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Projecting The 16 Playoff Teams For The 2016-2017 NHL Season

The NHL season hasn’t started yet and so much has gone on in the offseason leaving many shocked fans (Subban-Weber trade, anyone?). The predictions for this year’s playoffs can be made from many different changes to various teams with regards to trades, free agency, or other management signings. The playoffs from last season were very unpredictable, as both teams were not considered Stanley Cup contenders but the Pens won it all just the same, with the Sharks losing in a respectable effort. The best way to predict certain teams is how they play together during the training camps; with the camps not even in session yet, all we have to go by is word of mouth.

There will be criticism all throughout the year when it comes to the play of certain teams as well as events that may swerve a lot of fans, like a huge blockbuster trade that could happen out of nowhere. There will be hockey experts whom will say the best and worst of teams in the offseason but when you see the teams playing together you cannot determine whether or not they will succeed or if they need something else to enhance their season. This list will probably shock, swerve, and anger some fans but these predictions are based on how the teams performed last season and what they have done in the offseason.

18 WESTERN CONFERENCE

17 Anaheim Ducks

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks are no longer "mighty" -both name wise and team wise- as they have fallen on hard times with no one being able to figure out why. The disastrous start to their 2015-2016 season had the hockey world abuzz as to thinking if the team was finished and needed to rebuild, however they came back and made it to the playoffs but fell short. The Ducks' comeback last season was a spark that lead to them being one of the best teams in the league again for the second half of the season.

16 Nashville Predators

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

15 St. Louis Blues

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

14 Winnipeg Jets

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

13 San Jose Sharks

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

12 Los Angeles Kings

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

11 Dallas Stars

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

10 Chicago Blackhawks

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

9 EASTERN CONFRENCE

8 Philadelphia Flyers

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

7 Montreal Canadiens

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

6 Florida Panthers

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

5 Tampa Bay Lighting

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

4 Ottawa Senators

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

3 New York Rangers

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

2 Pittsburgh Penguins

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1 Washington Capitals

Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals are a good team; they have been for the past several seasons since drafting their franchise player Alex Ovechkin along with other talents that have been working hard year after year. The one down part to this team is that they are overachievers and haven’t been able to win the cup with only one finals appearance and that was 18 years ago. This year will be the same as the past few seasons where they will have another great regular season with Ovie possibly breaking his personal best point total this year along with Braden Holtby having another strong year in goal. The biggest reason for their failure this year to make it passed the second round will be their defence not being up to the task of the eventual cup winners the Tampa Bay Lightning. There will be a cup in the future for the Caps but they will win in in a few seasons, if they don’t then they may never win one.

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Projecting The 16 Playoff Teams For The 2016-2017 NHL Season