People love being right, and I am no different. I have had my share of swings (Zach Parise the most notable) and misses (Steve Bernier, Paul Kariya) over the past few seasons. Making bold predictions before the season starts is something I enjoy doing, and I know many of you do as well. Last season I posted 10 Fearless Forecasts on my section of the hockey forums. I’ll review those below, as well as list off 10 more Fearless Forecasts for the 2010-11 season.
10. Vesa Toskala is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy.
Time to crawl under a rock.
9. James Neal outscores Brenden Morrow.
Neal had 27 goals and 55 points. Morrow had 20 goals and 46 points. Bang on.
8. Sam Gagner and Patty O are 1-2 in Oilers scoring.
Staying under that rock…
7. Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry combine for 100 goals.
62. A far cry. Again, I pushed the limits a bit too much with some of these .(But that is where the fun is, right?)
6. Marian Gaborik plays over 75 games, scores 50+ goals, and becomes the biggest hit on Broadway since "Cats" (was that ever a hit?)
Hit, close miss, and hit. Gaborik was worth every penny of his $7.5 million contract for New York.
5. Atlanta has the #1 PP in the league, but fails to make the post-season once again because Kari Lehtonen gets hurt.
Horrible PP (25th), Lehtonen hurt, playoffs missed. Call this a wash.
4. Toronto wins the Northeast Division.
What was I thinking?
3. Dany Heatley scores 60 goals, winning the Hart Trophy. With team TBA.
Didn’t click with Thornton as well as many hoped/expected. Funny how hockey on the ice is different than hockey on paper.
2. Crosby and Ovechkin are shut out of every major award.
Hart = Henrik, Richard = Crosby (tie), Pearson = Ovechkin, Art Ross = Henrik. I’ll say this one was a miss.
1. Detroit misses the playoffs.
All in all not too bad considering how bold (fancy word for stupid) some of my forecasts were.
2010-11 Fearless Forecasts (feel free – actually more than that, you are ENCOURAGED to post your 10 in the comments section below).
10. Three teams from the Southeast make the playoffs.
Why? Washington is a no-brainer. Atlanta has improved leaps and bounds, and I also really like what Steve Yzerman has done in Tampa Bay. Carolina has an outside shot if Cam Ward has a strong season.
9. Lubomir Visnovsky leads the Western Conference in scoring (amongst defensemen).
Why? Anaheim has horrid depth on defence, but their first unit on the power play is incredibly talented. Visnovsky has a great shot, and if he’ll have the likes of Getzlaf, Perry, and Ryan to pass to if he decides not to shoot.
8. Tyler Bozak leads the Leafs in scoring.
Why? He thinks the game well, he faces almost zero competition from other centers within the organization, and he’s added some size this summer.
7. Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan combine to score 90 goals.
Why? Dropping my bold prediction from 100 to 90. Anaheim is going to ride its top guns hard, and these two are going to benefit. Don’t expect Ryan to stick at center. He’s a better winger at the NHL level.
6. Washington doesn’t win the Eastern Conference.
Why? Boston is deeper on defense and stronger in goal. Also, the Southeast Division has improved considerably this summer.
5. Only one Canadian team makes the playoffs.
Why? Calgary is on the fence. Edmonton has improved, but how much? Toronto is a bubble team. I’m not sold on Montreal yet. Ottawa is a good team but they have holes in the lineup (most notably between the pipes).
4. Jaroslav Halak wins the Vezina Trophy.
Why? Great goalie, strong team, tremendous coach. The Blues are poised to make some noise.
3. St. Louis wins the Central Division.
Why? See above. Also, an emerging core of talented players at both forward and defense.
2. John Tavares and Matt Duchene both score over 45 goals.
Why? Both had solid rookie campaigns. Duchene was more consistent, Tavares was a bit streaky. He doesn’t have as much help on Long Island as Duchene has in Colorado, but both have the skill set to score 40 as soon as 2010-11.
1. Chicago struggles to make the playoffs.
Why? Turco has been anything but solid over the past few years. A lack of depth could haunt the Hawks if the injury bug strikes. The Central Division is the toughest in hockey.