Oct 1, 2013, 12:22 PM EDT
As so-called experts — and feel free to say that derisively; everyone else does — we spend a lot of time making predictions in the days before each new NHL season begins. (See here and here for examples.)
We do this because hockey fans enjoy reading predictions, almost as much as they enjoy trade rumors and complaining about suspensions.
Predictions also set a baseline narrative for the upcoming year, whereby we can go back and reference our picks when they turn out to be right, wrong or, in hindsight, completely ridiculous.
To illustrate, not along ago (it was yesterday), one of us wasn’t “so sure” that Phil Kessel would re-sign with the Maple Leafs. “Does he really like playing in a market like Toronto?” that handsome person wrote. “I don’t get the sense he does.”
Today, we can write something like: “Not every handsome person was ‘so sure’ Kessel would re-sign in Toronto, but…”
Stanley Cup predictions are particularly hard to get right in today’s NHL. In making our 2013-14 picks, three of us took the Kings, two the Blues and one the Capitals.
But out of the 30 teams in the league, how many would you say have a legitimate chance to win the Cup in 2013-14? At least 10? Probably more.
Here’s my list of legit hopefuls: Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Washington, Vancouver, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Jose, and New York Rangers. That’s 11.
Teams I was hesitant to leave off that list: Minnesota, Phoenix, and Ottawa. Which still ignores Toronto, Montreal, Dallas, and the New York Islanders. Oh, and Columbus. Can’t forget the Blue Jackets. And if Winnipeg can get some goaltending…
Put it this way: I’m relatively confident Calgary won’t win the Stanley Cup.
And you can take that to the bank.
- Evander Kane: I know I can score 50 goals 6
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 15
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 5
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 25
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’ 28
- Keeping Kuemper: Wild sign goalie to two-year deal reportedly worth $2.5M 15
- Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau 9
- Flyers’ Timonen admits chances of playing are ‘really slim’ 8
- Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks 28
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (65)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)