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PostSubject: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:13 pm

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division
1. Boston Bruins
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Montréal Canadiens
4. Ottawa Senators
5. Detroit Red Wings
6. Florida Panthers
7. Buffalo Sabres
8. Toronto Maple Leafs

Metropolitan Division
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. New York Rangers
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
4. Philadelphia Flyers*
5. Washington Capitals*
6. New York Islanders
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Carolina Hurricanes

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division
1. Chicago Blackhawks
2. St. Louis Blues
3. Colorado Avalanche
4. Dallas Stars*
5. Minnesota Wild*
6. Winnipeg Jets
7. Nashville Predators

Pacific Division
1. Los Angeles Kings
2. Anaheim Ducks
3. San Jose Sharks
4. Edmonton Oilers
5. Vancouver Canucks
6. Arizona Coyotes
7. Calgary Flames

* - wild card playoff teams


Last edited by Required Fields on Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:39 pm

Oh wow, give me a day or two.

I think you have a pretty conservative ranking. Where are the upsets? Penguins and Bruins are obviously the teams to beat in the East, but after that it's pretty tight. The West is a warzone. Realistically there's something like 7 legitimate Cup contenders. All those California teams are stacked, and you could pretty much rank them in any order.

Also, it's now the ARIZONA Coyotes.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:52 pm

Way too early for that.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:30 pm

Lari wrote:
Oh wow, give me a day or two.

I think you have a pretty conservative ranking. Where are the upsets? Penguins and Bruins are obviously the teams to beat in the East, but after that it's pretty tight. The West is a warzone. Realistically there's something like 7 legitimate Cup contenders. All those California teams are stacked, and you could pretty much rank them in any order.

Also, it's now the ARIZONA Coyotes.

Thanks for the correction.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:13 am

Dallas ain't gonna have a better record than the Wild.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:46 am

I think the Wild are a goalie short of being a contender. Backstrom and Harding are decent, but how many games are they going to be healthy enough to play anyway?

Dallas has Kari Lehtonen, and they look pretty strong up front too this season.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:04 am

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division
1. Chicago Blackhawks
2. Dallas Stars
3. Minnesota Wild
4. St.Louis Blues
5. Colorado Avalanche
6. Nashville Predators
7. Winnipeg Jets

Such a tough division to predict. The Hawks are a legitimate contender, and probably the favourites, but it's going to be tight. They still have the same core, and maybe even improved by adding Brad Richards for depth. Defending division champs, the Avs, I think won't be able to repeat the regular season success they had last year. Teams are going to figure them out, just like what happened in the playoffs. This time they might even miss out on the playoffs completely. They also lost Stastny to the Blues.

The Stars I believe will be among the better teams, and will improve greatly. They have starpower up front and a top notch goalie.

The Blues are kind of like the Wild - missing a legit #1 goalie and a #1 center. I'll take the Wild ahead of them though, because F*ck the Blues. The Preds have a new coach in Laviolette, so while the honeymoon lasts they'll be able to edge the Jets for 6th place.

Pacific Divison
1. San Jose Sharks
2. Anaheim Ducks
3. Los Angeles Kings
4. Arizona Coyotes
5. Edmonton Oilers
6. Calgary Flames
7. Vancouver Canucks

The Kings are a powerhouse, and will surely turn it up a notch come playoff time, but they're not a great regular season team. Possibly because physical play gets you a lot of penalties, but in the playoffs the refs are calling things less tight.

So it's either the Sharks or the Ducks that will take the division. I went with the Sharks because I like the depth they have. Thornton is essentially their #2 center by now with Logan Couture being the new star center. Pavelski is one of the best 3rd line centers and they have that exciting kid Tomas Hertl, too. The Ducks added Ryan Kesler and will be just a good as they were last season, so it's basically a coin toss. Any one of these three California teams could win the cup.

