This is an article from the Oct. 6, 2014 issue
The 80 games he played last year (when he won the Ross) were his most in a full season since 2009--10. But he doesn't need a full season—if Crosby plays 65 to 70 games, he can score at a pace nobody else can match.
His defensive play has improved significantly, and however Chicago chooses to compose its lines, the team has enough skilled forwards to help Kane score more goals and chip in more assists. (He had 29 and 49, respectively, last season.)
He has never been named the league's top defenseman, though he's been the NHL's unofficial gold standard for much of the last decade. He's a physical force with one of the game's best slap shots—he was second on the team with 23 goals last year. He's due.
Boston should be as strong defensively as last year, when Rask played a career-high 58 games and won his first Vezina. Jonathan Quick's Kings aren't a regular-season team; Henrik Lundqvist's Rangers will struggle. Rask is the pick to repeat.
Gibson, 21, has already demonstrated he can excel in the NHL: He played seven games for Anaheim in 2013--14, allowing only 13 goals (with a .934 save percentage), and had shutouts in both his regular-season and playoff debuts.