October 8, 2015

Leafs should fly under the radar + our 2015-16 NHL preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

Are you a sports fan living in Toronto and are excited for the NHL season? Why?

The apathy for the new season has reached a high that I haven’t seen in the GTA for a long time. It’s completely understandable, too.

Just down the lane from the ACC, where the Leafs opened the season Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens, the Rogers Centre has been rocking for months as the Blue Jays surged their way into the playoffs for the first time in 22 years.

The Leafs, on the other hand, have blown things up and are starting from scratch with some brand new highly paid execs trying to rebuild this team to respectability.

You can’t blame fans if they tune out on the Leafs this season, especially early on. If anything, you can bet that Mike Babcock and Lou Lamoriello will enjoy beginning the season out of the spotlight. This is a team that’s more built to contend for the first overall pick than a playoff spot, after all.

If the Jays go to the World Series, that would actually overlap the start of the NBA season and the Raptors run to defend their division title. The Leafs could be a sporting afterthought in this market for the entire season!

Of course, the Buds will have their faithful cheering them on. And maybe, with this season shaping up to be a lost one, they’ll even be able to get their hands on tickets after the corporate entities that own most of the season tickets get bored of watching the team lose.

As for some season predictions, I offer your money back if I’m wrong.

ATLANTIC: Montreal, Tampa Bay, Boston.

METROPOLITAN: New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Washington.

EAST WILD CARDS: New York Islanders, Philadelphia.

CENTRAL: Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas.

PACIFIC: Anaheim, Los Angeles, Calgary.

WEST WILD CARDS: Vancouver, Edmonton.

EASTERN FINAL: Montreal over Pittsburgh

WESTERN FINAL: Calgary over Anaheim

STANLEY CUP: Montreal over Calgary

MVP: Carey Price, MTL




LAST PLACE: Phoenix Coyotes

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