Just to get this out of the way if you are wondering "hey where were you here during the lockout" well the damn thing sickened me so much that everything I kept coming up with was all anger related and after being all the business of (insert sport here) to death of the past year I got sick of hearing it but enough of that nonsense

Predicting the 2013 season this is pretty difficult because with a compressed 48 game season you don't know what to fully expect and you have to figure with many teams backup goalies will play a factor in this season with the exception to some teams that will ride their top guy thru the season so lets get started

Roberto Luongo doesnt get traded this season

This is more of a gut call because the Leafs don't seem to be willing to meet Mike Gilles price tag and Luongo who prefers Florida don't seem to be either and have both Scott Clemensen and Jose Theordore under contract and have a youngster in Jakob Markstrom and I really don't believe Mike Gilles when he says there's 4-5 teams really interested in him. He did mention 1 "true" contender  I wonder who that is

Vancouver will be the only Canadian team that makes the playoffs

It was very hard to not include any of the others but I don't think Calgary has enough and I think as good as the Oilers great young players could be this year I don't think they have enough in deep Western Conference. As for the East Montreal has way too many holes still and need Carey Price from 2 years ago or to turn into Patrick Roy for them to make the playoffs, the Jets have a ridiculously brutal road schedule that will keep them from getting in. The Leafs have a young team the goaltending tho is the main issue that has been there since 2004 and the Sens will have a harder time sneaking up on teams this year.

The San Jose Sharks will miss the playoffs while Detroit will just get in

The Sharks are getting older with this unit and they just barely got in last year. Anaheim is due for a rebound and young teams like Colorado and Edmonton could emerge and then there's of course Minnesota with the signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The Red Wings no doubt will miss Nick Lidstrom and of course will find it hard to replace him but the team still has talented players like Pavel Datsyuk and new captain Henrik Zetterberg and Mike Babcock is one of the NHL's best coaches.

Anders Lindback becomes the goalie that Tampa has been searching for

Tampa Bay traded 3 draft picks to Nashville(2 2nd rounders in 2012 and a 3rd rounder in 2013) to get him and he has the talent and has shown at times that he can be one of the good ones and I think he takes the job and runs with it as the Lightning have been searching for a goalie since 2006

Someone other than Steven Stamkos wins the Rocket Richard trophy

In reading the Sun's predictions almost all of them are picking Stamkos and who could blame them if anyone could hit 30-35 goals its him but I'll go outside the box and pick someone else just because I like to be different. More of that later

Predicting the Standings

Eastern Conference

1. New York Rangers - Have 2 good scoring lines, great team defensively and have no glaring weaknesses

2. Boston Bruins - Like the Rangers no glaring weaknesses at all and Tuukka Rask who I believe is one of the NHL's best goalies

3. Carolina Hurricances - Semin I think rebounds I don't know why I'm predicting this

4. Pittsburgh Penguins -Crosby and Malkin play a full season while Vokoun keeps Fleury fresh for the playoffs

5. Philadelphia Flyers - Bryzgalov rebounds but the D without Pronger oh boy

6. Washington Capitals - The motivation from Ovechkin returns and Holtby performs like he did during the playoffs

7. Buffalo Sabres - Pegula's free agent signings pay off well except for Leino. 3 good young players in Hodgson, Marcus Foligno and Ennis

8. Tampa Bay Lightning - This was a 5th place playoff team 2 years ago

9. Ottawa Senators - Daniel Alfredsson's last season perhaps?

10. Toronto Maple Leafs - Part of me wants this team to make the playoffs. Part of me wants this team to draft high and get Mackinnon, Seth Jones or Drouin. I have a feeling none of those happen

11. New Jersey Devils - Brodeur wont play close to 48 games, and no Henrique for 1st month at least and Parise leaving hurts

12. Winnipeg Jets - The home record keeps them somewhat competitive

13. Florida Panthers - Really didnt add a whole lot and no way with that offense they repeat what they did last year

14. Montreal Canadiens - Need to get Price some help

15. New York Islanders - Good young talent there but not there yet

Western Conference

1. St. Louis Blues - Deep team and with a shortened season like this are in a rare position where they have 2 really good goalies 

2. Vancouver Canucks - Corey Schneider gets the starters job. Team is still deep enough to be a contender

3.  Los Angeles Kings - Even missing Kopitar for 2-3 weeks it wont matter team is ridiculously deep and returns everyone from last year's Stanley Cup winning team

4. Nashville Predators - Rinne and team is still solid enough that they can still be among the elite teams

5. Chicago Blackhawks - Crawford rebounds, team lacks a 2nd centre option behind Toews

6. Detroit Red Wings - Undrafted Damien Brunner gets a shot on Detroit's top line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg

7. Colorado Avalanche - Landeskog is becoming one of myfavourite players to watch and Varlamov could really shine after having a great year in the KHL during the lockout

8. Anaheim Ducks - Getzlaf and Perry both had down years and Hiller is still a really good goalie.

9. San Jose Sharks - Running out of chances with this group

10. Minnesota Wild - Backstrom's lack of consistent health is the issue for me 

11. Edmonton Oilers - If Dubnyk steps up and plays like he did in the Spengler Cup this could be a playoff team

12. Phoenix Coyotes - For the 3rd year in a row I predict this. Loss of top scorer Whitney might be too tough to overcome

13. Dallas Stars - Team has gotten older not a good sign with a compressed schedule

14. Calgary Flames - This kills me because I love Jerome Iginla as a player and enjoy watching this team 

15. Columbus Blue Jackets - What luck their 1st round draft pick Ryan Murray is out for 6 months and will have a tough time this year in a really deep Western Conference

Art Ross: Sidney Crosby PIT

Rocket Richard: Evgeni Malkin PIT

Hart: Sidney Crosby PIT

Vezina: Tuukka Rask BOS

​Calder: Chris Kreider NYR

Norris: Zdeno Chara BOS

Jack Adams: Kirk Muller CAR 

And the Stanley Cup Final is

New York Rangers over Los Angeles Kings

Reason I did this is because the Kings return their whole lineup from last year and ridiculously deep. Even with Kopitar hurt they can withstand it for the time being. The Rangers with getting Rick Nash and young rookie Chris Kreider have 2 really strong lines and imagine a well rested Lunqvist in the playoffs this time around. 

In all honestly I can see 4-5 other teams in here as well as there are teams that are right there and right close to both of these teams that either of Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, St. Louis could be there too as well

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