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2014-15 St. Louis Game Time Staff Predictions

The Game Time crew makes our picks for the coming season. We will be wrong.

[singing] "Don't go breakin' my heart..."
[singing] "Don't go breakin' my heart..."
Christian Petersen

Although the Blues don't play until Thursday, there are actually other teams in the NHL as well (I know, right? It's like, when did that happen?) and some of them start up tomorrow night. To help everyone get ready for the season, the staff here at St. Louis Game Time: Online Edition got together to make our league-wide predictions for 2014-15 for each division, the major individual awards, who'll be the best Blues, and most importantly, who will lift Lord Stanley's Chalice.

So be sure to use these to place your bets now - against every prediction we make. And then join the fun by making your own predictions in the comments below! (As opposed to the comments above. Do not post in the comments above. You will destroy the Internet.)

(An asterisk * indicates playoff teams.)

Laura Astorian, aka Hildymac (senior editor-in-Chief, fearless leader: online edition)


Rangers *, Penguins*, Flyers*, Blue Jackets*, Capitals, Islanders, Devils, Hurricanes


Bruins*, Lightning*, Canadiens*, Red Wings*, Senators, Panthers, Maple Leafs, Sabres


Blues*, Blackhawks*, Stars*, Avalanche*, Wild*, Predators, Jets


Ducks*, Kings*, Sharks*, Coyotes, Canucks, Flames, Oilers

President's Trophy: Ducks

Eastern Conference: Bruins

Western Conference: Ducks

Stanley Cup: Bruins

Hart Memorial Trophy: Sidney Crosby

James Norris Memorial Trophy: Shea Weber

Vezina Trophy: Tuukka Rask

Jack Adams Trophy: Jon Cooper

Art Ross Trophy: Crosby

Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy: Alex Ovechkin

Calder Memorial Trophy: Aaron Ekblad

Blues points/goals leader: Toss up between Alexander Steen and Paul Stastny

Blues MVP: Whatever goalie exceeds expectations

I'm a huge fan in the status quo, and it seems like the playoff teams are too. I think the positioning may change of the teams, but generally I think that we'll be seeing similar squads from both conferences competing. I would really like to see the Islanders crack the playoffs this year (hi, Dom!) but I don't know if they can do it. They're my dark horse this year, especially if the Metro sucks like they did last year.

I just have a good feeling about Steen wanting to build on last year, and Stastny wanting to prove he deserves the contract and the stalking that he's gotten from the organization. As far as the MVP, if the team's goaltending holds up, I have good feelings. I have faith in Elliott to play well barring any weird mid-season meltdown, and Allen has nowhere to go but up. Or laterally. Or down.

That's it - no more falling into the traditional "Blues fan hates ________ goalie trap for me." Seriously, though, I have a good vibe on each of them. Don't let me down, guys.


Grant Jenkins, aka CanesAndBluesFan (senior advanced advanced analytics specialist, author of Blues-By-The-Numbers series)


Penguins*, Rangers *, Islanders*, Devils*, Blue Jackets*, Capitals, Flyers, Hurricanes


Bruins*, Canadiens*, Lightning*, Red Wings, Senators, Maple Leafs, Panthers, Sabres


Blues*, Blackhawks*, Stars*, Wild*, Jets*, Predators, Avalanche


Kings*, Sharks*, Ducks*, Coyotes, Canucks, Oilers, Flames

Presidents Trophy: Bruins

East: Bruins

West: Blues

Stanley Cup: Bruins

Hart: Crosby

Norris: Zdeno Chara

Vezina: Rask

Jack Adams: Ken Hitchcock

Art Ross: Crosby

Richard: Steven Stamkos

Calder: Jonathan Drouin

Blues Goals Leader: Vladimir Tarasenko

Blues Points Leader: Steen

Blues MVP: Alex Pietrangelo


I can't reveal my secret formula.


