ESPN’s NHL experts don’t have much faith in Bruins
The NHL returns to ESPN with Tuesday’s opening night doubleheader. Ahead of that, the network gather its team of NHL analysts -- some old, some new -- for some season predictions.
When it comes to the Bruins, they don’t seem to have much faith. Of their 22 experts, only one is picking the Bruins to win the Atlantic Division this season: longtime coach-turned-studio analyst John Tortorella.
Now, your first thought might be that this makes perfect sense because a bunch of them probably picked the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Wrong. Only seven picked the Lightning to win the division.
The most popular Atlantic pick, somewhat surprisingly, is the Florida Panthers. Ten of the 22 went with the chic choice, signaling that the Panthers have perhaps moved from under-the-radar good to widely acknowledged good. The remaining four votes went to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Unsurprisingly given the division picks, none of the 22 picked the Bruins to win the Cup. The most popular pick there was the Colorado Avalanche with seven votes.
One area where the Bruins got a little more love was in the Norris Trophy predictions. Four of the 22 picked Boston star Charlie McAvoy, giving him the second-most votes behind Colorado’s Cale Makar (11). The four who picked McAvoy were Sean Allen, John Buccigross, Don La Greca and Greg Wyshynski.
Two people (Sachin Chandan and Steve Levy) picked David Pastrnak to win the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal-scorer, and one (Sean McDonough) picked Jeremy Swayman to win the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year.