2017 18 NHL Predictions: The Division Winners
31 teams, and 30 are going home losers.
The weather outside might belie the situation, but the 2017 18 NHL predictions mean one thing: hockey season is almost there.
Pittsburgh’s entry wants to win its third-straight Stanley Cup at the end of this coming season. The last two came without winning the Metropolitan Division title. Those belonged to the Washington Capitals, for all the good it did them. Is Washington even the team to beat in the division? Clearly not, since the team that whacked them in the playoffs twice is there.
You know, there are three other divisions, and we even have a brand new team in the National Hockey League. Las Vegas, you got your team, now Quebec City keeps lobbying to get theirs back. Just show Gary Bettman the money, or as you call it, l’argent.
Revivalist Nordiques or not, there are 31 teams fighting this year, literally, for the same thing. Hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup is the thing of dreams for a young hockey player. In Canada, it carries a certain religiosity, like the grail sought by Indiana Jones. Many have put on the sweaters and skates, but few had their names engraved.
Before any team, American or Canadian, takes the Cup, they have to get to the playoffs first. That’s where we come in, predicting the division winners and other playoff teams in the NHL this 2017-18 season. Who will get to the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year? And if we’re wrong, this article never happened.
Keep track of how we’re doing at our NHL playoff picture page, updated during each regular season.
2017 18 NHL Predictions: Metro Division, Playoff Qualifiers
Pittsburgh Penguins (division winner): They will probably be fine even if they don’t win the division. Pittsburgh knows what they’re doing when the playoffs begin.
Washington Capitals (top 3): At least the Caps won’t blow a Presidents’ Trophy season in this scenario. Getting to the playoffs isn’t the problem. It’s that they’re Marty Schottenheimer’s Chiefs when they arrive.
New York Rangers (top 3): On paper, this is a decent team, and Kevin Shattenkirk will help. They will go as far as Henrik Lundqvist gets them.
Columbus Blue Jackets (wild card): This is a team on the upswing, in a hard division in which to compete.
2017 18 NHL Predictions: Metro Division, Non-Playoffs
New York Islanders (5th): The Isles are a step or two behind the rest of the pack. John Tavares has to have a big year, but even that probably isn’t enough.
Philadelphia Flyers (6th): Goaltending was a serious problem for Philly in 2016-17, and looks marginal this year. Yet, for the names they have, like Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, their offense lacked as well. On paper, the Flyers aren’t on par with the top teams in the division.
Carolina Hurricanes (7th): While they continue to sort out their goaltending issues, it’s wise to expect another lackluster season in Raleigh.
New Jersey Devils (8th): Probably better offensively this season, but that’s a low bar to clear. New Jersey has a long way to go to catch up to everyone else.