Back Home in Hockeytown

Next June, Hockeytown will again welcome the Stanley Cup home.  Buoyed by the additions of Michigan native Mike Modano and veteran defenseman Ruslan Salei—and the return of dynamic winger Jiri Hudler after one year away in Russia—the Detroit Red Wings are my choice to capture their fifth championship in the last 14 seasons and 12th overall.  They will defeat the high-flying Washington Capitals in a dramatic series, fending off a spirited comeback by the Eastern Conference champions to prevail 3-2 in Game 7 at the Joe.  Nicklas Lidstrom will earn his second Conn Smythe for playoff MVP as he and defensive partner Brian Rafalski keep Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin in check for most of the Stanley Cup Final.

Without further ado . . .

The award(s) goes to . . .

Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP): Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Detroit Red Wings

Hart Trophy (Regular season MVP): Alexander Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman): Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender): Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward): Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

Lady Byng Trophy (Most Gentlemanly Player): Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit Red Wings

Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year): P.K. Subban, D, Montreal Canadians

Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year): Guy Boucher, Tampa Bay Lightning

Executive of the Year: Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay Lightning

And what prognostication piece would be complete without my bold (and uncannily accurate) team-by-team predictions for the upcoming campaign?  And as for the best two months in sports, the Stanley Cup playoffs?  Here is how I see it playing out:

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Washington Capitals (1) over Atlanta Thrashers (8), 4 games to 1

New Jersey Devils (2) over Buffalo Sabres (7), 4-3

Tampa Bay Lightning (6) over Boston Bruins (3), 4-2

Pittsburgh Penguins (4) over Philadelphia Flyers (5), 4-3

Western Conference Quarterfinals

Detroit Red Wings (1) over St. Louis Blues (8), 4-1

Vancouver Canucks (2) over Calgary Flames (7), 4-2

San Jose Sharks (3) over Nashville Predators (6), 4-2

Los Angeles Kings (4) over Chicago Blackhawks (5), 4-3

Eastern Conference Semifinals

Washington Capitals (1) over Tampa Bay Lightning (6), 4-3

New Jersey Devils (2) over Pittsburgh Penguins (4), 4-2

Western Conference Semifinals

Detroit Red Wings (1) over Los Angeles Kings (4), 4-2

Vancouver Canucks (2) over San Jose Sharks (3), 4-3

Eastern Conference Finals

Washington Capitals (1) over New Jersey Devils (2), 4-3

Western Conference Finals

Detroit Red Wings (1) over Vancouver Canucks (2), 4-2

Stanley Cup Final

Detroit Red Wings (1) over Washington Capitals (1), 4-3

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One Response to Back Home in Hockeytown

  1. Pingback: Winged Victory « An Ebullient Existence

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