Globe hockey writers Amalie Benjamin, Fluto Shinzawa, and Kevin Paul Dupont, and assistant sports editor James Hoban make their predictions for conference and Stanley Cup winners in the 2014-15 season.
East: Tampa Bay over New York Rangers — Amalie Arena brings the Lightning the luck. Or maybe it’s Steven Stamkos.
West: Los Angeles over Chicago — Yes, again.
Final: Los Angeles over Tampa Bay — The defending champs defend their title.
East: Boston over New Jersey. The definition of a playoff tractor pull.
West: Los Angeles over Chicago. Corey Crawford will find a way to let in a critical softie.
Final: Los Angeles over Boston. Kings celebrate back-to-backs by eating tacos out of the Cup.
KEVIN PAUL DUPONT
East: Penguins over Rangers: Pens prevail even though Marty St. Louis outscores Sid the Kid.
West: St Louis over Chicago: Series ranks second in entertainment to the Sutter family brawl it sparks in Viking, Alberta.
Final: St. Louis over Pittsburgh. Forty-five years later, Blues erase the image of the flying Orr goal.
East: Pittsburgh over Montreal. And their bottom-six players stink.
West: Anaheim over Chicago — Ryan Kelser, who would have looked great in Black and Gold, is the difference.
Final: Anaheim over Pittsburgh — Getzlaf, Perry, Kelser. Hmm. No salary-cap problems for Ducks?
NHL 2014-15 preview features:
Amalie Benjamin’s Eastern Conference prediction was revised from earlier versions of this story.