In this week’s issue, Sports Illustrated predicts that the Penguins will defeat the Blackhawks to win the Stanley Cup. That prediction hinges greatly on the health of Sidney Crosby, whose struggles with post-concussion symptoms lie at the heart of the NHL’s debate on player safety. On the tablet this week, several players sound off in videos on the prevention of head shots, how important it is for the league to have Crosby return to form and almost everything else on the topic (and the upcoming season). Readers are also treated to an NHL bonus in Leading Off: Outtake photos of the 22 players who recently passed through SI’s offices. (In particular, keep an eye out for the hilarious faces of reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas.)
Sports Illustrated’s NHL Preview predicts Penguins over Blackhawks in Stanley Cup Finals; Tim Thomas appears on Northeast regional coverPosted: October 4, 2011
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas appears on a regional cover of this week’s Oct. 10, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated — on newsstands tomorrow — that will be available in New England and Canada. It marks the Bruins’ 12th cover but their first since May 9, 1977 , when Gerry Cheevers and Brad Park appeared on it.
NHL PREVIEW: PENGUINS OVER BLACKHAWKS IN STANLEY CUP FINALS
The timetable of Sidney Crosby’s return is still up in the air, but Pittsburgh’s proven ability to win in a variety of ways — with either their offense or their defense — is a big reason why SI predicts the Penguins to defeat the Blackhawks in this year’s Stanley Cup finals. Predictions for the regular season are as follows (page 68).
|1. Pittsburgh Penguins*||9. Carolina Hurricanes||1. Chicago Blackhawks*||9. Columbus Blue Jackets|
|2. Philadelphia Flyers||10. New Jersey Devils||2. Vancouver Canucks*||10. Minnesota Wild|
|3. Washington Capitals*||11. Toronto Maple Leafs||3. San Jose Sharks*||11. Colorado Avalanche|
|4. Boston Bruins*||12. New York Islanders||4. Los Angeles Kings||12. Calgary Flames|
|5. Tampa Bay Lightning||13. Florida Panthers||5. Detroit Red Wings||13. Phoenix Coyotes|
|6. Montreal Canadiens||14. Ottawa Senators||6. Nashville Predators||14. Edmonton Oilers|
|7. Buffalo Sabres||15. Winnipeg Jets||7. St. Louis Blues||15. Dallas Stars|
|8. New York Rangers||8. Anaheim Ducks|
*Division winner; top eight teams in each conference make playoffs
On the Tablets: Fans can share their predictions for the 2011-12 NHL season on Twitter with the hashtag #SINHLPreview.
Walter Payton appears on the national cover of this week’s Oct. 3, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands now. In addition, Phillies pitchers Cliff Lee and Ryan Madson (available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia) and Bills cornerback Drayton Florence (available in New York and New England) appear on regional covers.
Below is the last time each team appeared on the cover and how many appearances they’ve had overall:
- Bears: Jan. 24, 2011 (Jay Cutler); 25th appearance
- Phillies: July 18, 2011 (Carlos Ruiz); 26th appearance
- Bills: Dec. 17, 2007 (Kevin Everett); 12th appearance