NHL Preview part 4

A weekly sports column for the 100 Mile Free Press

As crazy as it was last year, the Las Vegas Golden Knights made the Stanley Cup Finals. I doubt we will see that in their sophomore season, though. Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty were definitely good pickups and the team remains mostly intact, although two major point contributors in James Neal and David Perron have moved on. They can still make the playoffs this year, but don’t expect a run to the final.

The Minnesota Wild have made the playoffs six years in a row, and there is no reason they shouldn’t continue that trend. The franchise ousted general manager Chuck Fletcher after their first-round exit last season and replaced him with Paul Fenton, who was the general manager of the Wild’s affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. Fenton has maintained the core roster and hasn’t made any moves yet to change that. They won’t make any great headway and probably won’t get past the first round again.

Dallas will be an interesting team to watch, with Jim Montgomery helming the bench after Ken Hitchcock retired after the team failed to make the playoffs last season. Montgomery is part of the newest trend in the NHL, which is hiring NCAA coaches to helm the bench. After a successful reign with the Denver Pioneers, Montgomery will be looking to restore the winning culture in Dallas.

RELATED: NHL Previews Part 3

Gritty, the league’s newest mascot, may be the source of the most noise that the Philadelphia Flyers have made in a while, but they could make the playoffs this year. Former Maple Leafs scorer James van Riemsdyk ( who will miss five to six weeks due to injury) adds a much-needed punch. Claude Giroux also had a big year last season and will be looking to repeat that with his supporting cast of Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds. Nolan Patrick also needs to show the league why he was drafted second overall in 2017.

RELATED: NHL Previews Part 2

Like the Flyers, it’s hard to say where the New Jersey Devils will end up. They have enough in them to get to the playoffs but it also depends on if they can outlast the ageing Pittsburg Penguins and Washington Capitals. The two latter teams, one of them the returning champions, have been operating at a dynastic level for some time now and should return to the playoffs. However, with Barry Trotz moving to Long Island it’s hard to say how the Capitals’ new head coach will lead the team. Both have limited prospect pools but have strong cores, including talent on the younger side, but they still rely on their general players in Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

RELATED: NHL Previews Part 1

The Anaheim Ducks are sitting at third in the Pacific Division as of Oct. 26, and it is likely they will still be there at the end of the season. They have been hit by the injury bug early on, with star players Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf and other players such as Patrick Eaves, Ondrej Kase and newcomer Carter Rowney out. The good news is the younger players, such as rookie Max Comtois, are stepping up. On the other end of the table are the St. Louis Blues, who are off to a less than stellar start. They also missed the playoffs last year, but despite their slow start they have the potential to return this season.


brendan.jure@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Combination of skiing and yoga is a hit for the 100 Mile House Nordics Club

The club offers a new program where women can night ski together and wind down with yoga

100 Mile House’s Youth Zone to be given a new name and branding

CFEC hoping rebrand will help them with youth engagement

Athlete in Focus: Harley Bootsma of the 100 Mile House Wranglers

“I definitely play a lot more here then I did in Revelstoke”

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

From the archives of the 100 Mile Free Press

37 Years Ago (1982): The office of the provincial ombudsman was recommending… Continue reading

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Most Read