The Washington Capitals won the 2018 Stanley Cup on June 7th. That was 118 days ago. That was 2832 hours ago. That was 169920 minutes ago. Now obviously we’ve had training camps since then and we’ve had some preseason games. But that’s not the same as game #1 of 82. For the first time since June 7, 2018, we finally have meaningful hockey in our lives again and we’ve got the entire season ahead of us.
Teams are mostly healthy. You get a chance to see some prospects play in some real NHL action for the first time. Kids like Rasmus Dahlin, Elias Pettersson, Brady Tkachuk, Jesper Kotkaniemi, Miro Heiskanen, Andrei Svechnikov. A lot of names that are difficult to pronounce but they are the future of the league. Opening night in the NHL is filled with optimism across all 31 fanbases. It may be the only week of the season where at least one fan base isn’t acting as if the sky is falling and calling for everybody to be fired. In other words, it’s really the only week of the season where hockey fans are tolerable. I wish there was a way to turn the feeling of opening night in the NHL into a powdery substance, chop that powder up into little lines and then snort it directly into your body because I want to feel like this always.
You never really know what is going to happen throughout the course of an NHL season. They are 82 games long. The regular season goes from now until April 6. Some teams are going to end up over achieving, other teams are going to be complete ass. But as of right now? Everybody is even. So enjoy this first week of the season while you can. Because you never know at one point in the year you are going to start hating hockey and questioning why you ever became a fan in the first place.
Prediction time. Just as a fair warning, I will delete this post from the interwebs if I don’t go 100% on these predictions. But I’m super smart and a well respected expert when it comes to NHL analysis so I have to imagine that I go 97% here at worst.
- Atlantic – Tampa
- Metro – Pittsburgh (plz be a jinx)
- Central – Winnipeg
- Pacific – San Jose
- Atlantic – Montreal
- Metro – NYI
- Central – Chicago
- Pacific – Vancouver
Playoff Teams (in no specific order):
- Eastern Conference: Tampa, Pittsburgh, Washington, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Florida
- Western Conference: Winnipeg, San Jose, Nashville, Vegas, Calgary, St. Louis, Edmonton, Colorado
Stanley Cup Final: Tampa Bay vs Nashville
Hart: MacKinnon if he gets the Avs back into the playoffs.
Art Ross: McDavid. You don’t get rich by betting against Connor McDavid.
Rocket Richard: Laine. Might pot home 50 by Christmas.
Norris: Gostisbehere (not a homer)
Vezina: Vasilevskiy. Then he’ll fall apart in the playoffs.
Calder: Dahlin, unless Filip Zadina gets called back up by Detroit early.
First Coach To Get Fired: Todd McLellan and then the Oilers take off.