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Season Preview

10 memorable performances on opening night

Past 30 seasons have produced numerous standout individual efforts

by Cristina Ledra @cledra / NHL.com Staff

Some players may get opening night jitters, but others find a way to step up and produce standout performances.

Opening nights have featured multigoal games, dramatic comebacks and dominating goaltenders. Here are some of the memorable performances from the past 30 seasons:

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Season Preview

Predictions for 2016-17 season

NHL.com, NHL Network experts say Stanley Cup champion will be …

NHL.com @NHL

Season Preview: Rapid Predictions

Season Preview: Rapid-Fire Predictions

NHL.com's Dan Rosen and Matt Waymire make some rapid-fire season predictions including best free-agent pickup, sleeper team, and scoring champ

  • 02:06 •

The predictions for the 2016-17 regular-season standings and 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs are in, and they paint an interesting picture, to say the least.

According to 20 voters from NHL.com and NHL Network, the Tampa Bay Lightning are the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup; half of those polled have the Lightning, the runner-up two years ago, as the last team standing this season. Perhaps, more amazingly, eight of those 10 voters predicted defenseman Victor Hedman would be the Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

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Stanley Cup window may be closing for Capitals

Defending Presidents' Trophy winners still hunting for key to playoff success

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Sometimes a team gets tired of waiting for next season.

No one would blame Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals for feeling that way entering this season, which they open against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports 2).

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Season Preview

2016-17 NHL trophy predictions

NHL.com panel of experts project winners of individual awards

NHL.com @NHL

Nobody knows exactly how the 2016-17 NHL season will play out, but NHL.com has a few people willing to provide their best guesses as to what will happen by providing a snapshot of the various individual trophy races.

We had 14 NHL.com writers look into the future and predict the top-three finishers for several of the major awards to be handed out at the end of the season during the NHL Awards Show in June. The results were quite interesting.

Here is how members of the NHL.com staff see several of the trophy races:

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Season Preview

Season Preview: New York Islanders

John Tavares' new linemates, bounce-back season by Ryan Strome among keys

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
At a glance

2015-16 record: 45-27-10, 100 points, 4th in Metropolitan Division, 5th in Eastern Conference

2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Defeated Florida Panthers in six games in Eastern Conference First Round; lost to Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in second round

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16 bold predictions for 2016-17

NHL.com writers forecast what will develop this season

NHL.com @NHL

To prepare for the 2016-17 NHL season, we asked five of our writers to look into their crystal balls and play prognosticators for the upcoming season.

All told, they come up with 16 different bold predictions that suggest this season could be one that won't soon be forgotten.

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Top 16 rookies to watch this season

Toronto Maple Leafs could have three Calder Trophy candidates, including Auston Matthews

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

The last time as many as two players from the same team were the top finalists for the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in the NHL was 2001-02, when forwards Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers finished first and second, respectively.

Could it happen again in 2016-17?

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Season Preview: Winnipeg Jets

Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele among youthful forwards who could help playoff push

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer
At a glance

2015-16 record: 35-39-8, 78 points, 7th in Central Division, 11th in Western Conference

2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify

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5 Questions: Winnipeg Jets

Special teams, goaltending among chief concerns

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

An NHL season is filled with twists and turns for each of the League's 30 teams. Here are five of the major questions that could define the 2016-17 season for the Winnipeg Jets:

 
Who will stop the puck?


Instability in goal was an issue last season, when the Jets had a .909 save percentage that was tied for 23rd in the NHL. They are opting for a different look this season. Connor Hellebuyck, 23, is set to start the season as the No. 1 goalie, and Ondrej Pavelec, last season's starter, was sent to the American Hockey League on Oct. 10, pending him clearing waivers. Hellebuyck made his NHL debut last season, going 13-11-1 with a 2.34 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 26 games when Pavelec was out because of a knee injury. He won his first four starts but was 2-4-0 in his last seven and was pulled in two of his final three. Hutchinson, 26, likely will resume his role as the backup. He has been streaky in that role the past two seasons and last season he had two wins in 15 games between Nov. 22 and March 13. If either of them struggles, they'll have the option to give Pavelec another shot. After he set personal NHL bests in 2014-15 with a 2.28 GAA, .920 save percentage and five shutouts, he had a 2.78 GAA, .904 save percentage and one shutout last season. He also has a salary-cap charge of $3.9 million, according to General Fanager.

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Milestones within reach in 2016-17

Marian Hossa, Patrick Marleau closing in on 500 goals; Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby nearing 1,000 points

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

It's always exciting to see rookies like Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, get their first NHL goals. Although rookies build their careers from the ground up, a number of veterans are closing in on some major career achievements.

Reaching an NHL milestone means you're good at what you do, and that you've been doing it for a long time. Here are 16 players and coaches who can achieve significant career milestones this season:

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