As I already did Four-casts for every team, I figured I would add a one-stop shop of predictions - the main purpose of which is to see how entirely wrong I always am at the start of a season. I've already made some changes from my four-casts, so I reserve the right to change them again, and again, and again. It's my party, I can do what I want to. Nyeh nyeh.
So, without further delay, here are the Scotty Hockey 2008-09 Predictions:
1. * Montreal - If Price proves to be more than Penney, then they should ace their centennial season.
2. * New Jersey - Return of Rolston and Holik will help big-time.
3. * Washington - Ovie. 'Nuff said.
4. Pittsburgh - Healthy Cindy? Dammit.
5. Philadelphia - Solid line-up and Richards is only getting better.
6. Ottawa - Still have the best line in the league.
7. NY Rangers - King Henrik reigns supreme.
8. Carolina - New mobile D will be huge, as will a healthy RB'A.
9. Boston - Not enough offense.
10. Buffalo - Young but dangerous.
11. Tampa Bay - Melrose is a joke.
12. Florida - No Jokinen but Vokoun will keep them responsible.
13. Atlanta - Poor Kovy; where have you gone Marc Savard?
14. Toronto - Toskala can't do it himself.
15. NY Islanders - Hahahahaha.
* = Division Leader
1. * Detroit - Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too good not to take first.
2. * Dallas - I heart Brendan Morrow. And add Sean? Go Stars!
3. * Calgary - Iggy remains one of the best in the biz.
4. San Jose - Dan Boyle should be huge and Nabby is a rock.
5. Anaheim - Get Jiggy with them.
6. Phoenix - One or two defencemen and one or two years away from challenging for the conference.
7. Chicago - Huet and Soupy will be the toast of the town.
8. Edmonton - So young, so fast and soon to be so good.
9. Columbus - Major changes will mean major improvement.
10. Minnesota - Gabby without buddy Demitra? Sorry ...
11. Vancouver - Captain Luongo still can't score.
12. Colorado - Sad to see Joe come back to such a disappointing team.
13. Nashville - Ellis may be a one-year wonder.
14. St. Louis - J.D. is still building.
15. Los Angeles - Tough luck in Tinseltown.
* = Division Leader
Art Ross Trophy (Top Point Scorer): Cindy Crosby - If the Cole Harbour Queen stays healthy, she is just too good not to rack up the points, even with a pair of loser ex-Islander wingers.
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (Qualities of Perseverance and Sportsmanship): Chris Chelios - Cheli is like what, 60 now? He shows a passion and dedication that everyone should mimic, both inside and outside of hockey.
Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Steve Stamkos - I am hoping Kyle Turris is deserving in Phoenix, but this No. 1 draft pick just looked too damn good this weekend. If the shots start going in, the trophy is his, no matter how terrible his +/- will be.
Conn Smythe Trophy (Most Valuable Player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs): Johan Franzen - The Mule probably won't come close this season but he would have had it last spring if he had stayed healthy so it would be nice to see a grinder-type player get some hardware.
Frank J. Selke Trophy (Top Defensive Forward): Jere Lehtinen - If he stays healthy, and that is a huuuuuuuuuge IF, Lehtinen is one of the best up-and-down wingers in the league. Unfortunately this never goes to the actual top defensive forward, just one who scores some points while playing well in his own zone. If things were proper and it went to the forward who excelled the most in the defensive zone, I would nominate Blair Betts.
Hart Memorial Trophy (NHL Most Valuable Player): It would be great to see Ovie repeat, but if Crosby ends up atop the leaderboard then the Hart will go to the golden child.
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year): Dave Tippett - The Dallas head coach will have to balance the lunacy of Sean Avery, Brett Hull and Steve Ott and anyone who can do that deserves an award.
James Norris Memorial Trophy (Top Defenseman): Niklas Lidstrom - He may be the best overall defenseman since Bobby Orr.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Player who Displays Gentlemanly Conduct): Pavel Datsyuk - I just hope he wins something so we can get another great speech at the awards show.
Lester B. Pearson Award (Most Valuable Player as selected by the NHLPA): Alexander Ovechkin - Everyone loves Ovie because Ovie so clearly loves playing hockey and man, is he good at it ...
Maurice Richard Trophy (Top Goal Scorer): Ovechkin - 70 goals? It's possible, for him.
Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie): Evgeni Nabokov - I still think Brodeur robbed Nabby of the award last year and see no reason why justice won't be served this time around since Fatso is getting older and should, should play less this season.
Ten Other Predictions
*Barry Melrose won't last the full season as coach of the Lightning.
*It won't snow in Chicago on New Years.
*Ranger fans will give Sean Avery a loud ovation upon his return to the Garden and to the Prudential Center.
*Philadelphia will trade for the Sedin twins at the deadline while Ottawa overpays for Gaborik and Jersey makes a play for Jason Arnott. But no one will be willing to trade for Max Afinogenov.
*Mats Sundin will stay in Sweden. Peter Forsberg won't.
*I will call Kalinin Malik at least 50 times.
*Nashville will not average 14,000 fans, will lose their revenue-sharing payments, find another crooked investor while Jim Balsillie sits back and counts his money.
*After not selling out their home opener despite their insane ticket offer, the Phoenix Coyotes will sweeten the deal by having Dan Carcillo beat up your child's school bully.
*Someone, perhaps the Hawks, will beat the Oilers in a shootout when Mathieu Garon is in net (he went 10-0 last year).
*Not only will the Islanders finish in last place, they will lose the draft lottery to Toronto. There is no way Bettman won't Pat Ewing that draw for Tavares. Ha ha!
Not much longer until we get to see how right/wrong I am so good luck to all and Let's Go Rangers!