In another installment of this blog's "cheap content" machine, here we'll look back on my regular season predictions for the last NHL season that went terribly, while also giving out my sure to be wrong predictions for the playoffs. Some content is better than none.
Division Winners (predicted): PIT, TB, NSH, SJ
Division Winners (actual): WSH, TB, NSH, CGY
Not too bad. Pittsburgh finished third in the Metro and San Jose finished second in the Pacific, and would have won the division if Martin Jones could have stopped a beach ball.
East Playoff Teams (predicted): TB, TOR, BOS, FLA, PIT, WSH, PHI, CBJ
East Playoff Teams (actual): TB, BOS, TOR, CBJ, WSH, NYI, PIT, CAR
Overrating the Panthers and Flyers might be a sad new trend I've started that I will be sure to end in October. Both teams should have been far better than they were, but a gross combination of bad coaching and bad goaltending sunk them. I had Carolina as team nine in the East, and they ended up being team seven, and I thought the Islanders would be one step removed from the Senators in the East's basement, and they had the fifth best record. Barry Trotz is a wizard.
West Playoff Teams (predicted): NSH, WPG, STL, DAL, SJ, VGK, LA, CGY
West Playoff Teams (actual): NSH, WPG, STL, DAL, CGY, SJ, VGK, COL
Those LA Kings..., I deserve no credit for predicting the Central as it happened because it didn't sort itself out until the last day of the season, and I looked pretty dumb in January when the Blues were terrible. No one saw the Flames being this good, although I did have them sneaking into the postseason.
Awards (prediction then comments):
Hart: Connor McDavid (he could win it every year, but Nikita Kucherov is running away with this)
Art Ross: McDavid (again, Kuch ran away with this)
Rocket Richard: Patrik Laine (he has goalless streaks that make your mind go numb. Also Ovi is immortal).
Norris: Erik Karlsson (spent too much time injured, although over a full season he would have been in the race. Mark Giordano has won this)
Calder: Andrei Svechnikov (good, but not great season. Elias Pettersson has it locked up)
Jack Adams: Jim Montgomery (he did a good job, but not "best NHL team in a quarter century" or "reviving the Islanders from the scrap heap" good.)
First Coach Fired: Todd McLellan (4th of 4 fired in November. Congrats to John Stevens!)
Preseason Conference and Stanley Cup Finals Picks:
TB/PIT, SJ/NSH, TB/SJ.
All could happen, but they don't look as likely now.
TB over CBJ in 5
BOS over TOR in 7
WSH over CAR in 6
PIT over NYI in 6
TB over BOS in 6
WSH over PIT in 7
TB over WSH in 6
NSH over DAL in 7
STL over WPG in 6
CGY over COL in 5
VGK over SJ in 7
STL over NSH in 6
VGK over CGY in 6
VGK over STL in 6
2019 Stanley Cup Final:
TB over VGK in 6
Conn Smythe: Nikita Kucherov
Pretty chalky. Enjoy the playoffs!