I like to make predictions each year for the Stanley Cup but this year I am having a really hard time. No one team strikes me as being particularly stronger than the herd.
- Chicago is clearly not as good as they were last year and though I can’t help but think of them as a favourite, we all know how rarely teams repeat so I really can’t say I think they will win this year.
- Philly was a fluke to make the final, so I can’t say that I expect it of them again, especially with their goaltending. Why can’t Philly ever have a goaltender?
- The Sharks are perennial chokers so I can’t really believe that they have a better chance than the Hawks.
- Montreal I’m not sure will even make the playoffs this year, let alone challenge for the Cup.
- I guess if there is a favourite, it may well be the Canucks, but I have yet to see Luongo excel in the playoffs. I guess it is all a matter of that.
- Detroit is getting older and though I can’t help but think they could always challenge, I think maybe their era of success has ended.
- Boston is probably my favourite out of the east, if there was a gun to my head.
- Pittsburgh seems to get weaker every year, as they never seem to get any wingers. It wasn’t so long ago that we all thought they would be a dynasty.
- The Kings are definitely a team to watch, but I don’t know that they are really old enough (though I thought the same thing about the Hawks a little while ago).
- The Coyotes I really don’t see doing much, despite their season last year.
- Same thing can be said of the Predators, they seem to be always barely in the mix.
- The Avs I could see winning a round or two but I don’t think they are quite good enough to challenge.
- The Sabres have the goalie but not much else.
- The Devils look strong on paper but I don’t know if Kovalchuk will work in their system, or if the team will work without the system to appease Kovalchuk.
- The Sens I don’t see doing anything. I’m not even sure they will make it.
- Washington appears to be the new San Jose, an extremely talented team which will never make it all the way to the Cup.
Those are last year’s playoff teams. Of the teams that didn’t make it last year, I guess I think St. Louis and Tampa are probable candidates for making it instead, though I don’t think either will make the finals.
So here, at long last, is my prediction:
If Luongo plays up to his regular season standard, the Canucks will emerge from the West. If he doesn’t, it could very well be the Hawks again, but I can’t shake the possibility that it could be Detroit or else some really surprising team out of nowhere like the Flyers this past season.
In the East, I think Boston will come out on top, unless they are overly injured. In that case, perhaps the Devils.
So I will predict that Boston will win the Cup. I think this may be the second year in a row I have predicted this. I will no doubt be wrong again.