Unwitting NHL 2011-2012 season preview

I was trying to post this as a comment over at Driving Play, but for whatever reason the comments don’t seem to be working, so I’m taking full ownership of it, since it’s obviously hockey season around here now:

Below are my playoff picks for the upcoming season. As a Canucks & Flyers fan I’ll be bummed pretty quickly, but it actually beats being outscored 23-8 in a seven game series, shut out twice, and wrapping up with your city burning down.

Eastern Conference
Caps
Bruins
Devils
Montreal
Pittsburgh
NYR
Flyers
Sabres
——-
TB
Carolina
Leafs
Ottawa
Florida
NYI
Winnipeg

Caps over Sabres in 7
Bruins over Flyers in 5
NYR over NJD in 6
Pittsburgh over Montreal in 4

Caps over NYR in 6
Pittsburgh over Bruins in 7

Pittsburgh over Caps in 6

Tempted to have either the Flyers or Sabres or both out of the playoffs and Carolina in, but couldn’t quite justify it, nor could I justify the Caps not beating/exhausting themselves in the playoffs or being out-Crosbied (or at least the Pens out-Crosbying some otherwise questionable goaltending). I also wanted to rank Florida higher (“totally mediocre” seems like it should be better than next-to-next-to-last in the East), but honestly don’t see them better than any of the other non-playoff teams without even looking beyond goaltending (Roloson, Ward, Reimer, Anderson all > Theodore/Clemmensen/handfuls of Markstrom). The Devils picked a good season to self-destruct to end up with Larsson in the draft (see also: San Antonio Spurs, 1996-97– I don’t think Larsson will quite be the Tim Duncan of the NHL, but he can at least be Tyler Myers).

Western Conference
Blackhawks
Sharks
Canucks
LA
Detroit
Nashville
Calgary
Anaheim
——-
Phoenix
Dallas
St. Louis
Minnesota
CBJ
Colorado
Edmonton

Chicago over Anaheim in 4
Sharks over Calgary in 6
Vancouver over Nashville in 7
Detroit over LA in 6

Chicago over Detroit in 5
Sharks over Vancouver in 6

Sharks over Chicago in 7

Tempted to go with the Blackhawks but the Sharks have to reach the finals one of these years, right? (Even those disappointing Senator teams of the ‘oughts finally did in 2007, and Antti Niemi is nothing if not Finnish for “Ray Emery.”)

Stanley Cup
Pittsburgh over San Jose in 5

Sidney Crosby pulls a 2002 Forsberg in the playoffs, but his team actually wins.

Hart: Toews
Art Ross: Sedin (more specifically, Henrik), otherwise Toews, otherwise Ovechkin
Vezina: Carey Price– everyone else is due for regression or a total wild card/unknown (e.g. Corey Crawford) to me; Craig Anderson may be my #2 pick and the whole-world-is-watching Ilya Bryzgalov even has the opportunity to crack the top 3 with a few breaks
Norris: Weber
Calder: Larsson
Selke: Kesler not healthy + Datsyuk older & already won a few + everyone focused on the Kings offseason = Richards, otherwise Datsyuk
Adams: whoever exceeds expectations and isn’t a Sutter (i.e. either Pete DeBoer or Jacques Martin), otherwise Quenneville– I’ll go with DeBoer
Lady Byng: who cares– Datsyuk, I guess, when he doesn’t win the Selke
Conn Smythe: Crosby (you were expecting Boris Valabik?)

Advertisements

One Response to “Unwitting NHL 2011-2012 season preview”

  1. […] Pittsburgh was my Stanley Cup pick last fall, and the Flyers’ success at Consol Energy Center hasn’t changed my mind. Crosby, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: