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Blurry crystal ball: Judging playoff predictions

Apr 13, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

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Every pre-season, pundits throw out wild guesses that they like to call “predictions.” Since it’s always a fun exercise to mock your past self (“Gosh, idiot me from October. What were you thinking?” *gunshot*), I thought I’d share my predictions from last year. Thankfully, I’ll spare you the posts that featured photos of morbidly obese men and their huge bellies (the feature was called “gut reactions” you see. Yeah, I’m a child.)

James’s dumb Eastern Conference projections (exact guesses in bold, teams who missed the playoffs in italics)

1. Washington (Hooray)
2. Philadelphia
3. Boston
4. Pittsburgh
5. New Jersey
6. Montreal
7. Carolina (oops)
8. Buffalo

Playoff teams accuracy: 7 out of 8 (missed Ottawa for Carolina)

Division Winners: 1 out of 3

Thoughts: Well, I guess I could have done worse with picking teams to make the playoffs, but my projections were still flawed. I overrated the Flyers and Boston and underrated Buffalo, big time. Chris Pronger is like a gap-toothed, unattractive hockey siren: for some reason he lures me into believing his teams are better than they should be.

James’s dumb Western Conference projections (exact guesses in bold teams, who missed the playoffs in italics)

1. San Jose
2. Detroit
3. Calgary (big oops)
4. Chicago
5. Vancouver
6. Anaheim (oops)
7. Columbus (big oops)

8. Los Angeles Kings

Playoff teams accuracy: 5 out of 8 (missed Colorado, Phoenix and Nashville for Calgary, Anaheim and Columbus)

Division Winners: 1 out of 3

Thoughts: Clearly I didn’t fare as well in the West, but to be fair, that conference is brutal. The biggest mistake was Calgary, as I thought that the Canucks’ crazy road trip would keep them from winning the Northwest. Obviously, I completely discounted the Avalanche (about the only positive thing I said was “I like that they’re finally going in a young direction” or something like that.) I think the biggest blunder was choosing the Blue Jackets. Thanks a lot, Steve Mason.

So, what do you think, hockey fans? How bad were my predictions?

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