The 2019/2020 NHL season starts on October 2nd, and before we know it, body checks will be flying, pucks will be soaring, and goal lights will be flashing once again. This year, the St. Louis Blues will look to defend their championship title, while a slew of viable contenders will fight for their chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Before pucks drop for the first time this season, let’s take a look at our NHL hockey preview.
Teams to Watch
- Tampa Bay – Will this finally be Tampa’s year? After running away with the best regular season record a year ago, the Lighting were swept in the first round of the playoffs. Can they get over their playoff woes and win their first championship since 2004?
- Toronto – Talent-wise, Toronto has got it — and has had it for a few years now. But when push comes to shove in the postseason, it always seems like the Maple Leafs flame out early. Will they finally pull through this season?
- San Jose – It might be the last go-round for Joe Thornton – and the last decent shot the Sharks have at championship gold. Look for them to go all-in at the trade deadline.
Storylines to Pay Attention To
- Dark Horse Teams – There’s always a surprise team that makes a playoff run. Last year, you could argue it was St. Louis, who went from the mid-season basement to playoff champions. The year before, it was Vegas, an expansion team that made it all the way to the finals. Who will the dark horse be this year? Detroit, Edmonton, and Florida are all strong possibilities.
- The New Jersey Devils – The Devils had a significant offseason, acquiring stud defenseman P.K. Subban and winning the Jack Hughes sweepstakes by picking him number one overall. The Devils might not be a contender yet, but they’ll be fun to watch.
- The Carolina Hurricanes – There may not have been a more fun team to watch than the Hurricanes last season. We can’t wait to see more of their end-of-game celebrations this year.
Our NHL Predictions and Hockey Picks
Want to know our NHL predictions? We like the Lightning to represent the East in the finals and the Predators out of the West. As for our championship pick, we think the Lightning will push through to hoist the cup in the spring.