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Stanley Cup predictions for 2019-20

Lightning favorites among NHL.com staff preseason picks

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The Tampa Bay Lightning will not be derailed on their way to the Stanley Cup this season, according to a majority of NHL.com panelists who have made their preseason predictions. 

The Lightning, who tied an NHL record with 62 wins last season only to be eliminated in the Eastern Conference First Round by the Columbus Blue Jackets, will win it all this season, 11 of the 20 panelists said. 

Of the other nine experts, two each picked the Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators. The other panelist picked the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Each of the 20 NHL.com writers and editors picked the winner of each division, the wild cards in each conference, the participants in the Cup Final and the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the most valuable player of the postseason. 

Here are their picks: 

 

Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning 2 | Boston Bruins | 3: Toronto Maple Leafs

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins | 3: New Jersey Devils

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: New York Islanders | 2: Florida Panthers

Central Division
1: Colorado Avalanche | 2: St. Louis Blues | 3: Dallas Stars

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: Calgary Flames | 3: San Jose Sharks

Western Conference wild cards
1: Nashville Predators | 2: Winnipeg Jets

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup champion: Vegas Golden Knights
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Mark Stone (VGK)

Video: Mark Stone lands at No. 13 on the list

 

Tim Campbell, staff writer

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division
1: New York Islanders | 2: Washington Capitals | 3: Philadelphia Flyers

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Florida Panthers | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins

Central Division
1: Nashville Predators | 2: Colorado Avalanche | 3: St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division
1: Calgary Flames | 2: Vegas Golden Knights | 3: San Jose Sharks

Western Conference wild cards
1: Dallas Stars | 2: Arizona Coyotes

Conference champions
East:
Toronto Maple Leafs
West: Calgary Flames

Stanley Cup champion: Toronto Maple Leafs
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: John Tavares (TOR)

 

Brian Compton, deputy managing editor

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Florida Panthers

Metropolitan Division
1: New York Islanders | 2: Washington Capitals | 3: Philadelphia Flyers

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Boston Bruins | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins

Central Division
1: Nashville Predators | 2: Colorado Avalanche |3: St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: Calgary Flames | 3: San Jose Sharks

Western Conference wild cards
1: Dallas Stars | 2: Minnesota Wild

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Colorado Avalanche

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Nikita Kucherov (TBL)

Video: Top 10 plays of 2018-19: Kucherov

 

Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

Atlantic Division
1: Toronto Maple Leafs | 2: Tampa Bay Lightning | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins | 3: Carolina Hurricanes

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Florida Panthers | 2: Columbus Blue Jackets

Central Division
1: Dallas Stars | 2: Colorado Avalanche | 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: San Jose Sharks | 3: Arizona Coyotes

Western Conference wild cards
1: St. Louis Blues | 2: Calgary Flames

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Nikita Kucherov (TBL)

 

Sebastien Deschambault, LNH.com managing editor

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Boston Bruins | 3: Florida Panthers

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins |3: Carolina Hurricanes

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Toronto Maple Leafs | 2: Montreal Canadiens

Central Division
1: Dallas Stars | 2: Colorado Avalanche | 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: Calgary Flames | 3: San Jose Sharks

Western Conference wild cards
1: Winnipeg Jets | 2: St. Louis Blues

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup champion: Dallas Stars
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Ben Bishop (DAL)

Video: Top 10 saves of 2018-19: Bishop

 

William Douglas, staff writer

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins | 3: Philadelphia Flyers

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: New York Islanders | 2: Carolina Hurricanes

Central Division
1: Nashville Predators | 2: Colorado Avalanche |3: Dallas Stars

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: Calgary Flames |3: San Jose Sharks

Western Conference wild cards
1: St. Louis Blues | 2: Winnipeg Jets

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL)

 

Sergei J. Feldman, NHL.com International senior manager, editorial 

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Pittsburgh Penguins | 2: New York Rangers | 3: Washington Capitals

Eastern Conference wild cards
1. Florida Panthers | 2: Philadelphia Flyers

Central Division
1: Dallas Stars | 2: Nashville Predators | 3: St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: Calgary Flames | 3: San Jose Sharks

