With the regular season right around the corner this week, we decided this year to put together our preseason predictions for the upcoming season with the idea to look back on them come April, May, and June and in some cases laugh at how horribly wrong some of us were (Rez) or brag about how right some of us were (me).
Invariably, it’s a fun exercise in seeing just how differently and quickly shit changes in this league from October to June.
Editor’s Note: If you don’t want the season ruined for you, I would suggest not reading my predictions. My Model* is infallible and accounts for every bad bounce, run of luck, and impending PDO more than any other model out there.
Without further adieu, it is my pleasure to bring you The Pensblog Predictions for the 2018-19 season.
Division Champions & President’s Trophy
Pretty standard across the board for us for the most part. Tampa and Washington damn near unanimous as division winners. Figured Nashville and Winnipeg would be the pride of the Central again and San Jose, after getting EK65, nearly clean sweeps the Pacific. Healthy spread of Shorks, Perds, and Bolts for the President’s Trophy. We all really went out on a limb, eh?
Playoffs, Cup Champion, and Conn Smythe Winner
Again, our consistency is less than shocking. Only Tony picked a non-Pens/Lightning team for the East’s Cup Final representative. Unsurprisingly, San Jose, Nashville, and Winnipeg are the picks out of the West. Tough to imagine any other team coming out of the West.
Four homer picks to take the Pens to win their 3rd Cup in 4 years. Probably 5, but Rad was too afraid to make that call. Two goalies and 2 D-men round out the Conn Smythe, with big name scorers taking the cake everywhere else.
Regular Season Awards
This is where things get interesting. Not surprising that McJesus gets the majority of the Hart and Art Ross nods and most recent #1 overall Rasmus Dahlin is the front runner for the Calder. MacKinnon is a solid Hart pick because it’s both mine and he got robbed of the Hart last year.
The majority EK65 Norris pick is less than surprising now that the shackles are off in San Jose. Pietrangelo’s Vegas odds, especially after last year, make him an enticing pick. We seem to expect Vasilevskiy and Hellebuyck to build off of their solid years last year and duke it out for Vezina honors, while the Datsyuk/Bergeron/Kopitar/Toews Award is basically locked in to one of the 3 actives.
The Lady Bing and Jack Adams look like a total crapshoot, while we seem to think the Rocket Richard can be given to one of Laine or Ovi already and the Ted Lindsay will be McDavid’s once again. Doug Wilson, after landing EK65, gets 8 of 11 GM of the Year votes from us. Easy money.
Hot, Cold, Bold, and Miscellaneous Taeks
Tony – Dan Sprong will score 60+ points
Leah – Jusso Riikola finishes the season in Pittsburgh
Traegs – One of the DKs will delete their twitter account.
Peep – 1. Arizona makes the playoffs. 2. Justin Schultz leads the defense in points.
Adrian – Letang will be a Norris finalist.
Rad – Toronto will learn the hard way that they didn’t do anything to fix their defense by way of owning the smallest goal differential of all playoff teams.
Josh – 1. San Jose doesn’t make it out of the first round. 2. Torts healthy scratches Panarin at some point. Panarin demands a trade. Torts gets fired, but Panarin gets traded anyway.
Pat – 1. Quennville is fired midseason by Chicago. 2. Toronto wins the Atlantic, but doesn’t make it out of the first round.
G – Matt Murray will be a Vezina finalist.
Cass – I write a hockey article.
Rez – Fuck the Mark Messier award.
Hockey is back Wednesday. Lets roll.