Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/29/13 at 07:04 PM ET
USA TODAY Sports hockey columnist Kevin Allen makes 10 predictions for the 2013-14 NHL season:...
7. Red Wings will soar in East: With the improvements the Detroit Red Wings made to their offense and the return of Darren Helm, they can finish second in the new Atlantic Division, just behind the Boston Bruins. The misconception about the Red Wings is that they have defensive issues, but they were actually a strong defensive team by season's end. Their issue centered on a lack of scoring depth. Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss will help eliminate that deficiency.
8. Jets still grounded: The move to the West won't immediately help the Winnipeg Jets. They might need 96 or 97 points to land a playoff spot in their new division alignment. They seem more like an 88-point team, maybe a 90- or 92-point team if they continue to progress.
9. Toronto will be better than Montreal: The Canadiens were six points better than the Maple Leafs in the 48-game 2012-13 NHL season. But with the additions of tough, goal scorer David Clarkson and goalie Jonathan Bernier, the Maple Leafs could be a 100- or 101-point team. The Canadiens could be a point or two behind, although they could also be a 104- or 105-point team if Carey Price has an exceptional season.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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