff time.)
6) Dallas Stars (This is a team that almost made the playoffs last year despite having two of their best players out for much of the season, and both are now back. Still, they don’t have the depth on offense and on the blue line (even with a terrific top 6 and All-Star worthy first pairing) that most playoff teams do, and it could get ugly if Oettinger is for whatever reason not in net for much of the year. Signing Holtby was whose idea again?)
7) Nashville Predators (Poor Juuse Saros. With a suddenly thin bottom 4 on D and bottom 6 offense (similar to the Stars), things are not looking pretty in Nashville, even with a goalie who only seems to get better each year and was nothing short of Vezina-worthy down the stretch last season. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for them to make some noise, but it will definitely be a lot harder than last year.)
8) Arizona Coyotes (The difference between them and the Sabres is that they have old players with bad contracts (Ladd, Eriksson, Beagle) making up most of the lineup-but at least they know how to play hockey-whereas the Sabres have literally nobody. They’ll still be horrendous, but with the number of first-and-second round picks they’ve acquired, they’re off to a much better start on their rebuild than most teams would be.)

<strong>1) Vegas Golden Knights</strong> (Duh. Terrific offense, terrific defense, and even with trading Fleury away for nothing, solid goaltending. Barring injuries, there is no team that would be more shocking not winning their division than Vegas. From here on in, this is the weakest division in the league.)
<strong>2) Calgary Flames</strong> (The incredible depth on offense and overall solid defense (save for the third pairing), helped by a huge bounceback year for Jacob Markstrom should allow the Flames to be the distant second-best group in this division, but a lot will be riding on said Markstrom to regain his Vancouver form if they are to contend.)
<strong>3) Edmonton Oilers</strong> (There is no team carried more by their stars than the Oilers. The McDavid-Draisaitl duo will carry this team to the playoffs despite the abysmal even-worse-than-the-Sabres hot mess of a defense, and lack of depth behind the top 9. Poor Mike Smith will have his work cut out for him, to put it mildly.)
4) Vancouver Canucks (Terrific offense, and an Oilers-esque defense. Thatcher Demko and Mike Smith should exchange notes over coffee. The return of Elias Pettersson (assuming his contract resolves itself) and the Conor Garland acquisition will make for an even more potent offense, but a D with OEL, Tyler Myers and Tucker Poolman will contend with the likes of Edmonton, Buffalo and Arizona for the worst in the league. They’ll miss the playoffs, and hopefully for Canucks fans, Benning finally gets fired.)
5) Seattle Kraken (The defense is quite good, and the Grubauer-Driedger tandem is stellar. But a weak top 6 and practically non-existent bottom 6 make for a lackluster showing in the Kraken’s debut year.)
6) Los Angeles Kings (A couple of bright spots include the Danault signing, Arvidsson trade, Petersen extension and Byfield debut, but other than that there’s not much to cheer about. It’s a mark of how weak this division is that they won’t finish in last.)
7) San Jose Sharks (This may be the team with the most lousy contracts in the league, especially on defense. Burns, Karlsson, Edouard-Vlasic—for a team with zero chance of making the playoffs, that’s a lot of money to shell out.)
8) Anaheim Ducks (If only a good team could snag John Gibson from the Ducks. It would be nice for him to not be stuck with stopping the team from being the worst in the league.)
Forum: NHLil y a 23 heures
Forum: NHLSat at 8:13 pm
Forum: Armchair-GMSat at 11:15 am