Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
I chose the picture you are now fuming about specifically for this post.
Not to anger the Islanders fanbase, who have no love or sympathy for the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar. In fact, after his best Greg Louganis impersonation in last seasons opening round of the NHL playoffs, he just might be hated more than any Ranger player on the Island.
It was chosen because no matter how much you dislike or even hate Crosby, he remains arguably the most talented player in the game we all swear our allegiance to. To ignore that basic fact is naive and just plain incorrect.
Onto the subject at hand, we are at that time of the preseason when training camps are in full swing and exhibition games have begun in earnest as general managers and head coaches begin to contemplate which 20 players get to don their cities professional colors come early October.
Predictions were never my strong point but there are still a fun exercise to partake in. With our season preview that debuts next week here at Eyes, we will continue making them but more specifically geared towards the Islanders.
At the end of the day, hockey is known on this site by each writer that graces these pages. Our knowledge far exceeds the Hempstead Turnpike and with these predictions about to be set forth, you can take them to the bank. Bet the mortgage or borrow some money from a loan shark and go to Vegas (put it on red) because you are going to get rewarded big time when they come true. And then the opportunity for me to say ‘I told you so’ will be very available and used repeatedly. (I am only kidding about the loan shark thing. Stay away from those guys; they often get repayment in knee-caps. Vegas on the other hand is a great diversion, on your own dime)
So let’s get to it shall we? Our NHL Preview and predictions that are sure to go wrong is next.
Don’t forget to comment below this article on how crazy I am, how I know nothing about the game of hockey and/or how I should just quit this writing gig and concentrate on farming or becoming an expert at remote control operation instead. All in all, have some fun with them and keep your money safely tucked into your wallet.
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Playoff Teams : Pittsburgh, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, Ottawa, Boston, Detroit, Washington, Montreal
Eastern Conference Final : NY Rangers vs Ottawa
Stanley Cup representative : Ottawa
– The Penguins will be the class of the Metropolitan Division for sure with all their offensive firepower but if you are asking me to trust Marc-Andre Fleury ever again, the answer is a resounding no. The Islanders and Rangers will battle all season long I feel for that 2nd spot, as I truly don’t see any of the other teams being better. Henrik Lundqvist is such a tremendous advantage for the Rangers to be able to rely on. Ottawa is still one of the best coached and well rounded teams in the league. They won’t feel the loss of Daniel Alfredsson and roll to the finals.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Playoff Teams : Chicago, St.Louis, Dallas, San Jose, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Nashville, Phoenix
Western Conference Final : St.Louis vs Los Angeles
Stanley Cup representative : St. Louis
– The Blues will finally get their just reward this season. They are so well rounded up and down the roster and Jake Allen takes the next step and solidifies the goaltending, allowing a trade to happen involving Jaroslav Halak or Brian Elliot to get them more scoring help. Los Angeles makes the cut solely based on Jonathan Quick, the second best goaltender in the league who has carried them on his back for two seasons now. The defending Stanley Cup champions are always a burden and will have another great season but will pass the torch and be eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.
Hart Trophy (League MVP) – John Tavares, New York Islanders
Lady Byng (Sportmanship) – Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Vezina Trophy (Best goaltender) – Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) – Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning
Norris Trophy (Best defenseman) – Alex Pietrangelo, St.Louis Blues
Conn Smythe (Playoff MVP) – T.J Oshie, St.Louis Blues
Ted Lindsay Award (Outstanding player voted by players) – John Tavares, New York Islanders
Selke Award (best defensive forward) – Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Jennings Trophy (least GAA by a goaltending tandem) – Boston Bruins
Rocket Richard trophy (most goals scored) – Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Well, there you have it. In the immortal words of general Tarkin….you may fire when ready.