2019-2020 NHL Season Preview

October has begun which means that it is hockey season! Take a look into what will most likely happen for the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season.

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Anaheim Ducks: This team has some good pieces, but they can not seem to put it together to make the puzzle complete. At this point, it would be best to focus on the younger players to build a new team that can win. 

 

Arizona Coyotes: Before the start of the season, the Coyotes had not been to the playoffs for seven seasons. One would call that a pretty serious drought. But they did trade for Phil Kessel in the off-season who has a great past. Maybe Kessel can help put a spark back in this team that they have been struggling to find.

 

Boston Bruins: The Bruins had a really strong team last year from scoring to goaltending. It made them the Eastern Conference Champions, but they fell short when it came to the cup. The Bruins will most likely be strong again this year and a threat for all teams in the East.

 

Buffalo Sabres: Buffalo’s team did not pay off the way they hoped it would last year. They got three forwards that did not make much of a difference in exchange for the future Conn Smythe winner. Hopefully Jimmy Vesey and Marcus Johansson can make up for the past season’s disappointment.

 

Calgary Flames: One of those teams that had a great regular season, but could not keep it together in the playoffs. They lost Mike Smith and James Neal in the offseason, but that should not be too much of an impact. They still have their major offensive players like Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk to help them win. This season should be about as good as their last one. Hopefully this time they can play farther into April.

 

Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes exceeded expectations last year by defeating the reigning Stanley Cup Champions in the first round. Even though they lost their captain, they have promise with Sebastian Aho. The Hurricanes look like they have a good season ahead of them. Although it seems unlikely that they will make it to the Eastern Conference Finals again with the small amount of change.

 

Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks still have their notable players like Johnathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Everyone else kind of falls into the background. But now this background has improved with Andrew Shaw...that is really it though. The other additions to the team do not scream greatness. The Blackhawks will most likely finish their 2019-2020 like their last one, at the bottom.

 

Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche made quite a few changes over the summer. A few key players are now gone, but they gained Andre Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri. Some would argue that these changes help make the Avalanche more competitive. I do not know about the Avalanche going far in the playoffs, but they look to have a better regular season ahead.

 

Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets truly shocked the hockey world by sweeping the best team in the NHL in the first round. It seems pretty unlikely that they will be able to get there again after losing Matt Duchene and Artemi Panarin who can score. To make matters worse, they will not have Sergei Bobrovsky to block shots. The season ahead of Columbus is going to be a long one.

 

Dallas Stars: In the offseason, the Stars gained Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry which should help with their offense. This seems to be a great addition since they already have great goaltending with Ben Bishop. The combination should help them towards the top of the tough Central Division. 

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Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings do not look so great right now. But that is okay. In a few years, the veterans will make their way out so the younger guys can come in to help this sinking ship.

 

Edmonton Oilers: I really do feel bad for Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. These are two phenomenal players who are stuck on a team that can not dig themselves out of the hole. Hopefully Ken Holland can build them a team that can win at some point.

 

Florida Panthers: No offense, but the Panthers are one of those teams that just slip your mind. But now they have Sergei Bobrovsky who won the Vezina trophy a few years back and Brett Conolly who can score. So, there is a possibility that this might be a team to start remembering.

 

Los Angeles Kings: The Kings have some of the same pieces from their 2013-2014 Stanley Cup win, but they just do not work the same. The crew that won the cup has had their moment in the sun. Now new players need to come in to make this team shine again.

 

Minnesota Wild: Honestly, there are not many great things to say about the Wild. Dubnyk is still a great goalie but is not in his prime anymore. It makes things worse that the Wild is in a very competitive division. It looks like the Wild will be in a very similar situation to what they were last season.

 

Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens seem relatively similar to last season, minus Andrew Shaw. Max Domi and Brendan Gallagher can still really make an impact on this team. Although, I would not go to say that the playoffs are in the near future for this team.

