Hockey’s Back: 4 Questions Going Into The NHL Season

Alec Martinez #27 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Kings 3-2 double overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
Alec Martinez #27 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Kings 3-2 double overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Hockey starts back up tonight with the NHL showcasing a few of its famous rivalries, the Los Angeles Kings raising another championship banner to the rafters, and a number of intriguing stories to pay attention to that will carry on until somebody raises the Stanley Cup again.

1. Will a dynasty rise out of the West? 

For sake of argument, it usually takes three championships in about five years to call your team a dynasty. That means the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings are both one win away from saying they’re one of the great teams of all-time, up there with all of those Montreal teams, the Mike Bossy Islanders, and the Gretzky and Messier Oilers. The Kings defense was stifling last year, but getting the repeat win is usually a tough hill to climb — the Blackhawks can tell you all about that after they got dropped by LA. Now with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews content and staying in Chicago for what will amount to the rest of their careers, the Hawks winning one, two, or more cups in the near-future is very possible. But will it be this year? 

2. Can the Avs keep it up? 

Colorado finished first in their division for Patrick Roy’s first year as head coach, and Nathan MacKinnon was the best of last year’s rookie crop, racking up 63 points and taking home the Calder Trophy. But can they do it again? Some hockey experts aren’t so sure. 

3. What is up with Washington? 

Remember the days when you figured it was a lock to see Pittsburgh and Washington go at it in the playoffs to see who would go on to represent their side for the Cup? Those times felt like ages ago last year when the Caps didn’t even make it to the postseason despite Alexander Ovechkin putting the puck in the net 51 times. Will it get better, worse, or stay the same? 

4. Who will be bad enough to get #1 (and #2)? 

It’s been a few years since fans cared so much about the upcoming draft class, but with Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel basically working to see who will go #1 and #2 in the draft, people will be paying close attention to who can lose the most games. With all the hype these two are getting, franchises are hedging their bets that they can go from worst to first pretty quickly. Let’s just hope McDavid leaves the Don Cherry suit at home. 

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