NHL: The Five Teams Most Likely to Win the 2011-2012 Stanley Cup

Adam HartAnalyst IJune 26, 2011

NHL: The Five Teams Most Likely to Win the 2011-2012 Stanley Cup

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    After crowning the Boston Bruins Champions of the 2010-2011 NHL season, the anticipation for the coming season begins. All the teams that were eliminated in early stages of the playoffs are eager to get revenge in the coming season. Every player wants to hoist the Stanley Cup and say that they are the best. Yet only one team will be able to do so. Here is a list of the five teams that will most likely win the 2011-2012 NHL season. 

5. San Jose Sharks

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    The San Jose Sharks finished the regular season seeded second. During the playoffs, they beat the Los Angeles Kings in six games and the Detroit Red Wings in seven, yet were then eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks in five games. This is a team that can perform well during the regular season and then win playoff matches. They have got an incredible first line but if their second line doesn’t perform, they won’t win. Players like Dany Heatley and Ian White need to step their game up and start scoring goals while the star players are on the bench. This is why the San Jose Sharks are in the top five teams that are most likely to win the Stanley Cup next year.

4. Washington Capitals

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    The Washington Capitals were seeded first in the Eastern Conference going into the postseason. They eliminated the New York Rangers in five but were shut out by the Tampa Bay Lightning in four embarrassing games. The Capitals are a team that can win regular season games with ease but can’t beat teams during the playoffs. They have some of the best players in the league including Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom, yet these players start to fall apart during the postseason. If their starting line plays well during the playoffs and their goalie doesn’t let in easy goals, this team can become a real threat.

3. Vancouver Canucks

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    The Vancouver Canucks won the President’s Cup last year and eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators and the San Jose Sharks. The Boston Bruins then defeated them after seven games. The Canucks looked like a team that would easily win but their goalie, Luongo, failed to deliver during the final. All of their players are amazing, yet if their goalie performs during the playoffs like he did in the regular season, this team can easily win multiple Stanley Cups.

2. Nashville Predators

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    The Nashville Predators finished the regular season in fifth place yet were eliminated by the Canucks in six. Their first and second lines played superbly during the postseason. This is a growing team that could easily become the Cinderella team that wins the Stanley Cup. If their players play defense well and their goalie doesn’t forfeit easy goals, this team could surprise everyone. Veteran hockey players like Joel Ward and Mike Fisher need to start leading their team and step up as captains.

1. Boston Bruins

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    The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, beating the heavy favorite Vancouver Canucks. This team pulled off a feat that most people thought impossible. The Stanley Cup MVP Tim Thomas is playing amazingly and will continue to amaze in the coming season. Although Mark Recchi is retiring after an amazing career, this team still has some amazing players. This team might not be the best team in the league during the regular season, but can win the playoffs. The Boston Bruins are due for a repeat.