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NHL 2018-19 season bold predictions

One day in and the season is my oyster

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

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.

Hart Trophy

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

Connor McDavid

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.

Rocket Richard

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.

Winnipeg Jets v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Four Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Norris Trophy

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.

Vezina Trophy

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.

Calder Trophy

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.

Selke Trophy

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

Mike Babcock

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.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

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).

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.