2013 NHL Predictions

Updated: January 19, 2013

Hockey fans rejoice!  The NHL finally goes back to work today.

As frustrating as the NHL lockout was, the fact that both sides were able to come to their senses and salvage a season was crucial for the league and the sport. It is bad enough that this is the second lockout-shortened season in recent memory, but it would have been very difficult for the NHL to recover as a league losing two full seasons in a 10-year period due to labor issues. The NHL has work to do in order to repair their image with the casual sports fan and getting back onto the ice is the first step in that process.

Although the regular season has been shortened to 48 games, it creates an interesting scenario. The beauty of hockey is that there are actually two seasons: the regular season and the Stanley Cup playoffs. Success in the regular season is not always a good indicator of who will prevail in the playoffs. Look at the Kings last year, they barely made the dance as the 8-seed in the West, but still walked away with the crown. It is hard for teams to maintain the excellence of the regular season all the way through the playoffs. Just ask the Rangers and Canucks. However, with a shortened regular season, that may not be the case this year.

So who will win the Cup? Here are my predictions for the 2013 season:


  1. Penguins (Atlantic Division Champs)
  2. Capitals (Southeast Division Champs)
  3. Senators (Northeast Division Champs)
  4. Rangers
  5. Flyers
  6. Bruins
  7. Devils
  8. Buffalo

Eastern Conference Finals: Penguins def. Rangers in 7 games


  1. Blues (Central Division Champs)
  2. Kings (Pacific Division Champs)
  3. Canucks (Northwest Division Champs)
  4. Red Wings
  5. Wild
  6. Predators
  7. San Jose
  8. Chicago

Western Conference Finals: Wild def. Kings in 6 games


Penguins def. Wild in 6 games

My Stanley Cup prediction is based heavily on the health of Sidney Crosby. With Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both healthy, the Penguins are a tough team to beat and I think they will raise the Cup again this year.



Rick Nash, New York Rangers- Will the bright lights of Broadway enhance or hinder this tremendous young talent. The Rangers are certainly hoping he will be the key piece to their Stanley Cup puzzle.My Prediction: Nash makes an impact, especially on the power play, but the Rangers fall just short of the Finals.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins- Can Crosby avoid another concussion? As I stated earlier, the health of Crosby will go a long way in determining this year’s Stanley Cup champion. My prediction: Crosby stays healthy, battles teammate Malkin for the scoring title, and the Penguins win the Cup.

Ryan Suter/Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild- The Wild snatched up the two most-coveted free agents this off-season. Will their spending spree pay off? My prediction: The Wild will benefit from the move and make a run to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning- He led the league with 60 goals in 82 games last season. Can Stamkos score 50 goals in 48 games? I think its a stretch, but it will be fun to watch him try. My Prediction: Stamkos won’t scores 50, but he will net 41 goals.


There you have it. My predictions. Right or wrong, we’ll have to see. But as the puck drops on the 2013 NHL season, we can all agree it is good to have hockey back!





This post was written by

Mike Smith – who has written posts on Big Dog Sports Blog.

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