Saturday, 31 October 2020

History Repeats Itself?

At the risk of inciting some angry Minnesotans that read this blog, the Dallas Stars went and pulled a "North Stars" on Wednesday when they unveiled their new alternate jersey, affectionately dubbed the "Skyline Jersey", to the entire world. It always shocks me when a team who has a uniform set that is generally favourable in the public's eye determines that they need an alternate jersey that is black, and I generally dislike the idea of black jerseys wholeheartedly for the game of hockey unless it's a primary colour of one's team - think Boston or Pittsburgh as an example. Seeing this new alternate jersey that Dallas has come up with feels like this is the late days of the Minnesota North Stars and/or early days of the Dallas Stars once more. And that's not a compliment.

If you were around at the time, the summer of 1991 saw the North Stars coming off a Stanley Cup Final appearance against the Pittsburgh Penguins where they fell to the Penguins, but had played some inspired hockey as an unlikely finalist all spring to reach the final series. Norm Green, the former Flames owner who had been recruited by the NHL to save the North Stars franchise in Minnesota in 1990, decided that a rebranding was in order for the Stars - an idea that had been speculated since Green's purchase of the franchise from George and Gordon Gund.

The start of the 1991-92 season saw the Minnesota North Stars go from their iconic green-and-yellow colour scheme to the black-and-metallic-gold colour scheme in what had to be one of the worst rebrands in the history of the NHL in this writer's opinion. According to Lou Nanne in the book Minnesota North Stars by Bob Showers, he told Showers that the rebranding would it make the team easier to relocate if Green desired.

Honestly, in looking at those two uniforms above, the original North Stars jersey is far superior to anything that the rebranded North Stars could have ever brought to the table. The colours are bold, the logo is iconic, and the choice of green as a primary colour in hockey, as said many times on this blog before, is extremely underutilized. While Nanne was eventually right in that it was easier to move the team without "North" emblazoned across the chests of players, the rebranding to black was ultimately, in my opinion, a colossal error.

Which brings us to today.
How the crap do you go for a sleek, nuanced jersey on the left like the Victory Green jerseys rolled out in 2014 to what seems to be a Chinese knockoff fan jersey on the right?

Look at the depth on the Stars logo on the left with the colouring and shadowing giving the Stars logo some life in comparison to the monochrome, pock-marked Stars logo on the right. There's simply no comparison between the two because the logo on the left is so good and the logo on the right is so bad! "But the 'D' has shadowing!" I hear you exclaim. Sure, except you can't see that shadowing unless you're up close. It's monochromatic garbage in terms of wrecking a respectable logo.

And the colour? Well, let's do a little history lesson here as well.

Back when the NHL All-Star Game meant the two sides would feature the games biggest stars squaring off against one another in an actual hockey game, the NHL All-Stars wore jerseys as seen above on the left. The "star" pattern was a major break from the NHL's signature white-black-and-orange jerseys that the league had outfitted the All-Star teams in for two decades in keeping with the NHL shield's colouration. When the 1994 All-Star Game in New York City happened, these new jerseys were eye-catching and colourful - a clear break from the old NHL's standard.

When the league decided to go in a different direction in 1997 for the 1998 NHL All-Star Game, the Stars simply grabbed the star-patterned jerseys for themselves and introduced them as alternate jerseys in the 1997-98 season before adopting a home and road version of the jerseys as their primary wear for the next eight seasons. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? The Stars wearing star-patterned jerseys simply fit perfectly for a Star rebrand, but they didn't do something new or innovative to improve their brand. They just followed a trend that had already been done.

In saying that, consider the following.
In each of these examples, the team wearing the jerseys had an iconic colour scheme reduced to virtually nothing on these alternate jerseys. Tampa Bay went from their classy blue-and-white to a sublimated gray-to-black. The Islanders ditched their iconic navy-blue-and-orange colur scheme and their iconic logo for their black monstrosity that was nearly universally hated. The Sharks abandoned the teal for a ridiculous black jersey. And now the Stars are doing the same in ditching their iconic Victory Green colour for black and a newly-designated "Skyline Green" colour that would be better found in highlighter markers than on hockey jerseys.

The Stars aren't doing something different or innovative with their new alternate jersey here. They're simply following another trend that has already become passé. More and more teams are opting for colour in their alternate jerseys, and it makes the game far more watchable as people want to see these colourful uniforms in person. We don't watch black-and-white TVs, so why would NHL teams opt to make black alternate jerseys part of their wardrobe when the colour palatte is available to them?

Oh, and in case you were asking what the All-Star Game tie-in was, Exhibit A to the right in 2019 is the Dallas Stars taking something seen at an NHL All-Star Game and making it their own. Again. The NHL used simplistic versions of each team's logo on their eco-friendly, recycled-plastic jerseys seen at the 2019 NHL All-Star Game, and Dallas' logo is exactly identical to what you see on the Skyline Jerseys. If you didn't like this simplistic NHL All-Star jersey, I have to know the rational behind why would you be a fan of this new Dallas Stars alternate jersey. If you don't like Exhibit A and Exhibit B follows the identical design, how can you like Exhibit B?

I'm sure you know where this jersey lands on the "Good Or Dumb" rating system I use if you've read this far. There is nothing new, innovative, different, or alternate about this jersey outside of the introduction of a new colour of green that the Stars can absorb into their colour scheme. Marketing buzzwords and the appeal to civic pride are tossed around in this unveiling, but the Dallas Stars missed a key component of introducing an alternate jersey: making a good alternate jersey.

I can't fathom going through the jersey design process to come up with a final product that I could print with a black-and-white printer and colour with a standard-issued highlighter from my desk drawer. If the Dallas Stars want to dump money on my doorstep for an alternate jersey design where it requires me to literally work for five minutes - three of those ensuring that I have enough black toner in my printer for the job - I'd be happy to collect any monies they're willing to throw my way.

This is the DUMBEST alternate jersey unveiling I've ever been witness to, and I lived through the Mooterus era. Just like the North Stars change from green to black, this alternate needs to be scrapped sooner rather than later. Like now.

Until next time, Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, 30 October 2020

The 2019-20 Predictions

The 2019-20 NHL season was one that likely no one could have predicted with respect to the ongoing pandemic in whose clutches we still find ourselves after 11 months. While the NHL stopped play for a few months to help curb the spread of the virus, who would have thought we'd be seeing the NHL crown a Stanley Cup champion on September 28 when training camps are usually starting? To their credit, the bubble that the NHL set up to finish the season worked as advertised as no player recorded a case of COVID-19 while in the bubble, but there were definitely some complaints about the comforts promised to the players. In other news, Seattle was made official as the Kraken will join the Pacific Division in 2021-22 and Arizona will shift to the Central Division, but we'll have to see if the pandemic bubble had any effect on The Hockey News and their predictions!

Ok, someone at THN might have been listening to my repeated complaints over the years about the cover athletes because they're back wity more Winnipeg and Vancouver! Elias Petterson and Mark Scheifele get the bump this year for the Canucks and Jets, respectively, and it's good to see that there's more blanket western Canada coverage for these covers now. Granted, there could be complaints from Edmonton that Leon Draisaitl or from Calgary that Matthew Tkachuk isn't get their push, but Calgary and Edmonton ruled these covers for a long, long time. Well done on spreading the wealth, The Hockey News.

With the divisional formats scrapped for a 24-team playoff with an added qualifying round, the scoring will change for this year's predictions. We know the top two teams from each division were placed in a group on their own to determine seeds 1-4, so we'll take the top-two teams from each divisional prediction as being those representatives for a total score of 8 points in the all-or-nothing scoring here. That leaves four seeds in each conference to be determined as playoff teams, so if a team made the qualifying round THN picks up 0.5 points. If they advanced to the Round of 16, they get another 0.5 points. That's another possible 8 points for playoff squads. Playoff wins then come into play, and that scoring will remain the same with 1 point per correct playoff win prediction for 14 points. And the Stanley Cup Final prediction scoring won't change either. When all is said and done, there's 32 possible points up for grabs.

Here are the predictions made by The Hockey News.
Click to make it larger.

QUALIFYING TEAMS

The final Eastern Conference playoff teams in 2019 in the NHL are listed. The Hockey News' predicted playoff teams are listed below the NHL teams that qualified. Teams that advanced from the qualifying stage are in capital letters in the "Remaining Team" section.
  • NHL Top Four: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Washington, and Boston.
  • THN Top Four: Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington, and Carolina.
THN had two of four teams right for 2/4 points.

  • NHL Remaining Teams: Pittsburgh, CAROLINA, NEW YORK ISLANDERS, Toronto, COLUMBUS, Florida, New York Rangers, and MONTREAL.

  • THN Playoff Teams: Philadelphia, Boston, Florida, and the New York Islanders.
  • Because we can't score Philadelphia or Boston in this section, THN scores 0.5 points for Florida, and 1 full point for the New York Islanders in the remaining playoff teams for a total of 1.5/4 points.

