The Hockey News: Western Conference predictions

10. Los Angeles. I hate for you to think I’m underestimating the Kings, because I’m not. The job Terry Murray did behind L.A.’s bench last year was phenomenal, their blueline has the potential to be one of the league’s best and individual talents such as Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty are only getting better. But you, me, and even casual Kings followers know how much pressure is on these guys to do something of real merit this year. And in the tougher of the NHL’s two conferences, they may need something to go wrong for other teams just as much as they need a lot to go right for themselves.

via The Hockey News: Screen Shots: Screen Shots: Western Conference predictions.

Me, I think it's basically an 8-way tie for 6th place. My optimistic prediction is they finish 7th. Detroit/San Jose/Chicago/Calgary/Vancouver are the top five, though I have no idea in what order. I think San Jose will be worse than people think, due to poor defense; but other than that, any one of those five could finish anywhere 1-5. As far as 6-8, I would have to pick Anaheim, LA and St. Louis, again, in no particular order. Edmonton I think will be closer to 15th than 8th. Phoenix is my pick for the basement. MIN, NSH, CBJ and (who am I forgetting...oh yeah) DAL all could easily be in the 6-8 spots instead of who I picked. If forced to rank them all, I would go with:

1. Vancouver

2. Detroit

3. Chicago

4. Calgary

5. San Jose

6. St. Louis

7. Los Angeles

8. Anaheim


9. Columbus

10. Minnesota

11. Dallas

12. Nashville

13. Edmonton

14. Colorado

15. Phoenix

And in the East:

1. Washington

2. Philadelphia

3. Pittsburgh

4. Boston

5. Carolina

6. New Jersey

7. Ottawa

8. Tampa Bay


9. New York Rangers

10. Toronto

11. Buffalo

12. Montreal

13. Atlanta

14. Florida

15. New York Islanders


1st round - West

Kings v. Wings -- Kings in 6

Canucks v. Ducks -- Canucks in 7

Hawks v. Blues -- Chicago in 6

Flames v. Sharks -- Calgary in 7, of course

1st round - East

Caps v. Bolts -- Caps in 5

Flyers v. Sens -- Flyers in 6

Pens v. Devils -- Pens in 5

Bruins v. Hurricanes -- Bruins in 7

2nd round - West

Canucks v. Kings -- Kings in 7

Hawks v. Flames -- Chicago in 7

2nd round - East

Caps v. Bruins -- Caps in 7

Flyers v. Pens -- Pens in 7

3rd round - West

Kings v. Hawks -- Hawks in 6

3rd round - East

Pens v. Caps -- Pens in 7

Cup finals

Hawks v. Pens -- Pens in 7. Hossa checks into mental hospital.