Archive for the ‘predictions’ Category

Kontos is Late to the Standing Party

October 5, 2009

Since Joe and James have weighed in… now it’s my turn. Here are my predictions for the 2009-2010 season.

2) Chicago
3) Calgary
4) Detroit
5) Vancouver
6) St. Louis
7) Los Angeles
8) Anaheim
9) Columbus
10) Minnesota
11) Edmonton
12) Dallas
13) Nashville
14) Colorado
15) Phoenix

This picks were made before the season started, so I’m not worried about Colorado winning the Northwest and yes, even after that awful performance against the Coyotes… I still think the Kings will make the playoffs.

STANLEY CUP FINALIST: Cal-gary. (In Barry Melrose voice)

1) Philadelphia
2) Washington
3) Boston
4) Pittsburgh
5) Montreal
6) New Jersey
7) New York Rangers
8) Carolina
10) Toronto
11) Tampa Bay
12) Ottawa
13) New York Islanders
14) Atlanta
15) Florida

The Flyers are going to be a force to reckon with this season and the first two games have shown that. Ovechkin is on pace to score 406 goals, so that means a top spot for the Capitals.



Gut Reactions: The Northwest Division

September 29, 2009

Instead of going team-by-team, let’s stick some gut reactions into tidy divisional formats. Then at the end I’ll share wild guesses on playoff seeding and maybe a blindfolded dart throw at a Stanley Cup champion. You’re WELCOME.

1. Calgary Flames
Appetizers: Getting rid of “Mad” Mike Keenan, having three top-2 defensemen, Jarome effin’ Iginla, Olli Jokinen in a contract year, the fact that Kipper couldn’t perform much worse than he did last year.

Reach for the TUMS: Not too much beyond Iggy, have you SEEN Olli Jokinen?, Kipper could simply be on a free fall.

Weigh-in: The Flames aren’t a perfect hockey team, but they’re in the right division. Though each team brings something to the table, none of Calgary’s opponents will overload them with scoring talent.
2. Vancouver Canucks (the original gut reactions on Vancouver)
Chips and dip: They employ arguably the best goalie in the NHL, locked up the Cyborg Sedins for the mid-range future, chock full of ruggedness, still sports a splendid defense even without Ohlund.
Band-aid in the pasta: Andrew effin Raycroft, the Vancouver Olympics will make the Canucks have a crazy road schedule, the team has a general lack of monetary motivation, not a ton of high-end offense.
Verdict: As a pure team, I think Vancouver might be the best. However, the schedule is negative and their best players (Sedins + Luongo) are locked up which means they don’t have that contract year carrot dangling in front of them.

3. Minnesota Wild

Bread and butter: A nice goaltending tandem, Mikko Koivu, no longer dealing with Jacques Lemaire comb over jokes … uhhh ….
Bland, flavorless meat loaf: Do you really think they’re going to open it up? They lose Gaborik but make sure to give their trainers ample company by signing Martin Havlat.
Check: The NW Division falls off noticeably after Vancouver and Calgary (although this division always seems to revel in scrappy play).
4. Edmonton Oilers
Maple Syrup: Ales Hemsky is a diamond in the rough, young players can make a nice jump, Sheldon Souray slap shots his anger away.
Poorly digested Pecans: The Bulin Wall tends to turn into a dilapidated fence in non-contract years, Edmonton is (apparently) a godforsaken hellhole.

So…: The Oilers could scrap their way into a playoff spot, but my gut feeling is that they’ll tease for a few months and then putter their way to a golf course.

5. Colorado Avalanche
Calamari with a squeeze of lemon: Paul Stastny is quite good if arguably overpaid, they’re finally sucking it up and rebuilding after settling for mediocrity and nostalgia since the lockout, they’re not paying much for mediocre goaltending.
Rocky Mountain oysters: Their blue line is infested with crappy $3-4 million defensemen not named Kyle. The growing pains are going to hurt … can fans who’ve been spoiled since Day 1 be counted on when the team isn’t competing for a Cup for a few years?
Dessert: Keep your heads up, Avs fans. It’s time to yank that band-aid off instead of watching your skin peel back slowly.

Predictions that will make me look stupid

October 7, 2008

After perusing’s predictions for the 2008-09 season, I thought I’d make a few of my own. Feel free to reach back to this post when you need to mock and humiliate me. Your welcome!

  • The Ottawa Senators will win the Northeast Division. It’s amazing how quickly people can sour on a team that boasts Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza.

Sure, there was a time when the Senators had more than just that superstar line. But let’s not forget that the Montreal Canadiens – for all their class and entertainment value – are depending on an extremely green goalie and Alex Kovalev, one of the flightiest star players in the game.

Honestly, would the Canadiens need a second to trade anyone on their roster for Spezza or Heatley? This year’s Ottawa team will not spur the Globe and Mail to compare them to Gretzky’s Oilers, but they might just have enough juice to slip past an overrated (if not lovable) Montreal team.

  • The Red Wings won’t win the Cup.
  • Because the Ducks will win the Cup.
  • Even though the Ducks will win the Cup, they probably won’t win their division.
  • The Edmonton Oilers are the sexiest team in the NHL.

Seriously. They have that underdog, scrappy young team vibe. If you can’t root for Erik Cole after his grisly neck injury, even atheists will wonder about your soul. Ales Hemsky is also quite a beast from what I’ve heard.

  • The Maple Leafs would be historically bad, but Ron Wilson is just so damn ingenious that they will only be really bad.
  • The Devils will continue their “cockroach during nuclear winter” routine and not only make the playoffs, but win the Atlantic division. Even as I wish them death and destruction.

Am I the only person who thought the Devils actually made some pretty damn good moves? Bobby Holik sucked, but he mainly sucked because of the absurdity of his contract. Brian Rolston gives the Devils a really nice combination of forwards:

Brian Gionta – Patrik Elias – Zach Parise – Rolston

When you combine them with solid two-way/lesser known guys such as Jay Pandolfo, Jamie Langenbrunner and John Madden you have the making of an annoyingly effective team in front of the possibly immortal Martin Brodeur.

  • And if it’s not the Devils, it will be the Flyers … ensuring my misery either way.
  • I’m not predicting a regression for the Capitals for one simple reason: their division is a fucking joke. But they signed themselves a glass ceiling when they picked up Jose “Propecia” Theodore.
  • Don’t go sucking the Chicago Blackhawks’ popsicles just yet.
  • Pavol Demitra will not play 82 games.
  • If the Red Wings kick as much ass in this season as last, Lidstrom should receive a Hart Trophy. As good as Chris Pronger is, it’s a crying shame that he has a Hart trophy but Lidstrom doesn’t. Justice should be served.
  • Don’t be shocked if Markus Naslund has a really good year.
  • The Vancouver Canucks will make the playoffs and Roberto Luongo will win the Vezina.
  • Finally, I have absolutely no clue who will win the Selke. So I’ll just say Pavel Datsyuk to be safe.