Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
"Being a Canuck Fan Always Means Heartache"
Canada, BC • Canada •
Okay... it's just training camp.

I am really stoked about this coming season, the beginning of horribly overpaid contracts once again handcuffing the big spenders. We know at least one or two of these guys will be a total bust in their new home and could be almost untradeable.

That aside, I have been sitting around trying to figure out, from an objective standpoint, who is going to finish where. It's not an exact science, of course.

I'll list my predictions and the whys and hows of it.

1. Detroit - St. Louis improves and Nashville falls back. This equals a still easy schedule for the Wings and probably the final season of their free points within the division.
2. Anaheim - Boy, this could be really wrong. Bertuzzi is really an issue here. If he doesn't fit in, he'll drag them down. If he does, they finish here. If Niedermayer comes back, they could be first.
3. Colorado - I am going on a leap of faith that Budaj will be consistent. Theodore is unlikely to be the actual starter by November. Ryan Smyth is potentially a huge addition, if he has chemistry here.
4. San Jose - These guys are stuck in the middle, not quite Cup contenders and not in danger of missing the playoffs. I don't know if they have the right make up to go all the way.
5. Vancouver - Reality bites the mighty Nucks behinds a bit. They fall back, probably finish with 96-98 points. That said, I think they'll be more ready for the playoffs this year and Luongo won't be denied much longer.
6. Minnesota - They could finish as low as eight or as high as three this season. It all rests on their relatively inexperienced goalies and Demitra and Gaborik staying healthy.
7. Nashville - They're probably still a playoff team, though I could be swearing at this pick by Christmas.
8. Calgary - I watched Keenan send my Canucks to the bottom of the league. I watched him mess up my Bruins as well, though O'Connell was the biggest villain there. I don't think he ruins the Flames, depends how he gets along with Huselius, Kipper and Iginla.
9. St. Louis - I think Legace is underrated. I think Kariya is serious about winning. I also think the Blues could make the playoffs and, while I hated the Blues twenty years ago, I like John Davidson enough to pull for these guys... though not at the expense of Vancouver.
10. Dallas - They just have to take a step back. Their line up is lacking. They have less finish than Vancouver. The core is another year older.
11. Los Angeles - Get them a goalie and I put these guys at #8. Maybe LaBarbera can be the guy to get it done.
12. Chicago - They are getting better. Maybe next year they contend for a playoff spot. Too much youth to do it this year.
13. Columbus - Are they ever actually going to get better? I'd be choked if I lived in Columbus.
14. Phoenix - Disaster, no direction. Are they going with youth or are they relying on veterans? Wayne might actually be part of the problem.
15. Edmonton - That crashing noise you just heard was the Oilers Stanley Cup blimp hitting the ground.

1. Ottawa - The East is free wheeling and no team can score like these guys.
2. Rangers - Yes, they are better. I am still not convinced they are Cup material.
3. Tampa Bay - The rest of the division is beneath them at this point. They win by default.
4. Pittsburgh - Everyone is excited about the Pens and their chances, but they remind me of the 80s Oilers. It took them three or four tries to win it all. They will probably make it past the first round this year, but I don't see them winning the Cup... yet.
5. Buffalo - Yes, they lost a lot. In their favor is the best development system in the NHL. Stafford gets a top spot this year. He is ready. Pominville has a lot of talent. If Connelly is 100%, watch out for them.
6. New Jersey - It's fashionable to pick them to miss this season. Brodeur is the reason I say they make it and bow out in the first round.
7. Carolina - They aren't the Cup champs from two years ago, but they underachieved last year. They bounce back a little this season.
8. Philadelphia - The new additions make them a playoff team, though I don't know that they'll love these long term contracts four years from now or when a better crop of free agents comes along.
9. Toronto - Not quite, Leafs. Toskala is a start, but not quite playoffs yet.
10. Atlanta - These guys could crash really hard this year if Lehtonen's confidence is gone.
11. Montreal - I think it's odd that the Habs are excited about Carey Price when goaltending is the least of their problems. They are going to have to trade a goalie to get some help on the blueline.
12. Islanders - Garth Snow proved me wrong last year. He could do it again.
13. Washington - Dark horses for sure, their core is still too young for the most part. Nylander scored a lot with Jagr, but he was a 60 point player before he went to the Rangers. If he scores 60 or less, they finish here.
14. Florida - Might get better... but we've been saying that for a LONG time now.
15. Boston - Dammit.... I want them to win. I really do. I just see them hanging out down here from opening night till the lights go out.

