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A quick word about preseason predictions, and how nobody should take them very seriously

Oct 1, 2013, 12:22 PM EDT

Stanley Cup Getty Images

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…”

See? Works.

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.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    I just want to know who the cat on staff picked.

    • ibieiniid - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:43 PM


  2. mclovinhockey - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Honestly… I bet 100% of the things I own that one of those teams you named could win the cup ,)

  3. imleftcoast - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    There’s only six teams Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and San Jose. Chicago and St. Louis are in the cupcake division now. I’d go with one of those two. Boston is going to have some trouble dealing with the fact they lost the Cup in 17 seconds. I hope they can move on from that. I really, really do.

    Vancouver has only two centers. Detroit is still a young team. Washington doesn’t have enough grit, and Philadelphia and New York are bubble teams for the playoffs. New Jersey will be #3.

    • kaptaanamerica - Oct 1, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      Screw that , the Canucks are stacked and are gonna fight for first in their division.

      • imleftcoast - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        Canucks are owned by LA and the Sharks. They’re fighting for two spots with five teams. They need to get off to an (uncharacteristically) fast start, and fight some scoring. Shot blocking is certainly the most important part of the game, but they’re another broken foot or two away from missing the playoffs.

      • imleftcoast - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:05 PM


Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1608)
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  3. M. Richards (1350)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1198)
  5. N. Backstrom (1085)