Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/14/13 at 11:43 AM ET
from Corey Masisak of NHL.com,
Injuries have played a huge part in where teams are in the standings, and to be certain some clubs will rise or fade based on health in the second half of March and in April.
With that caveat in mind, here are 12 predictions for the second half of the 2012-13 season:
1. The Anaheim Ducks will finish the season with the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference
Chicago's run to start the season was amazing, but the Blackhawks won a lot of close games and they are going to miss Patrick Sharp for the next couple of weeks. Anaheim has had pretty solid luck with injuries, but the Ducks are clearly deeper than they've been the past couple of years.
2. Steven Stamkos will score 40 goals
Peter Bondra led the NHL with 34 goals in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, and Stamkos is on pace for 37 goals after netting 20 in 26 games. Stamkos has 11 of his final 22 games against teams not currently among the top eight in the Eastern Conference -- and nine against teams yielding three goals per contest or more.
3. Sidney Crosby will finish with at least 80 points
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