When I pick who finishes where, I do my best not to be a "homer." Since Vancouver, Dallas and Boston are my favorite teams and I am picking all of them to fall a little (or a lot in Dallas), I believe my predictions are objective. Now, are they accurate? Last year, I picked Columbus to make the playoffs.....
Filed Under:   predictions  
September 12, 2007 7:39 PM ET | Delete
theres no way i can live with toronto finishing 9th again
September 12, 2007 7:40 PM ET | Delete
This are the dumbest predictions ever, I'm sorry. Nashville 7th and Colorado winning the Northwest? Are you serious or are you going to edit to to say "joke" later? I'm sorry to be such an asshole, but be honest.
September 12, 2007 8:11 PM ET | Delete
Wow dagley, having a bad day? There are many people predicting the Avs to do well next year, and why is Nashville a bad pick at 7th? "Dumbest predictions ever?" - how about the dumbest comment ever - I expect better from you after reading some of your blogs. I thought this was pretty good for a prediction blog - with decent supporting info. Nice job!
September 12, 2007 8:27 PM ET | Delete
dagley is just pissed cuz his flames are in 8th.
September 12, 2007 9:37 PM ET | Delete
I don't think that the Oilers are going to finish last. They are definitely better than Phoenix and Columbus, and the oilers would have done way better last year if half of the team wasn't injured.
September 12, 2007 11:47 PM ET | Delete
It's great to see predictions...stepping up and putting your credibility on the line. Obviously no one knows how the season ends, so have fun with these. They illicit responses and I think you did as good a job as anyone with your brief comments and justifications. I'm with you on the "stoked" and you are correct on the probability of a few of the highly compensated turning into total busts.
September 13, 2007 3:25 AM ET | Delete
Are yoyu kidding how are you not being a homer!!! The description u give the oilers only descibes the jealousy you have for the team!!!
September 13, 2007 8:37 AM ET | Delete
Jealousy of the Oilers? Nope, not a chance. Tell ya what, we'll let them wear the flying V after Christmas if they're as far out as I think they'll be. As for picking Colorado, they have made big improvements and are being picked a lot of places to win the division. Also, let me make this clear. I hate the Avs. I want to be wrong.
September 13, 2007 9:11 AM ET | Delete
Yes, I had a bad day yesterday...my apologies. I've been sick for the past few days. Again, my sincere apologies.
September 13, 2007 9:54 AM ET | Delete
DID u actually apologize Dagley for having YOUR OWN POINT OF VIEW AND OPINION .. thats even worse than these predictions .. they are completely out there ... they dont really make sense .. Like Tampa isnt much more of a contender than last yr and they're 3rd?? aint going to happen... Toronto had a pretty shitty year for loss of ALL KEY players due to injuries right after another or at the same time and came one point out of the Playoffs... SO, in return with a 2 way system in net, newer players with amazing talent, and a do or die attitude to Sundins last year with them ... They're going to finish and be in the playoffs and i will bet my life on that .. Also, Colorado and San Jose ARE NOT going to come onto of Minnasota, Vancouver or Calgary ... Remember, San Jose traded there better goalie to Toronto because he was the only goalie they could trade because he isnt being paid a huge amount of money which no one will take him for .. I dont understand these predictions, its like you picked them out of a hat ... ALSO, Edmonton wont finish last ... they got a hockey city and an image to rebuild .. like Philly, so they're going to fight for blood
September 13, 2007 10:12 AM ET | Delete
September 13, 2007 11:12 AM ET | Delete
Finally someone calls it right IMO. Colorado's gonna be real, real tough to play and has a legit shot at the division. The Sharks feel like they might be missing a piece on their quest for the Cup. Ducey, if you truly think Toskala is better than Nabokov, you need to do better research.The blog was written very well and has a good chance of being right.