Every fall a lot of people pick the Oilers to finally break out, but we've seen them disappoint so many times already that I won't believe they will reach the playoffs until I actually see it happen. The Coyotes play hard and I'm thinking will finish ahead of the Oilcans. The Flames and the Nucks duke it out for last place, and the team with the worst captain in hockey will lose that battle (and no, it's not Mark Giordano).

The Wild Card teams will be the Blues and either the Avs or the Yotes. I think I'll go with the Avs for now.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:26 pm

Lari wrote:
I think the Wild are a goalie short of being a contender. Backstrom and Harding are decent, but how many games are they going to be healthy enough to play anyway?

Dallas has Kari Lehtonen, and they look pretty strong up front too this season.

Darcy Keumper is a stud-in-waiting. A proven winner his entire life and a HUGE kid!! We may need side wager a cd or two! haha
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:09 am

UNCLE SAXON'S KICKASS CDS wrote:
Lari wrote:
I think the Wild are a goalie short of being a contender. Backstrom and Harding are decent, but how many games are they going to be healthy enough to play anyway?

Dallas has Kari Lehtonen, and they look pretty strong up front too this season.

Darcy Keumper is a stud-in-waiting.  A proven winner his entire life and a HUGE kid!!  We may need side wager a cd or two!  haha

Not worth it to ship a disc or two overseas, but I'll PayPal you $10 if the Wild finish ahead of the Stars in regular season, if you accept the bet.

The Wild beat the Stars by 7 points last season, and added Vanek. But the Stars got Spezza, and I think they have the better centers now. Koivu is not an elite top line center, and Granlund is still green. The Wild have the better wingers no doubt (though Cole, Benn, Nichushkin and Hemsky provide decent punch for the Stars, too), and better defense (though only because of Suter, actually both teams have a mediocre defense).

Goaltending decides it for me, and Lehtonen is a legitimate top 10 goalie in the world. Backstrom, Harding, Kuemper are like a box of chocolates - you never know what you will get.

The Stars also have a new coach and may get the initial boost that comes with it. The Wild play a boring game anyway, Yeo's cancer hockey, so I have no problem betting against them and hoping for them to lose Razz

Centers: Stars >> Wild
Wingers: Wild > Stars
Defense: Wild > Stars
Goaltending: Stars >>> Wild
Coaching: Stars > Wild
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:44 am

All good points, Lari. And I agree with your final breakdown. I'll still accept that wager.

Niederrrieter, Haula, Brodine, and Coyle are all gonna blow up this season though. We'll have to see what Granlund does and if Zucker can get healthy. Vanek is gonna open some things up. And I really believe if Kuemper starts the season, he may rarely see the bench [he DID stop all 9 shoot-out shots in a row against the Kings last year! Amongst alot of other clutch games].
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:40 pm

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Only two powerhouse teams in the East, and both will again win their divisions. The Bruins and the Penguins are one step above the rest of the pack. After those two teams, it gets pretty even, but let's try.

Atlantic Division
1. Boston Bruins
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Detroit Red Wings
4. Montreal Canadiens
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Ottawa Senators
7. Buffalo Sabres
8. Florida Panthers

This division looks pretty weak. The Bolts aren't the same team without Marty St.Louis. But they do still have Stamkos and Bishop, and that should get them in the playoffs. The Wings aren't even a good team anymore, but they could still reach the post-season once again. Montreal plays smart, but are pretty damn soft and weak. Still... this lineup will get decent enough regular season success in a weak divison like the Atlantic. Tough to decide on the order between these three mediocre teams.

After Detroit, Tampa and Montreal, it gets REALLY weak. I could see the remaining four teams all in the hunt for #1 draft pick Connor McDavid. Florida has the worst #1 center in the league in Bjugstad (or Barkov). And the rest of the roster looks like a weird mishmash of random pieces that form no puzzle. I placed them last. Sabres and the Sens are probably in, or entering, rebuild mode. I think the Leafs will beat both, but miss the playoffs.

