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NFT: NHL Reg Season in less than 1 week: Predictions & Discussion

pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 8:23 am
most teams have just 1 or 2 more pre-season games then the regular season starts.

thought I'd start a discussion thread.

Found this USA today record prediction and I think it's way off. I mean, way off.

but I'll share this and then add my commentary.

can't wait for the season to start.

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Not sure why the image didn't show up  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 8:24 am : link
I hope they're wrong on the Devils but who knows  
Stu11 : 9/27/2019 8:35 am : link
The crazy outlier to me is Columbus at 90 points. Seriously? I think they are heavy on Florida at 98 points. Sure they've improved, but honestly goaltending was never their big issue to begin with. The Coyotes at 92 points seems pretty damn optimistic as well. As for the Devils, I don't think I've been this excited for the season in a decade. Sure they might not be a playoff team, but with the talent and fresh young face they've added I'm real excited to see them night in night out. The Metro division will be a war. every point will be huge.
Well I donít know what my prediction is for the Devils  
Oscar : 9/27/2019 8:37 am : link
I think they will be exciting but probably uneven. Hughes obviously the biggest story but Nicoís continued development is important. Excited to see this Gusev guy as well.

Main concern is Hallís contract. Time to trade him if they canít get this finalized. I can live with it if they move him on.
Metro conference  
Gman11 : 9/27/2019 8:42 am : link
I don't see the Blue Jackets getting 90 points. I also don't think the Devils will be dead last. Hughes will be a godsend to that team and the return of Hall is huge.

The Penguins are the team to look out for. They could give one last push during the Crosby/Malkin era or fall flat on their faces. I could see them going the way of the Blackhawks and having to rebuild. I'm not sure what to think of the Hurricanes. They have a deep defense, but beside Aho, the offense is so-so.

I think is put up or shut up time for the Maple Leafs. How long can they go with all their offensive stars and not do squat in the playoffs?
The Devils  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 8:43 am : link
stuck out to me. Subban, Hughes, Gusev those are significant additions.


But also, they love the Atlantic. the 3 best records in hockey and 5 teams all with more points (or tied) than the top metro team?

FL too high. COL, who I love, would be a real turnaround in 2 seasons.

I love the Atlantic too  
5BowlsSoon : 9/27/2019 8:52 am : link
My Maple Leafs should be better on defense so that will help us during the playoffs. I think your Habs (pj) make the playoffs this year, especially if they can trade Drouin and promote either Poehling or Suzuki....two guys who you would rather root for. Drouin is just not passionate nor as committed; such a waste of talent.
Poehling  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 8:57 am : link
and Suzuki both made the team (Poehling pending concussion clearing), but they're both on it.

And Drouin right now is on a line with Kotkaniemi, I'd love to see them play together.

Drouin's problems are not passion or commitment, he's just doesn't have a high hockey IQ. His whole career until now he was able to get by just being faster than everyone and a good stick handler, but now he can't do that. He needs to and IMO will learn to play hockey, not just be a "skills" guy.

I hate Julien, but I think he's good for Drouin - or he should be.

You don't score 213 pts in the Q as a 17 and 18 year old without passion or commitment.

That said, the Habs could trade him, but mostly because they have a log jam at F.

I don't know if they make the playoffs or not, their D is still very suspect. Probably just like last year from a record standpoint (close, they should contend if healthy)
Their outlook on the Devils seems wrong to me  
Chris684 : 9/27/2019 9:05 am : link
but then again I'm a Devils fan so I'm obviously hoping it is.
So Columbus loses their all-star goalie  
Mike from Ohio : 9/27/2019 9:13 am : link
And most of their offense Iíve weapons, and the prediction is a small drop off from last year. The Islanders essentially return the same team from last year, and they have a 20+ point drop off?

I would not at all be surprised if the Islanders drop off some, or even improve some. But this seems like they just decided last year was some anomaly that will correct itself this year.
USA Today predictions are the biggest bunch of bullshit I've ever seen  
theold5j : 9/27/2019 9:21 am : link
first of all the highest point total in the metro is 96 points. 5 metro teams had more 96 points last year. Also in there I think the Devils are getting a raw deal. They're much better than the 6th worst team in hockey. The Islanders are going to have a 23 point drop off from last year. What are these predictions based on. Even down to Ottawa and LA. They have the league lowest point totals at 54 and 55. That's 10 points worse than the worst of last year.

