As the season comes around and we get started on predicting how teams will finish at the end of this season. Around this time is always a perfect time to go into some power rankings and team preview talk. For starters we will go over 5 teams each day until every team is covered. Therefore we will be starting with the 31st ranked team to the 26th.
31. Ottawa Senators:
This team is a mess, they have very little going for them this season. Besides Brady Tkachuk who is still unknown if he is going to play major juniors or crack the roster, the Senators summer has been a disaster. Between the Mike Hoffman and Erik Karlsson tirade, Hoffman getting shipped out of Ottawa, Mark Stone contract issues, Cody Ceci contract issues, Craig Anderson saying he basically does not care for drama, essentially saying the team is all drama. And the worst of it all the future of Karlsson being clear as day that he does not want to remain a Senator. I would be surprised if the Senators finish anywhere higher than 29th place, I am going with 31st for Ottawa because based off their forward and offensive depth along with an aging goaltender. You cannot win games with the roster Ottawa has.
Their key acquisitions: Signed Paul Carey and acquired Mikkel Boedeker in trade.
30. Montreal Canadiens:
Much like the Senators the Canadiens have nothing going for them. Shea Weber is out for 4-6 weeks, Max Pacioretty situation only seems to be getting worse. They lack a ton of depth on the wings and their draft pick this year raises some concern. Without Weber, this teams number one d-man is Jeff Petry. On top of that, Carey Price has been battling injuries for forever now, whatever it is, it seems the superstar goaltender just can’t fight it. Without Price 100 percent, Weber out for an extended period of time and Pacioretty seemingly on the way out, what does this team have going for them? Brendan Gallagher, Jonathan Drouin and Max Domi? They traded away Alex Galchenyuk this offseason for Domi so it is not like they upgraded by any means. They have very little offensive weapons and an aging blue line. This team is destined for an even worse finish than last year.
Key acquisitions: Xavier Ouellet signed, signed back Tomas Plekanec, signed Joel Armia.
29. Vancouver Canucks:
They are a young team, there is nothing to be worried about right now they have some of the best prospects in the league and plenty of talent on the roster right now. Due to the division they are in, their depth across the board and age level/experience the Canucks are just not there yet. They have a lot to look forward to in Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Quinton Hughes, Jonathan Dahlen and if their number one goalie prospect Thatcher Demko pans out they should be fine. The Canucks also have Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund and Sam Gagner. They have a lot of depth honestly it’s that their scorers and top guys are young, they have no goaltending and their defense is very weak.
Key acquisitions: Jay Beagle, Tim Schaller, Antoine Roussel.
28. Detroit Red Wings:
The Red Wings are much like the Canucks they have a lot of young talent but, their defense is weak and their goaltending is too inconsistent. They have a ton of prospects ready to emerge in the league, with already some established young forwards in Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, Matrin Frk, with Filip Zadina and Evgeny Svechnikov on the up the Red Wings just need to figure out their goaltending and defense. Niklas Kronwall has expressed this is his last year, they lost a defenseman to free agency this offseason and also Henrik Zetterberg will be out for this entire season and possibly forever it seems like. The Red Wings are 3-4 years away from being a solid team again.
Key acquisitions: Tomas Vanek signed, Jonathan Brenier signed, Chris Terry signed.
27. Arizona Coyotes:
Improving, but not there just yet, the Coyotes finished 29th last season, not the usual 30, 31st, which is good! They made a serious push at the end of the season last year and could possibly carry that momentum into this year. The Coyotes have a very young and inexperienced team on the front end, their back end is more veteran, solid guys who have been around awhile. The Coyotes have a lot to look forward to in Barrett Hayton, Pierre-Oliver Joseph, Lawson Crouse and goalie Adin Hill. As well hoping Dylan Strome can finally crack the roster this year and be on the team for good. With Strome, Clayton Keller, Alex Galchenyuk, Derek Stepan, Michael Grabner, Brad Richardson, Richard Panik, Vinnie Hinostroza the Coyotes have talent on the front end. With Oliver Ekman Larsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jakub Chychurn, Alex Goligoski they have the depth all around they just need a goaltender and some consistency.
Key acquisitions: Michael Grabner, Alex Galchenyuk, Vinnie Hinostroza.
26. New York Islanders:
The Islanders are going to be without their captain and superstar for the first time in 9 -years that is going to be difficult to adjust to, we cannot expect this team to look to Matthew Barzal the same way they did in John Tavares. Tavares was the mold to this team and without him the first season will be rough. Plus the Islanders lack a great deal of defensive depth and goaltending consistency. They took a gamble on Robin Lehner but who knows with him. They have talent upfront and in the system but I just think anytime a top player and one of the best players in the league leaves his home the team struggles a bit. Barzal, Josh Bailey, Anthony Beauvillier, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Andrew Ladd will have a ton more responsibilities. Luckily the Islanders did get a new coach in Barry Trotz and new General Manager in Lou Lamoriello, whom have signed a ton of veteran depth like Tom Kuhnhackl, Vlatteri Filppula, Matt Martin and Leo Komarov it will help but with little goaltending and Nick Leddy, Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock holding down the blue the Islanders are in for a different type of season.
Key acquisitions: Leo Komarov, Vlatteri Filppula, Tom Kuhnhackl, Robin Lehner, Matt Martin.