We’re back baby! Scott Bakula level back up in this. Here are James, Steve (thats right!) and the mighty Varada with #11 predictions in honor of Alfie, (praise be) before Saturday when things kick off and the Sens give us something REAL to talk about! How about Loooooooooooooooove, loooooooooooooove….loooove…….enjoy!
#1 Guillaume Latendresse will have an impressive showing in the vein of Kyle Turris’ last season. Despite his terrible beard and hair, he will win fans hearts with his Nick Foligno point output, Net drivefulness and the minimal bad penalties taken. His season will spark a lively debate in the off season of whether or not he should be re-signed.
#2 Down on the farm Shane Prince will move up the depth chart in Binghamton by making a good showing of his increased ice time with…. (see below)
#3 Silfverberg sticking the whole season with the club (Great prediction!). He will flounder a bit (not score goals) out of the gate and after a short audition he will lose his first line job to a combination of Latendresse and Colin Greening (REMEMBER HIM? The rookie that got 17 goals?) He will spend most of the short year on the 2nd and he will put up very respectable numbers for a rookie twixt the 3rd and 2nd line.
#4 Erik Karlsson will put up between 30 and 35 points in 48 games. Hockey pundits will talk about this like its incredibly disappointing even though it’s a very mild drop and still incredible number of point for a defenseman. Talking heads will turn to Justin Schultz as the “new Erik Karlsson” because he gets 45 minutes a game and will serve up a ton of assists in productive seasons from Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle and Hall (when not injured). He will finish with an hilarious +/- of – 47 and somehow win the calder.
#5 There will be no goaltending controversy as much as we cant stop talking about it right now. Regardless of how he plays, Craig Anderson will be given the vast majority of starts which many will think is “unfair.” He wont start as much as last year due to the compressed schedule and Bishop will be an obvious, obvious upgrade from Auld. Meanwhile, Lehner will write “DESTROY SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL EVERY SINGLE DAY” in lipstick on his bathroom mirror at home, he will secretly listen to Swallowing Shit’s album “Pro Abortion, Anti Christ” on headphones under his mask and have an insanely good season of hate forcing Murray’s hand on him to finally (and by finally I mean, his development is way ahead of schedule) give him a full season in the bigs the following season.
#6 Ottawa’s D is poor but not really much worse than last year’s. Scoring stays up and the Sens finish the year fighting Montreal for second in the Northeast behind Boston. I was going to say Toronto but I just found out that they just put Tim Connelly on waivers making Tyler Bozak their no.1 centre. Which is fantastic. Side note: PK Subban becomes this years Kyle Turris. Is stupidly traded and does great at a reasonable price for another team (hopefully in the west).
#7 Marc Methot will be given a tough assignment playing first pairing shut down D on a new team over a compressed schedule. He will be blamed for some losses.
#8 Patrick Wiercioch surprises by being a competent and at times shaky rookie defensemen. He puts up a not-perfect but respectable year the same way Cowen did last year. Even earns some power play time.
#9 Fan will accuse Patrick Kane of impregnating her. He will be found to be…NOT the father but only in the sense that he will not be there as a father figure to the child motivating said child to work ass off and become the next Patrick Kane. Circle of life.
#10 Canucks realize how fucked compressed schedule is and keep Luongo for the season. Spoiler Alert: They don’t win the cup! From the trade deadline to the end of the summer we learn the TRUE MEANING of how annoying hearing about a Luongo trade can be.
#11 Alfie’s last season, my lovelies.
#1: Regin’s shoulder explodes upon first sight of NHL ice
#2: Eugene Melnyk makes ludicrous predictions about cup winning potential of the Ottawa Senators, instead of giving us the opportunity to buy cheap merch as an apology for the lockout… wait he already did that
#3: Alex Kovalev will make the Florida Panthers, only to awkwardly make-out with them at a party we’re both at, in an attempt to make us jealous
#4: James will spell Guillaume Latendresse for the first time ever, without google’s assistance
#5: Varada will want to trade Alfredsson to Detroit
#6: Darude’s Sandstorm will continue to inspire an 18.15% powerplay
#7: Kaspars Daugavins mantains that “Bros” should remain over “Hos”
#8: I make Segrei Gonchar wait for my barber to finish my haircut before he get’s to him… again (true story)
#9: The coolest looking and least sold jersey will be Patrick Wiercioch’s 46 heritage jersey
#10: Daniel Alfredsson with finally impress his father
#11: I will have to explain to my boss why I’m using company time to photoshop Milan Michalek into a Neo-Classical painting.
“I don’t know anything about hockey”
I couldn’t come up with 11 Sens ones. I’ll do a league wide prediction with some Sens ones sprinkled in. Variety is the spice of life, while spices are the spice of soup.
1) Six teams that will surprise by making the playoffs: Montreal, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Colorado
2) Five teams that will surprise by NOT making the playoffs: Detroit, New Jersey, Phoenix, St. Louis, Nashville
3) With Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu both ready to retire or depart or die, Anaheim kicks off a rebuild in a big way by trading all of Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan and Koivu. Not surprisingly, the teams that trade for them are either Philadelphia or New York.
4) This isn’t a bold prediction, but everyone predicting that Edmonton will make the playoffs are friggin’ nuts. Edmonton is destined for another bottom five finish. Justin Shultz, Nail Yakupov, Mark Fistric, and a year’s development for your rookies don’t give you an extra 20 POINTS IN THE STANDINGS. I mean, c’mon people. Khabibulin and Dubnyk still tend Edmonton’s net, right?
5) Montreal isn’t nearly as bad as people predict as they get a full season out of Markov, they still have an amazing goaltender, Therrien puts a predictable defensive system in place, and everyone rebounds. They’re last year’s Ottawa Senators.
6) You may have noticed that I predicted Montreal, Toronto and Buffalo to make the playoffs. I also think Boston gets in. That’s four in Ottawa’s division, which would be Atlantic division levels of success. (Related: the Atlantic doesn’t do as well, with only the Rangers and Pens getting in.) I hold to it, with Ottawa missing the post-season.
7) The worst team in the league this year will be either Winnipeg, whose travel schedule is brutal, or Anaheim.
8) The trade deadline is amazing this year, for the following reasons A) teams can now trade cap space or retain a part of a player’s remaining salary, meaning that it doesn’t need to be a dollar-for-dollar match anymore, and some teams agree to keep some of the player’s salary since it’s only on an expiring contract B) the number of quality 2013 off season UFAs is bonkers, and without long-tail contracts and huge salary variance, the large market teams no longer have financial leverage, meaning they have to trade up front for players to get a leg up on signing them, and C) the cap drops $6M next season, so you have a combination of teams who will want to get a head start on shedding salary while demand is high and teams who want to use this last season at the higher cap to go for it all.
OTTAWA RELATED PREDICTIONS
9) Gonchar does not finish the season with the Ottawa Senators, no matter how they do. Bryan Murray gets a 2nd rounder to replace the one he gave up for Bishop.
10) Karlsson leads all defencemen in scoring again, this time by slightly less, and that slight narrowing of the gap is used as justification not to give him another Norris. Shea Weber finally gets his, though he won’t deserve it after Nashville struggles this year.
11) I predicted this over on Silver Seven, but my boldest prediction is that Bryan Murray retires a year early and hands the reigns to Tim Murray. Bry-Bry stays on as an adviser.
BONUS PREDICTION: the Rangers win the Cup.