Somewhat Bold 2010 NHL Pre-Playoff Predictions

There comes a time in a person’s year where they predict something. “So-and-so will win the election” “I bet this movie sucks” “It’ll rain today”. All classic examples of predictions we make on a daily basis.

Tonight I’m going to make a few of my own.

But first a little backstory. Long time followers of this blog – or people who talk to me for any period of time in person – will know that I have a theory that the NHL is fixed hockey. At the head of the conspiracy is the league commissioner, and everyone from the owners to the refs to the players are – to varying degrees – in on it. There is one goal and that’s to increase the market share and foothold of the NHL in the USA. The NHL is run like a business. Correction, the NHL is a business.

It’s under that pretence that I bring you the following predictions:

– Atlanta will make the playoffs. If they don’t, they’ll make a strong push in the same vein of every Oiler franchise that ended the season two points outside of a playoff spot. It makes for exciting hockey on a local level, since the fans get to see and experience the story of the franchise that either just made it in or just missed it. Either way the story will speak of potential and potential puts asses in the seats.

– There will be at least one more major injury and questionable suspension.

– 4 Canadian teams will make it to the post-season. Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver.

– 1 of the Canadian teams that makes it to the post-season will make it to the second round. Vancouver.

– The Penguins and Capitals will meet in the Eastern Conference finals with the series going to Pittsburgh in six or seven.

– Antti Neimi will steal the starting job in Chicago away from Huet and the Hawks will ride a hot steak right to the Western finals where they’ll face. . .

– The Canucks, who just got out of a seven game slug fest against the “upstart” Coyotes. The Coyotes will use the deep playoff run to create buzz for the franchise and further entrench Bettman’s position on club relocation by selling a good portion of their season tickets for the 2010-2011 campaign.

– The Western Conference finals will go to the Hawks. Vancouver’s loss will be blamed on their long standing “choke-artistry”. The city will be pissed for a week, but eventually return to normal after some jackass who assaulted a Blackhawks fan is made an example of.

– The Blackhawks will meet the Penguins in the Stanley Cup finals; a meeting of the “previously mismanaged and at the edge of financial collapse, but now a model franchise” franchises. Bettman will crane his fingers in excitement from his box seats.

– Penguins will take it in five. Chicago’s downfall will be placed on Neimi’s shoulders and the media will cry, “Hah! We knew there was a goaltending situation in Chicago!” This’ll prompt one of two things: A: Chicago stands by their goalie under the guise “He’s only 25 and will only get better with more experience.” or B: Chicago will cut Huet’s contract a year early and try to sign a better goalie to split time with Neimi. Crosby will take the Conn Smythe.

If half of these predictions come true. I’m going to look into finding live feeds of the KHL. If only to change it up a little.

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