Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/17/13
The hockey lockout is finally over. The teams are back and ready for a season even if it is shortened. The big question is, who will come out on top and who will fall flat? Well, here are some predictions. The TOP Two Contenders for the Cup: The Los Angeles Kings: It is tough for teams to have a repeat win in the Stanly Cup Finals. No team has been able to do it since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998. However, The Kings have a chance. They haven’t changed their team dramatically, keeping the players that had big impacts in the team’s first win. The New York Rangers: The New York Rangers picked up Rick Nash from Columbus during the off season. On a real team, Rick Nash will be an explosive player making 30 to 40 goals. The team’s defense will also be a big factor. The Rangers usually have a solid defense and it should continue through this season. Other Contenders: The Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes picked up Alexander Semin from the Washington Capitals. If Semin can have a good season, he will help the team to the playoffs. The Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers have always been a good team. Giroux is a big help. “Ilya Bryzgalov will be better in 2013. There are plenty of debates about Bryzgalov, but he has more talent than he showed last season and the 32-year old should be up for the challenge this season.” (http://hockeyschedule.me/nhl-atlantic-division-preview-and-predictions-2013#ixzz2IGoQdv31) The Saint Louis Blues: They were a great team until the very end. There is room for a repeat this performance and a further stay in the playoff season. The Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins will be a contender as long as everything goes right for the team. Crosby cannot have any more problems with concussions. Another plus for them is that they have Vokun. The Penguins finally have a good goalie to stand in when Fluery is tired or needs a break. Biggest Disappointment: The Detroit Red Wings: This team begins their season with the big loss of Nicklas Lindstrom. They will try to fill the void but it cannot be filled completely. The Red Wings have no defense and as consequence will not be in the playoffs this year. The Minnesota Wild: The only reason this team will be a disappointment is if the two big players don’t perform. The Wild spent tons of money on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. It will be an embarrassment if they still do not make the playoffs after getting these top players and wasting tons of money. Biggest Surprise: Tampa Bay Lightning: The team finally has a real goalie with the signing of Anders Lindback. They also have great scorers and create great scoring opportunities.  
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