2017-8 NHL Previewstravaganza!

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(Editor’s note: It’s been almost 3 full days since the 2016-7 NHL season ended, so you know what that means…it’s time for another season or whatever!
Below, you’ll find more than you need to know about every team in Ice Quidditch, plus a couple that I think Ben made up.)
If Carolina thinks the return of 36 year old veteran Justin Williams will give them hope in the toughest division in the NHL, dreams will most likely be shattered. Then again, this is the year of devastating Hurricanes, so I guess you never know.
(Editor’s note: holy shit he led with a hurricane joke I probably should’ve proofread this before posting it)
Blue Jackets
That 16 game win streak didn’t really mean shit after getting spanked by the Pens in round one last year. However, the Jackets have some exciting young talent who could find their stride together this season. Still no word on whether or not John Tortorella is getting the stick surgically removed from his ass finally.
Don’t expect much from the team who finished with the worst record in the east last year. Sure, their shiny new #1 pick Nico Hischier was impressive in the preseason, but at just 18 years old and making six figures, there’s always that chance he’ll get lost in the NYC club life. Not to mention he’ll probably want to spend as little time in Newark as possible.
The Islanders are like that troubled kid who keeps getting kicked out of his family’s house. Not only could they lose their new home by the end of the season, they could also lose their captain John Tavares to free agency.
The blue shirts have a solid core, especially with newly acquired Kevin Shattenkirk, but King Henrik was looking a bit weathered last season. To be both that handsome and that talented is quite the burden, so we gotta cut the man some slack. But if 30 could play the way we’re used to seeing him play, the Rangers will be just fine.
The Broad Street Bullies have not had an exciting off-season. They’ll be trying to improve in net with Brian Elliot, and hoping for the best from newly acquired center Brayden Schenn, but I think it’s safe to say the Flyers season will most likely stink as bad as the city itself.
Sure they lost Fluery, three forwards, and three defenseman, but as long as they have Crosby and Malkin on the squad, the Penguins are a serious threat. If Kris Letang can stay healthy, then it’ll be business as usual for Pittsburgh. Fuck.
Even with Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Holtby still on the team, the Caps will continue being the greatest choke artists the NHL has ever seen. But Cup or no Cup, Ovechkin will dance his way to the Hall of Fame no matter what.
Connor McDavid.
Hey, at least weed is legal in Denver.
(Editor’s note: I think this is the exact moment Ben realized how many goddamn teams there are in the NHL.)
Golden Knights
We don’t know much about the newest team in the NHL, but we do know that Las Vegans will have no idea who these guys are.
The Bruins made the playoffs for the first time in three years last season. With little cap space to work with, another playoff run this season is far from guaranteed.
With a new GM and a new head coach, the future could look quite appealing for the Sabres. But if the team plays like they did last year, then the future will look more like a Bills Tailgate: ugly beyond belief.
With Marchessault and Smith gone to Vegas, Jokinen to the Oilers, and Jagr most likely going back to mother Russia, I’d say the Florida Panthers are pretty much endangered just like their mascot.
It’s gotta be hard to trade your star player (Subban) and watch him skate to the cup that same season. With Price in net and strong offensive threats, the Habs will continue to be a top seed in the Atlantic division.
Ottowa had an impressive post season, especially with an offense that lacks great scorers. Unfortunately the only move they made to improve those numbers was picking up 36 year old Johnny Oduya, who will skate next to Karlsson. Good luck keeping up, old man.
(Editor’s note: I feel like he missed the chance to make fun of Joe’s sex life here.)
If Stamkos and Callahan can stay healthy throughout the season, the Lightning should have a great run this year with newly acquired defensemen Dan Girardi and Mikhail Sergachev. Still though, hockey has no place in Florida.
Maple Leafs
Whether it happens this season or next, the Leafs have the young talent that could eventually flourish into a dominant NHL powerhouse. This team could truly do it all. The only thing some of these kids can’t do is drink legally in the U.S.
Black Hawks
Watching the Black Hawks get swept in round 1 last year seemed like a dream. Now that Hossa and Panarin are gone, and with $0 in cap space, Kane may develop some back problems after this season.
Last season was a long fall from grace after winning the central division in 2015-2016. But with the signing of center Martin Hanzal and supposed star goalie Ben Bishop, the stars could be aligning for Dallas.
Age could be a factor here, especially with star veterans Eric Staal and Zach Parise. If they can stop those grey hairs from getting in the way, the Wild could creep up the ranks in the central division.
You know what they say; offense scores goals and defense wins championships. If that’s true, then the Jets will need to do better than Flyers transplant Steve Mason to feel secure back there.
Last year’s playoff success was no fluke for the Predators. Even with the retirement of captain Mike Fisher, the team is stacked with returning stars Subban, Forsberg, and Arvidsson. Throw veteran Scott Hartnell in the mix this season, and we could see another great run for the cup.
St. Louis
After a solid run during the playoffs last year, there’s no reason why the Blues shouldn’t have a legit shot this season. Anything can happen with a coaching shake-up, but that shouldn’t affect Vladimir Tarasenko’s quest for a 40 goal season.
Red Wings
After breaking a 25 year playoff streak, this upcoming season is looking like it could be another dismal year for Hockeytown. To make matters worse, their new arena has this fucking thing on it.
A storm has been brewing for years in Anaheim, and that storm might finally hit this year. But obviously not a literal storm, because it never rains in Anaheim.
When you have a powerhouse set of twins, you really shouldn’t be finishing last in your division. But hey, at least that means the only way to go for the Canucks is up.
The Sharks are just a funny, exciting team to watch with a lot of veteran talent. This year’s squad looks not much different from last year, which means they’ll probably have another successful year in the West.
It was fun while it lasted.
The Flames have made some hefty moves this off-season that will improve both ends of the ice. Unfortunately for them, these moves come during a magical time for their provincial rivals.
Meh. Maybe they’ll find success if they move to a place that actually appreciates the sport.

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