For me the metro will be highly contested. I wouldn't be surprised at whoever makes the playoffs out of the metro. I can see every team making the playoffs and every team not making it.

RE: So Columbus loses their all-star goalie  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 9:21 am : link
In comment 14601809 Mike from Ohio said:
Quote:
And most of their offense Iíve weapons, and the prediction is a small drop off from last year. The Islanders essentially return the same team from last year, and they have a 20+ point drop off?

I would not at all be surprised if the Islanders drop off some, or even improve some. But this seems like they just decided last year was some anomaly that will correct itself this year.


Agree on CBJ

the Islanders did lose their Vezina nominated goalie.

Greiss was great too and good goalie metrics is a hallmark of the Trotz system, but maybe that's why.

otherwise I agree on the NYI being wrong too.

RE: Their outlook on the Devils seems wrong to me  
Simms11 : 9/27/2019 9:24 am : link
In comment 14601798 Chris684 said:
Quote:
but then again I'm a Devils fan so I'm obviously hoping it is.


Devs fan here, as well, but I'm not sold on our goaltending yet. I think there's a lot of firepower now, but we may be getting into shootouts.

Their Metro predictions are awful in my opinion  
ShockNRoll : 9/27/2019 9:29 am : link
The only prediction there I agree with is Washington being first. Carolina will be competitive but I don't see them as better than the Islanders or Penguins. Rangers, Devils, and Flyers are all better than Columbus, I don't see how the Islanders go from 100 points to 81. They very well could crack the top 3 in the division again. I'm a homer, but I view the Rangers as a high 80/low 90 point team, Devils too. Flyers are a bit of a wild card, but Carter Hart is an up and coming elite goalie and Vigneault has always produced regular season records.

In the Atlantic, I don't see Montreal as a 96 point team, everything else looks about what I would expect. I think they're pretty on point with the Central too. Coyotes seem high to me in the Pacific.
think it's wrong re Devils and Islanders both  
ColHowPepper : 9/27/2019 9:30 am : link
.
Agree that losing Lehner is not ideal  
Mike from Ohio : 9/27/2019 9:30 am : link
But the numbers Greiss put up weíre not far off. I expect some drop off from Lehner to Varlamov, but not to the tune of 20 points. The system will make him look better than he is, just as it did for Greiss (and to an extent Lehner).

Like many on here I also think they underestimate the Devils. If they stay healthy I donít see why they would end up being one of the worst teams in the league.

These predictions feel like they were made by a casual hockey fan.
.  
Kyle in NY : 9/27/2019 9:37 am : link
Columbus will stay in the mix with an excellent top 4 on defense and Torts tend to get the most out of his teams when he's got a bunch of grinders that are being counted out. I see them on the wild card bubble. Bobrovsky hadn't been great for them the past two seasons. Panarin is obviously a huge loss. They'll struggle for goals but Seth Jones is on his way to a Norris Trophy very soon
Almost no one  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 9:43 am : link
I have read agrees with anything on here for the most part other than TB and BOS being #1/#2 again.
Varlamov v. Lehner  
Mike in NY : 9/27/2019 9:43 am : link
Varlamov had a better track record than Lehner had at this point a year ago, but Lehner was also sober for the first time so we don't know what his career would have been like had that happened earlier.

Trotz's system clearly makes goalies look better than they are so I don't see the huge dropoff that is being predicted. The issue will be can we score enough on offense to keep the pressure off of Barzal. This is why I would have loved Panarin. Not so much to play Barzal's wing but to play with Nelson and Bailey. They could have had Panarin-Nelson-Bailey on one line and Eberle-Barzal-Lee on another. Would keep teams from keying their top defensive line for Barzal.
...  
BrettNYG10 : 9/27/2019 9:44 am : link
Rangers with less than 164 points is obviously a joke.
Lehner wasn't really good  
Metnut : 9/27/2019 9:44 am : link
until Korn/Trotz got a hold of him. Lehner wanted to stay, but the Korn/Trotz chose a different goalie at the same gap hit that Lehner ended up getting. At some point, either you trust Trotz/Korn with goalie evaluation/coaching, or you don't.

