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Bragging Rights: Revisiting WIIM's BOLD PREDICTIONS

Before last season started, Casey, Graham, and I decided to get together and throw some runes, read some tea leaves, consult the Ouija Board and otherwise pull some preseason predictions from our nether regions for the edification of figuring out which one of us was more right than the others.  Now that the playoffs are over, we've let the dust settle and have declared a winner.  Of course, we already knew that it was going to be me, but it was fun pretending for a while. Of course, lest I hurt my shoulder patting myself on the back too hard, it's worth mentioning that I won with a whopping score of 3/10.

Today, we're going to take a look back at the predictions we made and how hilariously wrong we got some of them. Like last time, we've got all three of us together to discuss what happened.

Let's start off with Casey's predictions:

Johan Franzen will score 45 goals.
[J.J.: If only we played Ottawa nine times per season...]
[Graham: But he stayed healthy, so that's a moral victory, right? Right? Nah, I don't think it is either. ]
[Casey: So he scored 17 less than my prediction? Next year, he will score 117 goals.]

Jimmy Howard will be a Vezina finalist
[J.J.: This one isn't Casey's fault; this is Jonathan Ericsson's fault.]
[Graham: I blame Nicklas Lidstrom and his horrific -2. I can't believe that bum won a Norris.]
[Casey: He's #1 in my heart still.]

Chicago will finish 3rd in the Division
[J.J.: Casey's lone correct prediction brings a smile to my face.  I'm going to try to get him to predict bad things for Patrick Kane next year hoping that he's just always right about Chicago.]
[Graham: I really thought this one was going to be wrong. That is was his only choice tickles me in a special place.]
[Casey: Hooray for Zoidberg!]

Stamkos will win the Hart Trophy
[J.J.: He started the year incredibly strong and stayed in contention for a long time, but eventually he slowed down and didn't end up making the top three, being edged out by teammate Martin St. Louis]
[Graham: If the award was given out for the first half of the season, he had a chance.]
[Casey: I didn't even get the right guy on the team...]

Boston won't make the playoffs
[J.J.: Errrr.... whoops.]
[Graham: I'll admit I never understood the Boston love before this season. However, their division was garbage, so making the playoffs seemed like a good bet.]
[Casey: Reverse jinx!]

The Sharks won't win the division
[J.J.: They sure looked like they were trying to give Casey a hand early on, but then they realized that they share a division with Anaheim and manned up.]
[Graham: Boy, had we counted these midway through the season, Casey had a legitimate shot. Too bad he peaked early.]
[Casey: Chalk up another Osc--I mean, division title.]

Buffalo will make it to the conference finals
[J.J.: When Casey made this prediction, Graham said "At that point, Ryan Miller's back will be destroyed from carrying them there."  He's still pretty sore from a first round seven-gamer.]
[Graham: That line was my favourite of all the snark in the original post.]
[Casey: Stupid Buffalo and your lack of scoring depth.]

Jonathan Ericsson will be traded
[J.J.: Maybe a bit of dyslexia here on the last word?]
[Graham: Unfortunately Paul Holmgren wasn't in the market for an underachieving defenseman, or else the Wings could have landed Jeff Carter or Mike Richards.]
[Casey: A man can dream though, a man can dream.]

Valtteri Filppula will score 70 points
[J.J.: *facepalm*]
[Graham: In fairness, he was more than halfway there when the season ended. Maybe Casey thought this was baseball and they play 162 games.]
[Casey: We were supposed to be bold right?]

Edmonton WON'T be the worst team in the league.
[J.J.: *sad trombone*]
[Graham: When your entire team is made up of teenagers and it's not a beer league, you're probably in trouble. ]
[Casey: I felt so bad for them (not really).]

More after the jump

Graham's Predictions:

Derek Meech will be a regular on an NHL team by the end of the season. 
[J.J.: He damn well should have been, but re-entry waivers are a fickle bitch.]
[Casey: In Graham's defense, the Griffins might be able to beat the Oilers.]
[Graham: Looking at some of the defensemen that were utilized by other teams this season, I'm still surprised this didn't come true.]

The Western Conference will win the Stanley Cup
[J.J.: Yeah... thanks for doing us proud, Vancouver...]
[Casey: The Sedins would have gotten away with it if it weren't for that meddling Tim Thomas (Side note: I can totally picture Tim Thomas as a sketchy Scooby Doo villain)]
[Graham: Stupid choking Canucks. Whatever.]

The Coyotes will not make the playoffs
[J.J.: I almost want to give him credit for getting this one right]
[Casey: I got my mom to write this one: They tried, and that's what's important.]
[Graham: Well, it's not like they actually played any meaningful hockey in them, amiright?]

Phil Kessel will score 40 goals for the Leafs this year.
[J.J.: 8 shy isn't too bad]
[Casey: Folks in Toronto are glad he didn't get 40. That's 8 less times people in Toronto had to see his face on the big screen...peering into their souls.]
[Graham: Damn. If only James Wisniewski and his tons of talent were in Toronto, he'd get there for sure.]

Pavel Datsyuk will finish in the top 5 in NHL scoring this year
[J.J.: Even if he had stayed healthy, it would have been tough to pull off, but I think he could have.]
[Graham: He was on pace to do it. Only Daniel Sedin topped 100 points. It would have happened. Eat poo Mikael Samuelsson.]
[Casey: Yes, eat poo.]

There will be 3 new division winners this year
[J.J.: Yep, got this one right. Great job, New Jersey]
[Casey: Good job, you jerk.]
[Graham: In case you were wondering, my predictions were in the Central (Detroit), Atlantic (I thought Pittsburgh would take it), and Northeast (I was thinking Montreal)]

Carey Price will finish with a better GAA and SV% than Jaroslav Halak
[J.J.: Fine, he got it right.  I would have been more impressed if he would have picked Jaroslav Halak to score more goals than Carey Price]
[Casey: See above.]
[Graham: Boom. My proudest of my correct picks.]

The Central Division will send 4 teams to the playoffs
[J.J.: This looked like a good possibility for a while until both Columbus and St Louis remembered that they suck.]
[Casey: Remember when Columbus played well early on? They thought it was the NFL season.]
[Graham: I knew St. Louis would suck (yes, Blues fans, you won 1 game 10-3. How were the playoffs for you?), but I thought Columbus would sneak in.]

The Thrashers will make the playoffs
[J.J.: Who would have thought that we'd be lamenting this happening because it's possible the Southeast division was just TOO tough?]
[Casey: At least Evander Kane will have some fans to play in front of now. Or...for a season or two.]
[Graham: They must have been too pre-occupied with all that Phoenix-to-Winnipeg talk to concentrate on the season.]

There will be 3 coaches fired during the regular season
[J.J.: If he hadn't said "during", he would have been right, but Florida, Ottawa, and Dallas all sacked their coaches after their seasons were over, leaving only the Islanders and Devils to make regular season changes.]
[Casey: I like turtles.]
[Graham: Semantics. I consider this one a correct pick.]

Finally, the Grand Champion Predictions you've all been waiting for:

Toronto will finish ahead of Montreal in the standings.
[Casey: Toronto fans will still make the argument that they finished ahead of the Canadiens and that the standings are "just numbers, man".]
[J.J.: They looked downright good at times, but couldn't pull it off.  Must need more TRUCULENCE.]
[Graham: Downright good? Too bad their alarm clocks were set for "late February" instead of "early October".]

Vancouver will win the Presidents' Trophy.
[Casey: Is this the same as a Presidential Fitness Award?]
[Graham: Just another banner to add to that meaningless "circle" they have at GM Place. Maybe someday they'll raise a banner for actually doing something important.]
[J.J.: Ta-Daaaaaaaa!  Enjoy the banner, jerks.  Hopefully all those dangerous anarchists don't sneak into your building and set it on fire.]

Tampa Bay will make the playoffs.
[Casey: Damn skippy.]
[Graham: When you look at the pieces they had in place, it's not that big a shock that they made the playoffs.]
[J.J.: Retrospect makes this one look like a cookie-cutter pick, but there was no telling in the preseason that things would go this fantastically for the Bolts in their first year under the Yzerman regime.]

Antti Niemi will win more games than Marty Turco with a better save %
[Graham: However, Turco won more money in bets with fans.]
[Casey: And he mocked Pierre.]
[J.J.: I'm still debating whether I want to be ecstatic that I got this one right or sad that it meant that Niemi helped the Sharks turn their early season slump around.]

Pavel Datsyuk will play better defensively this year, but not win the Selke
[Casey: Need more steal.]
[Graham: Hard to say he was better defensively. He wasn't bad, but he didn't deserve the Selke this year.]
[J.J.: I got the second part right, but I don't think Datsyuk played better defensively this year than last.]

Colorado and Minnesota will be within five points of one another in the standings for third place in the Northwest.
[Casey: Well hey, at least they got that Selke winning Jay McClement in a trade! Oh, he didn't win a Selke. Sorry, my bad, STLGT.]
[Graham: Who knew Colorado would come that far back to Earth? Not that I'm complaining....]
[J.J.: Well, I was right on the placing, I just missed the points bid by a smidge (well... 18 smidges really)]

Darren Helm will score 5 shorthanded goals.
[Casey: 2 and 5 are like number cousins though.]
[Graham: Had he finished on 50% of the chances he had, he would have 254 goals.]
[J.J.: Two... he scored two.  This is the only thing I'm allowed to be angry about what happened in Darren Helm's season.]

The new head shot rule will result in ZERO suspensions this season
[Casey: I wonder how many times Shanny will lay down the law...]
[Graham: The NHL followed through on a discipline policy? I'm more shocked at that than at JJ being wrong.]
[J.J.: Surprisingly, I was proven wrong on this one before the new year.  Shane Doan holds the honors of being the first player suspended for a Rule 48 violation.]

Ville Leino will end up on waivers before the end of the season.
[Casey: He was probably the monetary Most Valuable Player as he scored a lot but was payed very little.]
[Graham: He's now one of their top scoring threats. Roll that one around in your noggin for a moment.]
[J.J.: Yeah, it was wishful thinking.]

Derek Boogaard will score more goals than Brett Lebda
[Casey: Very sad what happened, RIP Derek.]
[Graham: RIP Derek.]

[J.J.: They each scored one, but there's no jokes to be made here. A young man's untimely death far outshadows his talents on the ice.]

There, now that I feel better about myself, let's take a look at some of the reader predictions:

uvgt2bkdnme: Marty Turco will be this year's Vesa Toskala

uvgt2bkdnme: Ilya Kovalchuk will not score 35+ goals this season with the Devils

red army line: a team from the East wins the Stanley Cup

LeftWingLocked: Tampa makes the Eastern Conference Finals

greg5897: Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo both play more games than Rick DiPietro.

So which of the reader predictions did you feel was the boldest? Calling Kovalchuk for less than 35 was pretty damn gutsy, but was it bolder than correctly calling the Bolts to make the final four?  Sound off in the comments below.