Before the season, the staff here at The Cannon made a bunch of season predictions. We’re halfway through the season now, so let’s take a look back on those predictions and see how we’re doing thus far.
(Spoiler: not well)
Note: this article does not take into account the games from Tuesday, January 8
Standings Predictions Review
Five of the writers picked the Pittsburgh Penguins to win the Metropolitain Division before the season started, with Pale Dragon the lone outlier as he picked the Columbus Blue Jackets to hang their first banner. After starting slowly, the Penguins have surged in their last ten games with an 8-2-0 mark to rise to second in the Metro, just two points behind the Washington Capitals. The Jackets sit third, three points behind the division leading Caps. All of the writers except Elaine picked the Capitals to return to the playoffs, and they appear on their way to doing so. Will was the only writer who thought the Philadelphia Flyers would miss the playoffs, and he appears to be on his way to cashing that in, as the Flyers have already fired their head coach this season. Meanwhile, none of the writers expected the Islanders to contend, as all of the writers had them finishing in one of the bottom two spots in the division.
Pale Dragon was the only writer who had Tampa Bay finishing out of first in the Atlantic (he had the Bolts second to Toronto). The other five writers picked Tampa to win the Atlantic Division ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which looks well on its way to happening. Every writer except Elaine had the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins making the playoffs in some order as the third Atlantic/wild card team, where Elaine had the Detroit Red Wings making the playoffs instead of the Bruins. No writer had Buffalo in the playoffs, but each had them challenging for a final wild card spot.
In the Central Division, the writers were divided on whether the Nashville Predators or Winnipeg Jets would win the division with three picking Nashville and three picking Winnipeg. Elaine went bold, picking the Chicago Blackhawks to finish second in the Central, which seems unlikely at the halfway point. MrSwift, meanwhile, thought the St. Louis Blues would be a wild card team, an extremely poor choice in hindsight. Only two writers picked the Colorado Avalanche to return to the playoffs.
In the Pacific Division, no one predicted the Calgary Flames to contend for first place - all writers except Elaine picked the San Jose Sharks to win the division. Pale Dragon and MrSwift predicted the Los Angeles Kings to make the playoffs which is absolutely not happening this year, while MrSwift also picked the Arizona Coyotes to make the dance. No one predicted the Vancouver Canucks to make any noise like they have this season.
We’re not very good at this. This is going to be a theme.
Playoff Predictions Review
As of this writing, each writer’s Eastern Conference Final prediction remains alive, although Elaine’s appears the most unlikely with the Philadelphia Flyers seeming unlikely to make the playoffs. Four writers picked the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the East, MrSwift and Will picking the Bolts over the Penguins, and Pale Dragon picking the Bolts over the Blue Jackets. Ryan picked the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the East, beating the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the Western Conference, Pale Dragon, MrSwift, and Will picked the Winnipeg Jets to win. Ryan, Fletcher, and Elaine picked the San Jose Sharks to win the conference. Each pick, at this point, is possible. Only MrSwift had the Vegas Golden Knights making another appearance in the conference final.
Stanley Cup picks were as follows: Pale Dragon and MrSwift picked the Lightning; Ryan, Fletcher, and Elaine picked the Sharks; and Will picked the Winnipeg Jets.
Not bad, all things considered.
Elaine picked Panarin and/or Gritty to win the Hart, and of course Gritty will win the Hart, the Stanley Cup, and probably the presidency in 2020. Gritty forever.
MrSwift picked Blake Wheeler to win the Hart, which is hilariously not going to happen. Pale Dragon, Ryan, and Will picked Connor McDavid for the Hart, which is entirely possible if the Oilers make the playoffs. Fletcher picked Auston Matthews. No one picked current scoring leader Nikita Kucherov.
Ryan, Fletcher, and Elaine picked Erik Karlsson to win the Norris, and he will likely be a finalist for the Sharks. Will picked Seth Jones, who may also be a finalist. Pale Dragon picked Zach Werenski, who will not be a finalist due to his struggles. MrSwift picked Victor Hedman, who also is unlikely to be a finalist. No writer picked current favorite Morgan Reilly.
Pale Dragon and Will picked Connor Hellebuyck for the Vezina, who is having a solid if unspectacular season. Ryan picked Sergei Bobrovsky, who has rediscovered his game after a slow start. Elaine picked Joonas Korpisalo for the Vezina, who has picked up wins in spots for the Jackets but will not play enough to win the trophy. MrSwift picked Martin Jones of San Jose, who has been a letdown in San Jose.
Blue Jackets Point Total - Over/Under 97.5
Pale Dragon, MrSwift, and Ryan all predicted the team would go over the preseason total, while Will and Fletcher predicted the team would finish under. Elaine was unsure and did not make a prediction.
As of game 41, the team has 51 points, a 102 point pace over the course of a full season.
What were your predictions for the season? How are you doing thus far?
Let us know!