Back in September, prior to the start of the 2011/2012 NHL season, I made a series of 20 bold predictions for the upcoming season. A lot of these predictions were bold….and I mean VERY bold, but nonetheless I put my reputation a bit out there on the line to take a crack at how I thought things were going to unfold (in a matter of speaking) for the Predators during the next few months.
Below you’ll find the list from 1-20. Green text below the prediction means I was correct, red text means I was incorrect, and grey text means that I was neither correct nor incorrect.
1: David Legwand will have a career year
Well, I was close! Legwand had his second best season this past year garnering 53 points in 78 games (19g, 34a), 10 less than his career high in 2006-2007. The lifelong Predators centerman started the season strong, however his play evened out over the course of the season.
2: Pekka Rinne will win more than 33 games this season
Correct! Pekka Rinne was 43-18-8 this season with a GAA of 2.39 and a Save Percentage of .922. His 43 wins were a league-best this season, along with the total number of shots faced and number of saves
3: Nashville will bring home some post-season hardware this year
Well, yes and no on this one. None of the major hardware came back to Nashville this season, but Mike Fisher did pick up the NHL Foundation Player Award for his contributions to the community, which is a great achievement!
4: Nashville WON’T win the division, but will advance further than any other Central Divison team
Another yes and no on this one too. Nashville and St. Louis both progressed to the second round, however Nashville was ousted in 5 games while St. Louis was ousted in 4. TECHNICALLY Nashville went further, but at the same time they went the same distance as St. Louis
5: Columbus will win in Nashville this season
November 19th, 2011. BOOM, called that one after Columbus had lost the previous 17 inside the home of the Nashville Predators (through at least 3 arena name changes), dating back to April 3rd, 2006. It wasn’t a really good goal for Rinne to let in either, however streaks are made to be broken:
6: Don’t expect Ryan Ellis to start in Nashville…
And he didn’t. Ellis wasn’t called up until late December against Detroit.
7: Blake Geoffrion will start the season in Milwaukee
Nope, wrong there. Geoffrion started the season in Nashville, but ended it in Montreal after being traded to the Habs in a package to get Hal Gill. Tough season for the Brentwood-native.
8: Nashville will eclipse 40 wins for the 7th STRAIGHT season
48 wins, 26 losses, and 8 overtime losses. 7 straight seasons of 40 wins or more. That’s pretty amazing seeing that there aren’t many other teams that can brag about that.
9: Bergfors will find a home here in Nashville
Yep, for 11 games. That’s all Bergfors lasted in Nashville and it was a sad end to a low-risk gamble for David Poile
10: Weber/Suter/Rinne will ALL sign contract extensions with Nashville
Yeah, that was one of my bigger predictions. I was only 1/3 correct on this one, as Rinne signed a 7-year extension with Nashville early on in the season. Weber is still on the fence and is an upcoming RFA here in the next week, while the talk around the league is where Ryan Suter will go come July 1st. Whew…we’ll talk more about that in another article.
11: Jordin Tootoo will nearly double (or more) his current career point highs
With a previous career high in points of 18 (which he achieved twice), Tootoo stepped up his game and rattled off 30 this past season (6g, 24a), nearly doubling his previous career high.
12: Colin Wilson will have a “make it” type of year
While Wilson didn’t “break out” this season, he didn’t regress either. Wilson totalled 35 points this year, 1 higher than his previous career high of 34 the season before, however this time he did it in 68 games played (not 82 like last year).
Wilson has a LOT of potential, and at the age of 22 you just have to hope his attitude won’t get in the way of a long and plentiful career with the Predators
13: Cal O’Reilly will have a “break it” type of year
O’Reilly lasted 5 games with Nashville early in the season before being traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for a 4th-round draft choice (used to draft Mikko Vainonen on this past Saturday) where he bounced around for a while before being picked up on waivers by the Pittsburgh Penguins later on in the season.
14: Overtime Losers to Overtime Winners
Nashville went 2-7 last season in the Overtime period and went 3-3 this season, I wouldn’t consider that being winners or losers, kinda in the middle.
15: Nashville WILL win an overtime home playoff game
Well, they didn’t have a chance to unfortunately. None of their home playoff games this season went to overtime
16: Nashville will have a streak of 7 or more (wins or losses)
Nope. Nashville DID have 3 streaks of 5-straight wins last season, which is pretty good nonetheless.
17: 20+ Regular Season Sell-outs
Nashville blew past that with 25 regular season sellouts and overall average attendance of 16,690, which sets the bar at 97.5% capacity for the Predators.
18: Santa will bring a Top 6 Forward to Nashville
Nope, Santa was a jerk this year. He didn’t bring a thing to the Predators for Christmas except a loss to Dallas on the 23rd and a loss to Detroit on the 26th.
19: Nashville will give up the fewest goals this season
Nope, Nashville tied for the 8th-best in goals-allowed this season along with San Jose and New Jersey. The Blues took hom the top prize for the fewest goals given up
20: The Powerplay is BACK
NUMBER ONE IN THE LEAGUE. I was dead on right with that one, and that’s a SCARY one to have gotten right because even I didn’t expect it to be that good.
SO! Overall in my predictions I went 8-7 with 5 “No Contest’s”. Not too bad for my first year of predictions, so I present to you this question:
What do you think will happen NEXT season? What are YOUR predictions?