The Greiss/Varm tandem will be hard pressed (even if they had kept Lehner) to repeat the same save % as last year, but I think they'll still be stellar. The Islanders goals scored should uptick a bit which will make up for the increased goals allowed.

We'll see how it all goes, but looks like a CAR/NYI rematch in the Metro IMO. Pitt looks old. WSH will be in the mix too.
If USAToday thought  
Metnut : 9/27/2019 9:47 am : link
Lehner was so good independent of Trotz/Korn, I'd expect their Chicago projection to be a lot better.
RE: Lehner wasn't really good  
Mike in NY : 9/27/2019 9:47 am : link
In comment 14601848 Metnut said:
Quote:
until Korn/Trotz got a hold of him. Lehner wanted to stay, but the Korn/Trotz chose a different goalie at the same gap hit that Lehner ended up getting. At some point, either you trust Trotz/Korn with goalie evaluation/coaching, or you don't.

The Greiss/Varm tandem will be hard pressed (even if they had kept Lehner) to repeat the same save % as last year, but I think they'll still be stellar. The Islanders goals scored should uptick a bit which will make up for the increased goals allowed.

We'll see how it all goes, but looks like a CAR/NYI rematch in the Metro IMO. Pitt looks old. WSH will be in the mix too.


My feeling is Lehner asked for more AAV than the Islanders paid for Varlamov, but then the Islanders moved on to Varlamov who is friends with Sorokin and Lehner got stuck being the last goalie standing in a game of musical chairs
I'll say this once and then I'll be done with it.  
Mike in Long Beach : 9/27/2019 9:51 am : link
In the last five seasons the Islanders have cracked 100 points three times. They've made the playoffs three times. They've won two playoff rounds. in one of the two remaining seasons they had 94 points and missed the playoffs by a single point. They had one actually bad season with 80 points in that mix.

Point being, in each and every one of those four good years, the predictions have been off by at least5-10 points for us. Last year they were off by as much as 25-30 points in some publications. For whatever reason, most publications have gloomy hopes for the Islanders every year, despite the Islanders completely outperforming those expectations (almost) every year for half decade.

So with that, I've stopped caring what these guys think. I think they take the next step and win the division this year, finally. But that's just me.
RE: Lehner wasn't really good  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 9:56 am : link
In comment 14601848 Metnut said:
Quote:
until Korn/Trotz got a hold of him. Lehner wanted to stay, but the Korn/Trotz chose a different goalie at the same gap hit that Lehner ended up getting. At some point, either you trust Trotz/Korn with goalie evaluation/coaching, or you don't.

The Greiss/Varm tandem will be hard pressed (even if they had kept Lehner) to repeat the same save % as last year, but I think they'll still be stellar. The Islanders goals scored should uptick a bit which will make up for the increased goals allowed.

We'll see how it all goes, but looks like a CAR/NYI rematch in the Metro IMO. Pitt looks old. WSH will be in the mix too.


The Trotz system definitely helped, but Lehner was always on everyone's "breakout goalie" candidate list. He isn't some non-prospect Trotz turned into a Vezina candidate.

I think him dealing with his addiction/mental illness issues also helped a lot with his breakout season.

RE: I hope they're wrong on the Devils but who knows  
Jay on the Island : 9/27/2019 10:03 am : link
In comment 14601770 Stu11 said:
Quote:
The crazy outlier to me is Columbus at 90 points. Seriously? I think they are heavy on Florida at 98 points. Sure they've improved, but honestly goaltending was never their big issue to begin with. The Coyotes at 92 points seems pretty damn optimistic as well. As for the Devils, I don't think I've been this excited for the season in a decade. Sure they might not be a playoff team, but with the talent and fresh young face they've added I'm real excited to see them night in night out. The Metro division will be a war. every point will be huge.

