Predicting the 2014-2015 NHL Standings

Sports

Season starts in October. Of course these will most likely not be perfect or right. As John Tortorella would say, I am just throwing shit on a wall and hoping it sticks.

Atlantic Division (Eastern Conference)
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Boston Bruins
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Ottawa Senators
7. Florida Panthers
8. Buffalo Sabres

A bit of a bold prediction here. I think the Lightning step up from the previous year. Coach Jon Cooper is a great coach. They have Stamkos coming back for a full year this time (most likely, let’s hope he doesn’t get injured as he’s great to watch). If Ben Bishop performs well and they step up from last year (which I think they will), they could take over the division. The Bruins are still a good team but I just think they will regress eventually. Montreal definitely has a playoff team on paper and with Price in net they are a no brainer. Detroit and Toronto will be interesting. Both are quite evenly matched. Detroit however was faced with huge, huge injuries last season and they have been trending downwards. I think they will battle Toronto for around a seventh-eighth seed spot. The bottom three teams are easy to predict. Buffalo is looking like a lottery team and their fans know it. If Ron Rolston was there for the whole season last year as coach they may have had the worst record for an NHL team since the 1995 lockout. The Florida Panthers made all these high picks and signed a bunch of guys but it’s not good enough to overtake the six teams I have ranked ahead of them. They suck and will continue to suck. Poor Luongo. The Senators have an awful roster on paper and could be a lottery team too. But with Karlsson still there, decent goaltending, and a great coach in Paul MacLean will make them not a lottery team but short of a playoff spot.

Metropolitan Division (Eastern Conference)

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. New York Rangers
3. Philadelphia Flyers
4. New Jersey Devils
5. New York Islanders
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
7. Washington Capitals
8. Carolina Hurricanes

This is actually quite a tough division to predict. When taking a look at things no doubt the Penguins, Rangers, and Flyers are the three best teams in the division. After them you can rotate the bottom five teams. When looking at last year the Devils lost thirteen shootouts. I highly doubt that happens again. Their roster looks quite awful but I think with Cory Schneider in net as the starter and no Brodeur they can be a playoff team or fall just short. Columbus has not impressed me much. I don’t think they repeat what they did last year. They played with a lot of heart and energy in the post season and to get there. I just don’t see it happening again this year. They might make me eat my words, who knows. I believe you could rotate them with the Devils but I’m going with the Devils this year. The Washington Capitals are a team I could see becoming a disaster by hiring Barry Trotz as a coach. He does not fit as a coach for that offensive styled team. He coaches an awful style. I see him lasting not long at all there. He coached some of the most boring hockey I have ever seen when he was in Nashville. As for Carolina, I’m not really sure if they will finish last in the division. I admittedly don’t follow them much to make a solid prediction. But I really don’t see them cracking the top eight in the conference either. They should realistically finish ahead of teams such as the Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres, and maybe Senators but not good enough to get into the postseason.

Central Division (Western Conference)
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Minnesota Wild
4. Dallas Stars
5. Nashville Predators
6. Colorado Avalanche
7. Winnipeg Jets