Western Conference wild cards
1: Winnipeg Jets | 2: Colorado Avalanche

Conference champions
East:
Pittsburgh Penguins
West: Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup champion: Pittsburgh Penguins
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Evgeni Malkin (PIT)

Video: Malkin lands at No. 28 on the Top 50 Players list

 

Tom Gulitti, staff writer

Atlantic Division
1: Boston Bruins | 2: Tampa Bay Lightning | 3: Toronto Maple Leafs

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins | 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Florida Panthers | 2: Carolina Hurricanes

Central Division
1: Nashville Predators | 2: St. Louis Blues | 3: Colorado Avalanche

Pacific Division
1: San Jose Sharks | 2: Vegas Golden Knights | 3: Calgary Flames

Western Conference wild cards
1: Dallas Stars | 2: Winnipeg Jets

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Nashville Predators

Stanley Cup champion: Nashville Predators
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Victor Hedman (TBL)

 

Pete Jensen, senior fantasy hockey editor 

Atlantic Division
1: Toronto Maple Leafs | 2: Florida Panthers | 3: Tampa Bay Lightning

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Philadelphia Flyers | 3: Carolina Hurricanes

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Boston Bruins | 2: New Jersey Devils

Central Division
1: Dallas Stars | 2: Nashville Predators | 3: Colorado Avalanche

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: San Jose Sharks | 3: Arizona Coyotes

Western Conference Wild Cards
1: St. Louis Blues | 2: Chicago Blackhawks

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Steven Stamkos (TBL) 

Video: Stamkos lands at No. 17 on the Top 50 Players list

 

Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor

Atlantic Division
1. Tampa Bay Lightning | 2. Toronto Maple Leafs | 3. Florida Panthers

Metropolitan Division
1. Washington Capitals | 2. Philadelphia Flyers | 3. Pittsburgh Penguins

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Carolina Hurricanes | 2: Boston Bruins

Central Division
1. Nashville Predators | 2. Colorado Avalanche | 3. St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division
1. Vegas Golden Knights | 2. San Jose Sharks | 3. Calgary Flames

Western Conference wild cards
No. 1: Dallas Stars | No. 2: Arizona Coyotes

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Nashville Predators

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Nikita Kucherov (TBL)

 

Jon Lane, staff writer

Atlantic Division
1. Tampa Bay Lightning | 2. Toronto Maple Leafs | 3. Florida Panthers

Metropolitan Division
1. Washington Capitals | 2. New Jersey Devils | 3. Carolina Hurricanes

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Montreal Canadiens | 2: New York Rangers

Central Division
1. Nashville Predators | 2. St. Louis Blues | 3. Dallas Stars

Pacific Division
1. Calgary Flames | 2. San Jose Sharks | 3. Vegas Golden Knights

Western Conference wild cards
1: Chicago Blackhawks | 2: Arizona Coyotes

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Calgary Flames

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL)

Video: Andrei Vasilevskiy claims the No. 1 spot on the list

 

Mike Morreale, staff writer

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Carolina Hurricanes | 3: Philadelphia Flyers

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Pittsburgh Penguins | 2: New York Islanders

Central Division
1: Colorado Avalanche | 2: Nashville Predators | 3: Dallas Stars

Pacific Division
1: Calgary Flames | 2: Vegas Golden Knights | 3: San Jose Sharks

Western Conference wild cards
1: St. Louis Blues | 2: Winnipeg Jets

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL)

 

Tracey Myers, staff writer

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Pittsburgh Penguins | 2: Washington Capitals | 3: Carolina Hurricanes

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: New York Islanders | 2: Florida Panthers

Central Division
1: Nashville Predators | 2: St. Louis Blues | 3: Colorado Avalanche

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: San Jose Sharks | 3: Calgary Flames

Western Conference wild cards
1: Dallas Stars | 2: Arizona Coyotes

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Nikita Kucherov (TBL)

Video: 31 in 31: Tampa Bay Lightning 2019-20 season preview

 

