1. San Jose over 8. St. Louis
2. Colorado over 7. Calgary
3. Detroit over 6. Minnesota
5. Anaheim over 4. Vancouver
1. Ottawa over 8. New Jersey
2. New York R over 7. Atlanta
6. Buffalo over 3. Carolina
4. Pittsburgh over 5. Tampa Bay
1. San Jose over 5. Anaheim
2. Colorado over 3. Detroit
1. Ottawa over 6. Buffalo
2. New York R over 4. Pittsburgh
1. San Jose over 2. Colorado
2. New York R over 1. Ottawa
Stanley Cup Finals
Sharks over Rangers
As stated in my Western Preview, San Jose is a loaded team with good goaltending and playoff experience. They have one of the best players in the league in Joe Thornton, one of the better goalies in the Western Conference in Evgeni Nabokov, and a ton of good players who play their roles well and are consistent. This team will be very tough to beat in the playoffs, and they will keep the Cup in the West for another year.
Major Award Winners
Conn Smythe Trophy: Joe Thornton-C-San Jose—Thornton will be the key for San Jose to win the Cup. After a subpar playoff perfomance in 2007, Thornton will be fired up and ready to explode in 2008.
President's Trophy: San Jose Sharks—Not surprisingly, San Jose takes this one as well. The West is better than the East, but San Jose is loaded and will win over 50 games.
Hart Trophy: Sidney Crosby-C-Pittsburgh—Crosby will own this award this year until Ovechkin really starts to compete for it next year.
Art Ross Trophy: Crosby—He should have no problem leading the league in scoring again, especially with the improvement in Pittsburgh.
Maurice Richard Trophy: Dany Heatley-W-Ottawa—With Jason Spezza passing him the puck and Daniel Alfredsson keeping the defense guessing, the sky is the limit for Heatley this year.
Calder Memorial Trophy: Nicklas Backstrom-C-Washington—A young, talented center who could see a lot of time playing with Alexander Ovechkin, who will make any rookie seem experienced.
Vezina Trophy: Roberto Luongo-G-Vancouver—Luongo's season last year probably would have won the Vezina any other season except last year. He will have a repeat performance this year.
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Nicklas Lidstrom-D-Detroit—Death, taxes, and Lidstrom being the best defenseman in the NHL.
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Samuel Pahlsson-C-Anaheim—A solid two-way player who never gets the recognition he deserves.
Jack Adams Trophy: Joel Quenneville-Colorado—From missing the playoffs to a division title in 07-08 should send Coach of the Year honors to Denver.
The season starts this weekend and should be another great one. A lot of excellent teams and talented players should mean some exciting hockey for all to enjoy.