2013-14 NHL Season Preview & Predictions

The new National Hockey League season is about to begin today and changes have certainly been seen. First the new realignment has taken shape, new rules changes and finally new coaches (which isn’t all that new in the hockey world).

The playoff format may be confusing, especially since the NHL decided against using the Adams, Norris, Smyth and Patrick division formats. Instead the top three teams are guaranteed a playoff spot in the division and should a division have five teams (counting the two wildcard spots for each conference) then the fifth team will move to the other division to make it four.

Predictions (division winners in BOLD, playoff teams in ITALICS):

Western Conference

Pacific Division:

Los Angeles Kings-104

Vancouver Canucks-101

Phoenix Coyotes-97

San Jose Sharks-92

Anaheim Ducks-90

Edmonton Oilers-82

Calgary Flames-77

Central Division:

St. Louis Blues-110

Chicago Blackhawks-109

Minnesota Wild-96

Nashville Predators-94

Winnipeg Jets-90

Dallas Stars-87

Colorado Avalanche-87

Eastern Conference

Atlantic:

Boston Bruins-112

Detroit Red Wings-99

Toronto Maple Leafs-95

Montreal Canadiens-91

Florida Panthers-88

Ottawa Senators-86

Tampa Bay Lightening-74

Buffalo Sabres-71

Metropolitan:

Pittsburgh Penguins-114

Washington Capitals-110

New York Rangers-97

New York Islanders-93

New Jersey Devils-89

Philadelphia Flyers-80

Columbus Blue Jackets-80

Carolina Hurricanes-67

Playoffs:

Division Quarterfinals-

WEST-

Pacific Division:

Kings vs. Coyotes-Coyotes win, 4-1

Ducks vs. Sharks-Shark win, 4-3

Central Division:

Blues vs. Canucks-Canucks win, 4-2

Blackhawks vs. Wild-Hawks win, 4-0

EAST-

Metro Division:

Penguins vs. Rangers-Rangers win, 4-3

Islanders vs. Capitals-Capitals win, 4-2

Atlantic Division:

Bruins vs. Canadiens-Bruins winning, 4-1

Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs-Wings winning, 4-0

Division Semi-Finals:

WEST-

Pacific Division:

Coyotes vs. Sharks-Sharks win, 4-3

Central Division:

Blackhawks vs. Canucks- Hawks win, 4-1

EAST-

Metro Division:

Capitals vs. Rangers-Caps win, 4-0

Atlantic Division:

Bruins vs. Red Wings-Wings win, 4-3

CONFERENCE FINALS:

WEST-

Sharks vs. Blackhawks-Hawks win, 4-0

EAST-

Red Wings vs. Capitals-Wings win, 4-2

STANLEY CUP FINALS:

Blackhawks vs. Red Wings-Hawks win, 4-3

Champion: Blackhawks

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