Ok, with one night of games under belt I’ve figured out how this entire season is going to play out. We can pack it up, no need to play the 1,271 games, we can wrap it up and just hand out the awards now.
John Tavares, he doesn’t have the most points but he really propels the Toronto Maple Leafs forward and wins the Hart for it.
Art Ross Trophy
Runners up: Patrick Kane & Mathew Barzal
Patrick and Mathew are my picks to surprise people as their stocks seem collectively down due to the anticipation that their teams will be bad.
Patrick Laine – he was right there with Ovechkin until the final 2 weeks, he stands alone this year.
Runners up: Steven Stamkos & Auston Matthews
Steven rises back up as Nikita takes a step back this week.
Kris Letang – Kris gets a long overdue award as he’s finally healthy and ready to impress.
Runners up: Roman Josi & Victor Hedman
Roman and the Predators defense will impress many.
John Gibson – This award is always a year or two in arrears and John gets credit this year for his body of work.
Runners up: Antti Niemi and Braden Holtby
Antti deserves some respect for what he’s done in a limited time so far.
Elias Pettersson – Already off to a start one game in, the potential top prospect will get plenty of opportunities
Runners up: Jesperi Kotkaniemi & Lias Andersson
Jesperi looked good last night and Lias should get plenty of opportunities if the Rangers put him on the roster.
Elias Petterson, the new Mats Sundin?— BLH (@BeerLeagueHeroe) October 4, 2018
Sean Couturier – propelled his offense game last season, now back to the roots with some good backchecking
Runners up: Ryan O’Reilly & Anze Kopitar
Ryan doesn’t need to produce offensively with St. Louis he can focus on quarterbacking plays.
Jack Adams Award
Runners up: Bruce Cassidy & Paul Maurice
Bruce was a nominee last year and the Jets will impress many this year but not as much as Toronto does.
Stanley Cup Winner:
Winnipeg Jets over Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games.
Five Bold Predictions
1.) Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson will not the unbelievable pairing people expect it to be.
2.) About every 3 years a marquee player goes down for a while, I predict either: Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, Taylor Hall or Brad Marchand are out for at least 40 games.
3.) EITHER: Arizona, Buffalo or Vancouver makes the playoffs. I just have no idea which one of those three rises to a Cinderella story. Vancouver looked real good last night with Elias Pettersson (Vancouver) but there are some real tantalizing prospects that I’m eager to see on the other two teams including Casey Mittelstadt (Buffalo) and Dylan Strome (Arizona).
Why do you think Casey Mittelstadt Won’t Win the Calder Trophy?— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) October 2, 2018
4.) For the first time in five seasons, a goalie gets 10 shutouts. Last done by Marc-Andre Fleury in 2014-2015 season, Braden Holtby had 9 in 2016-2017 but no goalie has reached it since. Top candidates are Braden Holtby, John Gibson and Pekka Rinne.
5.) A team has 70 PPG or more for the first time since Detroit did it in 2014-2015. Top candidates for me are Toronto, Winnipeg and Tampa Bay.