It is October and for sports that means the MLB postseason is here, the NFL is in full swing, the NBA is just around the corner and the NHL is back. Recently on my show “The Weekly Sports Report,” I did a full prediction show for the 2016-17 season including Stanley Cup playoff picks and who will win the cup this year. I also read the final standings predictions and Stanley Cup champion pick from Mario Arroyo, our station manger at KSSU.
Tampa Bay Lightning: 52-25-5 [109 PTS]
Made it to the Stanley Cup in 2015, fell short last year in the Eastern Conference Final last year, they will be a top contender not only for the East but all of hockey.
Montreal Canadians: 45-30-7 [97 PTS]
Only NHL team in Canada that will make the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Florida Panthers: 44-30-8 [96 PTS]
Despite their centre Jonathan Huberdeau out for 3 to 4 months, they still have Jussi Jokinen and Jaromir Jagr to be a threat in this division and the entire conference
Detroit Red Wings: 40-34-9 [88 PTS]
25 straight years of making the playoffs, why not make it 26
Ottawa Senators: 38-32-12 [88 PTS]
They have offense but need to step it up on defense (fifth most goals allowed in hockey last season)
Boston Bruins: 37-37-8 [82 PTS]
Unfortunately they have to be the one Boston sports team not be successful in the regular season
Buffalo Sabres: 35-37-10 [80 PTS]
Good mix of talented young players and experienced veterans but they will have nearly the same record as last season
Toronto Maple Leafs: 33-43-6 [72 PTS]
Youngest team in hockey, give them a couple of years
Washington Capitals: 53-22-7 [113 PTS]
Talented roster who seem to all have the pieces, but they can’t get over the hump of even making it to the cup finals. However they will win the Presidents’ Cup again.
Pittsburgh Penguins: 46-22-10 [102 PTS]
Still the best defensive team in hockey and not to mention Sidney Crosby is still a top five player in the NHL. Will contend for back-to-back cups to possibly be the first team to achieve this since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.
Columbus Blue Jackets: 46-26-10 [100 PTS]
This young team is scary when healthy, almost the Minnesota Timberwolves of hockey. Will have the most improved record in the NHL from last season.
New York Islanders: 45-27-10 [100 PTS]
John Taveras and Jaroslav Halak will lead them to the postseason once again.
New York Rangers: 45-28-9 [99 PTS]
It seems they haven’t recovered from losing in the cup finals back in 2014.
Philadelphia Flyers: 38-31-33 [89 PTS]
New head coach, new system and their key players who made playoff runs a few years ago are getting older.
New Jersey Devils: 39-35-8 [86 PTS]
Step it up on scoring (last in hockey for goals scored last season)
Carolina Panthers: 32-35-15 [79 PTS]
Who stands out on that team? Worst defensive team in hockey as well
St. Louis Blues: 50-22-10 [110 PTS]
Ken Hitchcock’s last season with the team, trying to get his first Stanley Cup since 1999 when he won it with the Dallas Stars. If it weren’t for San Jose they would’ve beat Pittsburgh in the cup finals last year.
Dallas Stars: 48-25-9 [105 PTS]
Went to game 7 with St. Louis last year in the second round, led he NHL in goals last year, but they have ineffective goalie in Antti Niemi.
Chicago Blackhawks: 48-26-8 [104 PTS]
Artemi Panarin won the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year), Patrick Kane won the Hart Trophy (MVP in the regular season) and Corey Crawford is still a top goalie in the NHL.
Nashville Predators: 41-27-14 [96 PTS]
Shea Weber traded for PK Subban in the offseason. They’ll still finish with an identical record as last season.
Winnipeg Jets: 42-30-8 [92 PTS]
Yes, the Winnipeg Jets will make the playoffs but will get swept again (see below)
Minnesota Wild: 40-35-7 [87 PTS]
They need a little more than the production from forward Zach Parise
Colorado Avalanche: 35-36-11 [81 PTS]
New head coach, they’ve fallen off the map since their division title in 2014. It’ll be another rough season in Colorado
San Jose Sharks: 50-27-5 [105 PTS]
A lot of pressure on them to get back to the cup finals. They’ll win this division for the first time since 2011.
Los Angeles Kings: 47-28-7 [101 PTS]
Drew Doughty won the Norris Trophy last year and it’s Jonathan Quick’s time to win the Vezina Trophy.
Anaheim Ducks: 42-28-12 [96 PTS]
Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and they rehired head coach Randy Carlyle who took them to the cup victory in 2007.
Arizona Coyotes: 39-39-4 [82 PTS]
Anyone else sill find it surprising that Arizona has a decent hockey team?
Edmonton Oilers: 37-38-7 [81 PTS]
Just signed Milan Lucic and their captain Connor McDavid will only get better. Going to be one of the most improved teams in hockey this season.
Calgary Flames: 31-38-13 [75 PTS]
Jiri Hudler traded last season, Joe Colborne signed with the Avalanche and head coach Bob Hartley was fired. Eighth straight year without qualifying for the playoffs.
Vancouver Grizzlies: 31-43-10 [72 PTS]
Worst team in hockey along with the Maple Leafs…CANADA WHERE IS YOUR PRIDE?
EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS-FIRST ROUND
Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers
Washington Capitals in 6
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders
Tampa Bay Lightning in 7
Montreal Canadians vs. Florida Panthers
Montreal Canadians in 6
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Pittsburgh Penguins in 5
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS-FIRST ROUND
St. Louis Blues vs. Winnipeg Jets
St. Louis Blues in 4
San Jose Sharks vs. Nashville Predators
San Jose Sharks in 7
Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks in 7
Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks
Los Angeles Kings in 6
EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS-SECOND ROUND
Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadians
Washington Capitals in 6
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Tampa Bay Lightning in 7
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS-SECOND ROUND
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks in 6
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings in 7
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL: Washington Capitals over Tampa Bay Lightning in 6
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL: Los Angeles Kings over Chicago Blackhawks in 7
STANLEY CUP FINAL: Washington Capitals over Los Angeles Kings in 7
MARIO ARROYO’S PREDICTIONS
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Montreal Canadians
- Florida Panthers
- Washington Capitals
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- New York Islanders
- Ottawa Senators
- New York Rangers
- Nashville Predators
- Dallas Stars
- Chicago Blackhawks
- San Jose Sharks
- Los Angeles Kings
- Anaheim Ducks
- St. Louis Blues
- Minnesota Wild
EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION: Tampa Bay Lightning
WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION: Los Angeles Kings
STANLEY CUP FINAL: Tampa Bay Lightning over Los Angeles Kings