2015/16 NHL Preview

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This is the NHL’s 99th season and the Chicago Blackhawks enter it as the league’s reigning Stanley Cup champions. The season wraps up on April 9th with the playoffs beginning four days later. There are a couple of major rule changes this season which will see coaches have the opportunity to challenge one play per game via video replay. This could include a disputed offside call that results in a goal and incidents such as goaltender interference. The other major change will see overtime changed to three-on-three rather than four-on-four.
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
1-Tampa Bay Lightning
Last season: 50-24-8 for 108 points
The Lightning went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final last season, but were beaten by Chicago. They placed second in the Atlantic Division, but should be able to win it this year.Tampa has one of the most-talented squads in the NHL at all positions with the line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov being among the top combinations in the world. Other key players include goaltender Ben Bishop, forward Steven Stamkos and defensemen Anton Stralman and Victor Hedman.
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2-Montreal Canadiens
Last season: 50-22-10 for 110 points
The Canadiens managed to win the Atlantic Division last season, but were knocked out of the division final by Tampa Bay. The Habs depend on all-star goaltender Carey Price a bit too much to repeat as division winners again in 2015/16. They should be good enough to finish as runners-up though. Montreal could do with some more offense this year and that could come from newcomer Alexander Semin and youngster Alex Galchenyuk, who has been shifted to center. There will also be some decent offense provided from the blue line courtesy of P.K. Subban and Jeff Petry.
3-Detroit Red Wings
Last season: 43-25-14 for 100 points
The Red Wings finished third in the division last season and were beaten by Tampa Bay in the division semifinal. Longtime coach Mike Babcock left after a decade behind the bench and was replaced by Jeff Blashill. Fans will soon find out how much of an effect former coach Babcock had on the Red Wings over the past 10 years. However, the team is filled with a good mixture of talented veterans such as Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk as well as youngsters and should have no problem making the playoffs yet again.
You can read more of this article in our November 2015 issue of ModelsMania
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