Way back at the beginning of the regular NHL season, I made what I thought was 25 bold predictions.
Most predictions are safe, ie- boring. They never vary from one another, and the majority of them make the same “predictions” every year.
I thought it would be fun to go back and see how bad some of my predictions actually were.
1. There will be five players that crack the 50-goal barrier, the most since the 2005-06 campaign.
Big fat miss. Only two players made it.
2. Surprise good team of the year: Colorado Avalanche. They may not make the playoffs, but they’ll come close.
This counts as a win. Florida may have been better, but a lot of people had Colorado pegged for another brutal year.
3. Surprise bad team of the year: Philadelphia Flyers. They’ll struggle for much of the year.
Ouch. Maybe they’ll just struggle for game four.
4. Don’t expect much out of the Bruins. A lot of teams in the East got better this past summer, and the Bruins will have a bit of a Stanley Cup hangover. They’ll still make the playoffs, but they’ll struggle.
Looked good for a while. Then they came on.
5. Alexander Semin will be traded in a move designed to shake up the Capitals before the playoffs.
I still think this should have happened. Maybe no one wanted Semin?
6. Daniel Alfredsson will be traded to the Red Wings to give him one last shot at the Stanley Cup before he retires.
This was all based on the fact the Sens would finish 15th in the conference.
7. Shane Doan will be traded to Winnipeg.
I thought it would be neat, since he was an original Jet.
8. There will be at least two 20-game suspensions, as players don’t seem to understand the new headshot rule.
Should have happened. But Brendan Shanahan chickened out of the suspensions.
9. No player on the Habs will get 70 points.
Sad, but true.
10. On the wrong end of a few blowouts, and with a few scrapers on the team, the Senators will lead the league in fights.
Sens were leading for a while, but finished fifth with 55 majors, 10 behind the league-leading New York Rangers.
11. Three Canadian teams will make the playoffs: The Canadiens, the Leafs and the Canucks.
Only two made it. I’m not doing so well, am I?
12. Simon Gagne finds a way to stay healthy, score 30 goals and net 70 points.
He was injured, and on pace for about 16 goals and 40 points.
14. Surprise player of the year will be Bryan Little.
15. The Islanders make a big trade for a goalie.
Maybe this wasn’t that great an idea.
16. The Calgary Flames will finish last in the West.
Man, I suck.
17. All three Calder finalists from last season — Jeff Skinner, Logan Couture and Michael Grabner — have a sophomore slump.
I’m taking half a point for this one. Grabner had a set back and Skinner was injured and finished with less points (and was on pace for a letdown as well). Only Couture improved.
18. Brad Richards does what most big-money free agents in New York do: he has a subpar season, finishing with 60 points.
This is a hit. He finished the season with 66 points, but it was a subpar year.
19. The following are my dark horse predictions for each of the trophies:
Rocket Richard: Zach Parise
Finished 21st in goals, 29 goals behind Steven Stamkos.
20. Hart: Jarome Iginla
21. Art Ross: Ryan Getzlaf
Finished 68th in the league in points.
22. Selke: Tomas Plekanec
Was a minus 15.
23. Norris: Dan Boyle
24. Calder: Luke Adam
Looked good for the first month of the season. Had only 20 points (16th in rookie scoring).
25. The Devils will win the Stanley Cup, with Martin Brodeur retiring shortly thereafter.
Still have to wait and see on the one.