The Cannon Staff predicts the 2022-23 NHL season
Share your own picks in the comments!
The NHL season officially started over the weekend with a pair of games in Prague between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks, and the primetime debut will be tomorrow night, with an ESPN double-header featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights at the Los Angeles Kings. With that in mind, it’s time for us to unveil our annual NHL season predictions.
For some fun, you can revisit last year’s, where yours truly did accurately predict that Tampa and Colorado would reach the conference finals, but also thought they’d be joined by Vegas and the Islanders, both of whom missed the playoffs entirely. Woops!
We of course make no guarantees as to the accuracy. If you want to join in, post your own predictions in the comments!
The Carolina Hurricanes are the consensus pick. Our Columbus Blue Jackets fall between fifth and seventh, so likely falling short of the playoffs again. That being said, four of five of us have the Jackets exceeding an over/under of 80.5 points. MrSwift is the dissenter, and he also went with under 76.5 last season.
It’s a battle between Toronto and Florida for the top spot, with Tampa lurking behind. Josh is the exception, with Ottawa in the playoffs and Toronto fifth. He must not trust the goalie situation, and I can’t say I blame him.
Colorado is our second unanimous division champ. The most interesting race in this division is which of Arizona or Chicago tanks harder in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes.
Another two-team race at the top featuring the Battle of Alberta. I’m the lowest on Vegas, and like Toronto it comes down to an uncertain situation in goal. Last year, Seattle was picked as high as third or fourth. This time, they’re stuck in sixth or seventh, even after adding some firepower up front in Oliver Bjorkstrand, Andre Burakovsky, and rookie center Matty Beniers and Shane Wright.
Lots of love for Carolina and Toronto in the East, and Colorado vs. either Alberta team in the West.
For the Stanley Cup, we have two votes each for Carolina and Colorado, and one for Tampa to regain their crown.
Unanimous decision for Connor McDavid. My thinking is that based on his performance in the playoff, he’s mad about anyone suggesting that Auston Matthews was better. I love when an already outstanding player feels they have something more to prove.
Just two votes for Cale Makar to repeat. I think he’ll still be the best defenseman in the league, but I expect voters to go with a different name just to mix it up. I think Slavin is a dark horse because he’s already great defensively, and can put up more points if he’s playing with Brent Burns.
No homer votes this year! Weird. Two votes for Shesterkin to repeat, though last season will be tough for him to match.
I don’t usually include this award because rookies can be hard to predict. This season, however, I wanted to see who thought a Jackets prospect (specifically, Kent Johnson) could win it. Just Burkus took the bait.
2022-23 Cannon staff predictions
|Metro 2||NY Rangers||NY Rangers||NY Rangers||Washington||NY Rangers|
|Metro 3||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||Washington||NY Rangers||Pittsburgh|
|Metro 4||Washington||Washington||New Jersey||Pittsburgh||NY ISLANDERS|
|Metro 5||New Jersey||New Jersey||Pittsburgh||Columbus||Columbus|
|Metro 6||Columbus||NY Islanders||Columbus||New Jersey||Washington|
|Metro 7||NY Islanders||Columbus||NY Islanders||NY Islanders||New Jersey|
|Atlantic 2||Tampa Bay||Florida||Florida||Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay|
|Atlantic 3||Toronto||Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay||Ottawa||Florida|
|Central 2||St. Louis||St. Louis||St Louis||Minnesota||St. Louis|
|Pacific 3||Vancouver||Vegas||Los Angeles||Vegas||Los Angeles|
|Pacific 4||Los Angeles||Los Angeles||Vegas||Los Angeles||VEGAS|
|Pacific 8||San Jose||San Jose||San Jose||San Jose||San Jose|
|ECF||Carolina over Toronto||Toronto over Carolina||Toronto over NYR||Carolina over Florida||Tampa over Carolina|
|WCF||Colorado over Edmonton||Colorado over Edmonton||Colorado over Calgary||Calgary over Colorado||Calgary over Colorado|
|Stanley Cup||Carolina over Colorado||Colorado over Toronto||Colorado over Toronto||Carolina over Calgary||Tampa over Calgary|
|Hart||Connor McDavid||Connor McDavid||Connor McDavid||Connor McDavid||Connor McDavid|
|Norris||Jaccob Slavin||Victor Hedman||Cale Makar||Roman Josi||Cale Makar|
|Vezina||Jacob Markstrom||Frederick Andersen||Igor Shesterkin||Igor Shesterkin||Jusse Saros|
|Calder||Matty Beniers||Matty Beniers||Matty Beniers||Mason McTavish||Kent Johnson|
|CBJ O/U 80.5||Over||Under||Over||Over||Over|