Hockey Headlines

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

He Who Owns A Crystal Ball

There is a lot that can be said for those who can accurately predict the future. While some prefer to read the fairly-generic horoscope each day in the local newspaper, others seek out mediums who may be able to catch a glimpse of the future. I am no cliarvoyant whatsoever, and all predictions I make are worth the money you pay for access to this site (E5). You'd be better off not listening to me, but HBIC will provide you with one man's vision of the 2010-11 NHL season. HBIC is proud to bring back Justin St. Louis with his predictions for this upcoming hockey season.

We met Justin last week when he took a look at five records that may never be broken. Justin and I are co-workers, and he's a devoted hockey fanatic. He has a miniture Stanley Cup on his desk, he never misses a minute of playoff hockey, and he even runs his own hockey pool! Details on that one below, but here's Justin with his look at the ten biggest questions of the 2010-11 NHL season.

Want to hibernate for the winter? Don't want to watch 1230 NHL games plus playoffs? Want to know what happens in advance? I have all the information here for you. I have peaked into the crystal ball and here it what it says will happen in the 2010-11 NHL season. Warning: best used when betting with someone else's money!

1. Will a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup?

No. Vancouver is the closest team this year but as has been the case since Montreal in 1993, Stanley will elude home soil again.

2. Which team will win the President's trophy?

Safe bet - Washington. They return the core group of players and have all the firepower of the US military. Ovie, Backstrom, Green lead the offence. There will be lots of shoot-outs this season in DC as the Caps go into the season with two unproven goaltenders. Hard to not see them as the class of the NHL again this year.
Mild bet - Vancouver. Lots to like with this group of players led by Hart trophy winner (and soon to be captain) Hank Sedin. Brother Daniel, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Bobby Lou in goal. Suspect defence could be the downfall.
Wildcard - LA Kings. Solid young team on the way up.

3. Who will win the Art Ross?

Safe bet - Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin.
Mild bet - Henrik or Daniel Sedin.
Wildcard - Ilya Kovalchuk.

4. Will the Blackhawks repeat?

No. They will be a good team but it takes so much to even get to the Stanley Cup tournament, much less win the sixteen games required to hoist the hardest trophy to win in sports.

5. Will the Winter Classic be "classic"?

Yes. Sid vs Ovie? Check. Backstrom vs Malkin? Check. Green vs Letang? Check. This has all the makings of a great day at Heinz Field.

6. What about the Leafs?

Safe bet - They will suck.
Medium bet - They will improve their standing from last season, but still miss the playoffs.
Wildcard - They make the playoffs.. barely. Even if they do, they are not Montreal and they will bow out in the first round.

7. Will the Jets return to Winnipeg be a headline this season?

Yes. There is a building and an ownership group in place backed by the richest man in Canada. This will happen prior to the start of next season. Whether it will be the Coyotes remains to be seen. If not there are other teams on the bubble right now - hello Atlanta?

8. Will the Nordiques return to Quebec City before 2011-12?

No. Even with the support to build a $400 million sports complex, the city is not ready to support the return... yet.

9. Where will NHL attendance be this year?

The league will tell you that it is up; the highlights will tell you that it is down. In this recession era I am not sure how teams like Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa Bay, or Florida will survive. Actually they won't - they will move. Eventually.

10. Does anyone else know that Sean Avery has his own website?

Seriously... www.seanavery.com.

West Playoff Seeds
1. Chicago
2. Vancouver
3. LA Kings
4. Detroit
5. San Jose
6. St. Louis
7. Phoenix
8. Calgary

East Playoffs Seeds
1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Boston
4. New Jersey
5. Ottawa
6. Buffalo
7. Philadelphia
8. NY Rangers

Conference Finals - Washington vs Pittsburgh; Vancouver vs San Jose
Stanley Cup Champion in 2010/11 - San Jose Sharks

There you have it - all you have to do now is sit back and watch.

For those that are interested, I have created a Fantasy league for hockey through Yahoo Sports. I made it as easy as possible and used their default rules. The first eleven teams entered there get in, and it is head-to-head for the season and set to auto-draft. Let's put the skills to the test, readers. This will only be open for readers of this blog so you don't have to worry about any ringers... in theory. Follow this link!

BRING IT!!


Great article, Justin, and some very good questions and answers! Thanks for the preview of some of the major stories of this season, as well as your predictions for the playoffs. We'll examine those at the end of the upcoming season to see how well your crystal ball sees the future!

I can't see Detroit finishing below Chicago this season, but I do feel that those two teams will be neck-and-neck for most of the season as they battle for the Central Division title. I think Buffalo will finish higher than Ottawa unless Alex Kovalev has a magical season. If he does, I see Ottawa finishing as high as fourth. My guess is that Ottawa finishes seventh, though, and matches up with Pittsburgh in the first round again.

As always, all predictions are guaranteed or your money back, kids! Settle in, and let's see how this season plays out!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

JTH said...

Wow. Bold prediction -- the Hawks won't repeat?

Kidding. I'm talking about the return of the NHL to Winnipeg.

Possibly Brent Sopel's Thrashers -- too good to be true eh, Teebz?