 

Nashville Predators: Bad news or good news first? Okay, bad it is, Predators lost PK Subban who will be a pretty big defensive loss. The good news is that they will have Matt Duchene who be a great addition to their offense. Personally, I think Duchene will make a stronger impact than Subban did so the Predators are in a good spot.

 

New Jersey Devils: The Devils seem to be going all in. They gained PK Subban and Wayne Simmonds who will add lots of experience to this team. This is important since a lot of their roster is built up of young players like Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes (who they were lucky to get). The future seems bright for the Devils despite their past disappointing seasons.

 

New York Islanders: The Islanders were quite impressive in the first round of the playoffs by sweeping Pittsburgh. That was short lived when they were swept by Carolina in the next round. Things have been at a slow decline for the Islanders and losing Robin Lehner does not help at all. Crossing our fingers that their defense is good.

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New York Rangers: The Rangers' big win in the offseason was getting Artemi Panarin which will definitely be helpful. However, I do not think this one all-star is going to get the Rangers to where they want to be. More work needs to be done to get this team a winning record.

 

Ottawa Senators: Losing Mark Stone was the icing on this crumbling cake. The best parts of this team are now gone. There is not much to say except good luck D.J!

 

Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers did not have an exciting season this past year and it looks like they are set up for the same fate. Kevin Hayes should make an offensive impact, but I don’t see much of an improvement coming. But there is something we can always look forward to with this team- our favorite mascot, Gritty.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins: The prime time for the Penguins is beginning to wind down. The Washington Capitals finally started beating them in post season which is a change of pace. Now, they have lost Phil Kessel who was a huge part of their team. Yeah, they still have Sidney Crosby, but it will not be the same team as a few years ago.

 

San Jose Sharks: The Sharks will go through their season without their former captain Joe Pavelski who ended up in Dallas. In all honesty, the Sharks had the potential to make it to the cup final last season if they were not riddled with injuries. They can still do well without Pavelski, but it will be more of a challenge. 

 

St. Louis Blues: The reigning Stanley Cup Champions and their return. The Blues had quite the second half of the season last year which led them to their first Stanley Cup Championship. Most of the team remains the same besides losing Pat Maroon and Joel Edmundson, then gaining Justin Faulk. The Blues are going for another run at the cup this season and may have a real shot given Jordan Binnington returns to where he was last season.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning had a phenomenal season last year with 128 points. Despite their regular season, they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Even though they had a rough end to their last season, this team has most of the same core parts as last year and has the potential to actually go far in the playoffs. Lightning will most likely have another phenomenal season.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs: Now this team will look quite a bit different from the Maple Leafs that we are used to. They will start the season without Patrick Marleau, Nazem Kadri and Connor Brown. But they added Alex Kerfoot and Tyson Barrie, so there might be some success there. Just be ready to see the new Maple Leafs. 

 

Vancouver Canucks: Despite their newly signed veterans, the Canucks look like their success may be in the future. None of the new veterans, besides Micheal Ferland, really stand out. Luckily, Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser do stand out. This season will probably not be the best for the Canucks, but if they play their cards right, a few years from now they could have a dangerous team. 

 

Vegas Golden Knights: The Knights had an okay season last year after being the Western Conference Champions. They lost Colin Miller and Erik Haula to trade, but it will not make a huge impact on their team. They still have William Karlsson and Jon Marchessault which means they still have strong parts. Expect about the same amount of success from this team as they had last year.

 

Washington Capitals: Just like the Lightning, the division champions were defeated by the wild card. 104 points last season is something to be proud of, however, a few changes this off-season could make this a different team. The Capitals are now without Andre Burakovsky and Brett Connolly who were apart of the championship team in 2018. The Capitals will still have a good season, just expect their point total to decline some points.

 

Winnipeg Jets: The Jets seem to have a rough year ahead of them after losing multiple players to free agency. They were alright last year, but never became anything special. At least they will still have Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor who can really score. This upcoming season does not seem like it is the one for the Jets.