The San Jose Sharks didn't just land an all-star in defenseman Erik Karlsson when they acquired him a trade with the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13, they also brought in the final piece to a Stanley Cup championship team, according to seven of the 18 NHL.com panelists who have made their preseason predictions.
The NHL.com experts have made their predictions for the Stanley Cup Final and they are split on who will win it all.
Of the 14 staff writers and editors who have made their picks during the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs, seven say the Vegas Golden Knights will win the Cup and the other seven picked the Washington Capitals.
NHL.com experts have made their predictions for the conference finals and the Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets are overwhelming favorites to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
Of the 14 NHL.com staff members, 12 predicted the Lightning would defeat the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Final and 12 picked the Jets to get past the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Final.
Can the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup for the third straight season? Six of NHL.com's 17 panelists believe there's a good chance.
The last team to win three consecutive titles was the New York Islanders, who won four in a row from 1980-1983. Since then, four teams have had the opportunity to win three straight -- the Edmonton Oilers (twice; 1984-85, '87-88), Penguins ('91-92) and most recently, the Detroit Red Wings ('97-98).
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a slight favorite to defeat the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final and repeat as champions, according to the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts who have made their predictions for the Cup Final.
Eleven of the 21 experts picked the Penguins, who are trying to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to win back-to-back championships. The other 10 went with the Predators, who are making their first trip to the Cup Final.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators will meet in the Stanley Cup Final, according to an overwhelming majority of the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts who have made their predictions for the conference finals.
All but two of the 21 picked the Penguins to defeat the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Final. NHL.com Editor-in-Chief Bill Price, who was one of four experts to predict to Senators would defeat the New York Rangers in the second round, picked them to defeat Pittsburgh, as did NHL.com Senior Writer Dan Rosen. Seventeen of the 21 experts predicted the Predators will defeat the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Final.
A total of 21 analysts, writers and editors from NHL Network and NHL.com made predictions before the Stanley Cup Playoffs began. Eleven picked the Washington Capitals to win it all, nine went with the Chicago Blackhawks, and one had the Montreal Canadiens.