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What was I thinking?: NHL predictions

by Archives February 1, 2006

Well it is past the mid-season mark in the NHL and I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the predictions I made in the September 28th edition of The Concordian.

When looking back, I gave myself credit for picking a team within two spots of their current position. For example, I picked Calgary to be first in the Western Conference and they are currently third. I gave myself credit for getting it right.

Overall, I correctly predicted. none, but I did manage to get within two spots for 15 out of the 30 NHL teams and correctly predicted 11 of the 16 playoff teams, just not in the right order.

Alright, so in the East, my 4-5-6 teams were Pittsburgh, Montreal and Boston and my 11-12-13 teams were the Rangers, Carolina and Buffalo. I’ll backtrack by saying that I thought Jaromir Jagr was still in Pittsburgh and then I realized that he played for the Rangers. You believe me, right? Montreal has been a yo-yo all year round and has been struggling for the entire second half of the first half of the season. And Boston? I didn’t even like them when they had Joe Thornton. now they are lucky to be as close to the playoffs as they are – with Tim Thomas outclassing Andrew Raycroft in goal. As perplexed as I am about the Rangers playing good hockey, I am even more perplexed at Carolina and Buffalo. With Carolina adding Doug Weight, I don’t see them relinquishing their spot atop their division and they will finish the rest of the way in the top-3 of the Eastern Conference. Buffalo isn’t surprising me, even though I picked them to finish 13th. In hindsight, I should have flipped them and the Bruins because I am much higher on the talent that Buffalo has as opposed to the Boo-ins.

Tampa Bay is playing the way I thought they would. a little worse, actually but who knew that Carolina would be so damn good.

In the West, I must have been drunk or something. Dallas, who I predicted would be dead last in the conference are currently in second spot, tops in their division where I predicted San Jose would be tops. The Sharks, although playing well as of late, are stuck in 12th position. I also missed the boat picking the Columbus Blue Jackets fifth. People laughed at me at the time, and they will continue to do so although, with Rick Nash and Sergei Fedorov potentially healthy and together for a full season next year, it may be a different story. Edmonton has goaltending issues that are keeping them from the fourth spot I predicted for them, and Nashville has been surprising by taking their spot so far. Los Angeles and Vancouver are playing up to expectations but I was a little nervous when both struggled to start the season off.

You may be asking for my predictions for the rest of the season? Simple. the playoff teams in each conference will be Ottawa, Carolina, Philadelphia, Rangers, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Montreal, New Jersey in the East.

In the West we’re looking at Detroit, Dallas, Calgary, Nashville, Vancouver, Edmonton, Los Angeles and San Jose.

You can bring these to your bookie if you so desire, but given my previous predictions, I wouldn’t bet on these.

Here are the predictions I made on September 28th. Teams in bold mean I got their order correct within two spots. Teams in italics means that I correctly predicted they would make the playoffs (top eight). Teams in bold and italics means I got both right. The number in parentheses is the team’s actual position.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
1. Tampa Bay (6)
2. Philadelphia (3)
3. Ottawa (2)
4. Pittsburgh (15)
5. Montreal (9)
6. Boston (11)
7. Toronto (8)
8. New Jersey (7)
9. Atlanta (10)
10. Florida (12)
11. NY Rangers (4)
12. Carolina (1)
13. Buffalo (5)
14. NY Islanders (13)
15. Washington (14)

Based on the season so far, here are my choices for the playoff teams in the Eastern Conference…

1. Ottawa
2. Carolina
3. Philadelphia
4. Buffalo
5. NY Rangers
6. Tampa Bay
7. Montreal
8. New Jersey

WESTERN CONFERENCE
1. Calgary (3)
2. Detroit (1)
3. San Jose (12)
4. Edmonton (7)
5. Columbus (13)
6. Los Angeles (5)
7. Vancouver (6)
8. Nashville (4)
9. Chicago (14)
10. Anaheim (9)
11. Phoenix (10)
12. Colorado (8)
13. St. Louis (15)
14. Minnesota (11)
15. Dallas (2)

Here are my choices for playoff teams in the Western Conference…

1. Detroit
2. Dallas
3. Calgary
4. Nashville
5. Vancouver
6. Edmonton
7. Los Angeles
8. San Jose

Vital Statistics:

+/- 2 spots: 15/30 (50%)
Playoff team: 11/16 (69%)

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