Welcome to Puck Drop Preview 2019-20, 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 2019-20 Stanley Cup pick. You can check out all our articles on our Puck Drop Page. Today the series ends with the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Final Predictions.
2020 Stanley Cup Final Predictions
It should be no surprise that once again the Tampa Bay Lightning are among the favourites to win the cup. After being bounced last season in just 4 games after a historic season, the President Trophy winners have something to prove. Tampa looks to get over the hump and make it to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, something they have not done since 2015. Other teams in the East look to be the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins. Both made the Eastern Conference Finals and want to repeat that this season. However, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins would like to get back to where they were a few seasons ago.
The St. Louis Blues are the defending champs and will have something to prove as they head into 2019-20. They bring back almost an identical team from last seasons playoff team. The Blues look to do something that just one team has done in the Cap Era, win back to back Stanley Cups. They have a tough road ahead as the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks look to be solid once again. As well, the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators made some huge additions this summer. Adding the likes of Nazem Kadri and Matt Duchene to shore up each teams centre position.
Teams Looking To Break Through
Teams to keep an eye on are once again the Toronto Maple Leafs. A very good team last season got stuck against the eventual Eastern Conference winners in the Bruins round one. They took Boston to 7 games for the second year in a row but couldn’t get the job done. With a new blueline that features Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci, potentially even Rasmus Sandin, this Leafs team is hoping for a different outcome.
The Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers are two more teams in the Atlantic that want some more success. The Panthers had a huge offseason and made it clear their time to win is now. Fans and ownership alike are dreaming of a 2020 Stanley Cup Finals appearance. As well, the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are two teams that have made massive improvements. How will those pay off?
In the West, we have teams like Colorado looking on the outside. The Dallas Stars were just one goal away from a Western Conference Final and added Joe Pavelski in the offseason. Then there are teams like the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames that suffered a devastating round one exit. These two Canadian teams look to bounce back and improve on last seasons results. All in all, anything can happen this season, it is sure to be a wild and unpredictable year leading to yet another thrilling Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Breakdown of Writer Voting