September 13, 2007 12:02 PM ET | Delete
Good predictions, Colorado is much improved, Vancouver did nothing to improve scoring and will fall back this year, Calgary should be interesting but I like their chances better than you at 8th.As far as the East, I agree that Montreal and Toronto will struggle to make the playoffs, I like Montreals young core though and they have matured by a year should make things interesting. Toronto did nothing to upgrade defense, should still give up losts of quality scoring chances and Leaf fans will continue to point at goaltending as the issue. Ottawa is Canada's best chance at the CUP and are still the class of the East.
September 13, 2007 12:51 PM ET | Delete
96-98 in the west doesn't give Vancouver 5th place. Oilers do not finish last.
September 13, 2007 2:05 PM ET | Delete
To answer a few critics..... the Oilers could finish higher than last place. I am certain they will defeat Vancouver regularly this season since we usually play down to teams and get up for the Wings and Sharks for some reason. Tampa being third is only a reflection of the division they are in being weak. None of the teams stand out to me, but Tampa has the best roster and should win the division. I can also say that Toskala is not better than Nabokov. The Sharks would have traded Nabby if that was the case. Dagley, don't apologize for having an opinion. It didn't bother me. As for the Leafs fans, it's not a matter of the Leafs not getting better. Other teams look to be ahead of the Leafs curve at this point. Lastly, I hope 96-98 points get 5th place since I am sick of inflated points due to overtime and shootout wins. Win is regulation...
September 13, 2007 2:06 PM ET | Delete
I BET this prediction wont even be close ... remember we can argue all day on this but really for all we know EDMONTON and WASHINGTON can come out on top and PITTSBURG and OTTAWA dont make the playoffs ... so we'll see in 82 games!
September 13, 2007 3:38 PM ET | Delete
Ducey, you bet your life on the Leafs making the playoffs. WOW, do you have a suicide wish, you should call your local crisis hot-line, because the Leafs are hardly a playoff guarentee. You are right though that predictions are difficult to make and if I was to say which teams are guarenteed to make the playoffs I would be hard pressed to pick more then.. 1) Ottawa- the class of the East2) Detroit- no other challengers in their division3) Anahiem- even without Neidermeyer, they are strong all-round4) Pittsburg- so many weapons and so many young weapons coming into their own this year.Other than those 4, I don't see any guarenteed playoff teams and certainly none of which I would bet my life on. (LOL)
September 13, 2007 9:03 PM ET | Delete
no problem dagley.
September 14, 2007 7:58 AM ET | Delete
LA got better and St. Louis played great to end the season, watch them to push for a playoff spot.Vancouver overachieved last year and still didn't get any scoring help. Most team the NW division have a book on Loungo now so I think his stats go down this year. ( Look at Kipper and Rolly). Calgary either wins the division or self destructs and doesnt make the playoffs.Colorado got much better 2 key additions, goaltending still an issue.The bottom teams will stay at the bottom unless they have a surprising development and make a sacrifice to the Hockey Gods
September 14, 2007 9:14 AM ET | Delete
Like your picks and I agree with most. I think the Flyers will finish a spot or two higher in the East and I see Atlanta making it rather than Carolina. In the West I would flip Calgary and Colorado, but other than that, I think you are right on the money. Nice job!
September 14, 2007 6:37 PM ET | Delete
FWIW, I'm not going to opine on who between Toskala and Nabokov is better, but the main reason Toskala was moved and not Nabokov was because the latter has an NTC on his contract.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.