Bill Price, Editor-in-Chief

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Florida Panthers 

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: New Jersey Devils | 3: Pittsburgh Penguins 

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Boston Bruins | 2: Carolina Hurricanes 

Central Division
1: Nashville Predators | 2: Dallas Stars | 3: Colorado Avalanche

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: San Jose Sharks | 3: Arizona Coyotes 

Western Conference wild cards
1: St. Louis Blues | 2. Chicago Blackhawks 

Conference champions
East:
Toronto Maple Leafs 
West: Vegas Golden Knights 

Stanley Cup champion: Vegas Golden Knights 
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Mark Stone (VGK) 

 

Rob Reese, fantasy editor

Atlantic Division
1: Toronto Maple Leafs | 2: Tampa Bay Lightning | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins | 3: New Jersey Devils

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Florida Panthers | 2: Montreal Canadiens

Central Division
1: Dallas Stars | 2: St. Louis Blues | 3: Chicago Blackhawks

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: San Jose Sharks | 3: Arizona Coyotes

Western Conference wild cards
1: Nashville Predators | 2: Vancouver Canucks

Conference champions
East:
Toronto Maple Leafs
West: Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup champion: Toronto Maple Leafs
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Auston Matthews (TOR)

Video: Ranking the Maple Leafs' big three

 

Shawn P. Roarke, senior director of editorial

Atlantic Division
1: Toronto Maple Leafs | 2: Tampa Bay Lightning | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins | 3: Carolina Hurricanes

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Florida Panthers | 2: New Jersey Devils

Central Division
1: Nashville Predators | 2: Dallas Stars | 3: Colorado Avalanche

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2. Calgary Flames | 3. San Jose Sharks

Western Conference wild cards
1: St. Louis Blues | 2. Arizona Coyotes

Conference Champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning 
West: Nashville Predators

Stanley Cup Champion: Nashville Predators
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Matt Duchene (NSH)

 

Dan Rosen, senior writer

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: New Jersey Devils | 3: Carolina Hurricanes

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Florida Panthers | 2: Pittsburgh Penguins

Central Division
1: Colorado Avalanche | 2: Dallas Stars | 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: San Jose Sharks | 3: Calgary Flames

Western Conference wild cards
1: St. Louis Blues | 2: Arizona Coyotes

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning 
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Victor Hedman (TBL)

Video: 31 in 31: Vegas Golden Knights 2019-20 season preview

 

David Satriano, staff writer

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Philadelphia Flyers | 3: Pittsburgh Penguins

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Florida Panthers | 2: New Jersey Devils

Central Division
1: Dallas Stars | 2: St. Louis Blues | 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division
1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: Calgary Flames | 3: San Jose Sharks

Western Conference wild cards
1: Winnipeg Jets | 2: Chicago Blackhawks

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup champion: Dallas Stars
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Ben Bishop (DAL)

 

Dave Stubbs, columnist

Atlantic Division
1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division
1: Washington Capitals | 2: Philadelphia Flyers | 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Florida Panthers | 2: Carolina Hurricanes

Central Division
1: Nashville Predators | 2: Dallas Stars | 3: Colorado Avalanche

Pacific Division
1: Calgary Flames | 2: Vegas Golden Knights | 3: Arizona Coyotes

Western Conference wild cards
1. Winnipeg Jets | 2: St. Louis Blues

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Calgary Flames

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Brayden Point (TBL)

Video: Point checks in at No. 20 on the Top 50 Players list

 

Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning | 2: Toronto Maple Leafs | 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals | 2. New Jersey Devils | 3: Pittsburgh Penguins

Eastern Conference wild cards
1: Florida Panthers | 2: Philadelphia Flyers

Central Division

1: Dallas Stars | 2: Colorado Avalanche | 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division

1: Vegas Golden Knights | 2: San Jose Sharks | 3: Calgary Flames

Western Conference wild cards
1: St. Louis Blues | 2: Chicago Blackhawks

Conference champions
East:
Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Conn Smythe Trophy winner: Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL)

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