Stanley Cup predictions for 2018-19
The San Jose Sharks didn’t just land an all-star in defenseman Erik Karlsson if they obtained him a trade using the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13, they also brought in the last piece into a Stanley Cup championship team, in accordance with seven of the 18 NHL.com panelists that have made their preseason predictions.
The Sharks, who were made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 18 of the past 20 seasons, have never won the Cup, reaching the Final in 2016, where they lost in six matches to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Karlsson, who performed his first nine NHL seasons are also awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the playoffs, three of panelists predicted. Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (2), ahead Logan Couture (1) and goalie Martin Jones (1) were another picks for Conn Smythe out of San Jose.Though the Sharks obtained the most votes to win the Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning, that reached the Eastern Conference Final last year, were selected by six experts to win it all.
Winnipeg Jets and the Nashville Predators every got two votes and the Penguins got you. Some of the specialists not, picked the Washington Capitals, the defending Stanley Cup champions to repeat. In fact, the Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights, who played last year, were not chosen by some of the experts to get back there this season.
The Lightning would be the favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the Cup Final, getting votes. The Toronto Maple Leafs (2), Penguins (2) and Boston Bruins (1) obtained the other votes from the East.
The Sharks got nine votes to reach the Final while the Jets got five and Predators four.
Of those six who picked the quad to win the Cup, three called defenseman Victor Hedman to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, two select forward Nikita Kucherov and one chosen goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Another Conn Smythe picks were Filip Forsberg of the Predators (2), Sidney Crosby of the Penguins (1) and Mark Scheifele of and Patrik Laine of the Jets.
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