NHL Season 2016/17 Preview
The beginning of new season of the NHL is finally here. Hockey fans are inpatient for sure and can hardly wait to enjoy matches between best teams in the world again. Already first day we have several derby games in which teams that had significant roles in the championship previous season are meeting and so Ottawa plays against Toronto, then Chicago meets St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks meets Los Angeles Kings. Defender of the title is team Pittsburgh Penguins who played excellent last season and in the end, they deserved to lift the Stanley Cup. Led by fantastic Sidney Crosby they showed the most so they are one of main favourites to win the title this year as well. In last season’s finals Penguins defeated San Jose Sharks with 4:2 in series, and deciding victory they achieved in sixth match when they celebrated as visitors.
Bookies are giving the best chances to Tampa Bay and Washington
Same as every season there are several teams that stand up above others in the league. This year bookie bet365 gives the best chances for winning the Stanley Cup to Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitalism, and right behind them at third position is Pittsburgh Penguins team. At fourth position is St. Louis Blues. Fifth position in line for the Stanley Cup Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks are sharing. Tampa Bay Lightning did not have much luck in previous two seasons and this might be their year. Two seasons ago they lost grand finals to Chicago Blackhawks, and last season in the finals of the East conference they were defeated by Pittsburgh. Otherwise, key players of the Tampa Bay Lightning signed new contracts ahead of the start of new season and this is certainly the biggest enforcement for this team. They grew as a team and because of that bookies are giving them the best chances.
Pittsburgh Penguins wants to defend the title
Although bookies are not putting them at the top list of favourites, Pittsburgh Penguins will certainly come far in the play-off this year as well, and it is not impossible that they might defend the champions title. The team in which Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are playing is a favourite for winning the Stanley Cup. They kept most of their players and we consider them to be very dangerous this season as well. A minor problem for them might be injury of Crosby, since it is still unknown for how long the best player of Pittsburgh will be absent but it is for sure that he is going to miss the start of the championship.
Steven Stamkos extended his loyalty to Tampa
Steven Stamkos was the biggest story of the transfer window but in the end, out of all possible solutions he extended his loyalty to Tamp. However, there were many other players whose transfers echoed and we will need some time to get used to the fact that their names are now on some other franchise’s jerseys. Team from Calgary had the worst percentage in defence last season, but they will try to turn this up to something positive after they signed with former St. Louis goalkeeper, Brian Elliot, who had the best percentage in defence last season. The left winger Taylor Hall who was the first pick at the draft and after which the franchise from Edmonton was supposed to become “something” in the NHL, find himself a new home in New Jersey. Devils desperately need a player who can score since they are the team that scored the least goals in league. Great move from the team administration of Oilers was signing Milan Lucic who is capable to score and this is exactly the kind of player that the youngest captain in the history of the NHL McDavid needs. It seems like career of Eric Staalov is headed down so he needed some change. Minnesota Wild got the centre of first or second line for three years for 10.5 million dollars. Shea Weber was one of the best defence players in past few years in Predators. It is certain that he will have a huge part in Montreal Canadiens as well.
Jagr, Ovechkin and Crosby are chasing their personal records
We are going to finish this text with some personal records. If they avoid injuries and if everything goes by the plan this season might get very interesting. For example, Jaromir Jagr needs to score one more goal so he would have 750 in total, which is the result only two players had before him, Gretzky and Howe. Besides that, Jagr will probably pass Messier (1887 points) and become the second player with the most points, and he might also become the second player who scored 1900 points. On the other side, Alex Ovechkin has 966 points which means that that he needs to score at least 44 points more so he could join 1000 club. Crosby who has 938 points needs a bit more than Ovechkin, and besides that Crosby might defend the winning of the title and winning Stanley Cup with Penguins, after almost 20 years and Detroit.