I know that Baltimore is wrapped up in the Ravens and hockey is generally an afterthought anyway. But before the season get too far along I thought I’d jump in with my preseason thoughts. I know I won’t have the insight of Ed Frankovic, but I’ll give it my best shot.
Is it just me or does it feel like Sidney Crosby was “forgetting” to shake the Red Wings hands just a few days ago. To be fair, I looked it up. It was 110 days between the seasons. I thought maybe the season was starting earlier than it used to, but again I was wrong. I watched a Dallas Stars video yesterday and they played their first regular season game on an October 5th in 1993. I guess this has always been the way. So who am I to ask Ovechkin and Malkin and Thornton to wait on my schedule. Therefore, without further ado here are my 2009-10 picks.
2010 NHL Final Standings
( Playoff teams are in bold )
1. Philadelphia Chicago
2. Pittsburgh Detroit
3. NY Rangers Columbus
4. New Jersey ( I know this is risky) St. Louis
5. NY Islanders Nashville
1. Montreal Calgary
2. Boston Vancouver
3. Toronto Colorado
4. Buffalo Edmonton
5. Ottawa Minnesota
1. Washington San Jose
2. Carolina Dallas
3. Atlanta Anaheim
4. Tampa Bay Los Angeles
5. Florida Phoenix
Hart Trophy (MVP): Evgeni Malkin, Pitt
I thought he had a strong case last year. I think he’ll make an even better one this year.
Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie): Evgeni Nabokov, SJ
As you’ll see later, I think it will finally be the Sharks year.
Adams Trophy (Top coach): Jacques Martin, Mont
I see the veteran Martin leading a resurgence in Montreal.
Calder Trophy ( Top Rookie): Victor Hedman , D TB
The Big Swedish defenseman will make an immediate impact on the Lightning frontline.
Philadelphia over Toronto Chicago over Colorado
Washington over Carolina San Jose over Anaheim
NY Rangers over Montreal Dallas over Calgary
Pittsburgh over Boston Vancouver over Detroit
Philadelphia over NY Rangers Dallas over Chicago
Pittsburgh over Washington San Jose over Vancouver
Pittsburgh over Philadelphia San Jose over Dallas
Stanley Cup Finals
San Jose over Pittsburgh 4 games to 2
Why San Jose?
This has happened before. NY Rangers in the early 90′s. Dallas Stars in the late 90′s. What am I talking about. Teams that dominated the regular season but disappointing in the post season, finally breaking through. San Jose has been the best team in hockey from October to April recently. They just keep getting upset by teams like the Stars (in ’08) and the Ducks (last year). These were veteran teams that had been there before. I just think that now is the Sharks turn. I think Joe Thornton is ready for something more. They brought in Dany Heatley and some quality role players. And finally Evgeni Nabokov needs to show that he is a big time goalie when it really counts. Am I incredibly confident about this pick? No. But I do feel good about the Sharks chances.