Brian Weidler, aka Tomorrow's Blues (senior head of the St. Louis Game Time Prospects Department, SLGT print contributor)


Pittsburgh*, NY Rangers*, Washington*, Columbus*, NY Islanders, Carolina, Philadelphia, New Jersey


Montreal*, Boston*, Tampa Bay*, Toronto*, Ottawa, Florida, Detroit, Buffalo


Chicago*, St. Louis*, Minnesota*, Colorado*, Dallas, Winnipeg, Nashville


Anaheim*, LA*, Arizona*, San Jose*, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver

President's Trophy: Chicago

East: Montreal

West: St. Louis

Stanley Cup: Montreal in seven games

Hart: Stamkos

Norris: Pietrangelo

Vezina: Quick

Jack Adams: Michel Therrien

Art Ross: Evgeni Malkin

Rocket Richard: Stamkos

Calder: Ekblad

Blues goals leader: Tarasenko, 30-35

Blues points leader: T.J. Oshie, 70-75

Blues team MVP: Pietrangelo

Why I Made These Predictions: Your GTPD has been a fan of the Montreal Canadiens since the glory days of the late 60's and early 70's... or in other words, for as long as your GTPD has been backing the 'Note. Les Habitants are on the right track towards reclaiming their status as hockey's premier club, and the Blues are headed in that same direction.

Your GTPD feels that Steve Stamkos is the premier player in the game today, better than Crosby or Toews. Stamkos, however, will have to do what John Elway did -- win a championship -- in order to surpass guys like Crosby and Toews in the eyes of the "experts." Crosby is not even the best player on his own team -- that honor goes to Malkin -- but as long as Crosby is Gary Bettman's little darling, Crosby will get the accolades. And he does deserve them, for the most part.

Finally, your GTPD feels that this season is going to be Alex Pietrangelo's breakthrough year. Petro has everything necessary to be an elite defenseman -- size, skill, speed, toughness, leadership qualities -- and this will be the year he puts it all together. Also, Vladimir Tarasenko. Frank the Tank is poised to become an elite player, and with Jori Lehtera setting him up, Tarasenko could approach the 40-goal mark this year.


Tyler Atwood, aka Donut King (senior weekday link rat, co-host of Beyond Checkerdome podcast, SLGT print contributor)


NY Rangers*, Columbus*, New Jersey*, Pittsburgh*, NY Islanders*, Washington, Philadelphia, Carolina


Boston*, Tampa Bay*, Montreal*, Toronto, Detroit, Florida, Ottawa, Buffalo


St. Louis*, Chicago*, Dallas*, Minnesota*, Nashville*, Colorado, Winnipeg


Anaheim*, LA*, Vancouver*, San Jose, Arizona, Calgary, Edmonton


EAST: Bruins

WEST: Blues

STANLEY CUP: Blues in 6

HART: Ryan Getzlaf

NORRIS: Pernell Karl "P.K." Subban

VEZINA: Henrik Lundqvist

ADAMS: Peter Laviolette

ART ROSS: Crosby

RICHARD: Stamkos

CALDER: Jake Allen (Yes, he is eligible . . . I checked. Lehtera, no.)

BLUES GOALS LEADER: Tarasenko (35+)

BLUES POINTS LEADER: Jori Lehtera (75+)

BLUES TEAM MVP: Pietrangelo

Am I a homer? Sure. Am I lofty? Fuck it, I guess so. But here lies the deepest team the Blues have probably ever iced. While the window of opportunity is not exactly ready to close for another few years, the 2014-15 season may be the best opportunity the Blues have to win the whole thing. Yes, even better than last season.

Oh, and this will be the year we get to laugh at Patrick Roy, at least as a behind-the-bench entity. And it's going to be great. And it's all going to be Greg Sherman and Joe Sakic's fault, I bet he'll say.

As for Jake Allen winning the Calder . . . I expect him to be the main man in net by midseason and take it running. Even if he's average, he will look great behind that defense.

Let's Go Blues.


