Forecast: 2015-16 Pacific Division

Before the 2015-16 NHL Season got underway, Sean and Keith went through the irresistible and unrewarding exercise of making predictions. Though this post (and subsequent podcast) was technically uploaded onto the web a few days after the start of the season, we cross our hearts and promise these picks were made before games had begun (Wednesday, October 7).

 

Pacific Division (in order of finish at year’s end)

Sean’s Picks:

  1. Anaheim Ducks (“Because that’s what they do. Bounced in the first round”)
  2. Calgary Flames (“Because they  just might be for real. Or they come in last”)
  3. Los Angeles Kings
  4. Vancouver Canucks (“The last desperate gasp of the Sedin Twins”)
  5. Edmonton Oilers (“McJesus gets a hundred points and their defense lets in 10,000 goals”)
  6. Phoenix Arizona Whatever Coyotes (“The worst team in the league?”)
  7. San Jose Sharks (“Cuz screw those guys”)

 

Keith’s Picks

  1. Ducks (“Let them burn themselves out again winning useless Division banners”)
  2. Kings
  3. Flames (“I’d predict more of a regression if they didn’t make some decent upgrades”)
  4. Sharks (“The new coach will keep them from being irrelevant but not good enough for the playoffs)
  5. Oilers (“They can’t be any worse, will likely be way better, but still won’t place in the top half”)
  6. Canucks (“Only Arizona is there to cushion their fall”)
  7. Coyotes (“Miffed that they whiffed on the McDavid-Eichel sweepstakes, they’re tanking hard now”)

 

Read ’em and weep. Because they’re both going to be nowhere near correct when the season ends.

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LAK v. CHI… and ever. (explained in writing)

In our last two podcast episodes (and blog posts), we touched on the notion that in the NHL, there are the Los Angeles Kings, the Chicago Blackhawks … and then everyone else.

This may seem like bias, and if anyone accused us of being biased in favor of the Kings, we would be the last to deny it.

Likewise, there is sure to be some bias coming from Chicago, as we pointed to the Jon Greenberg article quoted in the podcast.

Still, this notion of the Kings and Blackhawks as the league’s premier teams did not simply originate from their rabid fan bases. Grantland’s Sean McIndoe wrote an excellent piece in the midst of the playoffs about how the construction of these two franchises not only has been spelling trouble for other 28 teams over the past few years, but will continue to do so into the near future. ESPN’s leading hockey writers Craig Custance and Pierre LeBrun long ago came to this notion, with Custance picking the Kings to win the Cup in the pre-season and LeBrun picking the Blackhawks, while continuing his refrain of West is Best in the NHL. (Even the New York Times wrote an article agreeing with this newfound perspective). And Canadians reached this conclusion too.

So in the spirit of giving credit where credit was due, we thought we’d share a smattering of articles from sources we often read to provide some credence to all this L.A. v. Chicago chatter.