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Robert’s 2013-2014 NHL Team Predictions

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So here we are. The 2013-14 NHL season is upon us and all things lockout and CBA are in the past. The shortened 2013 season may have tarnished our memories but it was still one heck of a ride. But now it is time to look forward to a new beginning, The 2013-14 Season.

The 2013-14 season will bring forth a new way the schedule plays out as the NHL, Owners and NHLPA agreed on realigning the league to better suit the travel needs of many teams. You can read more about that here >>>NHL realignment. Because of this we have new Divisions and new Playoff format. All of which should make this season different but exciting.

Now that we sit a month away from the start of the season, I thought that it would be a perfect time to make my Pre Season predictions on who will make the playoffs and which team will lift Lord Stanley’s Cup.

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The teams in bold lettering are the teams I predict will make the playoffs. Each team is ranked within the their respected Division.

I have also selected a “Dark Horse” Team from each division. These are teams that I feel have the potential to make a strong push and who knows? Maybe they are capable to bump someone out who seems destined for the playoffs.

** Denotes Dark horse team

Playoff predictions

Pacific Division
1. L.A.

2. Vancouver
3. Anaheim
4. San Jose
5. Phoenix
6. Edmonton**
7. Calgary

Central Division
1. Chicago

2. St. Louis
3. Winnipeg
4. Minesotta
5. Nashville
6. Dallas**
7. Colorado

Atlantic Division
1. Boston

2. Detroit
3. Montreal
4. Toronto
5. Ottawa
6. Buffalo
7. Tampa Bay**
8. Florida

Metropolitan Division
1. Pittsburgh

2. New York Rangers
3. Philadelphia
4. Washington
5. New York Isles
6. Columbus
7. New Jersey
8. Carolina**

Stanley Cup Finals

Pittsburgh over St. Louis

You may notice that my pick for the Finals this year, is exactly the same from last year’s prediction. This didn’t just happen. I truly believe St. Louis is a very impressive team led by a very good coach. It was just unfortunate they beat themselves this past year which allowed L.A. to come back in the series and ultimately defeat them. That is something that happens to a lot of young teams, but this year they are a bit older and a bit wiser. The only team standing in their way is themselves.

Now Pittsburgh has all the pieces to win, the only issue I see is the coaching staff and the inconsistent defense. (Wow this sounds just like last year.) Due to Bylsma being a bit preoccupied with Olympic Hockey duties the Penguins decided to add another Assistant Coach to the mix in Jacques Martin. They also upgraded the defense with bringing back fan favorite Rob Scuderi. So now I think the only real concern is injuries. If Crosby and Malkin can stay healthy all year and enter the post season with no lingering ailments, Look out Loretta!

2014 Sochi Olympics Prediction

1st – Team USA
2nd – Team Canada
3rd – Team Russia

This will be an interesting Olympics. There is much speculation that the NHL may make a decision for this to be the last time they allow any player within the league to participate in the Games. If that is the case you can be sure that this may be one of the more intense competitions that we have ever seen.

In just a few weeks the Puck will drop and the beginning of the 2013/14 season will start. Stars will shine, players will rise and soon the fans will cheer. October 1st is just around the corner, are you ready?

- Robert Slavinsky

You can Follow me Via Twitter by clicking this link >>> @RSlavi_HTPens

 

Robert Slavinsky

Pittsburgh Penguins writer for hockeytracker.net. Since my childhood I have followed hockey, from the years of The Great One up to The Next One I have followed the fastest sport on ice. Growing up in Pittsburgh PA, I have had the privilege to witness some of Hockey's Greats. Since the days of Le Magnifique no other team in Pittsburgh has mattered to me but the Penguins.