Welcome to the ninth annual SNN Predicts series of articles (tenth overall, if you count the 2004 version done on the forums, lost to the mists of time but notable for the fact that I went 0-4 in series involving the Flames), in which we act like we know what we’re talking about and make our (mostly) blindingly obvious predictions, with a shocking amount of success, considering some mainstream reporters usually wind up under .500 by the time the Stanley Cup is finally awarded somewhere around Canada Day. This is also at least my seventh year in a row copying and pasting the same intro, because I’m cool like that. New this year: East Coast Bias! Because I put the Wales Conference first this time!
Sudden changes in fortune seem to be the theme for this year. The Ducks played like a lottery team the first two months of the season before playing like contenders the last four; the Habs did the exact opposite. The Penguins and Wild saw dramatic turnarounds after coaching changes, the Flyers’ fortunes reversed after an addition-by-subtraction trade that bizarrely worked out for the recipients too, and the Isles backed into the postseason after looking safe for most of the year. And that’s without Canada’s historic oh-fer, several teams carrying multiple key injuries into the post-season, and the curious case of the Florida Panthers. Also, LOL Broons.
By now, you know the drill. I will put an inordinate amount of effort into justifying the fact that I basically looked at two numbers in a column and went “fuck it, that’ll do” for most of these picks, while the other two will follow their gut a bit more and, more often than not, enjoy similar or greater success. I have again joined my office pool with five Earth dollars on the line. Last year, I did the honourable thing and stuck to my picks instead of gaming the system to guarantee victory, because I’m a massive sucker who hates money, I guess. Will that silly situation arise again this year? Let’s find out!
[Ed: Yeah, it’s the morning after, but as you will no doubt notice, some of the narratives I present have already partially failed to come to pass, even if my teams did win all three games last night. As always, we’re just bad at punctuality.]