The last 2 years, we have had some fun with prognosticating the upcoming season. Not content to just say things like "the Red Wings will make the playoffs" or "Corey Perry will act like a dickwad", we wanted to come up with a challenge.
Being the competitive people that we are, we kept track of each other's predictions. For those of you who have been around for a while, you all know that our fearless leader, J.J., enjoys being right. Perhaps even more than being right, he enjoys letting people know that he's right.
That's why it gives me great pleasure....wait. "Great" isn't the right word. Immense? No. Ultimate? Still not good enough. I don't what kind of pleasure it gives me to announce that I was the winner this year, but whatever that word is, it can't begin to describe how nice it feels to know that, just this once, J.J. doesn't get to say that he was right. Those of you have been on the wrong end of an argument with him (and that number is very high), please feel free to live vicariously through me and revel in this victory.
I would have included Jeff, but he was so bad at this, I actually feel some pity for him.
After the jump, we look back at our predictions with our comments, and we'll take a look at some of your predictions that came true.
(Graham) - At some point I'm betting you have called your girlfriend "Brendan" at a very inopportune time. You have, haven't you.
(J.J.) - Brendan Smith, part of the exclusive "Better than Garnet Exelby
(Jeff) - Nailed it
(Graham) - Looks like someone underestimated how terrible the Northeast really is.
(J.J.) - Boy, almost had it there, 8th-seed Ottawa. Boston juuuuuust squeaked this one out by 10 points.
(Jeff) - At least this prediction wasn't as crazy as Tim Thomas
3. James Reimer finishes top 10 in GAA and Save% mainly because of this (Hi Casey!)
(Graham) - He thought he did, but that's just the concussions rendering his brain into Cream of Wheat.
(J.J.) - Non-terrible Toronto Goaltending is becoming the new unicorn, cold fusion, or Kraft Macaroni & Cheese "Open Here" tab that actually works. It's never happening. Give it up.
(Jeff) - I'll admit. This was just stupid.
4. The Washington Capitals will FINALLY make the Stanley Cup Final (only to lose to Detroit...again)
(Graham) - This totally happened when I played my copy of NHL 98 on my Playstation.
(J.J.) - Now that they've dumped that dead weight Alex Semin, there's nothing stopping them.
(Jeff) - They did meet up on the golf course though.
5. Tuukka Rask will be the Bruins starting goaltender come playoff time
(Graham) - Unfortunately Tim Thomas went bat-shit crazy a little too late for this to be true.
(J.J.) - There's something inherently beautiful about Tim Thomas being involved in a situation where the foreign guy takes the American's job only after he refuses to do it.
(Jeff) - ...come the 2013 playoffs is what I meant.
(Graham) - Can we get Zetterberg and Filppula too? - Every Flames fan
(J.J.) - Doesn't count. Jiri Hudler is short, so his goals only count for 0.8.
(Jeff) - Can't wait until he scores 30 in Calgary.
(Graham) - This would have counted had his only regular season game been against the Islanders
, who don't play what we all call "hockey"
(J.J.) - Crosby defends Jeff here with the trusty old catchphrase "It's not hockey unless I'm chasing Claude Giroux
all over the ice and constantly slashing him on the wrist."
(Jeff) - Crosby sucks
(Graham) - Do they have Calder Trophies in Europe?
(J.J.) - Who?
(Jeff) - Technically this isn't wrong. I never said he'd win it for the 2011-12 season. I just said he'd win it. He still can. Suck on that.
9. The Wings will have a top five power play and penalty kill
(Graham) - I haz a sad
(J.J.) - This is the refs fault. If they hadn't given Detroit any penalties all season like they should have, Jeff would have at least been half-right.
(Jeff) - They weren't even top 20 in both. Pathetic.
10. First seed in the Western Conference will belong to Detroit
(Graham) - The Wings did very well against Vancouver, but I don't think the Wings "owned" them.
(J.J.) - There's a way to make this sentence true if you replace "seed" with something else, but it makes me sad.
(Jeff) - What I meant was first team to be eliminated from the West in the postseason. Duh.
1. Jonathan Ericsson will have a better season than both Rusty Klesla and Kyle Quincey, two players with very similar cap hits. This will be subjectively judged by the fans at the end of the season.
(Graham) - Seriously, just get an Ericsson tattoo. Fanboy.
(J.J.) - I admit, Jonathan Ericsson is my favorite third-pairing defenseman in the league.
(Jeff) - Smith was better than all of them.
(Graham) - It happened. Then he scored goals in the playoffs, and we all remembered the regular season doesn't matter.
(J.J.) - Just more proof that the Rangers can get less-than-expected out of superstars and still chalk it up as a win. If only they had gotten another one this summer to keep the streak alive...
(Jeff) - He'll score even less next season...hello lockout!
(Graham) - Even before the season started, J.J. trolled the Predators.
(J.J.) - Stupid crystal ball was set too far into the future...
(Jeff) - I wish they did.
4. Darren Helm will score 5 shorthanded goals (I made this exact same prediction last season).
(Graham) - Stop. Just stop.
(J.J.) - Darren Helm's nickname should be "shorthanded". Not because he plays PK a lot, but because when it comes time to measuring up the skills needed to put it past the goalie, that's what best describes him.
(Jeff) - Did he even score 5 even strength goals?
5. Washington wins the President's Trophy.
(Graham) - Change "President's" to "Enigma's" and you would have been golden.
