NHL 2019 season predictions: Eastern Conference

Don't blame me if you can't handle the truth

I won’t claim to be a huge fan of the Eastern Conference teams, because, well… I’m not. My team is the Oilers, which means I pay more attention to the Western conference, but I still have more than passing knowledge of their Eastern counterparts. 

Since you probably don’t care about specifics, I’m just going to get to the nitty gritty. I’ll give you the good, the bad, the ugly, and who I think would win the Stanley Cup out of our friendly Eastern teams. So without further ado, here’s how I think it’ll shake out:

The Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning will, as always, do incredibly well, but I think it’ll be the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final. Why? It’s as simple as this: Tampa Bay is riding on the laurels of last year’s 128 point season and a President’s Trophy. What goes up must come down, but the team seems more fired up than ever. If they don’t win the Stanley Cup, it’ll be a close call.

Now for the bad. The Detroit Red Wings have been doing badly for a while now, and I think they’ll stay that path. They didn’t make any great trades or changes this season, so I doubt they’ll do any better than last year. Strangely, more than a few writers have been predicting a good season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I disagree. They did fine last season, but I don’t know if they even have a chance at the wild card spot this year. Even with John Tavares on their side, when they win they barely win, and they have a strange habit of losing to worse teams than themselves (see: Boston Bruins in the first round). They can’t ride the mediocrity wave forever, and I think this season is the end for them.

Finally, what I’m sure you’ve been waiting for: the ugly. The Columbus Blue Jackets, the Ottawa Senators, and the New York Rangers. I think these teams will stay on their current trend of tripping over themselves and causing their fans to smash their heads into the wall repeatedly. As an Oilers fan, I know a little something about head smashing, and the Blue Jackets, Senators, and Rangers’ behaviour looks an awful lot like a forehead-shaped impression in the drywall.

Regardless, it looks to be an interesting season. Maybe I’m totally wrong, or maybe I’m 100 per cent right, but we won’t know for another few months. If I insulted your team, I’m sorry, but them’s the breaks, kid. Have a happy hockey season!

Payton Ferguson

Payton Ferguson is a second-year English major by day, 2019-20 Opinion Editor for The Gateway by night (and also day). She enjoys long walks to the fridge, writing until her wrists ache, and bombarding social media with pictures of her chihuahuas.

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