There, I'm done sorting them.  happy

Metropolitan Division
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. New York Rangers
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
4. Philadelphia Flyers
5. New York Islanders
6. New Jersey Devils
7. Carolina Hurricanes
8. Washington Capitals

After Pittsburgh, there's a couple of teams that could maybe make a push here. The Rangers were already last season my pick to win the Eastern playoffs, because they have strong defense and goaltending. It won't help them beat the elite teams in the regular season, but I think it gets them second place in Metropolitan Division. That defense is stellar: Girardi, McDonagh, Staal...

The Blue Jackets, the Flyers and the Islanders all have a lot of good things going for them. The Jackets just need to get Ryan Johansen under contract. Having Bobrovsky in net means they are a playoff team. The Flyers have an elite player like Giroux, but lack depth and defense. The Islanders have d-men, and they also have a superstar top line center, but the rest of the team is not consistently good enough. It's a tough battle between these three teams for the playoffs.

New Jersey is a bunch of old guys up front, and a pretty unimpressive defensive core. They still usually play smart and win games, and I can't see them falling too far back. They'll be in the playoff race. The Capitals and the Hurricanes on the other hand, are a mess. Caps rely on Ovechkin, but when the guy who is supposed to be your best player is -35 and gets scored against every other time he's on the ice, your team can't go far. They also wasted their money in free agency (Orpik and Niskanen WTF?!). The Canes actually look like the better team, and they have talent upfront and a quality goalie in Cam Ward. The only thing they lack is defense - Faulk is good, but maybe not even first pair on a contender. That's just not good enough. Canes and Caps will finish 7th and 8th.

As for wild cards, I think the Islanders are a better team than the Habs, but Montreal gets the easier schedule and will collect enough points to clinch the last playoff spot.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:54 pm

Here was an interesting off season event - Don Cherry taking the ice bucket challenge:
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:02 pm

Last chance to make your predictions
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:19 pm

After 9 games, the Wild are 1pt ahead of the Stars in the standings:



But the first real test is tomorrow night when the two teams play each other for the first time this season.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:55 am

Well, my boyz looked pretty good last night. And that +17 is very impressive at this point in the season!
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:03 pm

So far. so good for Uncle Saxon's team, Lari. But the season is young and injuries suck.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:13 pm

UNCLE SAXON'S KICKASS CDS wrote:
So far. so good for Uncle Saxon's team, Lari.  But the season is young and injuries suck.



The Wild have been awful lately, so I'm up by 2pts.

But I can't gloat too much, since the Stars haven't really lived up to my expectations. Together with Boston, they've been among my biggest disappointments when compared to the predictions I made. The Islanders, the Capitals and the Canucks have been surprisingly good so far.

EDIT: And hell, the Predators too. Just look at the standings! #1 in the ultra-competitive Central Division right now.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:31 pm

The Avs started slow but are winning a few lately. Hope they keep it up.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:34 pm

My team is sucking so badly. It is actually painful to watch the games lately. And my college Gophers are not doing any better.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:35 pm

I got tix for the Feb 28 game in Denver, DH. Let's have one beforehand!
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:59 pm

That'd be a blast. Send me a plane ticket and i'm there.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:01 pm

Dark Horseman wrote:
That'd be a blast. Send me a plane ticket and i'm there.

Guessing you are not in the Denver Metroplex, then?
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:42 pm

No, I root for them 'cause there are no NW teams and they used to have a couple guys that were Portland Winterhawks, a junior hockey team. Avs and Blackhawks.
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:13 am

I have been to a few Winterhawks games.  You in P-Town?  That is where I was born.  I have 100's of family out there.  Even moved there myself for a minute last year.  WH are a stellar team.  Champs!
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PostSubject: Re: 2014-15 NHL regular season predictions   Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:16 pm

Not in Portland anymore, up near Yakima, Wa.
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