NHL 2015-2016 Breakouts and Busts

The NHL season started last night with games in Toronto, Chicago, Calgary, and Los Angeles. Who bombs and who breaks-out in 2015-2016?

Mary Chastain and Chris Barron predict the players and teams that boom and bust this season—and forecast the first firing—below.

Breakout player

Chris says:

Evander Kane (Buffalo Sabres)

Look for Kane to score 40+ goals this year and finally become the star he always thought he was.

Mary says:

Tuevo Teravainen (Chicago Blackhawks)

The Blackhawks will miss Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp, but the 21-year-old will have his shot to prove he is part of the future.

Veteran bust player

Chris says:

Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets)

The Blue Jackets are the trendy pick to have a breakout season, in part predicated on the elite goalie play of Sergei Bobrovsky. The same guy who fell apart under the weight of expectations in Philly. I don’t see Bobrovsky having a Vezina caliber performance and I don’t see the Blue Jackets making the playoffs.

Mary says:

Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets)

I agree 100% with Chris.

Team the exceeds expectations

Chris says:

Buffalo Sabres

I am picking the Sabres to make the playoffs, which means either I should head to Vegas and lay down some serious cash or I should take that money and seek some mental health help. In all honesty, even if they don’t make the playoffs the Sabres will be a tough out every single night and fun to watch.

Mary says:

Buffalo Sabres

Bylsma. Kane. Eichels. I am actually excited to watch this team!

Team that fails to meet expectations

Chris says:

Boston Bruins

I am not even sure what the expectations are for the Bruins, but anything higher than awful and this team is going to fail to meet them. The team needed to make moves to stay under the cap, but some of those moves – including shipping off young blue-liner Dougie Hamilton – were nothing short of bizarre.

Mary says:

Toronto Maple Leafs

Even with Babcock and Brendan Shanahan in the front office this team still has a lot of work to do. Hopefully they do it soon because it’s never a good thing for an Original Six team to be on the outs. Boston, you’re up here as well! Get with it.

First Head Coach fired

Chris says:

Dave Hakstol (Philadephia Flyers)

The Flyers are bad and when the Flyers are bad they fire their head coach. The Flyers owner has boldly – and insanely – predicted this team will be in the playoffs. It will be clear early on that isn’t the case and Hakstol can go back to coaching college hockey.

Mary says:

Dave Hakstol (Philadelphia Flyers)

Philly… talk about a dumpster fire!


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