A 2018–19 NHL Season Preview Of Every Team, From Best To Islanders – Deadspin

Illustration: Sam Woolley (GMG)

Hell yeah, hockey is back! After suffering through three months of sports that do not involve ice, and night after night of 90-degree temperatures with no A/C (though that one might just be me), the most beautiful and fun game in the world has returned to save you from five-hour ALDS games and lopsided Alabama football wins, and also heatstroke.

This is going to be an extremely fun season, and I’m not just bullshitting you to try and get you to scroll through a stupidly long blog about a relatively unpopular sport. By my count, there are as many as 22 NHL teams worth caring about—or at least watching on League Pass a few times—as we head into 2018–19. I’m excited to see all of them except for the vile and villainous Boston Bruins, so read this thing and get excited too.

Teams are listed in some vague semblance of best to worst:

Teams You Might Be Watching Until June:

Tampa Bay Lightning

Why are they good? Holy shit, there are so many reasons. Now-former Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman has built a juggernaut, stacked with youth and talent as far as the eye can see. They’re so good that Steven Stamkos—one of only two players to have a 60-goal season in this millennium—isn’t even the main offensive guy to focus on anymore. And it’s not because the 28-year-old captain is anywhere near washed up. Nah, it’s just because his linemate Nikita Kucherov, the 25-year-old right winger from Russia, has been consistently getting more and more outstanding over his four full seasons in the league, culminating with a 100-point year in 2017-18. Gaze further down the lines and you’ll continue to see a seemingly never-ending group of top-notch homegrown players in their mid-20s—many of

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