Tim Cron, aka CrossCheckRaise (senior road game preview specialist, co-host of Beyond Checkerdome podcast, SLGT print contributor)


Pittsburgh*, NY Rangers*, New Jersey*, Washington, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, Columbus, Carolina


Tampa Bay*, Boston*, Montreal*, Toronto*, Florida*, Detroit, Ottawa, Buffalo


St Louis*, Chicago*, Dallas*, Colorado*, Nashville, Minnesota, Winnipeg


LA*, Anaheim*, San Jose*, Vancouver*, Arizona, Edmonton, Calgary

President's Trophy: St Louis

East: Boston

West: St Louis

Stanley Cup: St Louis

Hart: Stamkos

Norris: Weber

Vezina: Carey Price

Jack Adams: Lindy Ruff

Art Ross: Stamkos

Rocket Richard: Stamkos

Calder: Ekblad

Blues points leader: Steen

Blues goals leader: Tarasenko

Blues MVP: David Backes

As with any prediction, it is all on the condition of "If they stay healthy". For instance, I have the Caps and the Islanders on the outside of the playoffs, but I could certainly see them stealing a spot if one of the other teams gets attacked by the injury bug. Similarly, I wouldn't be shocked at all, if Nashville snuck into a wild card spot by the end of the season. That will depend on how far Colorado falls, and what happens elsewhere.

I put the Blues on the Cup, just because I can. When else can you make a prediction like that, and actually have a shot at it coming true? You have to jump at that opportunity. I also have the Blues on the President's Trophy. He would never admit to it, but I think Hitch wants that too, like a lot, and will get them there. But the Blues are shut out of the individual awards, because that is how we're built. Some are capable, sure (Petro for Norris, Backes for Selke), but we've been more about team goals than individual accomplishments.


Robb Tufts, aka RobbTuftsHockey (senior advanced statistics adviser, creator of charts and/or graphs)


Pittsburgh*, NY Rangers*, Columbus*, Washington*, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Carolina


Boston*, Tampa Bay*, Montreal*, Ottawa*, Toronto, Detroit, Buffalo, Florida


Chicago*, St. Louis*, Dallas*, Nashville*, Minnesota*, Colorado, Winnipeg


Los Angeles*, San Jose*, Anaheim*, Edmonton, Phoenix, Calgary, Vancouver

President's Trophy: Pittsburgh

East: Boston

West: Chicago

Stanley Cup: Boston in 7

Hart: P.K. Subban

Norris: Subban

Vezina: Jaroslav Halak

Jack Adams: Barry Trotz

Art Ross: Ovechkin

Rocket Richard: Ovechkin

Calder: Evgeny Kuznetsov

Blues goals leader: Tarasenko

Blues points leader: Stastny

Blues team MVP: Tarasenko

I'm not good at predictions, even when using stats. But the strong teams from last season will dominate again this season. However, there are a handful of teams that will be making a strong push to improve upon what they did last season. That is why I moved Washington and Ottawa into the playoffs in the East for this season. In the West, Colorado will regress hard and with the Central Division as competitive as it is, I can easily see them slipping out of playoff contention (but just barely). Otherwise, the President's Trophy, EC/WC winners and Stanley Cup are pretty much mental dart throwing for me. As for the Blues stars this season, it is going to be the Stastny/Tarasenko show this season. Tarasenko is going to light the lamp and Stastny is going to rack up the points with both assists and goals


Ashley Sorgea, aka RealBadRobot (senior post game recap specialist, occasional video maker)

Metropolitan Division:

Pittsburgh*, NY Rangers,* Columbus*, Washington*, NY Islanders, Carolina, Philadelphia, New Jersey


Montreal*, Tampa Bay,* Boston*, Toronto*, Ottawa, Florida, Detroit, Buffalo, Detroit

Central Division:

St. Louis*, Chicago*, Minnesota*, Colorado*, Dallas, Winnipeg, Nashville

Pacific Division:

LA*, Arizona*, Anaheim*, San Jose*, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver

