Did you miss us? Good, because we're back with the rest of our BOLD PREDICTIONS. Jeff and Josh laid down the gauntlet earlier today with predictions ranking from as-bold-as-tex-mex-salsa to outright CAAAAHRAAAZY [whoops sombrero around head, fires pistol in the air while screaming "ay-yi-yi-yi-yi-yiiiiiiii"]
Now that we've given them their chance, Graham and I thought that it's a good time to lay down the real law. Graham lost by one measly (but VERY important) point in last season's predictions and I've been holding it over his head like a bad wig. Follow us through the jump for our predictions. Memorize these, because one day the historical record of humanity is going to depend on it.
1. Pavel Datsyuk scores 100 points this season and leads the Wings in goals.
J.J.: Jiri Hudler will be known as the most-hated setup man in the league
Jeff: But he will still lose the Hart trophy to Sidney Crosby.
Josh: Ilya Bryzgalov resents that and believes he will score 100 points and lead the Wings in goals
2. Boston will be the second straight defending Cup champion to lose in the first round of the playoffs.
J.J.: If they can be the second straight to bring me so much joy for a first-round series, I would love that.
Jeff: Bruins fans will be calling for Claude Julien to be fired, complaining that the team should play Rask instead of Thomas, and that Chara shouldn't wear the C anymore. So all-in-all, life will be back to normal.
Josh: And Vancouver will
riot celebrate in the streets
3. There will be at least one 15-game suspension handed out by Shanahan this year.
J.J.: My bet is on dual 15-gamers when James Wisniewski and Sean Avery get into an impromptu dirty-charades competition at center ice which ends in both of them calling each other a horrible slur and then simultaneously hitting one another in the back of the head.
Jeff: Matt Cooke, Shanahan is on line 1 for you.
Josh: Here's to hoping it's Joe Thornton for embellishing.
4. Henrik Zetterberg will be nominated for the Selke Trophy.
J.J.: Therefore reversing the polarity on the Datsyuk/Zetterberg Which One is More Underrated meter.
Jeff: But Datsyuk will sneak up from behind and steal it away from him.
Josh: Even with two nominees, the Wings will not be favorites to win it
5. Neither Vancouver nor San Jose will make the conference finals.
J.J.: Warning: West-Coast Mopery doesn't mean what you think it does.
Jeff: It'll be good to see both teams returning to their usual early playoff choking ways.
Josh: Which San Jose team are we talking about - the one from California or the one from Minnesota?
6. Jimmy Howard will be picked to play in the All-Star Game this season.
J.J.: Sportswriters will derisively explain that Shea Weber asks that there be a goalie in net for the hardest shot competition.
Jeff: After 3 other goalies sit out due to injuries.
Josh: And will be considered a biased pick when Lidstrom picks him as the only goalie left to pick
7. 1 division will send 4 teams to the playoffs, but it won't be the Atlantic or Pacific.
J.J.: If I'm a betting man, I put a bill down on the Northwest and pray I hit the lottery.
Jeff: The only logical choice is the Southeast.
Josh: Oddly enough, 1 division will also win the Stanley Cup and it also won't be the Atlantic or Pacific
8. The Maple Leafs will finish 6th or higher in the East (because picking them to make the playoffs isn't bold).
J.J.: Now Graham, there's a fine line between "bold" and "crazy". Is there some sort of weird gene that makes people from there massively overrate the Leafs each preseason?
Jeff: It'll be all because of Rei-mer! Rei-mer! Gotta be startin' Rei-mer!
Josh: Promptly declared "Canada's Team" when they make their not-so-valiant return, too
9. Valtteri Filppula scores 30 goals this year.
J.J.: Almost ALL of them are intentional shots on goal instead of passes!
Jeff: If you count his totals from the preseason, regular season, and postseason.
Josh: Which will still be a letdown
10. There will be 3 coaches fired at some point before the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs (learned my lesson last year).
J.J.: If Joe Sacco is the third to get canned, but it happens two days before the draft, I will give myself a herniated eyeball laughing about this.
Jeff: Ron Wilson will be on that list.
Josh: But only one of those teams will be saved by Jacques Lemaire
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.
Josh: He'll still be making three Ericssons more than he should.
Jeff: Ericsson still sucks.
Graham: In related news, I will be better than my 4-year old at NHL12. Neither scenario will mean that the "winner" is any good; just that the competition couldn't beat many kindergartners.
2. Brad Richards will score fewer than 77 points with the Rangers this season.
Jeff: That's $155,844.16 per point.
Josh: Can $100k for every point scored still be considered a good cap hit?
Graham: It will be the most expensive courtship that went nowhere since.....well, I guess since the Rangers' last huge signing (Hi, Wade Redden!)
3. The Nashville Predators will miss the playoffs.
Josh: And still finish second in the Central
Jeff: They will also miss Ryan Suter when he leaves next offseason.
Graham: All 10 of their fans think you're wrong.
4. Darren Helm will score 5 shorthanded goals (I made this exact same prediction last season).
Josh: I hardly consider this bold. Now, predicting that he scores 5 breakaway goals? That would be bold.
Jeff: But he will also whiff on 10 breakaways.
Graham: You're like the new discipline policy of the NHL; consistent, but wrong.
5. Washington wins the President's Trophy.
Josh: Vokoun will laugh at both the Panthers and Avalanche before he realizes they could have done it without him
Jeff: Boudreau is going to take the team out for ice cream at Haagen-Dazs afterwards.
Graham: Making their early playoff exit the most disappointing season in Washington since the last time they won the President's Trophy.
6. Paul MacLean will keep his job all season, but Ottawa still finishes last in the Northeast.
Josh: MacLean's mustache will finish first in the division, however
Jeff: Last in the Northeast, but first in the Best Mustache in the NHL contest at this year's All-Star game in Ottawa.
Graham: However, his mustache will be promoted to Director of Player Personnel.
7. A sane majority of hockey fans will still be impressed with Brendan Shanahan by the end of the playoffs.
Josh: And he will promptly suspend James Wisniewski for damaging their heads
Jeff: …and the others think Mike Milbury is the greatest voice the game has today.
Graham: The only thing that won't be sane will be his videos, which will feature Shanny looking very red-eyed, with 5 o'clock shadow and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.
8. Matt Cooke will pull fewer than five regular season/playoff games worth of suspensions this season.
Josh: Over Marc Savard's dead body, he will.
Jeff: He's a changed man.
Graham: That's because someone is going to end his career within the first month of the season, proving that karma does exist.
9. Dany Heatley outscores Marty Havlat this season.
Josh: And will, again, have to endure the criticism that he is only an elite player when he is the only person who can score more than 5 goals a season.
Jeff: I bet they both get Kronwalled too.
Graham: I didn't know they kept score in Grand Theft Auto.
10. Detroit wins the cup (snark that one, bitches)
Josh: Bill McCreary will come back from retirement during the ceremony, point to Holmstrom and the crease, and wave off the Cup win.
Jeff: They will only win in 5 games instead of 4.
Graham: Thanks for jinxing them, jerk.
* * *
So there are my ten winning predictions as well as ten predictions from three other guys who don't have a chance. If you fired off your own BOLD PREDICTION in the last post, then... hell I don't know. I didn't plan this very well. Talk about the season or something.