Second Half NHL Predictions:Star-Studded Teams to Make Playoff Runs

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Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews celebrate after a goal. Kane is eighth in the league in points, and the Blackhawks are third in the West.

Ian Beck

Capitals stay hot, #1 in the East.

Alex Ovechkin is perhaps one of the greatest players in NHL history. He was recently selected as part of the NHL’s top 100 players. With the addition of TJ Oshie, the Capitals are a shoe-in to make the playoffs, especially with Braden Holtby allowing fewer than two goals a game and touting a ninety-three

percent save percentage.

Unfortunately, they are the Washington Capitals, and that means that their regular season play is unimportant. The fact of the matter is, they cannot win in playoff time. Nonetheless, they are too good to drop out of first place, barring any major injuries.

 

Detroit’s playoff streak will end.

For the past 25 years, the Detroit Red Wings have made the playoffs. That is ten times more than any other existing streak. In that time they won four Stanley Cups.

Unfortunately, they are currently six points out from a wild card spot. The Wings are sitting six points behind the Philadelphia Flyers, but there are five teams between them and a playoff spot. The Red Wings at this point are at a crossroads. Either they can sell and rebuild, or trade and go for another, unlikely Stanley Cup. Detroit should trade and rebuild for next season.

Their front office is one of the best in the league, and while it is an important and historic streak, their chances of winning it all this year are minimal, so they will most likely not make the playoffs.

The Chicago Blackhawks will make the Stanley Cup Final, and win.

For years the Blackhawks have dominated the NHL. This year is no different.

Their team is too deep and too talented to not make it back to the Stanley Cup this year and continue their dynasty. Corey Crawford is an elite goalkeeper and with experienced leadership in Toews and the scoring power of Patrick Kane, they will thrive as per usual come playoff time. I have learned this lesson before: do not bet against the Blackhawks.

 

Bruins finally fire Claude Julien and do not make the playoffs.

The Boston Bruins have been playing mediocre hockey at best so far this season. Claude Julien has been on the hot seat for many years, and I think this is finally going to be the year the Bruins do not make the playoffs and he gets the boot. They have a negative goal differential right now and are very prone to giving up a lot of goals. Additionally, they have a losing home record. As far as playoff potential, they are sitting okay with their amount of points, but they have a bunch of games up on the other teams, and you cannot expect to make the playoffs with a losing home record.

Sidney Crosby wins the Conn Smythe.

After being the first player to reach 30 goals, I do not see Sidney Crosby slowing down anytime soon. He has been playing at his usual level of excellence, and I expect him to end the season having scored the most goals in the NHL. The only other person I see challenging him is Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. The only way I see Connor potentially beating him is if Crosby slows down his scoring while McDavid keeps getting assists, but with the way Sid the Kid is playing, I cannot go against him right now.