    The Western Conference follows the same scoring.
    • NHL Top Four: Vegas, Colorado, Dallas, and St. Louis.
    • THN Top Four: Nashville, Colorado, Calgary, and Vegas.
    THN had two of four teams right for 2/4 points.

  • NHL Remaining Teams: Edmonton, Nashville, VANCOUVER, CALGARY, Winnipeg, Minnesota, ARIZONA, and CHICAGO.

  • THN Playoff Teams: St. Louis, San Jose, Winnipeg, and Dallas.
  • Because we can't score St. Louis or Dallas in this section, THN scores 0.5 points for Winnipeg as their only playoff-bound team for a total of 0.5/4 points.

    PLAYOFF WINS

    Teams that advanced to the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference included Philadelphia, the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay, and Boston, meaning that THN had one correct prediction there in Tampa Bay. From those four teams, it was a Tampa Bay-New York Islanders Eastern Conference Final, and THN had Tampa right as they advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. Thanks to the Lightning, they record 3/7 points in the Eastern Conference.

    In the Western Conference, Dallas, Vegas, Colorado, and Vancouver all advanced to the second round, and THN had both Vegas and Colorado reaching that stage for 2 points. Of those four teams, Vegas and Dallas advanced to the Western Conference Final, and THN had Vegas making that stage for another point. They incorrected named Vegas as a finalist, though, so they'll finsh the Western Conference playoff picture at 3/7 points.

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    Ryan Kennedy is back for another swing at the champion and finalist in the Stanley Cup Final, so let's see who he picked, based on the playoff results above, for The Hockey News in this year.
    • TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING WILL DEFEAT THE VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. The hockey gods are smiling on Ryan Kennedy as he correctly predicts his second Stanley Cup champion as the lead writer in this section as the Tampa Bay Lightning did win the 2020 Stanley Cup! The only problem? They needed six games to defeat the Dallas Stars - a team THN predicted would lose in the first round - to win the Stanley Cup. Ryan's choice of Tampa Bay is a good one, though, so not all is lost in this section!
    The Hockey News goes 1/2 in having the correct team win the Stanley Cup!

    The Hockey News actually might have benefitted from the playoff bubble helping their choices in a couple instances as they scored 13 out of 32 possible points for a 40.6% accuracy. While I wouldn't necessarily annoint The Hockey News as an NHL crystal ball with their predictions this season, they did score over 40% for the first time in these examinations. Finish strong, I was always told, and The Hockey News did that with their predictions in 2019-20.

    That will do it for the examinations of The Hockey News Yearbook predictions since 1995-96. While I still await the mailing of the two missing Yearbooks from my collection, it's pretty clear that THN's average of the course of 25 years seems to be around 30%. While not entirely awful, they're also not very good in picking Stanley Cup champions as that only happened three times.

    On the flip side, it's also ridiculously hard to predict the final standings before teams have played a game, assembled a final roster, gone through the rigors of an 82-game season, and dealt with injuries and trades all season long. While 30% seems pretty bad, it's actually not a bad average to have when one considers all the variables that go into a season of play for all the NHL teams.

    This was a fun look at The Hockey News and their annual predictions. I may dive into some analysis of these annual predictions at some point, but it's Halloween tomorrow so I'll have something more fun to go over in tomorrow's article. For now, feel free to check back to any of the seasons that were reviewed and see how THN did in their annual predictions!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Thursday, 29 October 2020

    The Hockey Show - Episode 423

    The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, hits your airwaves on UMFM once again tonight as Teebz sits down for another interview with a very interesting guest. It should be noted that Jenna was tied up at work and could not make the scheduled interview time, but fear not as she will return next week for another interview with a player whose career has been rather outstanding. Tonight, though, we re-open an old wound that still hasn't healed and still has been given the proper treatment as we get an update on what's happening out in Lethbridge!

    To get that update, Teebz sits down with former Pronghorns forward Mikaela Reay to learn about her life, career, major in school, and thoughts on the entire debacle that surrounded the shuttering of the Pronghorns men's and women's hockey teams. We chat about growing up in Bashaw, Alberta, moving to Camrose, Red Deer, and Edmonton before landing in Lethbridge, how she was recruited, some of the milestones she hit, get the skinny on the amazing work she's doing in the classroom, and more! Oh, and we will have an update on the progress being made by the committee working to restore Pronghorns hockey! It all happens tonight at 5:30pm CT on one of 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or on UMFM.com!

    Where's the best place can you hear tonight's show if you're outside Winnipeg or not near a radio, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

    If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

    Tonight, Teebz goes one-on-one with Lethbridge Pronghorns forward Mikaela Reay as we learn about her hockey career, her future career, what the future holds for Pronghorns hockey, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the UMFM.com web stream!

    PODCAST: October 29, 2020: Episode 423

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Wednesday, 28 October 2020

    The 2018-19 Predictions

    If the 2017-18 season had taught us anything about the NHL, it's that even the castoff players from all 30 NHL teams can come together and do something pretty special as we witnessed the Golden Knights march to the final before finally falling to the Washington Capitals. It's no surprise that, with 31 teams and the league having an odd number of squads when it came to scheduling, that expansion was back in focus as the worst-kept secret in hockey was being kicked around in terms of Seattle joining the NHL as the 32nd club in the near future. The Oilers and Devils started the season in Sweden while the Panthers and Jets tangled in Finland to open the campaign, but there were no major rule changes this season to which teams needed to adjust. 31 teams opened the campaign, a 32nd would be added, and The Hockey News made some bold predictions. Let's check them out!

    Do mine eyes deceive me? Neither the Flames nor the Oilers are on the front cover of the The Hockey News Yearbook this year as we have two completely new teams represented on the front! You'll likely recognize Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets in the foreground while Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks is behind him. These are the first images of any Winnipeg Jets player or Vancouver Canucks player on any cover since I started this examination! I'd give THN credit, but once is a coincidence. Let's see how next season's Yearbook plays out as well.

    Divisional standings are still in play, so we'll do another year of all-or-nothing for placement within those standings - either you're right or wrong here, THN - for a total of 31 points. Playoff teams, denoted by THN, will be worth 0.5 points if they made the playoffs that season for a chance at 8 total points. In saying that, I'll also add four points for division winners and four points for the right wild card teams (assuming those teams are in the right standings positions) for 8 more points. And there will be 2 points available for the Stanley Cup champion and finalist prediction - all-or-nothing - once again.

    However, The Hockey News went full playoff picture and predicted every series they guessed, so we'll add points for playoff wins. If a team made the playoffs and advanced to the second round, that would be 1 point. There are seven chances for more points in each conference, so this will add 14 more potential points to the total, bumping the overall score to 63 possible points this season.

    Here are the predictions made by The Hockey News.
    Click to make it larger.

    STANDINGS

    The final Metropolitan Division standings in 2019 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second. Playoff teams are listed in capital letters for each side.
        1. WASHINGTON (NHL) vs. COLUMBUS (THN)
        2. NEW YORK ISLANDERS vs. WASHINGTON
        3. PITTSBURGH vs. PITTSBURGH
        4. CAROLINA vs. PHILADELPHIA
        5. COLUMBUS vs. Carolina
        6. Philadephia vs. New Jersey
        7. New York Rangers vs. New York Rangers
        8. New Jersey vs. New York Islanders
    THN had two of eight teams in the right spots for 2/8 points.

    The Atlantic Division follows the same scoring.
        1. TAMPA BAY (NHL) vs. TAMPA BAY (THN)
        2. BOSTON vs. TORONTO
        3. TORONTO vs. BOSTON
        4. Montreal vs. FLORIDA
        5. Florida vs. Buffalo
        6. Buffalo vs. Montreal
        7. Detroit vs. Detroit
        8. Ottawa vs. Ottawa
    THN had three of the eight teams in the right spot for 3/8 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had six of eight playoff teams correctly identified for 3/4 points. They had Tampa Bay as a division winner for 1/2, but missed on both wild card teams for 0/2 there. All totaled, the Eastern Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 9/24.

    The Pacific Division follows the same scoring.
        1. CALGARY (NHL) vs. CALGARY (THN)
        2. SAN JOSE vs. SAN JOSE
        3. VEGAS vs. VEGAS
        4. Arizona vs. ANAHEIM
        5. Vancouver vs. Los Angeles
        6. Anaheim vs. Edmonton
        7. Edmonton vs. Arizona
        8. Los Angeles vs. Vancouver
    THN had three teams in the right spot for 3/8 points.

    The Central Division follows the same scoring.
        1. NASHVILLE (NHL) vs. WINNIPEG (THN)
        2. WINNIPEG vs. NASHVILLE
        3. ST. LOUIS vs. ST. LOUIS
        4. DALLAS vs. DALLAS
        5. COLORADO vs. Colorado
        6. Chicago vs. Minnesota
        7. Minnesota vs. Chicago
    THN had three of the seven teams in the right spot for 3/7 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had seven of eight playoff teams correctly predicted for 3.5/4 points. They had Calgary right as a division winner for a 1/2 score, and they had Dallas as a wild card team for 1/2 there as well. All totaled, the Western Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 11.5/23.

    PLAYOFF WINS

    Teams that advanced to the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference included Columbus, Boston, Carolina, and the New York Islanders, meaning that THN had one correct prediction there in Columbus. From those four teams, it was a Boston-Carolina Eastern Conference Final, so that ended the run there for THN. They record 1/7 points in the Eastern Conference.

    In the Western Conference, Dallas, St. Louis, Colorado, and San Jose all advanced to the second round, and THN had just San Jose reaching that stage for 1 point. Of those four teams, St. Louis and San Jose advanced to the Western Conference Final, and THN had neither of those teams advancing so they'll finsh the Western Conference playoff picture at 1/7 points.

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    Ryan Kennedy was tasked with the Stanley Cup prediction write-up once more, and you just had to wince at the sub-headline of "Time To Say We Told You So" when it came to these predictions. Let's see why.
    • WINNIPEG JETS WILL DEFEAT THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. Except they didn't as the 2019 St. Louis Blues needed all seven games to eliminate the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. THN had predicted in their "Future Watch" magazine back in 2015 - pictured in the top-left corner of the predictions page - that the Jets would be the 2019 Stanley Cup champions, so I'll give credit to The Hockey News for sticking with their bold prediction, but it was not even close to reality as the Jets lost in the opening round in six games to the eventual champions in the St. Louis Blues. Tampa Bay, for what it's worth, fell in that epic sweep at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets which shocked the entire hockey world, so neither of the predicted finalists even made it out of the first round of the playoffs. Ouch.
    THN continues with their annual 0/2 score in this prediction as they missed on both finalists for the Stanley Cup.

    The Hockey News was markedly better this season compared to last season as they scored 22.5 out of 63 possible points for a 35.7% accuracy. They still have not hit the 40% mark in any season, and still only have called two Stanley Cup champions right in the entire examination throughout October. "We told you so" should never been spoken again by this publication.

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Tuesday, 27 October 2020

    The 2017-18 Predictions

    The 2017-18 NHL season saw the first new team added to the NHL's membership since 2000 when Columbus and Minnesota joined the league as the NHL made a splash being the first major professional sports franchise in Las Vegas, Nevada with the arrival of the Golden Knights! Needless to say, the Las Vegas experience was an entirely new experience for the NHL, and we'd see a formidable team built through some shrewd moves in the expansion draft. Delay-of-game penalties were instituted by the NHL for failed coach's challenges in order to curb the number of challenges seen, and timeouts were no longer allowed by a team who iced the puck. The NHL's 100th Centennial Season would continue through 2017 as Ottawa and Montreal would meet on the front lawn of the Canadian Parliamentary Buildings in Ottawa while Colorado and Ottawa started the season in Sweden. Would any of this affect the predictions made by The Hockey News? Let's find out!

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it? The Hockey News, for the third-straight season, opted for Connor McDavid and Johnny Gaudreau as the only players who have ever suited up for the Oilers and Flames, and it's a given fact now that both the Oilers and Flames are the only teams to exist not only on the prairies, but in all of Canada. I can't stress how disappointing it is to see these two players year after year after year on the cover of the THN Yearbook with some variation on winning the Stanley Cup.

    I'm going to change this up a bit because The Hockey News changed things up this season.
    Click to make it larger.

    Divisional standings are still in play, so we'll do another year of all-or-nothing for placement within those standings - either you're right or wrong here, THN - for a total of 31 points. Playoff teams, denoted by THN, will be worth 0.5 points if they made the playoffs that season for a chance at 8 total points. In saying that, I'll also add four points for division winners and four points for the right wild card teams (assuming those teams are in the right standings positions) for 8 more points. And there will be 2 points available for the Stanley Cup champion and finalist prediction - all-or-nothing - once again.

    However, The Hockey News went full playoff picture and predicted every series they guessed, so we'll add points for playoff wins. If a team made the playoffs and advanced to the second round, that would be 1 point. There are seven chances for more points in each conference, so this will add 14 more potential points to the total, bumping the overall score to 63 possible points this season.

    STANDINGS

    The final Metropolitan Division standings in 2018 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second. Playoff teams are listed in capital letters for each side.
        1. WASHINGTON (NHL) vs. PITTSBURGH (THN)
        2. PITTSBURGH vs. WASHINGTON
        3. PHILADELPHIA vs. COLUMBUS
        4. COLUMBUS vs. NEW YORK RANGERS
        5. NEW JERSEY vs. CAROLINA
        6. Carolina vs. Philadephia
        7. New York Islanders vs. New York Islanders
        8. New York Rangers vs. New Jersey
    THN had one of eight teams in the right spots for 1/8 points.

    The Atlantic Division follows the same scoring.
        1. TAMPA BAY (NHL) vs. TAMPA BAY (THN)
        2. BOSTON vs. TORONTO
        3. TORONTO vs. MONTREAL
        4. Florida vs. Ottawa
        5. Detroit vs. Boston
        6. Montreal vs. Florida
        7. Ottawa vs. Buffalo
        8. Buffalo vs. Detroit
    THN had one of the eight teams in the right spot for 1/8 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had five of eight playoff teams correctly identified for 2.5/4 points. They had Tampa Bay as a division winner for 1/2, but missed on both wild card teams for 0/2 there. All totaled, the Eastern Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 5.5/24.

    The Pacific Division follows the same scoring.
        1. VEGAS (NHL) vs. ANAHEIM (THN)
        2. ANAHEIM vs. EDMONTON
        3. SAN JOSE vs. CALGARY
        4. LOS ANGELES vs. San Jose
        5. Calgary vs. Los Angeles
        6. Edmonton vs. Arizona
        7. Vancouver vs. Vancouver
        8. Arizona vs. Vegas
    THN had one team in the right spot for 1/8 points.

    The Central Division follows the same scoring.
        1. NASHVILLE (NHL) vs. DALLAS (THN)
        2. WINNIPEG vs. NASHVILLE
        3. MINNESOTA vs. CHICAGO
        4. COLORADO vs. ST. LOUIS
        5. St. Louis vs. MINNESOTA
        6. Dallas vs. Winnipeg
        7. Chicago vs. Colorado
    THN had none of the seven teams in the right spot for 0/7 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had three of eight playoff teams correctly predicted for 1.5/4 points. They had neither division winner right for a 0/2 score, and they had no correctly-predicted teams as a wild card team for 0/2 there as well. All totaled, the Western Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 2.5/23.

    PLAYOFF WINS

    Teams that advanced to the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference included Tampa Bay, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Washington, meaning that THN had three correct predictions there. From those four teams, both Washington and Tampa Bay advanced, giving THN 1 more point for their Tampa Bay prediction. They did not have Pittsburgh making the final, so it will stand as 4/7 points in the Eastern Conference.

    In the Western Conference, Nashville, Winnipeg, Vegas, and San Jose all advanced to the second round, and THN had just Nashville reaching that stage for 1 point. Of those four teams, Winnipeg and Vegas advanced and THN had neither of those teams advancing - or making the playoffs for that matter - so they'll finsh the Western Conference playoff picture at 1/7 points.

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    Ryan Kennedy was out after some serious misses on this prediction, and Matt Larkin came back in. We know the playoff picture from above, so we don't really need an exciting build-up on this one. Let's see what happened.
    • PITTSBURGH PENGUINS WILL DEFEAT THE EDMONTON OILERS TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. Except they didn't as the 2018 Washington Capitals used five games to eliminate the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup. THN had Vegas dead-last in the Pacific Division, so we know they didn't even factor in while the Capitals fell at the hands of the Penguins in the second round in THN's predictions.
    THN continues with their normal 0/2 score in this prediction as they missed on both finalists for the Stanley Cup.

    The Hockey News completely bombed this season as they scored just 13 out of 63 possible points for a 20.6% accuracy. After a few good seasons in the 30% range, it was like they completely forget everything they had learned in those seasons and just threw darts at team names to make decisions. Honestly, The Hockey News cannot be this bad at predicting a hockey season while touting itself as some sort of authoritative source on the game. Wow.

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Monday, 26 October 2020

    The 2016-17 Predictions

    The NHL's biggest news heading into the 2016-17 season was its approval of the expansion bid made by Bill Foley from Las Vegas, adding a 31st team to the NHL for the 2017-18 season. There were a pile of celebrations planned for 2017 as the NHL began its year-long celebration of its 100th season of operation, but nothing that would affect any season predictions that a certain publication will make. There were four outdoor games planned that saw two of them feature three Canadian teams as the Jets and Oilers met in Winnipeg at the 2016 Heritage Classic while the Maple Leafs joined the Red Wings for 100th Anniversary game on January 1 at BMO Field. There were no major rule changes for the first time in while, so let's get into those predictions. How did the The Hockey News do this season? Let's find out!

    Before we dig into these predictions, did anyone put money down that The Hockey News would use the exact same players with the exact same question - "Playoffs?" - for the second straight year? Gaudreau and McDavid get a second season of trying to restore some sort of respectability for the Alberta-based NHL teams as THN forces more Alberta down the throats of everyone on the prairies. This is now getting to be Maple Leafs-level sickening in terms of the Toronto-based publication choosing cover players. Be better, THN. Much better.

    Divisional standings are still in play, so we'll do another year of all-or-nothing for placement within those standings - either you're right or wrong here, THN - for a total of 30 points. Playoff teams, denoted by THN, will be worth 0.5 points if they made the playoffs that season for a chance at 8 total points. In saying that, I'll also add four points for division winners and four points for the right wild card teams (assuming those teams are in the right standings positions) for 8 more points. And there will be 2 points available for the Stanley Cup champion and finalist prediction - all-or-nothing - for a total of 48 points.

    Here are the standings predictions as per The Hockey News.
    I took some creative liberties in chopping up the picture.

    STANDINGS

    The final Metropolitan Division standings in 2017 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second. Playoff teams are listed in capital letters for each side.
        1. WASHINGTON (NHL) vs. WASHINGTON (THN)
        2. PITTSBURGH vs. PITTSBURGH
        3. COLUMBUS vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
        4. NEW YORK RANGERS vs. PHILADELPHIA
        5. New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers
        6. Philadelphia vs. Columbus
        7. Carolina vs. Carolina
        8. New Jersey vs. New Jersey
    THN had four of eight teams in the right spots for 4/8 points.

    The Atlantic Division follows the same scoring.
        1. MONTREAL (NHL) vs. TAMPA BAY (THN)
        2. OTTAWA vs. FLORIDA
        3. BOSTON vs. MONTREAL
        4. TORONTO vs. BOSTON
        5. Tampa Bay vs. Detroit
        6. Florida vs. Buffalo
        7. Detroit vs. Ottawa
        8. Buffalo vs. Toronto
    THN had none of the eight teams in the right spot for 0/8 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had four of eight playoff teams correctly identified for 2/4 points. They had Washington as a division winner for 1/2, but missed on both wild card teams for 0/2 there. All totaled, the Eastern Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 9/24.

    The Pacific Division follows the same scoring.
        1. ANAHEIM (NHL) vs. SAN JOSE (THN)
        2. EDMONTON vs. ANAHEIM
        3. SAN JOSE vs. LOS ANGELES
        4. CALGARY vs. CALGARY
        5. Los Angeles vs. Edmonton
        6. Arizona vs. Arizona
        7. Vancouver vs. Vancouver
    THN had three teams in the right spot for 3/7 points.

    The Central Division follows the same scoring.
        1. CHICAGO (NHL) vs. DALLAS (THN)
        2. MINNESOTA vs. NASHVILLE
        3. ST. LOUIS vs. ST. LOUIS
        4. NASHVILLE vs. CHICAGO
        5. Winnipeg vs. Winnipeg
        6. Dallas vs. Minnesota
        7. Colorado vs. Colorado
    THN had three of the seven teams in the right spot for 3/7 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had six of eight playoff teams correctly predicted for 3/4 points. They had neither division winner right for a 0/2 score, but they did have Calgary as a wild card team for 1/2 there as well. All totaled, the Western Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 10/22.

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    After Matt Larkin took a big swing and missed on both the champion and finalist last year, Ryan Kennedy returns after calling the correct champion and finalist back in the 2015 Yearbook. Could he do it again as he tosses two more teams out as the choice for The Hockey News as to who will play in the final game of the season? Let's see what happened.
    • TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING WILL DEFEAT THE DALLAS STARS TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. Except they didn't as the 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins used six games to eliminate the Nashville Predators to win the Stanley Cup. Had this been 2020, Kennedy would have been spot-on once more, but it's 2017 and both his choices - Tampa Bay and Dallas - not only didn't make the final, but neither team made the playoffs! Kennedy has a swift fall from grace this year.
    THN continues with their normal 0/2 score in this prediction as neither team even made the dance for the Stanley Cup.

    The Hockey News made a slight improvement this season as they scored 19 out of 48 possible points for a 39.6% accuracy. They stay above 30% in the prediction accuracy once more, but would have cost you some money in Vegas once again as they weren't even close to having the right winner and finalist. Stop using The Hockey News for betting on the Stanley Cup champion. I cannot be more clear about that.

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Sunday, 25 October 2020

    The 2015-16 Predictions

    The 2015-16 season arrived on October 7, 2014, and with that arrival came some changes that the NHL adopted for the season once more. For the first time, overtime periods would be reduced to three players aside in an effort to curb the number of shootouts being used to decide NHL games. Coach's challenges were expanded to allow for a number of new things to be examined by officials, giving teams ten-minute timeouts in some cases. The NHL announced expansion plans once again as both Quebec City and Las Vegas started rolling pennies for the $500-million application bid, and the NHL decided that it would announce its decision in the summer of 2016. Adidas took over the jersey manufacturing from Reebok, its subsidiary, with plans to introduce new jerseys for all 30 - soon to be 31 - NHL teams starting in 2017-18. Of course, The Hockey News was back with another round of predictions, so we'll dive into those and see if any of the above affected who they picked to hoist the Stanley Cup at the end of the season!

    Just as I was anointing Taylor Hall as the perennial coverboy moving forward, THN went out and brought Connor McDavid into the fold! I heard he's pretty good despite his team circling the bottom of the bowl for the last few years, but if there's anything that THN does better than making bad predictions, it's pushing the Flames and Oilers as the only NHL teams in existence on the prairies or in Canada. Johnny Gaudreau takes over for Mike Cammalleri in the Flames jersey, so it seems whoever is the catch of the day will be on The Hockey News Yearbook moving forward.

    Divisional standings are still in play, so it'll be another year of all-or-nothing for placement within those standings - either you're right or wrong here, THN - for a total of 30 points. Playoff teams, denoted by THN, will be worth 0.5 points if they made the playoffs that season for a chance at 8 total points. In saying that, I'll also add four points for division winners and four points for the right wild card teams (assuming those teams are in the right standings positions) for 8 more points. And there will be 2 points available for the Stanley Cup champion and finalist prediction - all-or-nothing - for a total of 48 points.

    Here are the standings predictions as per The Hockey News.
    I took some creative liberties in chopping up the picture.

    STANDINGS

    The final Metropolitan Division standings in 2016 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second. Playoff teams are listed in capital letters for each side.
        1. WASHINGTON (NHL) vs. WASHINGTON (THN)
        2. PITTSBURGH vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
        3. NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW YORK RANGERS
        4. NEW YORK ISLANDERS vs. COLUMBUS
        5. PHILADELPHIA vs. PITTSBURGH
        6. Carolina vs. Philadelphia
        7. New Jersey vs. New Jersey
        8. Columbus vs. Carolina
    THN had three of eight teams in the right spots for 3/8 points.

    The Atlantic Division follows the same scoring.
        1. FLORIDA (NHL) vs. TAMPA BAY (THN)
        2. TAMPA BAY vs. DETROIT
        3. DETROIT vs. MONTREAL
        4. Boston vs. Ottawa
        5. Ottawa vs. Florida
        6. Montreal vs. Boston
        7. Buffalo vs. Buffalo
        8. Toronto vs. Toronto
    THN had just two of the eight teams in the right spot for 2/8 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had six of eight playoff teams correctly identified for 3/4 points. They had Washington as a division winner for 1/2, but missed on both wild card teams for 0/2 there. All totaled, the Eastern Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 9/24.

    The Pacific Division follows the same scoring.
        1. ANAHEIM (NHL) vs. ANAHEIM (THN)
        2. LOS ANGELES vs. LOS ANGELES
        3. SAN JOSE vs. CALGARY
        4. Arizona vs. San Jose
        5. Calgary vs. Edmonton
        6. Vancouver vs. Vancouver
        7. Edmonton vs. Arizona
    THN had two teams in the right spot for 3/7 points.

    The Central Division follows the same scoring.
        1. DALLAS (NHL) vs. ST. LOUIS (THN)
        2. ST. LOUIS vs. CHICAGO
        3. CHICAGO vs. WINNIPEG
        4. NASHVILLE vs. DALLAS
        5. MINNESOTA vs. NASHVILLE
        6. Colorado vs. Minnesota
        7. Winnipeg vs. Colorado
    THN had none of the seven teams in the right spot for 0/7 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had six of eight playoff teams correctly predicted for 3/4 points. They had Anaheim correctly winning the Pacific Division for a 1/2 score, and had Nashville as a wild card team for 1/2 there as well. All totaled, the Western Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 8/22.

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    It seems Ryan Kennedy hung up his pen as the writer for the Stanley Cup prediction after getting both the winner, Chicago, and the finalist, Tampa Bay, correct one year earlier. Matt Larkin took over this year, so let's see who he attached The Hockey News's cart to in this year's prediction.
    • ANAHEIM DUCKS WILL DEFEAT WASHINGTON CAPITALS TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. Except they didn't as the 2016 Pittsburgh Penguins used six games to eliminate the San Jose Sharks to win the Stanley Cup. Anaheim, the chosen team by The Hockey News, played just seven games in the playoffs, losing to the Nashville Predators in a series where they led 3-2 after five games only to score a measly two goals in the last two games to lose the series 4-3. Washington, for their part, were eliminated in the second round in six games by their old foes and the eventual champions in the Penguins.
    THN went back to their normal 0/2 score in this prediction as neither team as close to a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

    The Hockey News turned in a decent effort this season as they scored 17 out of 48 possible points for a 35.4% accuracy. They stay above 30% in the prediction accuracy, but they missed out on Vegas money once more as they had the wrong winner and finalist. I'm thinking the latter should be expected now, but we'll continue to examine this as the years advance.

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Saturday, 24 October 2020

    The 2014-15 Predictions

    The 2014-15 NHL season saw a few major changes in the NHL as the NHL continued to tinker with ideas. Perhaps the largest one that would be noticed by Canadian hockey fans is that Rogers Sportsnet bought the rights to everything NHL in Canada, replacing TSN as the standard. Quebec would see TVASports carry games in French, and Sportsnet reached a deal with CBC to maintain the flagship broadcast on the Canadian public broadcaster. There was also a league-wide mumps outbreak during the season that took several key players - Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry, Ryan Suter, and Zach Parise - down for several days before being these players were cleared to return to their teams following heavy sanitizing of everything in those locker rooms. And the Coyotes would now, in theory, appeal to the entire state of Arizona after changing the team name to the Arizona Coyotes. Would any of this affect the predictions made by The Hockey News? It seems maybe only the mumps outbreak would play a factor, but let's see how they did!

    After having Jarome Iginla as their coverboy for the last few years, it seems he's old news now as Taylor Hall steps to the foreground in what appears to be his fourth appearance as a coverboy! Marc Giordano is the supporting cast in this one, but we're still being fed Oilers and Flames from THN in the prairie provinces despite there being a team in Winnipeg and despite there are other teams we cheer for in these provinces. The disappointment never ends here.

    Divisional standings are the norm here again, so it will be an all-or-nothing for placement within those standings - either you're right or wrong here, THN - for a total of 30 points. Playoff teams, denoted by THN, will be worth 0.5 points if they made the playoffs that season for a chance at 6 total points - I can't give points outside of the top-three teams in each division because THN didn't denote playoff teams in their predictions, so I can judge who their wild card choices were. In saying that, I'll also add four points for division winners and four points for the right wild card teams (assuming those teams are in the right standings positions) for 8 more points. And there will be 2 points available for the Stanley Cup champion and finalist prediction - all-or-nothing - for a total of 46 points.

    Here are the standings predictions as per The Hockey News.
    I took some creative liberties in chopping up the picture.

    STANDINGS

    The final Metropolitan Division standings in 2015 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second. Playoff teams are listed in capital letters for each side.
        1. NEW YORK RANGERS (NHL) vs. PITTSBURGH (THN)
        2. WASHINGTON vs. NEW YORK RANGERS
        3. NEW YORK ISLANDERS vs. NEW YORK RANGERS
        4. PITTSBURGH vs. Washington
        5. Columbus vs. Philadelphia
        6. Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders
        7. New Jersey vs. New Jersey
        8. Carolina vs. Carolina
    THN had two of eight teams in the right spots for 2/8 points.

    The Atlantic Division follows the same scoring.
        1. MONTREAL (NHL) vs. BOSTON (THN)
        2. TAMPA BAY vs. TAMPA BAY
        3. DETROIT vs. MONTREAL
        4. OTTAWA vs. Florida
        5. Boston vs. Detroit
        6. Florida vs. Toronto
        7. Toronto vs. Ottawa
        8. Buffalo vs. Buffalo
    THN had just two of the eight teams in the right spot for 2/8 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had three of six playoff teams correctly identified for 1.5/3 points. They missed on both division winners for 0/2, but missed on both wild card teams for 0/2 there. All totaled, the Eastern Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 5.5/23.

    The Pacific Division follows the same scoring.
        1. ANAHEIM (NHL) vs. ANAHEIM (THN)
        2. VANCOUVER vs. LOS ANGELES
        3. CALGARY vs. SAN JOSE
        4. Los Angeles vs. Vanvcouver
        5. San Jose vs. Arizona
        6. Edmonton vs. Edmonton
        7. Arizona vs. Calgary
    THN had two teams in the right spot for 2/7 points.

    The Central Division follows the same scoring.
        1. ST. LOUIS (NHL) vs. ST. LOUIS (THN)
        2. NASHVILLE vs. CHICAGO
        3. CHICAGO vs. MINNESOTA
        4. MINNESOTA vs. Dallas
        5. WINNIPEG vs. Colorado
        6. Dallas vs. Nashville
        7. Colorado vs. Winnipeg
    THN had just one of the seven teams in the right spot for 1/7 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had three of six playoff teams correctly predicted for 1.5/3 points. They had both division winners correct for a 2/2 score, and missed on both wild card teams for 0/2 there as well. All totaled, the Western Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 6.5/21.

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    Ryan Kennedy wrote the biggest part of the predictions again this season, and THN needed a boost in this department. I have to admit that I was not expecting this.
    • CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS WILL DEFEAT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. That DID happen! The Blackhawks needed six games to eliminate the Lightning where five of the six games were decided by one goal, but none of the games went into overtime. The only game that was won by two-or-more goals was Game Six as the Blackhawks won 2-0 in the game to capture the Stanley Cup!
    THN scored a very impressive 2/2 in these predictions as they had both the champion and finalist correct for the first time since starting these examinations of their predictions!

    Honestly, The Hockey News needed that Stanley Cup prediction badly as their overall predictions this season scored them 14 out of 46 possible points for a 30.4% accuracy. Had they not called both Chicago and Tampa Bay finishing the season as they did, they drop to 26.1% which is nothing of which they should be proud. Instead, they stay above the 30% mark, and they officially have called their second Stanley Cup champion correctly in the last two decades!

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Friday, 23 October 2020

    The 2013-14 Predictions

    The 2013-14 NHL season saw a number of changes that affected the predictions made by The Hockey News in their annual Yearbook. The conferences were realigned as the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets shifted to the Eastern Conference while the Winnipeg Jets left the Southeast Division for a cozier abode with teams in the middle of the continent. The NHL also scrapped the six divisions it was using for four divisions with 16 teams split evenly in the Eastern Conference and 14 teams split evenly in the Western Conference for the time being. The playoff format was also changed to reflect the divisions as well as the first two rounds would be played against teams within one's division unless one was a wild card team. Oh, and the NHL introduced wild card teams. All of this will affect the scoring that I had setup, so let's get ready for an entirely new points system here as The Hockey News goes divisional!

    Before we get to the new scoring system, we're back to the two usual suspects on the cover as the Oilers and Flames are back on the cover. The key difference? While THN serve up another helping of Taylor Hall as an Oiler, we have a new Flame as Mike Cammalleri takes over the cover duties from Jarome Iginla! I mean, the Jets have been in town now for three seasons, Vancouver is doing wonderful things with the Sedins, Ottawa and Montreal have been competitive, and who gives a damn about Toronto? It's all Edmonton and Calgary out here on the prairie region. Again.

    Because the NHL went divisional, The Hockey News followed suit. As such, there aren't conference standings predictions in this season's THN Yearbook. Instead, there are divisional standings with denotations as to which teams they predict will make the playoffs. Obviously, the top-three teams denoted as making the playoffs would represent the top-three seeds of the division while any teams below those denotations would be the wild cards. Again, there are no standings or point totals, so we're shooting from the hip here when it comes to creating a scoring system.

    As we go through each division, it will be an all-or-nothing for placement within those standings - either you're right or wrong here, THN - for a total of 30 points. Playoff teams, denoted by THN, will be worth 0.5 points if they made the playoffs that season for a chance at 8 total points. In saying that, I'll also add four points for division winners and four points for the right wild card teams for 8 more points. And there will be 2 points available for the Stanley Cup champion and finalist prediction - all-or-nothing - for a total of 48 points.

    Here are the standings predictions as per The Hockey News.
    I took some creative liberties in chopping up the picture.

    STANDINGS

    The final Metropolitan Division standings in 2014 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second. Playoff teams are listed in capital letters for each side.
        1. PITTSBURGH (NHL) vs. PITTSBURGH (THN)
        2. NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW YORK RANGERS
        3. PHILADELPHIA vs. PHILADELPHIA
        4. COLUMBUS vs. Columbus
        5. Washington vs. New York Islanders
        6. New Jersey vs. Washington
        7. Carolina vs. Carolina
        8. New York Islanders vs. New Jersey
    THN had five of eight teams in the right spots for 5/8 points.

    The Atlantic Division follows the same scoring.
        1. BOSTON (NHL) vs. BOSTON (THN)
        2. TAMPA BAY vs. DETROIT
        3. MONTREAL vs. OTTAWA
        4. DETROIT vs. MONTREAL
        5. Ottawa vs. TORONTO
        6. Toronto vs. Tampa Bay
        7. Florida vs. Buffalo
        8. Buffalo vs. Florida
    THN had just one of the eight teams in the right spot for 1/8 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had six of eight playoff teams correctly identified 3/4 points. They did score 2/2 on the division winners, but missed on both Columbus and Detroit being wild card teams for 0/2 there. All totaled, the Eastern Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 11/24.

    The Pacific Division follows the same scoring.
        1. ANAHEIM (NHL) vs. LOS ANGELES (THN)
        2. SAN JOSE vs. SAN JOSE
        3. LOS ANGELES vs. VANCOUVER
        4. Phoenix vs. ANAHEIM
        5. Vancouver vs. EDMONTON
        6. Calgary vs. Phoenix
        7. Edmonton vs. Calgary
    THN had just San Jose in the right spot for 1/7 points.

    The Central Division follows the same scoring.
        1. COLORADO (NHL) vs. CHICAGO (THN)
        2. ST. LOUIS vs. ST. LOUIS
        3. CHICAGO vs. MINNESOTA
        4. MINNESOTA vs. Dallas
        5. DALLAS vs. Nashville
        6. Nashville vs. Colorado
        7. Winnipeg vs. Winnipeg
    THN had just two of the seven teams in the right spot for 2/7 points here. We can now see the full playoff picture, and it would appear that THN had six of eight playoff teams correctly predicted for 3/4 points. They missed on both on the division winners for a 0/2 score, and missed on both Minnesota and Dallas being wild card teams for 0/2 there as well. All totaled, the Western Conference predictions scored THN a final score of 6/22.

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    Ryan Kennedy was handed the byline on the predictions, and he had the magazine putting all its eggs in the baskets of two teams as they predicted by the Stanley Cup champion and the finalist. Once more unto the breach for The Hockey News!
    • ST. LOUIS BLUES WILL DEFEAT THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. Except they didn't as the 2014 Los Angeles Kings used five games to eliminate the New York Rangers to win the Stanley Cup. St. Louis, the chosen team by The Hockey News, played just six games in the playoffs, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks after leading 2-0 in the series on the strength of two home overtime wins before dropping four-straight games where the scored just six goals. Pittsburgh, for their part, were eliminated in the second round in six games by the eventual finalist in the Rangers.
    THN scored 0/2 in these predictions, and didn't predict a finalist for the third-straight year.

    The Hockey News seems to do better when there are less teams in the various mixes as their predictions this season scored them 17 out of 48 possible points for a 35.4% accuracy. Again, betting on a Stanley Cup champion or either team as a finalist would have meant zero return in Vegas, so this is literally just an exercise to see if they'll ever correctly predict a champion again.

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Thursday, 22 October 2020

    The Hockey Show - Episode 422

    The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back on UMFM tonight with Teebz and Jenna welcoming a guest who we both admire and respect to our full capabilities. Our guest tonight has been on The Hockey Show before a number of times, but she always has an open invitation to the show. Her most recent achievement warranted us having her back on the show as she can now add "author" to her many other titles that include three-time Olympian, five-time World Championship gold medalist, professional hockey player, general manager of a professional hockey team, and mechanical engineer!

    Tonight, Teebz and Jenna are beyond excited to talk to Sami Jo Small about her new book, The Role I Played published by ECW Press! We talk to Sami about everything in her new book out in bookstores today - get yourself a copy! - including going to Nagano as part of the first women's hockey competition at the Olympics, her interactions with coaches and the portrayal of them in The Role I Played, some of the players she played with and who inspired her to follow her hockey dream, graduating from Stanford with her mechanical engineering degree and her work on hockey equipment, playing for Sweden, beep tests, and a lot more! If you missed the Teebz's Book Club review for The Role I Played, you can read it here as well! There's a lot to cover from Sami Jo Small's book, so make sure you tune in at 5:30pm CT on one of 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or on UMFM.com!

    Where's the best place can you hear tonight's show if you're outside Winnipeg or not near a radio, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

    If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

    Tonight, Teebz and Jenna pepper one of the greatest goalies to call Manitoba home when we sit down with Sami Jo Small and discuss her new book, The Role I Played, in great detail as we learn about Olympics, World Championships, ups and downs, coaches, equipment, why beep tests are ridiculous, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the UMFM.com web stream!

    PODCAST: October 22, 2020: Episode 422

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Wednesday, 21 October 2020

    The 2012-13 Predictions

    We marched into the 2012 offseason with another labour dispute hanging over our heads, and it came to pass that the opening night for the 2012-13 NHL season was cancelled due to this ongoing battle between the NHL and NHLPA. However, the two sides finally figured out their differences come 2013, and we would have a shortened, 48-game season that would begin on January 19 following the two sides agreeing on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement six days earlier. The end result was that the 48-game season would strictly be intra-conference, so that definitely may have affected standings at the end of this season. Would it affect the predictions made by The Hockey News for the 2012-13 season with the Yearbook coming out prior to the owners locking out the players? We'll soon find out!

    The Jets, now entering their second season of play, get bumped again by not one, but both Alberta teams as THN coverboy Jarome Iginla and Edmonton's Taylor Hall share the cover this year. I honestly don't understand The Hockey News and their reluctance to put any of the Jets on the front cover in the last two years being that they were the shiny, new thing on the prairies, but we can add a half-point to each of the Flames' and Oilers' total cover appearances with the dual-team cover.

    The Hockey News continues its standings predictions this year, so we'll examine and score these predictions as we have before. After a letdown in predictions one year earlier following a banner year, THN needs to bounce back this season. Just remember that we're talking about a 48-game, intradivisional schedule here. Will that throw THN's accuracy way off?

    Here are the standings predictions as per The Hockey News.
    Click on the picture if you'd like to view it at a larger size.

    STANDINGS

    I'll award one point for every team correctly predicted as to their final conference standing. I'll also award one point for every correctly-predicted playoff team in the right standing, and 0.5 points for a playoff team not in the correct standings spot. I'll continue to award up to three points for the division winners as well. That's a potential total of 15 points for the standings, another 3 points for divisions winners, and 8 points for the playoff teams for a total of 26 points per conference in this section.

    The final Eastern Conference standings in 2012 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second.
        1. Pittsburgh (NHL) vs. Pittsburgh (THN)
        2. Montreal vs. Boston
        3. Washington vs. Washington
        4. Boston vs. New York Rangers
        5. Toronto vs. Philadelphia
        6. New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay
        7. Ottawa vs. Buffalo
        8. New York Islanders vs. Ottawa
        9. Winnipeg vs. Carolina
        10. Philadelphia vs. Florida
        11. New Jersey vs. New Jersey
        12. Buffalo vs. Toronto
        13. Carolina vs. Montreal
        14. Tampa Bay vs. Winnipeg
        15. Florida vs. New York Islanders
    THN moved closer to respectability this season. They had three teams - Pittsburgh, Washington, and New Jersey - finishing in the right spot in the standings for 3 points on the standings board. They scored both Pittsburgh and Washington as division winners for a 2/3 score. They had Pittsburgh and Washington in the right spots for playoff spots for 2 more points, but they only had three of the six remaining teams correctly making the playoffs for 1.5 points (3 x 0.5) for a total of 3.5 points for playoff teams. All totaled, The Hockey News scored 8.5/26 points for the Eastern Conference.

    The Western Conference follows the same listing and scoring for 26 possible points.
        1. Chicago (NHL) vs. St. Louis (THN)
        2. Anaheim vs. Vancouver
        3. Vancouver vs. Los Angeles
        4. St. Louis vs. Chicago
        5. Los Angeles vs. Minnesota
        6. San Jose vs. San Jose
        7. Detroit vs. Detroit
        8. Minnesota vs. Nashville
        9. Columbus vs. Dallas
        10. Phoenix vs. Phoenix
        11. Dallas vs. Anaheim
        12. Edmonton vs. Calgary
        13. Calgary vs. Edmonton
        14. Nashville vs. Colorado
        15. Colorado vs. Columbus
    The Western Conference saw THN continue a decent round of predictons. They scored 3 points for having San Jose, Detroit, and Phoenix in the right standings spots. They had Vancouver as a correctly-predicted divison winner for 1/3 points. And then they also added 2 more points for having the right seeds for San Jose and Detroit while adding 2.5 points for having five of the six teams remaining (5 x 0.5) making the playoffs for 4.5 total points there. The final total for the Western Conference was 8.5/26 in 2013!

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    Adam Proteau came back to handle the byline on the predictions, and he had the magazine putting all its eggs in the baskets of two teams as they predicted by the Stanley Cup champion and the finalist. Let's see how that went for The Hockey News this year.
    • VANCOUVER CANUCKS WILL DEFEAT THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. Except they didn't as the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks needed six games to eliminate the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. Vancouver, the predicted champions, lasted just four games as the third-seeded Canucks were swept out of the playoffs by the sixth-seeded San Jose Sharks that year while the Penguins certainly fared better as they made the Eastern Conference Final before the Boston Bruins swept them in that third round. To add a little salt to that wound, the Penguins scored just two goals in four games against the Bruins while Vancouver scored more than two goals in any game against the Sharks just once - a 4-3 overtime loss in Game Four to end their playoffs.
    THN scored 0/2 in these predictions, and didn't predict a finalist for the second-straight year.

    The Hockey News made up some ground when compared to one year earlier as their predictions this season scored them 17 out of 54 possible points for a major drop to 31.5% accuracy. Again, betting on a Stanley Cup champion or either team as a finalist would have cost you money in Vegas, but I think it's pretty safe to say that we all would have stopped betting based on THN's accuracy by this point, right?

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Tuesday, 20 October 2020

    The 2011-12 Predictions

    The 2011-12 NHL season was met with excitement in the Manitoba capital as the Winnipeg Jets returned to the NHL thanks to the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers franchise to a business group in Winnipeg led by Mark Chipman, marking the first relocation since 1997-98 when the Hurricanes moved to North Carolina from Hartford. The summer was also shaken to its core by three players who died with all being under the age of 40 as Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak all committed suicide in a four-month span. On top of that, the NHL lost a number of former players and personalities when an airplane carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team crashed, resulting in the deaths of 44 of 45 people onboard the plane. Four teams - the Rangers, Kings, Sabres, and Ducks - would start their seasons in Europe while Philadelphia and the Rangers met on January 1 for the Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. And, of course, The Hockey News was back with their annual Yearbook and annual predictions for the 2011-12 season!

    So the Winnipeg Jets come back after having been gone for the better part of two decades, and THN decides to run their fourth Jarome Iginla cover? Oh, the Jets get a tiny mention at the top of the cover, but Iginla is the cover player again? The Flames, it should be noted, hadn't caught fire in any of the previous four seasons - 10th, 10th, 5th, and 7th in the Western Conference - and this season would be more of the same disappointment in Cowtown. At least there would have been a good cover story with the Jets rather than dragging out the same tired Calgary Flames narrative with Jarome Iginla - apparently, the only player to ever wear a Flames uniform - on the front.

    The Hockey News continues its standings predictions this year, so we'll examine and score these predictions as we have before. After an impressive 39.6% accuracy on their predictions one year earlier, THN has a lofty bar to try and match this season.

    Here are the standings predictions as per The Hockey News.
    As you can see, THN split their predictions into conferences this year. Click on the picture if you'd like to view it at a larger size.

    STANDINGS

    I'll award one point for every team correctly predicted as to their final conference standing. I'll also award one point for every correctly-predicted playoff team in the right standing, and 0.5 points for a playoff team not in the correct standings spot. I'll continue to award up to three points for the division winners as well. That's a potential total of 15 points for the standings, another 3 points for divisions winners, and 8 points for the playoff teams for a total of 26 points per conference in this section.

    The final Eastern Conference standings in 2012 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second.
        1. New York Rangers (NHL) vs. Washington (THN)
        2. Boston vs. Pittsburgh
        3. Florida vs. Boston
        4. Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia
        5. Philadelphia vs. Buffalo
        6. New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay
        7. Washington vs. New York Rangers
        8. Ottawa vs. Montreal
        9. Buffalo vs. Carolina
        10. Tampa Bay vs. Toronto
        11. Winnipeg vs. New Jersey
        12. Carolina vs. New York Islanders
        13. Toronto vs. Winnipeg
        14. New York Islanders vs. Florida
        15. Montreal vs. Ottawa
    After a season where they hit right on one-third of the teams in the standings, THN took major steps backwards. They had zero teams finishing in the right spot in the standings for 0 points on the standings board. They scored just Boston as a division winner for a 1/3 score. They had no teams in the right spots for playoff spots, but they had five of the eight teams correctly making the playoffs for 2.5 points (5 x 0.5). All totaled, The Hockey News scored a measly 3.5/26 points for the Eastern Conference.

    The Western Conference follows the same listing and scoring for 26 possible points.
        1. Vancouver (NHL) vs. Vancouver (THN)
        2. St. Louis vs. San Jose
        3. Phoenix vs. Chicago
        4. Nashville vs. Los Angeles
        5. Detroit vs. Detroit
        6. Chicago vs. Anaheim
        7. San Jose vs. St. Louis
        8. Los Angeles vs. Nashville
        9. Calgary vs. Colorado
        10. Dallas vs. Calgary
        11. Colorado vs. Minnesota
        12. Minnesota vs. Columbus
        13. Anaheim vs. Dallas
        14. Edmonton vs. Phoenix
        15. Columbus vs. Edmonton
    The Western Conference saw THN get better in the standings predictions, but not by much. They scored 2 points for having Vancouver and Detroit in the right standings spots. They had Vancouver as a correctly-predicted divison winner for 1/3 points. And then they also added 2 more points for having the right seeds for Vancouver and Detroit while adding 2.5 points for only having five of the six teams remaining (5 x 0.5) making the playoffs for 4.5 total points there. The final total for the Western Conference was 7.5/26 in 2012!

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    Ken Campbell was back to handle the byline on the predictions, and he had the magazine putting all its eggs in the baskets of two teams as they predicted by the Stanley Cup champion and the finalist. Let's see how that went for The Hockey News this year.
    • WASHINGTON CAPITALS WILL DEFEAT THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. Except they didn't as the 2012 Los Angeles Kings eliminated the New Jersey Devils in six games to win the Stanley Cup. Washington, for what it's worth, lost to the New York Rangers in the second round of the playoffs in seven games after needing all seven games to upset Boston in the opening round as the seventh seed. Chicago, meanwhile, spent six games in the playoffs, losing to the third-seeded Phoenix Coyotes in six games to end their run.
    THN scored 0/2 in these predictions, and didn't even come close to having a finalist as they had predicted in each of the previous three years.

    The Hockey News fell off a cliff with their predictions this season as they scored just 11 out of 54 possible points for a major drop to 20.4% accuracy. You would have doubled your losses in Vegas if you bet on the Stanley Cup champion and finalist predictions, so let's just stop betting altogether when relying on their predictions at this point.

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Monday, 19 October 2020

    The 2010-11 Predictions

    There were some major changes that the NHL underwent as they entered the second decade of the 2000s. Versus, the former US network carrying NHL games, was owned by Comcast and they chose to split coverage on Versus with their newly-acquired asset in NBCUniversal as the places to find NHL hockey on US TVs. The Buffalo Sabres were bought by Terry Pegula midway through the 2010-11 season, leading to a new direction for that franchise in the coming years. Regulation wins now carried a heavier weight when deciding tie-breaking scenarios, and it would actually come into play this season - more on that below. Six NHL teams started their seasons in Europe as the Sharks, Bruins, Hurricanes, Wild, Blue Jackets, and Coyotes all made the trip overseas, and we'd see two outdoor games with the resurrection of the Heritage Classic joining the Winter Classic as regular-season outdoor games. Of course, The Hockey News also was back with their predictions, so let's dive into the 2010-11 Yearbook and see how that played out!

    After it appeared that we might see a new team, we certainly got a new player on an old team. The Edmonton Oilers are back as wunderkind Taylor Hall graces the cover of The Hockey News for the first time. The Oilers, if my count is right, have had seven players in this examination grace the covers of the THN Yearbook in the prairie region - by and far, the most of any team now. If only there were another team in the prairie region that could possibly bump the Oilers out of THN's mind? That's called foreshadowing, kids.

    The Hockey News continues its standings predictions this year, so we'll examine and score these predictions as we have before. After a much-improved 31.1% accuracy on their predictions one year earlier, will we see another solid jump up in the accuracy mark?

    Here are the standings predictions as per The Hockey News.
    Click on the picture if you'd like to view it at a larger size.

    STANDINGS

    I'll award one point for every team correctly predicted as to their final conference standing. I'll also award one point for every correctly-predicted playoff team in the right standing, and 0.5 points for a playoff team not in the correct standings spot. I'll continue to award up to three points for the division winners as well. That's a potential total of 15 points for the standings, another 3 points for divisions winners, and 8 points for the playoff teams for a total of 26 points per conference in this section.

    The final Eastern Conference standings in 2011 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second.
        1. Washington (NHL) vs. Washington (THN)
        2. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh
        3. Boston vs. Boston
        4. Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia
        5. Tampa Bay vs. New Jersey
        6. Montreal vs. Buffalo
        7. Buffalo vs. Tampa Bay
        8. New York Rangers vs. Montreal
        9. Carolina vs. Carolina
        10. Toronto vs. Ottawa
        11. New Jersey vs. Atlanta
        12. Atlanta vs. Toronto
        13. Ottawa vs. New York Rangers
        14. New York Islanders vs. New York Islanders
        15. Florida vs. Florida
    THN might be onto something here as these standings predictions are getting better. They had five teams - Washington, Boston, Carolina, the Islanders, and Florida - finishing in the right spot in the standings for 5 points. They scored Washington and Boston as division winners for a 2/3 score. They had Washington and Boston as the in the right spots for playoff spots, and they had five of the six remaining teams correctly making the playoffs for 2.5 additional points (5 x 0.5). All totaled, The Hockey News scored 9.5/26 points for the Eastern Conference.

    Remember how I said I'd discuss the regulation-or-overtime wins rule below? It should also be noted that the tie-breaking rule cost THN some points as the the 106-point, 47-win Philadelphia Flyers earned 44 regulation-or-overtime wins to earn the Atlantic Division title over the 106-point, 49-win Pittsburgh Penguins who only had 39 regulation-or-overtime wins. Wins in regulation time mattered!

    The Western Conference follows the same listing and scoring for 26 possible points.
        1. Vancouver (NHL) vs. Vancouver (THN)
        2. San Jose vs. San Jose
        3. Detroit vs. Detroit
        4. Anaheim vs. Chicago
        5. Nashville vs. Los Angeles
        6. Phoenix vs. St. Louis
        7. Los Angeles vs. Phoenix
        8. Chicago vs. Calgary
        9. Dallas vs. Colorado
        10. Calgary vs. Nashville
        11. St. Louis vs. Anaheim
        12. Minnesota vs. Dallas
        13. Columbus vs. Minnesota
        14. Colorado vs. Columbus
        15. Edmonton vs. Edmonton
    The Western Conference saw THN put up another strong showing in the standings predictions. They scored 4 points for having all of Vancouver, San Jose, Detroit, and Edmonton in the right standings spots! They had all three divison winners right for 3/3 points there! And then they also added 3 more points for having the right seeds for Vancouver, San Jose, and Detroit while adding 1.5 points for only having three of the five teams remaining (3 x 0.5) making the playoffs for 4.5 total points there. The final total for the Western Conference was 11.5/26 in 2010!

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    Adam Proteau handled the prediction for the Stanley Cup winner this season, and he was looking to continue the tradition of at least having the magazine's chosen team reach the Stanley Cup Final as the previous two choices had done. Let's see how they did this year.
    • VANCOUVER CANUCKS WILL WIN THE STANLEY CUP. Except they didn't as the 2011 Boston Bruins eliminated the Canucks in seven games to win the Stanley Cup. Because this is an all-or-nothing call, THN gets nothing for Vancouver showing up but going home empty-handed. As stated in the previous two examinations, there's no silver medal in the NHL, and there won't be any handed out here.
    THN scored 0/1 in this prediction, but this is the third-straight year they chose a team who lost in the Stanley Cup Final. Three times a bridesmaid, so maybe next year?

    The Hockey News saw their accuracy score improve for a third-straight year as well after this season's score of 21 out of 53 possible points for their best-ever score of 39.6% accurate. Again, you wouldn't have won money in Vegas for the Stanley Cup champion prediction, but THN is showing some marked improvement with their predictions, particularly in calling the division winners over the last couple of seasons. Maybe we need to change what we're betting on when it comes to their predictions?

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

    Sunday, 18 October 2020

    The 2009-10 Predictions

    The 2009-10 NHL season saw the NHL return for its 92nd season of play and 93rd season overall thanks to the locked out season to which we were all witness. This season's headache for the NHL was the bankruptcy filed by the Phoenix Coyotes and the impending pitch to buy the Coyotes by Jim Balsillie who intended to move the team to Hamilton, Ontario. The NHL would eventually take over the team after a judge ruled that a bankruptcy didn't warrant a move of the franchise, killing Balsillie's bid for the team. Needless to say, there was turmoil swirling around the Coyotes all season for the 2009-10 campaign. The NHL did celebrate the start of the season by sending the Blackhawks, Blues, Panthers, and Red Wings to Europe to play games, Jeff Vinik would agree to buy the Tampa Bay Lightning in February 2010, and the Penguins would play their final game in Mellon Arena - the Igloo to most - this season. How would The Hockey News do in their predictions? Let's find out!

    Hey, it's not an Edmonton Oiler! The same Calgary Flames player who graced the cover twice before is back for a trifecta as Jarome Iginla gets the cover on the 2009-10 Yearbook for THN. This is the third time a Flames player has been on the cover in total which is surprising considering they've had a number of good players through Cowtown. THN just really likes the Oilers more than the Flames for some reason.

    The Hockey News continues its standings predictions this year, so we'll go through these predictions as we have before. After a meandering 20.8% accuracy on their predictions one year earlier, they need a big year this year to recoup some credibility as the "go-to" for hockey fans.

    Here are the standings predictions as per The Hockey News.
    Click on the picture if you'd like to view it at a larger size.

    STANDINGS

    I'll award one point for every team correctly predicted as to their final conference standing. I'll also award one point for every correctly-predicted playoff team in the right standing, and 0.5 points for a playoff team not in the correct standings spot. I'll continue to award up to three points for the division winners as well. That's a potential total of 15 points for the standings, another 3 points for divisions winners, and 8 points for the playoff teams for a total of 26 points per conference in this section.

    The final Eastern Conference standings in 2010 in the NHL are listed first with The Hockey News' predicted team to finish in that same spot listed second.
        1. Washington (NHL) vs. Boston (THN)
        2. New Jersey vs. Washington
        3. Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh
        4. Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia
        5. Ottawa vs. New Jersey
        6. Boston vs. Carolina
        7. Philadelphia vs. Buffalo
        8. Montreal vs. Montreal
        9. New York Rangers vs. Ottawa
        10. Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay
        11. Carolina vs. Toronto
        12. Tampa Bay vs. Florida
        13. New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers
        14. Florida vs. Atlanta
        15. Toronto vs. New York Islanders
    THN really needs to start looking at past standings when predicting future standings. Trends matter! They had one team - Montreal - finishing in the right spot in the standings for 1 point. They scored Washington as a division winner for a second-straight year for a 1/3 score. They had Montreal as the eighth-seed in the right spot, and they had six of the seven remaining teams correctly making the playoffs for 3 additional points (6 x 0.5). All totaled, The Hockey News scored 5/26 points for the Eastern Conference.

    The Western Conference follows the same listing and scoring for 26 possible points.
        1. San Jose (NHL) vs. San Jose (THN)
        2. Chicago vs. Chicago
        3. Vancouver vs. Vancouver
        4. Phoenix vs. Detroit
        5. Detroit vs. Calgary
        6. Los Angeles vs. Anaheim
        7. Nashville vs. Dallas
        8. Colorado vs. Columbus
        9. St. Louis vs. St. Louis
        10. Calgary vs. Nashville
        11. Anaheim vs. Edmonton
        12. Dallas vs. Los Angeles
        13. Minnesota vs. Minnesota
        14. Columbus vs. Colorado
        15. Edmonton vs. Phoenix
    The Western Conference saw THN turn in its best-ever standings predictions. They scored 5 points for having all of San Jose, Chicago, Vancouver, St. Louis, and Minnesota in the right standings spots! They had all three divison winners right for 3/3 points there! And then they also added 3 more points for having the right seeds for San Jose, Chicago, and Vancouver while tacking on 0.5 points for only having one of the five teams remaining making the playoffs for 3.5 total points there. The final total for the Western Conference was 11.5/26 in 2010!

    STANLEY CUP WINNER

    Ken Campbell took up the mantle of writing the prediction for the Stanley Cup champion this year, so let's verify his prediction on who the magazine chose as their winner in 2010.
    • PHILADELPHIA FLYERS WILL WIN THE STANLEY CUP. Except they didn't as the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the Flyers in six games to win the Stanley Cup. Because this is an all-or-nothing call, THN gets nothing for Philly making the big dance and going home empty-handed. There's no silver medal in the NHL, and there won't be any handed out here despite being oh-so-close to being right.
    THN scored 0/1 in this prediction, but this is the second-straight year they chose a team who lost in the Stanley Cup Final. Might they be on the verge of better predictions here?

    The Hockey News might want to start doing more predictions based on trends and analysis after this season's score of 16.5 out of 53 possible points for a respectable 31.1% accuracy. If someone was making 1-in-3 predictions right, you'd likely listen to them a little more. While you still wouldn't have won money in Vegas for the Stanley Cup champion prediction, THN is showing some marked improvement there.

    We'll see how future seasons play out with these predictions and if THN can continue improve next season as we move forward chronologically!

    Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!