This is the third year in which I’ve offered predictions as to how the Eastern Conference will sort out although it’s the first year I’ve done so with a shortened National Hockey League (NHL) season. And it’s those variables of a 48-game versus the traditional 82-game season that makes traditional predictions much trickier: a condensed schedule, player conditioning, injuries sustained in another league (i.e. KHL) and the urgency to get off to a fast start.
Like last year’s predictions, I will assess the specific finish of each team in the 15-team conference. While this changed method is subject to more error, when it comes to the NHL and its playoffs, your seeding/position doesn’t matter.
With that, here are my predictions (in ascending order, from 1st to 15th):
1) New York Rangers – The Rangers made one noteworthy move and it was a seismic one, acquiring Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets yet not mortgaging the future and overall core of the team. Nash, one of the p...