Call me biased but I can't see how the Devils miss the playoffs. It will come down to the goaltenders but they both looked solid this preseason.

The addition of Subban, Hughes, Gusev, and Simmonds is by far the most talent this team has added in a single offseason in their entire history. Taylor Hall is back and only played 33 games last season as well.

Keep an eye on Jesper Boqvist. He has great speed as well. I expect him to win a spot on the 3rd line where his speed will be a nice compliment Zajac and either Coleman or Simmonds.

If Pavel Zacha performs how he finished last season then the Devils depth will be outstanding.

I haven't been this excited entering an NHL season since the early 2000's.
Rangers  
PaulN : 9/27/2019 10:07 am : link
Look like they will struggle to start the season, they are very young, but the future is bright. The Devils will surprise people this year and Hughes looks sensational, the Rangers are stupid putting Kakko on the 2nd line, put him on the top line and let him go. A second line with Howden, Kreider, and Buchnevich would also work, then Kravtsov, Strome, and Namestikov or Andersson on line three, Chytil needs to start in the minors, he is not ready to roll yet this season. Fast, Lemiex, and Nieves or Namestikov on line four, that depends on how they handle Andersson. Line four should not be an option for Andersson.
Rangers go undefeated so they win the President's Cup  
Anakim : 9/27/2019 10:08 am : link
Then they win the Princes of Wales Cup...then they win the Stanley Cup; Kakko wins the Calder, Zibanejad wins the Conn Smythe, Trouba wins the Norris, Lundqvist wins the Vezina, Panarin wins the Art Ross, Lias wins the Selke, Quinn wins the Jack Adams...


I forgot what else is there
RE: Rangers go undefeated so they win the President's Cup  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 10:10 am : link
In comment 14601878 Anakim said:
Quote:
Then they win the Princes of Wales Cup...then they win the Stanley Cup; Kakko wins the Calder, Zibanejad wins the Conn Smythe, Trouba wins the Norris, Lundqvist wins the Vezina, Panarin wins the Art Ross, Lias wins the Selke, Quinn wins the Jack Adams...


I forgot what else is there


Hart? Lady Bing?

Lundqvist has looked great.
RE: Poehling  
5BowlsSoon : 9/27/2019 10:11 am : link
In comment 14601795 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
and Suzuki both made the team (Poehling pending concussion clearing), but they're both on it.

And Drouin right now is on a line with Kotkaniemi, I'd love to see them play together.

Drouin's problems are not passion or commitment, he's just doesn't have a high hockey IQ. His whole career until now he was able to get by just being faster than everyone and a good stick handler, but now he can't do that. He needs to and IMO will learn to play hockey, not just be a "skills" guy.

I hate Julien, but I think he's good for Drouin - or he should be.

You don't score 213 pts in the Q as a 17 and 18 year old without passion or commitment.

That said, the Habs could trade him, but mostly because they have a log jam at F.

I don't know if they make the playoffs or not, their D is still very suspect. Probably just like last year from a record standpoint (close, they should contend if healthy)


Iím glad to hear Poehling made the team. He really impressed me in that last game of the season with a hat trick and the tiebreaker winner. He just looks so much better than Drouin already.

And you said Suzuki also made the team.....wow, this surprises me to see both. If your lines have already been named, Iíd like to hear them. My boys shut your boys out twice this week, but I donít think that will happen during the season. Good luck this year.

As for your defense, you have a couple of promising kids who looked good in preseason....Fleury and Brooks....so you should be better off come mid season with their progression in the minors. Weber, Perry, and Kulak are good 1,2, and 3 guys. Didnít you also pick up a defenseman who is pretty decent too during the offseason? His name alludes me for now.... Are you happy with him?
RE: RE: Rangers go undefeated so they win the President's Cup  
Anakim : 9/27/2019 10:12 am : link
In comment 14601884 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
In comment 14601878 Anakim said:


Quote:


Then they win the Princes of Wales Cup...then they win the Stanley Cup; Kakko wins the Calder, Zibanejad wins the Conn Smythe, Trouba wins the Norris, Lundqvist wins the Vezina, Panarin wins the Art Ross, Lias wins the Selke, Quinn wins the Jack Adams...


