King's Court 

King’s Court: NHL Season Preview

Welcome to a special edition of King’s Court where I will break down what to look forward to this upcoming NHL season. Last year we saw the Chicago Blackhawks hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup in a lockout-shortened season. With a full season ahead, let’s take a look at what will happen. Court is now in session.

5 Key Questions

1. Can the Blackhawks repeat?

-Looking to become the first team since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings to repeat as champions

2. Can the Pittsburgh Penguins get back to the Stanley Cup finals?

-Loaded with talent, but haven’t been to the Cup finals since winning it in 2009

3. How will the realignment affect the league?

-NHL realigned to a 2 conference, 4 division set up

-16 teams in the Eastern Conference, 14 teams in the Western Conference

4. Which conference will be the toughest?

-The Western Conference has won 5 of the last 8 Stanley Cups

5. Can the New York Rangers take the next step?

-This team has a ton of guys who can play, but can they get it done in the playoffs?

Teams I have My Eye On

Chicago Blackhawks

-This team has the firepower to repeat

-They have arguably the best front line in the NHL with Bryan Bickell, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane

-Corey Crawford is tough between the pipes

Pittsburgh Penguins

-Can this team overcome its playoff failures over the past two seasons?

-If Marc-Andre Fleury can take his regular season success into the playoffs, this team will be even more dangerous

-The offensive will be one of the league’s most dangerous with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin leading the way

St. Louis Blues

-This team has a ton of key, contributing core guys who can help lead them far in the playoffs

-The Blues can contend with the Blackhawks for the Central Division crown

-Signed two veteran players in center Derek Roy and left winger Brendon Morrow, which gives them a ton of depth

Detroit Red Wings

-A franchise that has made the playoffs for 22 consecutive years

-Will be a member of the Eastern Conference this upcoming season

-Additions of right winger Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss will be beneficial in terms of chasing a Stanley Cup

Phoenix Coyotes

-Will have a full training camp as opposed to last year when the lockout ruined that

-Center Mike Ribeiro is reunited with former coach Dave Tippett

-Ribeiro, Shane Doan, and Mikkel Boedker will be the front line and help lead this team to the postseason

Players to Watch

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

If healthy, he will be right in the thick of the MVP discussion

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

The reigning, defending MVP will look to lead his Caps to a deep playoff run

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

This could be the year he wins his first MVP award

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

He puts up a lot of points and scores a lot of goals, which will put him in the MVP talks

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Quick is emerging as one of the league’s top goal tenders and will look to help the Kings win the Cup

Conference Finals Prediction

Detroit over Pittsburgh

Chicago over Los Angeles

Stanley Cup Prediction

Chicago over Detroit

Written by 

I am a 2013 graduate of Clarion University with a bachelor's degree in communications and a concentration in journalism. I aspire to be great. I love sports and professional wrestling. Follow me on Twitter @KIngEdward15 and engage in sports talk with me.

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