Friday, August 22, 2008

McKeen's, THN make their picks

The season previews are rolling in. Here are the predictions from McKeen's Hockey and The Hockey News in their annual magazines, both of which should hit newsstands shortly:

Eastern Conference

McKeen's Hockey The Hockey News
1 Montreal* Montreal*
2 Pittsburgh* Pittsburgh*
3 Philadelphia Washington*
4 Washington* Philadelphia
5 NY Rangers Ottawa
6 Boston NY Rangers
7 Ottawa New Jersey
8 Carolina Carolina
9 New Jersey Tampa Bay
10 Tampa Bay Boston
11 Buffalo Buffalo
12 Florida Florida
13 Toronto Atlanta
14 NY Islanders Toronto
15 Atlanta NY Islanders

Western Conference

McKeen's Hockey The Hockey News
1 Detroit* Detroit*
2 Dallas* San Jose*
3 San Jose Minnesota*
4 Calgary* Dallas
5 Edmonton Anaheim
6 Chicago Edmonton
7 Anaheim Chicago
8 Vancouver Calgary
9 Colorado Nashville
10 Minnesota Phoenix
11 Phoenix Vancouver
12 St. Louis Columbus
13 Columbus Los Angeles
14 Nashville Colorado
15 Los Angeles St. Louis
*- division winners

Overall, a lot more agreement than what we saw last season around this time. McKeen's lists teams by point totals and there are several ties, so I put deadlocked teams in order based on last season's finish.

Mutual magazine agreement: Both magazines pick the same Eastern Conference division winners and Detroit to be the best team in the league; both like the Flyers, Senators, Rangers and Hurricanes as playoff teams and put the same five teams in the last five spots in the East. Both tab Edmonton and Chicago for playoff berths in the West, with Colorado and Nashville joining Phoenix, Columbus, St. Louis and Los Angeles as non-playoff picks.

Predictions at odds: In the East, McKeen's puts Boston in the playoffs, THN has them in 10th; McKeen's boots the Devils out of the postseason, while THN has them in seventh. In the West, Minnesota's the wild card, ranked in third by THN and all the way down in 10th by McKeen's; Nashville and Colorado flip spots between being playoff contenders and bottom feeders in the rankings.

I'm going to wait at least another month, as per usual, to make my picks.

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At 1:24 a.m., August 22, 2008, Anonymous ]effadams#2 said...

Alright! I'm the first to say it. The Canucks win the West.

At 2:15 a.m., August 22, 2008, Anonymous b said...

..wild miss the playoffs?

wha? why?
I get they've lost rolston and demitra, but m. koivu stepping up and signing burnette should make up enough of that offensive lost to at least make the playoffs.

And their defense, which probably matters more, hasn't changed at all

And poor Columbus and Phoenix.. will their turn ever come?

At 2:18 a.m., August 22, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Buffalo's going to make these guys look like morons.

At 6:45 a.m., August 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 detroit*
2 san jose*
3 calgary*
4 dallas
5 anaheim
6 edmonton
7 chicago
8 phoenix
9 minnesota
10 nashville
11 st. louis
12 columbus
13 colorado
14 vancouver
15 los angeles

1 pittsburgh*
2 montreal*
3 washington*
4 philadelphia
5 ottawa
6 ny rangers
7 new jersey
8 boston
9 florida
10 buffalo
11 carolina
12 tampa bay
13 ny islanders
14 toronto
15 atlanta


At 9:18 a.m., August 22, 2008, Anonymous coachbowman2006ca said...

I think Buffalo may have a better chance at the playoffs than Ottawa. One, Miller is signed and will be around for at least 3 years. Right there, they are one up on Ottawa, good goaltending.I think the defense and the offense will buy in to Lindy Ruff's program, their offense well balanced and can play good defense.

At 10:19 a.m., August 22, 2008, Blogger Down Goes Brown said...

Detroit's the best team, and Montreal edges out the Penguins in the east? Wow, way to go out on a limb there guys!

Once again, as with all sports, the "expert predictions" are really just last year's standings with a few teams moved up or down a spot or two based on major roster moves.

At 10:23 a.m., August 22, 2008, Blogger Ebscer said...

no way that Ottawa and Tampa Bay are going to do that well...

At 10:31 a.m., August 22, 2008, Blogger Chemmy said...

Looks like according to McKeen's and THN the Leafs are going to be in the lottery.


At 11:31 a.m., August 22, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Once again, as with all sports, the "expert predictions" are really just last year's standings with a few teams moved up or down a spot or two based on major roster moves.

Creativity/originality is just not something that occurs in sports media. I don't know how writers can spout off about league parity in one article and then predict same old, same old summer after summer come August.

Really, only the thought of about 5specific teams missing the playoffs seems virtually impossible to me, and 4 of those are in the West. There are few guarantees in this game, and I wish that people who write about the game threw caution to the wind a bit and made some bold picks.

You'd get a much better debate, I'd think.

At 1:11 p.m., August 22, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Don't worry guys, I like making wacky picks. Last year I had Tampa Bay in 14th, the Wild winning their division and the Canucks, who won the Northwest a year earlier, missing the playoffs.

(Nevermind where I had Montreal...)

At 1:29 p.m., August 22, 2008, Anonymous Peter said...

The Hockey news writers are hardly experts - and they are wildly wrong about Colorado for at least one. Perhaps they're assuming goaltending doesn't get fixed and Sakic and Forsberg don't come back, but it will be a much better team than near-last, given young talent and defence.

At 1:55 p.m., August 22, 2008, Blogger Down Goes Brown said...

Creativity/originality is just not something that occurs in sports media.

Check out the expert picks for the NFL this year. Virtually every team gains or loses no more than one win (even though history has established that the NFL has hufe fluctuations every year).

At 3:12 p.m., August 22, 2008, Blogger Aaron said...

I challenge the predictions for the NFL writers year after year. despite the fact that the standings never look the same, only on average one division finishes in the same order as the previous year, at least one team goes from first to last and most of the division winners are different- sports pundits always seem to predict the second verse same as the last.

the point being that these are just easy predictions that affirm the status quo. it's easy to look at last year and assume "if i take no risks, i'll at least get some right"

At 5:07 p.m., August 22, 2008, Anonymous Keith said...

The love affair for the Oilers is just mindboggling. A lot of pundits are going to be very surprised when their point totals don't increase. Then again, these same pundits had the same reaction in 2006-07 about the Oilers, and we all know how that turned out.

The Wild missing out, I just can't see.

At 6:32 p.m., August 22, 2008, Blogger Doogie2K said...

I'm going to wait at least another month, as per usual, to make my picks.

You mean you're not going to make your calls three to six weeks before training camp even starts? UR DOIN IT RONG!

@Keith: Just look at the rest of the NW. They've all taken one or more steps backwards; the Oilers improved themselves with every move they made. Second in the division and around sixth or seventh in the West is hardly outrageous.

At 9:43 p.m., August 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tampa is too high in both.


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