Welcome to the start of a new hockey season, my fine friends. While the really good hockey won't happen until tomorrow when the Red Wings play, it's nice to know there are games on tonight which actually count.
Of course, that can only mean one thing at WIIM: it's time for some BOLD PREDICTIONS. While some other sites will throw out some garbage and pray you don't notice when they're wrong, we here at WIIM are up for quite the opposite. Since we're so damn classy, we're going to stand by our predictions 100%. Once the season is over, we'll revisit these and we'll let the winner gloat appropriately (as though there's an inappropriate way to gloat [thrusts hips at Graham]).
With four of us playing this season, we're going to break this series into two posts. For the morning post, we've got our newcomers ready to try to take the crown away from yours truly with ten predictions each. As always, we do predictions, and then we talk shit on one another. Hey, we're family and that's what families do.
Follow after the jump for the first two sets, then hop into the comments to pick your favorites and also drop your very own BOLD PREDICTIONS. Commenters who drop the biggest, baddest, and most-correct predictions will win credit from us and scorn from everybody else.Josh's Predictions
1. Despite playing fewer games than Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, both Sedins, and Corey Perry, Sidney Crosby will lead the league in scoring.
J.J.: ...because the league will be so happy he's back, they'll count every one of his goals as 4.
Graham: This is bold only if Crosby misses significant time; anything less than 5 games and I consider this to be a regular prediction, not a BOLD one.
Jeff: Maybe in the month of March.
2. Jakub Kindl will move past Ericsson and White on the depth chart and be Lidstrom's partner for the playoffs.
J.J.: Maybe, but just wait until the mysterious Jonathian Whitericsson wins the Conn Smythe.
Graham: I like Kindl, but this only happens if White gets injured and Ericsson....plays like Ericsson.
Jeff: This actually wouldn't shock me. I don't think it will happen, but if it did, I wouldn't be shocked.
3. Fabian Brunnstrom will have locked himself into one of the top 12 forward spots by the trade deadline
J.J.: And Jiri Hudler will have locked himself in a foot locker three times.
Graham: I agree; in Grand Rapids.
Jeff: If this happens it's because he got tired of sitting in the Leino Lounge and listening Commordore's stories about going to the mall.
4. The Wings will go beyond the trade deadline with more cap space than they had before it.
J.J.: In a desperate last-effort bid to look like player salaries are out of control, the league decides a daring mid-season salary cap increase is just the thing they need.
Graham: Bye bye Jiri!
5. The Wild and Sharks will complete two more trades.
J.J.: Both of those phone calls will end with "are you suuure we can't have Havlat back? Heatley keeps challenging people to staring contests and it's really starting to creep everybody out"
Graham: All of this is a ruse designed to hide the fact that Doug Wilson and Chuck Fletcher are really engaged in a heated game of "Words With Friends".
Jeff: By this time next year they will have swapped their entire rosters and continue to be two underachieving franchises.
6. Ilya Bryzgalov is a finalist for the Vezina but will lose it to Tomas Vokoun in the War of Cities Too Hard on Their Goalies
J.J.: I really have no idea what to think about both Philly and Washington getting best-in-the-league goaltending.
Graham: Josh, meet Ryan Miller's "pimp hand".
Jeff: Bryz loses because George McPhee will vote Vokoun 1st, 2nd, and 3rd on his Vezina ballot.
7. The Los Angeles Kings will win not only win their division, but the Western Conference as well.
J.J.:: And they'll win an Oscar, and they'll win a Tony, and they'll win the Publisher's Clearing House...
Graham: Is the conference prediction for regular season or playoffs? Because either way, it's wrong.
Jeff: And proceed to lost in the 1st round of the playoffs.
8. Sean Avery will play in more NHL games than Chris Pronger.
J.J.: Chris Pronger will play in more Mutant League Football games though.
Graham: There's a purse-snatching joke to be made here.
Jeff: If you mean in the preseason, then you're spot on.
