Welcome to Puck Drop Preview 2020-21, where Last Word On Hockey gives you a detailed look at each team from around the NHL leading to the start of this hockey season and offers our insight and analysis. Make sure to stick around until the end of the series, where we’ll offer our full predictions for the standings in each division, and eventually our 2020-21 Stanley Cup pick. Today the series finishes with the 2021 Stanley Cup Final Predictions.
2021 Stanley Cup Predictions
This is a very interesting year for predicting a Stanley Cup winner. With all-new divisions and the fact that we know each division will provide one final four teams, it makes predictions a lot different. Last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning were a heavy favourite to win. And they actually ended up winning too, which doesn’t usually happen. However, it shows how hard it is to repeat from year to year. They are still one of the most favoured from markets, but our writers don’t see them repeating.
The overwhelming favourite this year appears to be the Colorado Avalanche. 18 of our 24 writers selected them to go to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. A shocking 13 of those people selected them to win as well. No one picked Tampa, but five people had them returning to the finals. The Vegas Golden Knights also got four selections as winners. Making the West a very interesting division to keep an eye on as the 2019 Champs also had one vote. Bringing the total up to 18 of 24 people selecting a winner from that division.
Teams Looking to Break Through
The Carolina Hurricanes appear to be another very trendy pick this year. They have to go through Tampa theoretically if they wish to win. However, two people have them winning it all and six have them losing in the final. The Hurricanes have a very solid roster but to even more of a degree of Colorado, goaltending will be the biggest question mark. Still, these two teams are not a bad bet.
Other teams mentioned here are the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were selected twice to win and three other times to make it to the final. The Leafs have an easier division this year, it will be interesting to see if their upgraded defence and added veteran depth can carry them farther than they have been in decades. The Montreal Canadiens were the only other Canadian team selected.
The only other teams mentioned were the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, both of who have solid and older rosters. It will be very interesting to see how things go down in this crazy season. Maybe the biggest surprise was no one selecting the Dallas Stars. Possibly because of their early-season COVID and injury troubles. Who do you think will make it to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final? Let us know down below!
Breakdown of Writer Voting