I forgot what else is there



Hart? Lady Bing?

Lundqvist has looked great.


Too many fucking trophies
Fleury made the team too  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 10:42 am : link
Brook did not.

I like Fleury, Brook looked awful in PS games, but has a lot of potential.

The D they added in the off-season is Ben Chiarot, he's a very solid defensive defenseman. Should help Price. And he's very physical.
They like the Tampa and Boston......  
BillKo : 9/27/2019 11:26 am : link
...again to rule during the regular season.

A bit worried about the wear and tear on the Bruins from last year's playoff run, esp Bergeron.

And the team really needs to find another winger to compliment the second line.

But they are deep, really deep, defensively and have solid goaltending.
Heading to Canes-Preds preseason game tonight  
Jints in Carolina : 9/27/2019 11:48 am : link
I'm ready for hockey.
All I know is that the Rangers top line is going to be dynamite  
Greg from LI : 9/27/2019 12:11 pm : link
Watching Panarin-Zibanejad-Buchnevich in preseason has been the most exciting thing about the Rangers since the 2014 Finals. The PP looks like it's going to be lethal for the first time in a very long time, too.

As far as the Rangers as a team go, it all depends on the defensemen. I feel very good about the offense - the aforementioned top line will be tremendous, Kakko totally looks the part in preseason, Kravtsov looks good as well. Between Fox and Trouba, they'll get much more offense from the D, but how they do in their own end will determine if they make the playoffs or not.
Greg  
ColHowPepper : 9/27/2019 12:53 pm : link
agree re 1st line; my reservation with those guys is that none is especially physical or sturdily built, am wary of their line being pushed around, bullied

I thought Fox looked very comfortable in his own end on Tuesday night (didn't catch Devils' game). Staal was atrocious on Eberle's goal, so we're stuck. Haven't seen much of d'Angelo on the other side.
Rangers are likely  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 1:04 pm : link
to have 6 players in their opening day lineup that are 21 or under (on opening day). 9 who are 23 and under.

That's significant youth. I can't remember a team with that much youth.

so there will be bumps, I'd look more for progress than results (at least early in the season), but with a strong goalie you never know. success breeding confidence leading to wins is a real thing in the NHL - just look at the Blues. Last place in the NHL on January 6th to Stanley Cup winners.

...  
BrettNYG10 : 9/27/2019 1:22 pm : link
I still think the defense will suck. Skjei was bad last year. I like Trouba a lot, and DeAngelo is obviously the best defenseman this world's ever seen, but Fox will struggle. Staal's still Staal.
RE: ...  
Anakim : 9/27/2019 1:30 pm : link
In comment 14602082 BrettNYG10 said:
Quote:
I still think the defense will suck. Skjei was bad last year. I like Trouba a lot, and DeAngelo is obviously the best defenseman this world's ever seen, but Fox will struggle. Staal's still Staal.


Why do you think Fox will struggle?
Laine  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 1:32 pm : link
signs bridge deal. 2 yrs 6.75 AAV.

I think Fox  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 1:34 pm : link
will struggle in his own zone, but he's a tactician on the PP and in transition.

Also, I read in the PS he was much better in his own zone, but it's always been his weakness (not one that can't be corrected, but it's been noticeable).
Skjei looked great against the Islanders though  
Greg from LI : 9/27/2019 1:41 pm : link
Yes, it's one preseason game, but he wasn't always terrible and he's still young and can still really skate. Hope springs eternal.
Anak,  
BrettNYG10 : 9/27/2019 1:45 pm : link
Sorry, I should've been more clear: I think Fox will struggle just because he's a young dman and that there's a learning curve. Nothing to do with him or his skill-set. I just think the jump from NCAA to the NHL is very hard - especially for dman. I expect growing pains.
RE: Skjei looked great against the Islanders though  
JayBinQueens : 9/27/2019 2:01 pm : link
In comment 14602105 Greg from LI said:
Quote:
Yes, it's one preseason game, but he wasn't always terrible and he's still young and can still really skate. Hope springs eternal.