President's Trophy:

East: Columbus

West: St. Louis

Stanley Cup: St. Louis in seven games

Hart: Stamkos

Norris: Pietrangelo

Vezina: Brian Elliott and Jake Allen

Jack Adams: Todd Richards

Art Ross: Malkin

Rocket Richard: Crosby

Calder: Drouin

Blues goals leader: Tarasenko, 45

Blues points leader: Steen, 70 (aka, Mr. Steeny)

Blues MVP: Pietrangelo

-DISCLAIMER: I am horrible at this shit, which is why I just write the recaps around these parts. So Please take everything I say with an intense grain of salt. Laugh at me if you will, but here is my take on what will happen this year in the NHL.

-[On CBJ winnign the East]: Because TJ Oshie didn't forget about that time they broke his ankle. Over a pissy incident during the Pre Game Footie kick around.

-[On Blues over BJs in the Finals]: Because I want to see the return of the Columbus/STL Rivalry of Soccer ball hate. FYI Hockey Gods, THIS BY NO MEANS I AM STATING THAT THEY WILL WIN THE CUP!! Thank you all mighty gods of stick and puck.

-[On Sidney Crosby winning Richard, but not Hart]: Honestly, I'd be happy with anyone other then Crosby [winning the Hart]...[but] Bettman would have an animism on top of a heart attack if Sid wasn't mention at the NHL Awards, seriously its in his contract.

-[On Elliott and Allen splitting the Vezina]: Because I am for some reason an optimist when it comes to hockey.

-[On Tarasenko]: I feel like he is going to be rawring out of the gate this year specially with all the help down the middle we picked up in the off season.


Jason McAdams, aka J-Mill (senior weekend link rat, columnist, surprisingly good dancer)


Rangers*, Devils*, Penguins*, Islanders*, Blue Jackets*, Capitals, Flyers, Hurricanes


Bruins*, Canadiens*, Lightning*, Senators, Red Wings, Maple Leafs, Panthers, Sabres


Blues*, Blackhawks*, Stars*, Wild*, Avalanche*, Predators, Jets


Kings*, Ducks*, Sharks*, Canucks, Oilers, Coyotes, Flames

President's Trophy: Kings

East: Canadiens

West: Blackhawks

Stanley Cup: Blackhawks

Hart: Anze Kopitar

Norris: Drew Doughty

Vezina: Cory Schneider

Jack Adams: Peter DeBoer

Art Ross: Crosby

Rocket Richard: Stamkos

Calder: Johnny Gaudreau

Blues goals leader: Tarasenko

Blues points leader: Stansty

Blues MVP: Pietrangelo

I might have to see a therapist if my Cup pick comes true, but at this point they're the only contender I can't find a reason to pick against. The Kings will finally translate their postseason dominance to the regular season, and Kopitar and Doughty will have career, award-winning seasons.

In the East New Jersey will have a hell of a bounce back year, now that they'll get more Schneider starts & win a few shootouts. But it still mostly comes down to Boston and Montreal, and I think the Habs will get the better of them once again. Meanwhile I really, really, REALLY wanted to pick the Canucks to knock the Avs out of the last playoff spot in the West. Vancouver will bounce back quite well this year, with the Sedins coming back into form now that they don't have to block shots on the penalty kill, while Colorado's terrible peripheral numbers will catch up to them and hard. But ultimately, I think the Avs still have enough elite young skill to fight their way in - assuming Semyon Varlamov's decent back to Earth doesn't take the form of any long term injuries. In which case, all bets are off.

As for the Blues, playing Stastny between Jaden Schwartz and Tarasenko will recreate the magic he made last season centering Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon while giving the Blues a legitimate #1 scoring line. That'll free up the SOB line from being counted on for the primary offense, while still freeing them up to play the toughest competition once again. Ells and Allen will make a nice partnership, all of which will add up to another great regular season campaign for the Blues...only to be ruined by Those Fuckers Up North.

Please, prove me wrong.