2009-10 Standings Predictions

The other day, O’Brien posted his own standings predictions for the year. At his invitation, I’m posting my own, so we can see just how wrong he is.

Western Conference:
1) Calgary Flames
2) San Jose Sharks
3) Detroit Red Wings
4) Chicago Blackhawks
5) Vancouver Canucks
6) St. Louis Blues
7) Anaheim Ducks
8) Los Angeles Kings
9) Columbus Blue Jackets
10) Dallas Stars
11) Minnesota Wild
12) Edmonton Oilers
13) Nashville Predators
14) Phoenix Coyotes
15) Colorado Avalanche
Coyotes’ hiring Tippett gets them out of the basement, all the way up to… 14th. STL is going to have a strong resurgence with healthy Kariya and McDonald (I thought this before yesterday’s game too, so there). The Central is too good to allow the division winner (narrowly DET over CHI) to get higher than 3rd. SJ is sliding a bit, but the Pacific is weak enough to let them finish #2. CGY feasts on EDM/MIN/COL to get #1 in the Northwest.
In the playoffs, if DET can avoid drawing CGY and VAN, they get back to the SCF. If they meet one of them, its CGY going to the SCF.
Eastern Conference:
1) Washington Capitals
2) Pittsburgh Penguins
3) Boston Bruins
4) Philadelphia Flyers
5) New Jersey Devils
6) Carolina Hurricanes
7) Buffalo Sabres
8) New York Rangers
9) Florida Panthers
10) Toronto Maple Leafs
11) Montreal Canadiens
12) Atlanta Thrashers
13) Tampa Bay Lightning
14) New York Islanders
15) Ottawa Senators
ATL chases off Kovy. PIT wins a very tight divisional race, and PHI might have more points than BOS. BUF finally gets some luck and makes it into the post season… to get ripped up by PIT. NYR barely gets another postseason spot that they really don’t deserve. TOR is competitive, but not enough to get a high pick, and not enough to get a playoff spot. WSH rides a bad division to the #1 spot.
In the playoffs, it comes down to a PHI/PIT Eastern Conference Final. PHI should win, but PIT actually wins, because in the East the refs call the games a little different, and are less tolerant of the Western style that you need to beat Crosby/Malkin. PIT gets too many powerplays and makes it back to the SCF.
In the final, if its CGY vs PIT, CGY loses another 7 game SCF. If its DET vs PIT, DET wins because hopefully Pronger and Co actually punished Malkin and Crosby, instead of letting them breeze right through the playoffs. I hate the Eastern Conference.
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