Re: 2013 - 2014 Season Predictions
posted at 9/30/2013 2:32 PM EDT
One prediction for every EC team:
* Boston - Krug is a bust. Teams figure out how to pressure him, and Julien can't handle the liability on the back end. Hamilton gets his minutes back and progresses as well as any realistic fan could expect.
* Buffalo - They don't trade anyone of value. Miller & Vanek stay in Buffalo because no GM is willing to bail them out, and the Sabres get nothing when they walk.
* Carolina - Tlusty isn't a flash in the pan, and cracks the Top 20 in scoring.
* Columbus - Horton rushes back from the shoulder, then plays less than 40 games.
* Detroit - Gets bounced by Ottawa in the playoffs, because the Hockey Gods are like that.
* Florida - Tim Thomas gets the magical # of 16 wins....but all in the regular season. Final stat line: 53 GP; 16W-26L-11OT; 2.77 GAA; .899 SV%
* Montreal - Markov finally healthy all season and is a Norris finalist. Subban far from consideration.
* NJ - The old guys in New Jersey make a difference - the Devils make a surprise run as an 8 seed on the backs of Brodeaur, Jagr, Elias, Ryder, Bryce Salvador, Zubrus, etc.
* NYI - Miss the playoffs.
* NYR - Miss the playoffs.
* Ottawa - wins the division. See above for playoff scenario.
* Philly - Laviolette the first coach to get canned this year. Ends up on another team after less than a month out of hockey; has a Boudreau-esque finish.
* Pittsburgh - doesn't secure a playoff berth until the final weekend - goaltending lets them down all year. They barely make it in as a 7 seed.
* Tampa - Starting goalie by year's end is not on their current roster.
* Toronto - Leafs are out of the playoff picture, and swap Kessel for Thornton. Thornton gets a sweetheart extension with the Leafs for 3 years, while Kessel gets one of those obnoxious max term contracts from the Sharks. This Forum explodes.
* Washington - surprisingly good, and take the division.
Bonus picks for Bruins fans:
* Seguin nets 40. Benn has a monster year and wins the Hart.
* Luongo a Vezina finalist - it's amazing what blocked shots can do for a goalie's stats.
*Boston/LA for the Cup. Thornton announces in advance it'll be his last year, and the Bs rally around him.
Take it to the bank!