Every year, I compile the preseason predictions of both writers on this site as well as 3 or 4 other predictions. Last year, I only gathered 5 of them. Besides Bryan and me, I collected Yahoo’s hockey blogger Puck Daddy’s, Eklund from HockeyBuzz.com, and the TSN.ca, who puts together a consensus each year after averaging out their reporters’ picks.
Two straight years, Eklund has been the winner. In the 2008-09 season, however, Islanders’ writer Bryan was nipping on his heels, losing by only 1 points (28-27). I ended with the line, Hey, much like his Islanders, there's always next year.
I was awful last year, scoring only 19 points and coming in 6th out of 6th place.
This year, the most popular pick was Pittsburgh to come in 4th, which they did. Everyone thought Boston would win the Northeast (they didn’t) and everyone thought Carolina would make the playoffs (they didn’t). Lesson learned: don’t always base predictions on last year’s efforts.
The scoring is as follows: 1 point for predicting a team to either make or miss the playoffs, and 2 points for correctly guessing the final conference standing of a team.
5th Place - NYHockeyRivalry.com’s Zach
As is becoming tradition, I came in dead last again. My only two correct spots were the Conference winners, Washington and San Jose. As it turns out, the Rangers, Carolina, and Atlanta didn’t make the playoffs. Buffalo, who I thought would end 14th in the East, came in 3rd. In the West, I only guessed 3 playoff teams correctly (SJ, Detroit, Chicago). Apparently, Calgary and Minnesota weren’t as good as I thought they would be.
2nd Places - Puck Daddy, Eklund, TSN
All 3 outlets each scored the same amount of points.
Puck Daddy had a great Eastern Conference with just one mistake: Carolina in the playoffs and Ottawa out.
Eklund, the two-time reigning champion, make a crucial error in picking his favorite team - the Flyers - to win the Atlantic, when in reality they snuck into the playoffs.
TSN picked the Rangers and Carolina to make the playoffs, leaving out actual playoff teams Ottawa and Buffalo.
1st Place - NYHockeyRivalry.com’s Bryan
Bryan correctly predicted the Eastern playoff teams except for one mistake: putting the Rangers in instead of Buffalo. He correctly guessed the Penguins coming in 4th, the Flyers in 7th, and the Islanders in 13th. He did have Washington and NJ winning their divisions like they did, but had the order messed up.
In the West, he not only guessed every eventual division winner, he guessed them in order (San Jose, Chicago, Vancouver). So, in total, he got 5 of 6 division winners correct in the NHL. He also correctly guessed Detroit in 5th in the West, making the 7 correct picks a new record!
Nice job, Bryan. Looks like next year could be this year,
I also have to give credit to ESPN's John Buccigross and Barry Melrose. Buccigross predicted Philadelphia beating Chicago in the Finals, while Melrose actually predicted the eventual result, Chicago beating the Flyers for the Stanley Cup.