Puck Daddy's 2017-18 NHL season predictions

Editor’s note: If you landed on this page looking for 2017-18 Stanley Cup and major award predictions from Greg Wyshynski, well, you might want to locate a seat. Wyshynski has headed elsewhere for this season, and with him taken his crystal ball after nine-year run on the Puck Daddy throne. 

So if you have gotten this far, first off we do appreciate your company. And second, while you’re here, why not chew on a few predictions anyway? Puck Daddy’s Justin Cuthbert shares his predictions for the 2017-18 NHL season:

How many teams are absolute locks to make the postseason? Three? Maybe four? The middle ground will be a vast terrain in the NHL this season, making it incredibly difficult to predict which teams will emerge from each conference.

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But here goes:

Playoffs

The East

With the Carolina Hurricanes breaking through this season, five teams from the Metropolitan Division punch their ticket into the postseason. After injuries cut them down last season the Tampa Bay Lightning bounce back with the conference’s best record, and the Pittsburgh Penguins wrest the Metro crown from the Washington Capitals.

Atlantic Division

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs
  3. Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. Washington Capitals
  3. Carolina Hurricanes

Wild Card

  1. Columbus Blue Jackets
  2. New York Rangers

The West

With one of the most dangerous top lines in hockey and the steadying presence of Ken Hitchcock and a healthy Ben Bishop, the Dallas Stars have what it takes to return to the conference summit. The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks fade, but in the end hold off the Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets in a dog fight for the two wild-card slots.

Central Division

  1. Dallas Stars
  2. Minnesota Wild
  3. Nashville Predators

Pacific Division

  1. Edmonton Oilers
  2. Anaheim Ducks
  3. Calgary Flames

Wild Card

  1. Chicago Blackhawks
  2. San Jose Sharks

Conference Finals

The Lightning will end Pittsburgh’s run of 10 consecutive seven-game series victories in the Eastern Conference Final, while Connor McDavid leads the Edmonton Oilers to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in his third season.

Lightning def. Penguins
Oilers def. Predators

Stanley Cup Final

Steve Yzerman’s tireless work finally pays off. The Lightning win their second Stanley Cup in franchise history, and make it at least a even quarter century between Stanley Cups for Canadian markets.

Lightning def. Oilers

Major Awards

Presidents’ Trophy: Tampa Bay Lightning
Hart Trophy: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Vezina Trophy: Matt Murray, Penguins
Norris Trophy: Victor Hedman, Lightning
Calder Trophy: Charlie McAvoy, Bruins
Rocket Richard: Patrik Laine, Jets

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