Well, it’s time once again (at least it was last week) to make our ridiculous predictions for this season’s preseason prediction. Being the stout hockey observer that you obviously are, you can tell that the season has already started. Ya know what, I’m working with a bunch of monkeys here--so it took me a while to compile this half-cooked predictions. All predictions are based on equal parts hockey insight and homerism. It should be noted that all predictions were made during week 1. Thus, MTWRA wanted to make it abundantly clear to you guys that his Toronto prediction was made when they were 0-0, not 3-0. I, personally, really like the Leafs chances to win at least 4 games this year.
There are some consistent themes in our regular season predictions (VERY FEW). But, we have all made similar observations.
· We all have the Washington Capitals as the top seed in the East
· We all have the Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs, though not all of us agree that each team is going to win their division.
· We all have the Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers, and New York Islanders missing the playoffs.
· We all have the San Jose Sharks winning the Pacific Division (although not all of us agree that they will earn the top seed out west).
· We all agree that the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes, and Vancouver Canucks will make the playoffs, although the position to which they place is very much in the air.
· We all agree that the Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, and Minnesota Wild will not make the playoffs.
Note: Click on the photos to see an enlarged version.
This means that we all see the last few playoff spots shaking out this way.
· In the East, the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs will be battling it out for 4 playoff spots. Based on a weighted ranking of places, the four gurus of Bettman’s Nightmare expect the New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, and Carolina Hurricanes to fill these four spots.
· In the West, the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, and St. Louis Blues will be battling it out for 2 playoff spots. Based on a weighted ranking of places, the four gurus of Bettman’s Nightmare expect the Los Angeles Kings, and the St. Louis Blues to fill these two spots.
The only real consistent theme is that two of our gurus expect the Colorado Avalanche to win the west, but lose to their eastern conference counterpart. Our gurus see any of the following teams winning the east: New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Out west, our gurus like the aforementioned Colorado Avalanche, the San Jose Sharks, and the Vancouver Canucks.
In keeping with the cooperation that is Bettman’s Nightmare--none of us see the post-season awards shaking out the same way.
Stanley Cup: New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and San Jose Sharks
President’s Cup: Washington Capitals (4)
Hart Trophy: Alexander Ovechkin (2), Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos
Vezina Trophy: Craig Anderson, Ilya Bryzgalov, Roberto Luongo, and Ryan Miller
Norris Trophy: Drew Doughty, Christian Ehrhoff, Mike Green, Chris Pronger
Calder Trophy: Sergei Bobrovsky, John Carlson, Jordan Eberle, Tyler Seguin
Selke Trophy: Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Joe Thornton
Adams Trophy: Joe Sacco (2), Guy Boucher, Ron Wilson
Conn Smythe Trophy: Marc-Andre Fleury, Claude Giroux, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski
Individual Picks (click on photo to enlarge):