Who wins 2015-16 Stanley Cup? Puck Daddy predicts the champions!

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Greg Wyshynski
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Ladies and gents, it’s time. 

The Eastern Conference prognostications are in. The Western Conference prognostications are in. The predictions for this season’s NHL Awards are in. Heck, even the predictions on Connor McDavid’s point totals are in. The previews for all 30 NHL teams this season are here.

It’s now time for the grand finale. The final stanza. The picks of all picks.

Who plays for, and who wins, the 2015-16 Stanley Cup championship?

Your esteemed panel: Greg Wyshynski, NHL editor, Puck Daddy; Sean Leahy, editor, Puck Daddy; Jen Neale, editor, Puck Daddy; Josh Cooper, editor, Puck Daddy; Ryan Lambert, lead columnist, Puck Daddy; Darryl “Dobber” Dobbs, fantasy columnist, Puck Daddy; Sam McCaig, NHL editor/columnist, Yahoo Sports.

Greg Wyshynski, Editor, Puck Daddy

East: Montreal Canadiens

West: Anaheim Ducks

Carey Price is on another planet right now, and I’m confident they’re going to be better than the 2.61 goals per-game they were last season, provided Alex Galchenyuk can blossom at center in between Lars Eller and Alex Semin. And if this team does need a boost late in the season, Marc Bergevin has shown he’ll make the necessary trades.

While I still lack confidence that the Caps can make it to the Eastern Conference Final, I think their ex-coach Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks will make the Stanley Cup Final. It’ll take one of their goalies stepping up, most likely Freddie Anderson. But the pieces are all there for Boudreau to finally win a conference title. And by pieces I mean Ryan Kesler going Beast Mode in the playoffs again.

Stanley Cup: Anaheim Ducks

The perfect mix of veterans and young standouts, with more than a few players that show up big in the postseason. Provided the Ducks get the goaltending, the Cup is theirs this season, and there will be no better sight than Boudreau’s beer soaked face strapping on the Chalice like a feed bag.

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Sean Leahy, Editor, Puck Daddy

East: Tampa Bay Lightning

West: Anaheim Ducks

Other than swapping out Brenden Morrow for Erik Condra, Jon Cooper's roster remains the same as the one that fell in the Cup Final in June to the Blackhawks. Balanced up front, solid enough in the back and decent goaltending with Ben Bishop should make the Lightning a consistent machine that rolls through the East...until that Steven Stamkos contract saga derails things.

If there's any season for the Ducks to make a breakthrough, it's this one. After a disappointing exit to the Blackhawks in the conference final, the Ducks re-loaded over the summer. 

Stanley Cup: Anaheim Ducks

Bruce Boudreau finally, finally gets over the hump and wins a Cup.

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Jen Neale, Editor, Puck Daddy

East: Washington Capitals

West: Anaheim Ducks

Barry Trotz has changed the franchise for the better. He brought in Mitch Korn to work with Braden Holtby. He convinced Ovi to play defense (more or less). They are a pretty damn good team and finally playing like one.

The Anaheim Ducks finally win the West... that is, if they don't meet the Kings in the process. That could be the only team that would cause them the most trouble, mentally-speaking. Even Chicago can’t bring out the yips in the Ducks the way the Kings do.

Stanley Cup: Washington Capitals

I'm going for the better narrative. It's a Washington Capitals vs. Anaheim Ducks, Stanley Cup final - Bruce Boudreau's old team versus his new one. Two teams with their Cup-window beginning to slowly shut over the next few season. So who wins their first Cup: Gabby or Ovi?

Let's just say, when they have the parade in Moscow, they'd better not leave the Cup alone with Putin. We may never see it again. (Amirite, Robert Kraft?)

Josh Cooper, Editor, Puck Daddy

East: Pittsburgh Penguins

West: Anaheim Ducks

After years of playoff disappointment, it seems like it’s Pittsburgh's time to finally make it back to the Stanley Cup Final. The Phil Kessel-Sidney Crosby duo will be electric all year. They’ll finally stay healthy all through the season and into the playoffs.

After three straight Game 7 losses at home in the playoffs the Ducks have finally learned what it takes to be conference champions.

No team in the NHL has such a prolific combination of high-end depth and salary cap space like Anaheim.

Stanley Cup: Anaheim Ducks

The playoffs are a war of attrition and the Ducks have depth at every position to win this battle. They’ll outlast the Penguins in seven games to triumph – at home finally.

Ryan Lambert, Columnist, Puck Daddy

East: Washington Capitals

West: Anaheim Ducks

Give me Anaheim and Washington in the Cup Final. I’m not sold on the Ducks’ goaltending, but Dallas, Chicago, and St. Louis (the other serious contenders for to win the West) all have more glaring holes. Washington is probably just as good as Tampa — because good luck getting the Triplets to perform that well again this year, even if they are all great — but Holtby is clearly better than Bishop.

Stanley Cup: Washington Capitals

I’m picking Washington to win it all because I want to see the look on every face in the press box when Alex Ovechkin gets handed the Cup.

Darryl “Dobber” Dobbs, Fantasy Hockey Columnist, Puck Daddy

East: Tampa Bay Lightning

West: Anaheim Ducks

Tampa Bay will play the Anaheim Ducks in the Final. The Lightning are young, powerful, and unstoppable. Reminding me of the Oilers in the 80s, this team learned from the experienced (Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin and the Islanders?) Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and the Blackhawks. They know what to do this time around. And although the Rangers, Penguins, Caps and Islanders will provide healthy competition, I think last year matters. Meanwhile, the Ducks have put together (and held together) a strong, experienced team with little in the way of weaknesses.

Stanley Cup: Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning will in the Cup. As already noted, this young team boasts loads of firepower and now has the experience needed to understand what it takes. This is a team on the cusp of a dynasty and I can see three Cups in five years as absolutely feasible. 

Sam McCaig, NHL Editor, Yahoo Sports

East: Pittsburgh Penguins

West: St. Louis Blues

The top seven teams in the East are tight, but we’ll take the Penguins by a nose over the Bolts by a nose over the Rangers by a nose over the Canadiens by a nose over the Capitals  by a nose over the Blue Jackets by a nose over the Islanders…

The Blues have been a beast in recent regular seasons and that trend should continue. Chicago had to get rid of several key players due to salary cap concerns – plus there’s the Patrick Kane situation hanging over the team – so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the ’Hawks finish out of the running for the Presidents’ Trophy. If the Blues don’t win the West, the Ducks are another contender.

Stanley Cup: St. Louis Blues

It says here there are 14 teams that have a realistic chance of winning the Stanley Cup this season. Our pick is … the St. Louis Blues. Why? Because we picked them last year and we’re sticking with them. They’re loaded at every position, they’re way overdue … it’s time. The Blues go marching in.

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