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NHL 2013-14- Top 10 Stanley Cup Contenders
NHL Stanley cup contenders
With the start of a new NHL season, which opens today, let’s take a look at the potential contenders playing for the right to host Lord Stanley’s Cup at seasons end. The Chicago Blackhawks were last seasons winner in a strike shortened season, and as we learned from the Los Angeles Kings two years ago, getting hot at the right time may just be enough to hoist the Cup.
The next articles will be NHL Standings and the NHL Schedule
#1 Chicago Blackhawks- The defending NHL Champions have to be the favorites to return to glory, and if they do, they would be the first NHL team to repeat since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings. The Blackhawks are returning most of their core players, and let’s not forget they also won the Cup in 2010.
#2 Los Angeles Kings- The L.A. Kings who won the Cup in 2012, are bringing back pretty much the same team that took them to the finals in 2012. Solid team all around, great goaltending with Jonathan Quick, but if there is a weakness, it would be the consistency in scoring as they have been known to go into a dry spell at times.
#3 Pittsburgh Penguins- After a disappointing showing in the conference finals last year, scoring only two goals. They hope a healthy Sidney Crosby can get them over the hump and back into the Finals where they haven’t been since 2009.
#4 Boston Bruins- Last years Stanly Cup runner-up looks to get back into the Finals again. They won the Cup back in 2011, and still have their core players in tack. They are in a new division this season due to realignment, and will now have to contend with the Detroit Red Wings who were moved to the Eastern Conference.
#5 San Jose Sharks- The have the talent, and many thought were the better team last year, but year after year, just cannot get over the hump. A big blow this year is losing Raffi Torres to a torn ACL. Will he be able to get healthy enough to return in time for the playoffs in April remains to be seen.
#6 St. Louis Blues- Another solid team built much like the Kings… deep and defensive minded. However, it was the L.A. Kings who have knocked them out of the playoffs the last two years. Last year, the were up 2-0 versus the Kings, only to have the Kings come back and win four straight.
#7 Ottawa Senators- There will be more expectations this year surrounding the Senators, who last year beat the Canadians in the first round. This year, we can expect them to contend as they now have the experience and are healthy, a problem they had to contend with last year for long stretches of time. Major change this year, is their Captain Daniel Alfredsson is gone.
#8 Detroit Red Wings- How will the Red Wings adjust to their new surroundings as they are now in the new Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference? Detroit is a more finesse team in a physical conference. Biggest off season addition is Daniel Alfredsson from the Senators.
#9 Vancouver Canucks- Still a top contender for the Cup after a couple disappointing playoff appearances. They hope new former New York Ranger coach John Tortorella can bring the fire and passion he displayed in New York. The core players are still in tack, the Sedin twins, and goaltender Robert Luongo will be back in the nets after losing his starting job last year.
#10 New York Rangers- Now that ex-coach John Tortorella is gone, they hope a new coach can bring in a different style of coaching, as they felt Tortorella style was too over bearing, on and off the ice. They still may have the best goaltender in the game in Henrik Lundqvist, but scoring goals to give him a cushion will help greatly. Something they lacked last year… goal scoring.
Of course… new year, new season, new hopes. Anything can happen and anyone can win. Good luck with your favorite team!
By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter