NHL Standings Predictions: Preseason Edition

For a number of seasons now, the Metropolitan and Central are the better and deeper of the NHL’s four branches.
That has meant teams from the Atlantic and Pacific have been picking higher in the entry draft in the last several decades.
Is that balance of energy on the verge of shifting this year? According to my yearly preseason forecasts, the answer is yes — at least to some level.
Some of these predictions — by the divisional standings to the playoff picture to the draft lottery odds — are, admittedly, competitive in nature.
Perhaps that is the Vegas result or that parity is alive and well in the NHL, with lots of playoff turnover and standings shuffling from 1 season to another.
William Karlsson Golden Knights 2018
(THW file photo)
William Karlsson and the Vegas Golden Knights exceeded all expectations last time whilst fully destroying everybody’s predictions. The slate is wiped clean and we’re starting from scratch .
With the exception of a handful of groups, it is safe to assume 25-plus owners and general managers are entering this season with the anticipation of making the playoffs or thinking in that potential.
Heck, that amount could be as large as 31. Again, Vegas demonstrated whatever is possible by advancing to the Stanley Cup Final as an expansion franchise.
Granted, that was a remarkable run of Leicester-level improbability, but it will be difficult to dispute any predictions from this day forward.
For the record, my preseason predictions from last year had the Golden Misfits bringing up the rear in the Pacific, not just missing the playoffs but finishing dead last with the greatest odds of winning the Rasmus Dahlin lottery.
Boy, was I wrong about those Golden Knights, but so was everybody else who posted their predictions prior to last season. I can’t recall a single published prediction of Vegas producing the playoffs in its inaugural campaign.
Come to think about it, my head can also be drawing blanks on any printed predictions from past fall in favour of Colorado or New Jersey making the playoffs? Feel free to inform me, but they have been few and far between to be sure. Most had three of these clubs at the lottery mix based on my memory. Yes, such as yours truly.
Taylor Hall
(Brian Babineau/NHLI through Getty Images)
Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils amazed the baseball world by making the playoffs last season. Hall was dominant in the second half that he proceeded to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.
From 2017, there were seven teams in 2018 counting Vegas. That’s nearly half 7 of 16!
That comprised Winnipeg, Colorado, Vegas and Los Angeles in the West, substituting Chicago, St. Louis, Edmonton and Calgary. From the East, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and New Jersey bumped out Ottawa, Montreal and the New York Rangers.
Crazy, what a difference a year makes today.
Surethat was a crazy year and might have been turnover than usual, but I feel it is going to become the new standard due to this aforementioned league-wide parity.
In fact, I’m feeling a tad conservative in predicting”only” six distinct teams in 2019 from 2018. Put the over/under in five and I’m totally taking the over.
Tempting as it is to reveal that listing right here and right now, I will hold off on the spoilers and cause you to continue reading. However, apologies in advance to the 15 enthusiast bases of groups which didn’t make my playoff picture, especially the six that fell out from last year since they will be the most enraged.
Without further ado, here are my 2018-19 preseason predictions (using the variant in my offseason predictions in parenthesis)

Read more here: http://www.hoodriverclones.com/2019/10/15/rugby-world-cup-england-wing-joe-cokanasiga-from-dancer-to-main-event-2/

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