Ah, the beauty as well as the hard times of being the western conference. Only 14 teams and 8 get to make it into the playoffs. But then most of those 14 teams are actually very good. Especially in the central division. That is going to be a tough division to play in. Perhaps the toughest in the league, tougher than the pacific division was last year. The Blues should remain as the top seed. They have been good in the regular season for years. They dumped Ryan Miller who was not working out for them and got Paul Statsny from Colorado, a solid addition to their team. Look for Tarasenko and Schwartz to be even better this year. The only problem is they have proven they can not win in the post season. That is outside the point. They will make it in as a high seed once again. The Blackhawks and Wild definitely will as well. As for the Dallas Stars, I really like what they are doing. They just added point per game player Jason Spezza to an already great offensive roster. They will be even better me thinks. Nashville has hired Peter Laviolette and left defensive minded loser Barry Trotz stranded in the desert. Great move. Laviolette has won everywhere he’s gone. He could make Nashville an exciting team to watch as well as a playoff team unlike doofus Trotz. He should go talk to John Tortorella in a steam bath about how to ruin a hockey team by playing dump and chase. End rant. The Avalanche were good last year but I just have a feeling they won’t be as good as the five teams I mentioned above them. There was a feeling as if they over achieved last year. They got off to a wickedly hot start and kept it up throughout the season. I just feel if there’s one team that won’t repeat what they did last year it is them. I hope they make me eat my words because they play an exciting brand of hockey and they are easy to root for. I just don’t have high hopes. The Jets as the worst team in this division is a no brainer. I’d be shocked if they get above seventh seed. Their roster lacks the talent the other teams in their division have.

Pacific Division (Western Conference)

1. Anaheim Ducks
2. San Jose Sharks
3. Los Angeles Kings
4. Vancouver Canucks
5. Calgary Flames
6. Arizona Coyotes
7. Edmonton Oilers

I said in a previous post on here of my most bold predictions for the year that the Canucks will make the playoffs. Of course I am sticking to that. I say they get in as a seventh or eighth seed. They will surprise people. The Kings are historically or lately not a dominant team in the season but they could care less. They’ve won two cups in three years, once as an eighth seed the other as a sixth seed. The Sharks were good in the regular season last year and have not really downgraded or anything like that. I think they could be in the same position they were in last year. They are a good team in the regular season but chokers in the post season. That’s again outside the point. They will make it to the playoffs. The Ducks are president trophy favourites this year and I think they will realistically win it. Getzlaf and Perry are still there and Boudreau is the right coach for this team…in the regular season that is. Not the playoffs where he’s never done anything. They also added Kesler and Clayton Stoner. They will be a good team in the season no question about it. Perhaps one of the most shocking picks one would see here is that I have Calgary ranked higher than Arizona. Arizona is well managed and coached but they do not have much talent at all to be a playoff team. I like what Calgary is doing. Hartley is a great coach and has them busting their asses off every game. This is coming from someone that hates Calgary as a whole. I think they will be rivals with Vancouver this season and both battling each other for that final playoff spot perhaps or a low seeded spot. The Oilers will never improve as long as Kevin Lowe is there, don’t think otherwise. Until he’s gone and out, they will continue to suck. A poorly managed organization from top to bottom.

To summarize the post season should look like:

Atlantic:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning .vs. 4. Detroit Red Wings/Toronto Maple Leafs/New York Islanders (dark horse pick)
2. Boston Bruins .vs. 3. Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan:
1. Pittsburgh Penguins .vs. 4. New Jersey Devils
2. New York Rangers .vs .3. Philadelphia Flyers

Central:
1. St. Louis Blues .vs. 4. Dallas Stars
2. Chicago Blackhawks .vs. 3. Minnesota Wild

Pacific:
1. Anaheim Ducks .vs. 4. Vancouver Canucks/Nashville Predators (dark horse picks)
2. San Jose Sharks .vs. 3. Los Angeles Kings

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Most Exciting Sport Teams To Watch

Sports

I’m definitely a bit biased towards teams, but here is a list of who I think the most exciting sports teams are.

Soccer: Real Madrid FC

They potted in four against Athletico Madrid in the UEFA champions league final in a matter of minutes and lit up Bayern Munich in their home town. If you are a soccer or club football fan, how is watching Gareth Bale not exciting? The dude is fast as hell and one of the worlds best. I thought at first it was a mistake by Real Madrid making him the highest paid player in the world. Boy was I wrong. Not to mention he has Cristiano Ronaldo to pass too, another one of the worlds best. People complain about soccer being boring and goalless all the time, well, watch these guys play and you will change your mind. They just added in young James Rodriguez who was robbed of the best player award at the last world cup. If he continues to play at a high level, man will this team be lethal. Easily the worlds best, I would not be shocked if they repeat as UEFA champions again.

