As we get ready for the second half of the season, I have my lead-pipe lock predictions for the second half. Some of my predictions will be positive, others will be negative.
1. The Columbus Blue Jackets will make the playoffs this season. Why? Steve Mason will single handedly lead them to the playoffs. Yes, I understand that he's a rookie and there is a possibility that he could hit the rookie wall, but I don't see it with Mason. He has been great for the Jackets this season, and Rick Nash and crew will finally get a chance to play in the playoffs.
2. Jeff Carter will score at least 20 goals after the All-Star break. I said this about two months ago, I thought that Carts would score 50 goals this season, and I fully stand by it. I don't think Jeff will lead the league in goals, but he will score at least 50 goals this season. He has played out of his mind this season, and it will continue in the second half.
3. Brent Johnson takes back the #1 goalie spot in Washington. Yes, I said it, Brent Johnson will re-take that #1 spot in Washington. Obviously, with Johnson's injury, Jose Theodore has gotten the opportunity to be the #1 there with the Caps, but I don't know how Theo is going to keep that job. This past Tuesday night when the Caps played the Sens, Theo was terribly out of position on a few goals. Honestly, Theo is just not that good of a goalie, he's overrated in some ways. Brent Johnson will re-take that job, he is more consistent.
4. The Anaheim Ducks will not make the playoffs this season. They have been very inconsistent, and a lot of that has been the goaltending. J.S. Giguere has not played well this season, and Jonas Hiller will get a lot more starts. I'm not saying that Hiller will take Giggy's job, but you will see more and more starts from Hiller. Not only that, but their defense has been so depleted this season. They've had injuries on their blueline, and it's affecting them.
5. Jason Spezza will be traded at the deadline. The Sens will not make the playoffs this season, their goaltending is too shaky, and I see Spezza getting traded. It seems like Spezza has been on the trading block for a while now, but I think this will be the season where he gets shipped out.
Those are my lead-pipe predictions for the second half of the season, so we will see what happens here. The second half will be a lot of fun, that's for sure.