We’re halfway through the 2017-18 NHL season. And like everyone we had predictions at the start of the season. So lets crack those open and see what teams would be ontop.

Now that we’ve passed the 41 game mark of the 2017-18 NHL season it’s time to see what we thought would take place by looking at our pre-season picks. We all set out picks to win each division, each conference and who could win the cup.

I’m going to look at them man-by-man, pick-by-pick. In today’s post were going to look at my own picks. Looking back on these now I feel good that some could still come true. While others were well off the mark.

mitchMitch’s Divisional Picks

Atlantic Division: Toronto Maple Leafs | Rank: 3rd, Record: 25-16-3
Potential To Come True: 3/10
The Leafs were my pick to win the Atlantic. And at the start of the season that certainly look like a fair piclk. The buds were on the rise while the rest of the division was middling at best. I just didn’t count on Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning to have a resurgent season in 2017-18.

At this point, it’s hard to see Mike Babcock’s boys bounce up two spots in the standings. They’re already ten points back of Tampa who’ve played two games fewer.

Metropolitan Division: Pittsburgh Penguins | Rank: 5th, Record: 22-19-3
Potential To Come: 4/10
This is what happens when you go to two back-to-back Stanley Cup finals. Fatigue and injury. They may not want to admit it, but after playing a ton of games (and a World Cup of Hockey) over the last two seasons, the Penguins are beat.

But then again, the Penguins haven’t won the division in either years. So maybe this is just par for the course. Perhaps this is all part of the plan. Take it easy for the first half. Rest up a bit, heal, and jus destroy the league in the second half/in the playoffs.

The Caps have to games in hand on the Pens, but only find themselves with an eight point cushion. That’s not as insurmountable as the position the Leafs find themselves in. And with a healthy Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin, Kris Letang and Matt Murray, there’s no reason they can’t win the division.

Central Division – Dallas Stars | Rank: 4th, Record: 24-16-3
Potential To Come True: 5/10

The Dallas Stars ticked every box at the start of the season. They already had a great offence and then they added Martin Hanzal and Alex Radulov. The defense needed some work, and then they added Marc Methot.

Most importantly they needed NHL caliber goaltending. And Jim Nill added Vezina finalist Ben Bishop and got rid of Antti Niemi. How much better could it have gotten? Dallas looked like the team to beat in the Central.

There’s a potential for the Stars to still make the top of the Central. They just have to catch Winnipeg who are eight points ahead and leapfrog Nashville and St. Louis. No biggie. It’s possible….but pretty unlikely. So 5 out of ten.

Pacific Division – Edmonton Oilers | Rank: 5th, Record: 18-23-3
Potential To Come True: 0/10

It’s NOT happening. The Edmonton Oilers aren’t going to catch the, wait for it, Vegas Golden Knights for the division lead. It’s just not happening. With 50% of the season in the book the Golden Knights have themselves a 21 point lead on the Oilers. And the Knights have three games in hand. Three!

The Oilers are eleven points out of a wild-card position!

Connor McDavid or not, this team isn’t going to the top of the Pacific. They might not even make the playoffs. Talk about a fall from grace. (And an embarrasing pick for me).

 

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