9. Edmonton will not be the worst team in the league, or even the worst team in Canada.
J.J.: I'm not convinced they'll even be the worst team in Alberta.
Graham: I see you in the corner, Ottawa. But the Oilers will still be terrible, so this is like being the smartest kid in the remedial class.
Jeff: But they'll still be the worst in the West.
10. No fewer than 2 team captains will be traded during the season.
J.J.: Now that Parise and Weber are both team captains, I think it's time for an intervention.
Graham: There are a lot of dumb GMs out there, but I can't see 2 of them being so stupid they trade their captain during the season.
Jeff: My money is on Iginla being one of them.
Graham: All the more impressive considering the suspensions and penalty minutes that thug will rack up this season. (Goon!)
Josh: But still be suspended from playing in the NHL
J.J.: So the only way your first prediction will be wrong is if he gets called up or Doug Janik starts taking hockey-enhancing drugs.
2. The Boston Bruins will not win the Northeast Division
Graham: Buffalo proves that spending $5M over the cap gets you a division title and a first round loss.
Josh: They'll lose the division title in the final game of the season by losing to Tampa Bay, I bet
J.J.:There's BOLD and then there's The-Sabres-Aren't-a-Joke BOLD
3. James Reimer finishes top 10 in GAA and Save% mainly because of this (Hi Casey!)
Graham: This will be true even though he misses the last 15 games of the season due to PTSD from facing 40 shots a game.
Josh: And Toronto will embrace him as a second son until next season when he finishes outside the top 10 and is cast off
J.J.:...and bottom 10 in wins because the Maple Leafs are terrible.
4. The Washington Capitals will FINALLY make the Stanley Cup Final (only to lose to Detroit...again)
Graham: Bruce Boudreau goes on an eating binge like Ben Stiller after "Dodgeball" and ends up the same size.
Josh: At least it would help lessen the nail biter of wondering if Alex Semin will play another season next summer
J.J.: Ted Leonsis will write in his blog about how it was the team's plan to lose in the cup finals so they could learn how to win the next one. At least this time they should be able to win one game (Hi Esa Tikkanen!)
5. Tuukka Rask will be the Bruins starting goaltender come playoff time
Graham:Owing entirely to the fact that Tim Thomas sets 15 more regular season records and retires, citing his tires are more than full to get him to the Hall of Fame.
Josh: But it will be Tim Thomas who leads them deep into the playoffs
J.J.: Prepare for "pump his tires" jokes to turn into "slashed his tires" jokes.
6. Jiri Hudler will score 25 goals
Graham: 18 of them for his new team after he's traded in February.
Josh: Are we counting goals he helps the other team score?
J.J.: How many of them off his own face?
7. Sidney Crosby will not play hockey again until the playoffs
Graham: Giving NHL fans across the country the chance to learn all about Evgeni Malkin and the 6 English words he knows.
Josh: And will still get votes for the Hart Trophy
J.J.: and he's never gonna dance again (guilty feet have got no rhythm).
8. Mika Zibanejad will win the Calder
Graham: I refuse to snark this on the basis that this is clearly a made-up name.
Josh: The award presenter will butcher his name on live TV, too
J.J.: Down Goes Brown will write a much better joke than I ever could about the inclusion of the words "Ottawa" and "winner" in the same sentence.
9. The Wings will have a top five power play and penalty kill
Josh: [redacted] will claim it is due to dirty, perhaps even racist, play and say his comment is presented by Amway
Graham: I'm with J.J.; just the idea of this makes me warm in all my happy places.
10. First seed in the Western Conference will belong to Detroit
Graham: I agree, in that the Wings are going to "own" the Canucks, but the Northwest is so awful and Central so good that the Wings will lose points.
Josh: We're too old to do something that fantastic, haven't you read the reports?
J.J.: If Vancouver can't win the west against the Northwest Division, they don't deserve to make the playoffs.