Stanley Cup contender tiers as 2021-22 season begins
In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we take a preseason look at the top Stanley Cup contenders for the 2021-22 season.
We put all 32 teams into different tiers based on what the level of expectation should be for this season.
Where does your team sit at the start of the season?
To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!
The Top Contenders
1. Tampa Bay Lightning. They lost a lot this offseason but they still have the same core in place. And that core has been the best team in the league for the past seven years and has won back-to-back Stanley Cups. You can not count them out from winning a third in a row.
2. Colorado Avalanche. Perhaps the most talented team in the NHL on paper. They have to break through the Second Round, but if they stick with it and trust the talent they will get there. Talent eventually wins.
3. Vegas Golden Knights. The big question will be center depth and if Robin Lehner plays at a Stanley Cup level all season as the No. 1 goalie. Great team with huge expectations and a ton of pressure.
4. Carolina Hurricanes. Losing Dougie Hamilton hurts and they have some questions in goal but they should absolutely be one of the best teams in the league. Their time has arrived.
5. New York Islanders. Here is how this is going to go: They will win 10 games in a row at some point, probably as part of a 15-or 16-game point streak, stumble along for the rest of the season, everybody will question how good they actually are, and then they will shut everybody down in the playoffs and be playing in the Eastern Conference Final. Just accept it.
It is possible if some things go right
6. Florida Panthers. This might be the first time this team has entered the season with real expectations. The game-changer here could be Spencer Knight. If he overtakes Sergei Bobrovsky and plays to his potential, this team will be tough to beat.
7. Boston Bruins. The goalies are a question right now (maybe Tuukka Rask comes back?) and the second-line center spot is a…
Source : yahoo