Predictions for Second Half of NHL Season
Written by Jake Majka on February 2, 2017
1. Yes, Toronto is going to make the playoffs
We all need to face this new reality together, guys. The Toronto Maple Leafs are good. And not only good, but fun. They are only a single point behind Boston in the Atlantic Division with five games in hand on them, and Boston is a team that is in turmoil with the uncertainty behind the future of their coach, Claude Julien. We all knew Auston Matthews was going to be good, but I do not think anyone expected him to be on pace for over 40 goals, which he is right now. The future is bright for the young Leafs, but the future might also be coming before you know it.
2. Connor McDavid will not win the Hart Trophy, but Edmonton will win the Pacific
Speaking of great young players, how about the second best player right now in the NHL (not for long though, Sid) and the current leading scorer? This Edmonton team is exciting – they play at a fast pace and have had solid goaltending from Cam Talbot. If they can sure up the defense (hello, Kevin Shattenkirk), they might just be a cup contender coming out of a weaker-than-usual Western Conference. Regardless, they have the firepower and are only one point behind San Jose for the lead in the division. McDavid is not going to slow down, and I would not want to see this team come April.
3. Brent Burns will finish with over 100 points and win the Norris Trophy
Brent Burns has been an amazing story this year. The point production from the defensive end has been incredible. I do not think there is any question that he should win the Norris, but we have seen this before – the Norris votes always end up weird, especially when it comes to offensive defensemen. I feel as if this year, it is too hard to deny Burns, especially since he may end up as a Hart candidate as well.