So, it's about that time. Rather, it was like a month ago, for season previews for the now upon us NHL season. You probably already read all our ridiculously amazing coverage of each individual division, but now I'm going to give a key statement about each team, predict the final standings, playoff results, and finally, help you gamble.
Read on if you dare.
Anaheim Ducks: The threat of ageless wonder Teemu Selanne from the second line will be what gets the Ducks into the playoffs. No Teemu, no playoffs.
Boston Bruins: Pretty much no roster turnover except for Tomas “LOOK AT MY ZORRO MUSTACHE” Kaberle. See ya in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Buffalo Sabres: Your “big” free agent signings are only “big” in their amount of overpayment and comedic value. Forever LULZ at Erhoff.
Calgary Flames: Your team is hot garbage. You can’t even properly go through rebuilding because you have no youth to rebuild with.
Carolina Hurricanes: You’ll inexplicably fight for a playoff spot, but ultimately miss it. Zac Dalpe has a breakout season as a rook.
Chicago Blackhawks: Somehow, someway, despite all my brain can think, Patrick Kane sticks as the #2 center. And tears it up. Hossa returns to healthy, kick-ass form. Deep playoff run.
Colorado Avalanche: Team takes a big step forward, but still misses the playoffs. But the future looks bright.
Columbus Blue Jackets: It’s too bad your team has no chance of flirting with the cap ceiling, because I’d love to see Wisniewski turn into your version of Wade Redden.
Dallas Stars: Remember last year when you came within one game of making the playoffs? Hang onto that memory, because it isn’t happening this year.
Detroit Red Wings: Enjoy sniffing the Blackhawk’s ass constantly all season from second place in the Central.
Edmonton Oilers: That pesky thing called “competent goaltending” you don’t have will keep the Oilers from taking a step forward.
Florida Panthers: Well. You’ll sell a bunch of tickets this year at least to see second and third line players running your first line. Enjoy that.
Los Angeles Kings: I expect the Kings and Sharks to pistol whip each other over the top spot in the division with the Kings ultimately pulling it out.
Minnesota Wild: I can’t even think of anything to make fun of you guys about. Enjoy Setoguchi? Whatever.
Montreal Canadians: Chris Campoli. Clearly the missing piece you needed to lose a Game 7 overtime thriller.
Nashville Predators: I hate you with such a passionate burning in my soul. You’ll make the playoffs, but a lower seed this time. Big time upset potential come the playoffs. Also, enjoy the Weber/Suter/Rinne rumors all season!
New Jersey Devils: Last year was an anomoly. Getting rid of John MacLean is the best move they could have made. Brodeur will return to form. Hello playoffs.
New York Islanders: John Tavares will continue to improve and look good. Get excited Kansas City hockey fans!
New York Rangers: With Marc Staal shelved with post concussion symptoms, the Rangers will struggle. If he returns without missing much time and comes back in full form, Rangers will do well. Not sure if they can make the playoffs though.
Ottawa Senators: LOL.
Philadelphia Flyers: Chris Pronger rules the locker room with an iron fist. Kills Matt Walker if he ever actually plays a game.
Phoenix Coyotes: Learns quickly that a defensive scheme doesn’t work real well when you have crap goaltending.
Pittsburgh Penguins: This team is going to be a bitch all season. Even without Crosby. If Sid plays more than 40 games and is there for the playoffs, watch out.
San Jose Sharks: Heatley for Havlat was a lateral move, and only if Havlat is healthy (he isn’t). Burns is a great addition, but you’ll still blow it come playoff time.
St. Louis Blues: Only the BJ’s will save you from the cellar of the Central.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Am I really the only person that thinks Roloson will continue to play well despite being 142 years old?
Toronto Maple Leafs: Will threaten for a playoff spot, but still miss out. Reimer doesn’t experience the sophomore slump.
Vancouver Canucks: Beats up on the hot mess that is the Northwest division, wins the President’s Cup, plans parade, loses in West Finals. Of course, in hilarious fashion.
Washington Capitals: See above, replace Northwest with Southeast, delete President’s Cup, change West to East.
Winnipeg Jets: Enjoy watching Byfuglien care approximately 15% of the time. And be paid nearly Brent Seabrook money for doing so.
- Los Angeles
- San Jose
- Tampa Bay
- New Jersey
West Finals: Los Angeles & Chicago. Chicago wins in 7.
East Finals: Pittsburgh & Boston. Pittsburgh wins in 6.
Stanley Cup Finals: Won’t predict who wins, but it goes 7.
Increase your gambling debts here!
Nicklas Lidstrom: 13/2 to win the Norris: That might be worth a few bills as he’ll get “victory lap” votes all over.
Dustin Byfuglien: 22/1 to win the Norris: I think those odds were supposed to have been listed under “gets arrested” instead.
Sidney Crosby: 14/1 to lead the league in points: Yep, I can certainly see him scoring 100+ points in the 40 or so games he plays. Dummies.
Jarome Iginla: 25/1 to lead the league in goals: Is there a way I can bet on this only if he gets traded to a team that isn’t trash?
Patrick Kane: over/under 75.5 points: Oooooooover. Easily.
Teemu Selanne: over/under 52.5 points: Over. He’ll get 60+.
Keith Yandle: over/under 55.5 points: Under. That’s a lot of points for a d-man, and I just don’t see that happening for Yandle.
Sidney Crosby: over/under 79.5 points: This all depends on how many games you think Sid will play. I don’t think he plays more than half the regular season. Under.
Sidney Crosby: over/under 60.5 games played: As I’ve said all along, I don’t think he plays more than half a season. Under.
Total number of games suspended: 40.5. Waaaaaay over. No brainer. Too many meatheads in the NHL that won’t learn quickly and get nailed by the Shanahammer.
Bold (Blackhawks) Predictions
Michael Frolik: Scores at least 21 goals. Even in a defensive line roll with Bolland, they still both present enough of an offensive threat to turn it up and score goals. I expect a big year from Taters.
Corey Crawford: 35 or more wins. He’ll get the bulk of the starts, especially if Ray Emery soils himself a la every other veteran goalie (Turco, Huet) the last couple years.
John Scott: If he dresses 10 or more games on D, we’re in a heap of trouble.
Brandon Saad: Goes back to Saginaw after 9 games (or whenever Stalberg comes back), even if he plays particularly well.
Bryan Bickell: Stinks up the joint. Continues to try to 45 foot wrister instead of dropping the shoulder and driving to the net like he damn well should. Gets relegated to the fourth line, maybe the press box, depending how stinky. Ben Fucking Smith takes over the grinder role on the third line.
Tell me how wrong I am in the comments.