Hockey: Dallas Stars or Anaheim Ducks (tie)

If you’ve seen my posts before or look at what my name is, you probably thought I would mention Vancouver. No, they were flat out boring last year. The title of the most exciting hockey team goes to either the Dallas Stars or Anaheim Ducks. Teams who have four lines who can score and good depth are always exciting. Not the teams who play a lame dump and chase style and rely on lucky bounces. Look out for the Dallas Stars next year. They added Jason Spezza who has been a point per game player since entering the league. Anaheim also added Ryan Kesler. He has scored a lot before, can he do it again?

Football: Denver Broncos or Philadelphia Eagles (tie)

The Philadelphia Eagles added Chip Kelly as coach. Boy were they exciting to watch. Talk about a team with energy. The no huddle offense is awesome to watch. That was Chip’s first year as well. In the year coming up I have no doubts he will adjust or add in a few new things which will be intriguing. As for the Denver Broncos, well, no brainer. Peyton Manning broke the touchdown record last year.

Basketball: San Antonio Spurs

I’m biased here but to me, they are the most exciting team to watch. You honestly can’t go wrong mentioning a bunch of teams for most exciting in the NBA. Defense is not very noticeable in the NBA today so a lot of teams look the same. The Spurs to me when they lit up the Miami Heat in the NBA finals or got through the Mavericks in seven games showed how exciting they were. Three pointers are awesome, and no team does it better than these guys. They have such a mix of talents too from the veteran Tim Duncan who is good on both sides of the ball to three point machine Patty Mills. No team makes so much out of nothing like the Spurs do in the case of players such as Danny Green and Patty Mills.

Thoughts On Ryan Kesler Leaving Vancouver

Sports

ksler

So “the trade” happened not to long ago where Ryan Kesler was sent packing from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa essentially. Probably the biggest trade so far this off season in the NHL.

I posted a few weeks back how new general manager of the Vancouver Canucks Jim Benning was not doing a bad job. I still echo those same sentiments.

Kesler was crucial during the Canucks 2011 cup run. Do not get me wrong. Without him who knows how that Nashville Predators semi finals series would have gone.

But since then he has not done anything of note in Vancouver except get injured and seemingly complain behind closed doors. Yeah he said to the media how he wanted to stay here. I never bought it. He wanted out for sure.

I don’t hold any grudges if the man wanted out. Just handcuffing Jim Benning into only accepting a trade to two possible teams (one of them being a team he was rivals with for many years the Chicago Blackhawks) was a bit annoying. Props to Benning for getting a solid return under those circumstances.

Ever since the cup run Kesler has lacked playmaking ability and looked bad on the ice. I’m not upset one bit that he is gone.

Let’s not forget there are all these crazy, outlandish rumours about his personal life and how he is a pig or jerk of a man.

The Vancouver Sun quoted him as saying in his exit interview with Vancouver Media:

I hate losing and that season was painful, to be honest. The fact (the Canucks) are in a rebuild and are looking to get younger and are years away from being a contender, I think it was just time for me to move on and, you know, win and hopefully take home a championship.

— Ryan Kesler

Then they followed up by saying “there is plenty of time to practice your booing”.

Son, I ain’t even mad. I wouldn’t boo him. I don’t hate him. If he wanted out after the franchise was going downhill so be it. At least we got plenty of young prospects to look forward to and shift the ship in a different direction. His quote absolutely does make sense.

I still think Anaheim will regret this trade when he turns out to not be the slam dunk 2nd line centre they thought he would be. Nick Bonino will be great in a Canucks uniform, in fact he scored more points than Kesler did last year.

Let’s say Anaheim does well in the regular season (which is not uncommon for a Boudreau squad). Once again, they will lose in the postseason (which is also not uncommon for a Boudreau squad).