Every year we see tons of preseason predictions go by the wayside in the hockey blogosphere. Long-forgotten hot takes get swept under the rug by writers who will pretend they never made such goofy claims. Fortunately, with the magic of screenshots, lots of them get hilariously called out for saying goofy shit like "The Oilers will make the playoffs." We here at WIIM don't shy away from our dumb predictions though, we own them. In that spirit, it's time to revisit our preseason BOLD predictions and see how completely awful we were.
We're going to do something a little different this year though. Since all of us only made four predictions apiece, we ended up with a three-way tie for the win. Rather than split this championship (like Graham and I have done in the past), we're going to leave it up to a vote where you'll get to help decide whose correct prediction was the boldest. That person will claim sole ownership of WIIM's completely intangible BOLD predictions tropy.
But first, let's get to the commenters, who smoke us yearly in prognosticating prowess:
Ok, the third one didn't happen, but 1&2 are golden.
Seems obvious now, but this prediction on October 7th was indeed very BOLD.
This one might be the overall winner. Only 1 and 3 are right here, but #4 was pretty close (Detroit had a very strong PK in the first half that fell out of the top 10). We got really close to prediction #2 here too. Dallas Eakins and Paul MacLean both got the axe before Christmas, but Peter DeBoer held on until December 26th. Randy Carlyle got fired in early January. The guy that Bylsma did replace (Ted Nolan) wasn't fired until April.
So that's it? Well... down year for the commenters.
Let's get to the very worst prediction from each staff member (as decided by me because I get to decide these things)
Caleb: Ryan Sproul cracks the roster sometime after Thanksgiving and scores more goals for the Wings this season than Daniel Cleary.
- Ryan Sproul had trouble cracking the Griffins' roster. Bit too much wishful thinking here.
Jeff: Brendan Smith will lead all Red Wings defensemen in points.
Kyle: Tomas Nosek will score a goal at the NHL level during the regular season
- I'm kind of glad this one didn't come true because I'm trying to imagine the injury problems the Wings would have had to have gone through to make this one come true.
Joseph: Ken Holland will trade a player who plays on opening night.
- Hahahaha. Ken Holland trade a player. Hahahaha
Graham: Dan Cleary scores 20 goals this year.
- I promised I'd eat an avocado if that happened (I hate avocados). I was never in danger.
Christian: Stephen Weiss scores over 55 points for the Wings this season.
- Christian could have halved this prediction and still have been considered BOLD (and he would have still been wrong).
J.J.: Darren Helm will lead the league in shorthanded goals.
- I am never going to stop making this prediction and I am never going to stop being terribly wrong. It's a vicious cycle.
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Ok, now that we've gone over the best of the best from the commenters and the worst of the worst from the contributors, it's time to go over our own correct BOLD predictions!
Dallas will finish ahead of Colorado this season.
I pegged this like Colorado pegged the suck meter this season. I know a lot of analytics types called a fall for the 2013-14 Central Division champs, but Dallas had just completed a group of untested moves and were going into the 2014-15 year without a goalie or a good defense.
How it could have been bolder: Should have added they'd both be below Winnipeg.
Bruins will not win the Atlantic Division.
That's the previous seasons' Presidents Trophy winning club which had only traded away Johnny Boychuk by the time the prediction was made. There wasn't a reason to believe they would be as bad as they were (other than Karma). Injuries, Dougie Hamilton causing trouble in the locker room, and other teams being better combined to make this happen.
How it could have been bolder: Should have predicted they'd miss the playoffs entirely.
Petr Mrazek steals someone's job
The guy went from Grand Rapids' regular season starter to the Red Wings' playoff starter, getting into almost 30 regular season games and putting up a .918 save percentage. Not many questioned Mrazek's right to man the pipes for the Wings as they went into the postseason.
How it could have been bolder: Should have predicted the somebody whose job got stolen would be Jimmy Howard.
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So there you have it, a three-way tie at the top for the WIIM contributors who were lucky enough to hit on exactly 25% of their terrible predictions. We truly did an awful job at this if you're looking for pure prognosticating power. If you're looking for evidence that hockey is very hard to predict, then we kicked ass. Go us!
Vote below for your winner so that the person who takes the crown can rub it in all the other losers' faces.