(J.J.) - DAMN YOU, SEMIN!
(Jeff) - If only Dale Hunter was there all season. They could've trapped their way to another meaningless trophy.
6. Paul MacLean will keep his job all season, but Ottawa still finishes last in the Northeast.
(Graham) - Thank goodness there were even worse hockey teams in Canada.
(J.J.) - I never made this prediction. Graham is making shit up to make me look bad.
(Jeff) - I guess I wasn't the only one off base with my Northeast prediction.
7. A sane majority of hockey fans will still be impressed with Brendan Shanahan by the end of the playoffs.
(J.J.) - He's got lots of impressive attributes. The way he woodenly stares at the camera while explaining what the drunken pigeon told him to do in every video is certainly impressive.
(Jeff) - He could have done a lot worse.
8. Matt Cooke will pull fewer than five regular season/playoff games worth of suspensions this season.
(Graham) - He truly is a changed man.
(J.J.) - He's got to be strangling bunny rabbits in secret to get out all the aggression, right? I mean, it has to be bunny rabbits.
(Jeff) - He's a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
(Graham) - You're talking about driving demerit points, right?
(J.J.) - If Havlat hadn't broken himself trying to complete a line change, he might have been able to make this prediction wrong. All said, Heatley crushed Havlat in the "Been Kronwalled Club" Scoring title.
(Jeff) - Who?
10. Detroit wins the cup (snark that one, bitches)
(Graham) - Told you that you were a jinx.
(J.J.) - Fuck me.
(Jeff) - You suck, J.J.
Graham's Predictions (The Winning Predictions):
1. Pavel Datsyuk scores 100 points this season and leads the Wings in goals.
(Graham) - I would have amended this had I known that Todd Bertuzzi was going to be on the TOP LINE ALL SEASON!
(J.J.) - Graham jinxed Pavel, which in turn jinxed me. It's his fault.
(Jeff) - Datsyuk is over the hill and past his prime.
2. Boston will be the second straight defending Cup champion to lose in the first round of the playoffs.
(Graham) - We need a name for this curse.
(J.J.) - Without knowing who would be in the White house next year, this was an intentional ploy.
(Jeff) - The Kings make it three straight next year.
3. There will be at least one 15-game suspension handed out by Shanahan this year.
(J.J.) - Brendan Shanahan sent a strong message to the players: Don't be Raffi Torres. I approve.
(Jeff) - Surprised it wasn't Matt Cooke.
(Graham) - You'd think he would have been covering up for all of Hudler's mistakes.
(J.J.) - Who?
(Jeff) - And he still wouldn't have won it.
5. Neither Vancouver nor San Jose will make the conference finals.
(Graham) - Chokers.
(J.J.) - I'd have been WAY more impressed if you'd have actually picked the two teams that did make it.
(Jeff) - So just like pretty much every season? Way to stick your neck out there, Graham.
6. Jimmy Howard will be picked to play in the All-Star Game this season.
(Graham) - Well-deserved. Next year I'll predict he goes on LTIR with a back injury from carrying the team through the first 2 months.
(J.J.) - Yeah, but he wasn't picked first.
(Jeff) - Too bad he couldn't keep his groin healthy after doing that stupid goalie race.
7. 1 division will send 4 teams to the playoffs, but it won't be the Atlantic or Pacific.
(Graham) - Special shout-out to the Blues for not being terrible this year (for once).
(J.J.) - I'm going to make this bold prediction every year after realignment.
(Jeff) - Can't wait for the BJs to get good and the Central sends 5 teams...hahahahaha just kidding.
8. The Maple Leafs will finish 6th or higher in the East (because picking them to make the playoffs isn't bold).
(Graham) - This is what I get for listening to Leaf fans. Does this mean that Nigerian Prince isn't going to send me part of his inheritance?
(J.J.) - Heh...heh....heh....hehahahahAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAHAHHAHA!
(Jeff) - HA this is as dumb as my Reimer pick
(Graham) - It didn't matter who I put here: no one hit this mark.
(J.J.) - What a failure.
(Jeff) - You picked the wrong Zetterberg winger.
10. There will be 3 coaches fired at some point before the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs (learned my lesson last year).
(Graham) - Honestly, I don't think this was that bold; but it was right, so who cares?
(J.J.) - See? Graham's gaming the system with non-bold predictions. That's the only reason he won. (Ed note: just like the US Women's Soccer team)
(Jeff) - Babcock should've been on that list.
So those were our picks. Let's take a look at how some of you did:
Vancouver wins west regular season standing but it is alot closer than just about everyone thinks it will be (by 3-5 points from second). - dwkrueger
5. the Florida Panthers will finish in the middle third of the NHL (spots 11-20)
10. the New York Rangers will make the Eastern Conference Finals - uvgt2bkdnme
4. Jimmy Howard will earn at least 5 shutouts this year. - tehGOALIE
3) New Jersey will not need Jacques Lemaire to reach the postseason
10) A team will win the Stanley Cup at home - RandomWingsDude
1) Of the three bottom dwellers in each conference (OTT,NYI,FLA,COL,CMB,EDM), one will make the playoffs this year. - Elfuego51
8) The Bruins make a first round playoff exit - Red, White and a Mile high
10. And MY BOLDEST PREDICTION. Jiri Hudler is never traded. DUNN DUNN DUHNNNNN - greg5897