I'm taking it he got time on the PK then. The Isles PP can make every D man look great
The most disappointing  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 2:05 pm : link
part of Skjei to me (a non Rangers fan) was his offense.

After a 40 point 22 year old season, I had high expectations, but then consistently bad back to back 25 point seasons.

and his defense took a step back, but that part IMO could be "contagious", the offense concerned me.
...  
BrettNYG10 : 9/27/2019 2:05 pm : link
I'm also higher on the Devils than pj's trash graphic. I think they have better odds than the Rangers to make the playoffs.
being saddled with Staal as a partner didn't help him  
Greg from LI : 9/27/2019 2:10 pm : link
Skjei skated with Trouba against the Islanders (I didn't see the Flyers game). Most people have assumed that will be the pairing to start the season, but we'll see.
RE: Rangers are likely  
Jay on the Island : 9/27/2019 2:11 pm : link
In comment 14602067 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
to have 6 players in their opening day lineup that are 21 or under (on opening day). 9 who are 23 and under.

That's significant youth. I can't remember a team with that much youth.

so there will be bumps, I'd look more for progress than results (at least early in the season), but with a strong goalie you never know. success breeding confidence leading to wins is a real thing in the NHL - just look at the Blues. Last place in the NHL on January 6th to Stanley Cup winners.

The Devils and Rangers are very similar teams. Both teams playoff chances depend on the defense and goaltenders.

Does Lundqvist have enough left in the tank. Which Scheider will the Devils get? The one that opened the year and played so poorly he was demoted to the AHL or the Schneider that finished the season strong after returning from injury. The Devils have the added benefit of Mackenzie Blackwood who will likely split time with Schneider. Blackwood was excellent last season but he still has to prove he can be consistent.

RE: RE: Rangers are likely  
pjcas18 : 9/27/2019 2:14 pm : link
In comment 14602155 Jay on the Island said:
Quote:
In comment 14602067 pjcas18 said:


Quote:


to have 6 players in their opening day lineup that are 21 or under (on opening day). 9 who are 23 and under.

That's significant youth. I can't remember a team with that much youth.

so there will be bumps, I'd look more for progress than results (at least early in the season), but with a strong goalie you never know. success breeding confidence leading to wins is a real thing in the NHL - just look at the Blues. Last place in the NHL on January 6th to Stanley Cup winners.



The Devils and Rangers are very similar teams. Both teams playoff chances depend on the defense and goaltenders.

Does Lundqvist have enough left in the tank. Which Scheider will the Devils get? The one that opened the year and played so poorly he was demoted to the AHL or the Schneider that finished the season strong after returning from injury. The Devils have the added benefit of Mackenzie Blackwood who will likely split time with Schneider. Blackwood was excellent last season but he still has to prove he can be consistent.


the Devils should contend this year though IMO.

The Rangers do not have a Taylor Hall, a Hart trophy contender (today at least).

And the Devils D is better. Butcher is probably top pair or top 4 at worst on the Rangers and he's bottom 4 on the Devils.

I disagree more with how USA Today has the Devils. I also think the Rangers will be better than this projection, but they will rely on their youth, where the Devils will less.

Goalie is, as you say, IMO the big question for the Devils.

The Devils and Golden Knights are too low  
gtt350 : 9/27/2019 2:40 pm : link
The Knights will win their division
RE: RE: RE: Rangers are likely  
Stu11 : 9/27/2019 5:43 pm : link
In comment 14602161 pjcas18 said:
Quote:


And the Devils D is better. Butcher is probably top pair or top 4 at worst on the Rangers and he's bottom 4 on the Devils.

I disagree more with how USA Today has the Devils. I also think the Rangers will be better than this projection, but they will rely on their youth, where the Devils will less.

Goalie is, as you say, IMO the big question for the Devils.

Yep PJ I look for a big bounce back year for Butcher. He was great 2 years ago, took his lumps last year but has been maybe the most impressive Dman in camp this year. I have confidence in the Devs goaltending, I think it will come down to can the D get the puck out of he zone and hold the shot total down.
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