Colby's Corner

Colby’s Corner: Bold Predictions Part 1

Bold Predictions will be a two-part series where I, Colby, will discuss who I think will and won’t make the playoffs this season and why. The first part will be the teams who will make the playoffs and the order I think we will see them in. Now remember, these are my opinions. If you disagree, feel free to leave a comment; we always appreciate feedback.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic                                   Metropolitan                                        Wild Cards

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning           1. Washington Capitals                 1. Columbus Blue Jackets (M)
  2. Montreal Canadiens             2. Pittsburgh Penguins                 2. New York Islanders (M)
  3. Ottawa Senators                    3. New York Rangers
The real surprises in my predictions for the Eastern Conference playoff teams are first, choosing five teams from the Metropolitan, and secondly, Ottawa having the number three division spot.
Five teams from Metropolitan- I chose these five teams because I believe these teams have improved dramatically. With the Capitals and Penguins’ additions this off-season, they will be top two in this division without a doubt. The Islanders’ sliding down to the last wildcard spot was a tough choice of mine; I looked at the teams left from both divisions and felt like the Islanders were the best team left of both divisions.
Ottawa at number three- The Senators deserved to make the playoffs last season and no one can debate the fact that they were good enough even with their 3rd string (at the time) goalie. This season, with Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond healthy, they should be able to add more points than last season and take that division spot away from the other teams in the NHL.

Western Conference

Pacific                                   Central                                    Wild Cards

  1. Anaheim Ducks                1. Dallas Stars                   1. Chicago Blackhawks (C)
  2. Calgary Flames                 2. St Louis Blues               2. Colorado Avalanche (C)
  3. Los Angeles Kings            3. Minnesota Wild

The major surprises I feel in my Western predictions are Dallas at the top of the Central and Colorado getting a wild card spot.

Dallas to the top- Dallas is at the top because of one word: OFFSEASON. The additions of two multiple Stanley Cup champions—Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya—not to mention another Stanley Cup champion in Antti Niemi between the posts, leaves Dallas with an advantage. So with two number one goalies with experience paired with the young talent of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, there is no way Dallas doesn’t make the playoffs. If Dallas tops their division, I know that GM will be getting a raise, and he’s got an A in my book.

Colorado as a wild card- I like Colorado and I like how they have built up their organization. This offseason they knew an upgrade was needed at the blue line and they got this with young kids Nikita Zadorov and Brandon Gormely along with veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin. I think with these additions they will be able to protect Semyon Varlamov better and get the puck to bounce in the right direction, giving them a chance at the playoffs again.