Friday, October 08, 2010

Full NHL Season Predictions

This is likely an exercise in futility, because I'm terrible at this stuff, but let's take a shot.

You can read the NHL FanHouse staff's predictions by going here for our division picks, here for playoff picks, or here for awards picks.

What we didn't do was lay out our thoughts on each team in the league. I have a few, though, so here goes a probably worthless attempt at picking the order of finish in each conference. These lists were completed before yesterday's games, by the way, and I'm not going to change them based on one night of hockey.

15. Columbus ... There's hope, but they still need goaltending and defense to step up.
14. Dallas ... Not enough depth and their goaltending is a major question.
13. Calgary ... Tough call, but not the kind of offensive depth to keep up.
12. Edmonton ... Youngsters will lead improvement. But it won't happen that fast.
11. Anaheim ... Captain Getzlaf out in front now, but not enough depth.
10. Minnesota ... Some talent and a hot-seat coach. They aren't very good on defense.
9. Colorado ... Talent-wise, they're as good as last year. They will contend for a spot.
8. Nashville ... Don't count these guys out. The Lombardi signing could be huge for them.
7. Phoenix ... That wasn't just dumb luck last year, and this team is better.
6. Chicago ... Too many losses of depth players to stay on top in a tough conference.
5. St. Louis ... Ready to make The Leap and become a contender. It starts this year.
4. Los Angeles ... Last year, they were in the Blues' position. Now, they're going to threaten for a division crown.
3. Detroit ... As good as they've been in years, the question surrounds ability to stay healthy.
2. San Jose ... Still plenty of veterans, leadership, and scoring ability. Niemi will be fine.
1. Vancouver ... A deserved favorite because they'll be better on defense and are as good as anyone offensively.

15. Florida ... Not ready to do anything notable, but Dale Tallon will get it going.
14. N.Y. Rangers ... Tough to pick them here, but I don't like their depth or defense.
13. Carolina ... Building with youth, the right way. They won't stay down here very long.
12. Toronto ... Brian Burke says he's done "a poor job" as GM. I won't argue, at least not now.
11. N.Y. Islanders ... Tavares and Co. aren't ready to make the playoffs yet.
10. Atlanta ... Chicago South doesn't have enough offensive depth to be taken seriously.
9. Montreal ... Yeah, that Carey Price decision might hurt them before we're done.
8. Ottawa ... If the big guns can get healthy, stay healthy, and play well, they're a darkhorse.
7. Tampa Bay ... How can you not love the work Steve Yzerman has done in a short time as GM?
6. Philadelphia ... If the goaltending holds up, look out for this team, because they have most everything else.
5. Buffalo ... Ryan Miller, good defense, rabid fans, and not much else.
4. Pittsburgh ... New building and still a very talented team. Maybe a chip on the ol' shoulder after the way it ended last year.
3. Boston ... A little more offensive punch than division rival Buffalo, and Tuukka Rask is a quality goalie.
2. New Jersey ... They will score a ton of goals and possess the puck, making Martin Brodeur's life easier.
1. Washington ... Learned a lesson last year. It won't be repeated again anytime soon.

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