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THN.com Blog: Re-visiting pre-season predictions

Adam hit the nail on the head with Boston, but whiffed on the Rangers. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Adam hit the nail on the head with Boston, but whiffed on the Rangers. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s that time of year. Yes, playoff season, but also time to look back at NHL pre-season predictions and see how well you did. Let’s skip the niceties and get right to it.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Detroit Red Wings
I picked them: First in the West.
They’ll finish: Second or third.
How am I feeling about the pick? Very good. You rarely go wrong betting on the Wings’ year-to-year consistency.

Vancouver Canucks
I picked them: Second in the West.
They’ll finish: First.
How am I feeling about the pick? Also very good. There was no doubt the Canucks would thrive this season, that’s why THN made them our collective magazine pick to win the Cup.

San Jose Sharks

I picked them: Third in the West.
They’ll finish: Second or third.
How am I feeling about the pick? Right now, great. Midway through the year, not so much. But the Sharks season, like all true contenders, is all about the playoffs.

Chicago Blackhawks
I picked them: Fourth in the West.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from fourth to ninth.
How am I feeling about the pick? Good, except for the part where I wrote: “To anyone who would argue the off-season, salary-cap necessitated whittling down of the Blackhawks roster will result in them missing the playoffs, I say, ‘wean yourself off the boozy liquids.’ ”

Los Angeles Kings
I picked them: Fifth in the West.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from fourth to eighth.
How am I feeling about the pick? Great, especially considering the Kings’ roller coaster year.

St. Louis Blues
I picked them: Sixth in the West.
They’ll finish: 11th or 12th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Dejected. Still think Blues had pieces to contend, but injuries derailed any hope of playoffs.

Nashville Predators
I picked them: Seventh in the West.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from fourth to ninth.
How am I feeling about the pick? Prophetic, y’all. Barry Trotz is Tennessee’s Criss Angel.

Phoenix Coyotes
I picked them: Eighth in the West.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from fourth to ninth.
How am I feeling about the pick? Very well, thanks for asking. Ilya Bryzgalov is their MVP.

Anaheim Ducks
I picked them: Ninth in the West.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from fourth to ninth.
How am I feeling about the pick? Semi-comfortable; Ducks have overcome a lot this year.

Colorado Avalanche
I picked them: 10th in the West.
They’ll finish: 14th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Good. I suspected they’d take a step back, but wound up taking a leap.

Calgary Flames
I picked them: 11th in the West.
They’ll finish: Ninth or 10th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Their late playoff push gave me anxious moments, but just not enough meat here to make playoff hamburger.

Minnesota Wild
I picked them: 12th in the West.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from 11th to 13th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Peachy. Not for Wild fans, but this was always going to be a major rebuild.

Dallas Stars
I picked them: 13th in the West.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from fifth to 10th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Dubious. Definitely underestimated the Stars.

Columbus Blue Jackets
I picked them: 14th in the West.
They’ll finish: 12th or 13th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Decent enough. Jackets seem to be at a crossroads.

Edmonton Oilers
I picked them: 15th in the West.
They’ll finish: 15th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Tree-mendous. Oilers ground-up rebuild will be slow.

Eastern Conference

Washington Capitals
I picked them: First in the East.
They’ll finish: First or second.
How am I feeling about the pick? Peachy. Hard to believe Caps struggled as badly as they did mid-year and still got to top of conference.

Boston Bruins
I picked them: Second in the East.
They’ll finish: Second or third.
How am I feeling about the pick? Proud. Bruins clearly the class of the Northeast Division.

Related Links

Pittsburgh Penguins
I picked them: Third in the East.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from second to fifth.
How am I feeling about the pick? Not so good when Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were hurt, but much better after Dan Bylsma’s Jack Adams-worthy work.

Philadelphia Flyers
I picked them: Fourth in the East.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from first to fifth.
How am I feeling about the pick? Semi-proud. Didn’t realize the impact Sean O’Donnell and Andrej Meszaros would have on D-corps.

New Jersey Devils
I picked them: Fifth in the East.
They’ll finish: 11th or 12th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Not good. Devils showed in second half what many of us expected all year, but collapse under former coach John MacLean will be studied for years without answers.

Tampa Bay Lightning
I picked them: Sixth in the East.
They’ll finish: Fourth or fifth.
How am I feeling about the pick? As good as any I made all year; the Bolts are better than many gave them credit for.

Montreal Canadiens
I picked them: Seventh in the East.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from sixth to eighth.
How am I feeling about the pick? Tres bon. Good-but-not-great Canadiens overcame big-time injuries to be survivors in East.

Carolina Hurricanes
I picked them: Eighth in the East.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from seventh to ninth.
How am I feeling about the pick? As good as can be. Canes a bubble playoff team right down to regular season’s final weekend.

Ottawa Senators
I picked them: Ninth in the East.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from 13th to 15th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Regretful I didn’t slot them lower. Questionable goaltending was the Sens’ downfall from the start.

Buffalo Sabres
I picked them: 10th in the East.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from sixth to ninth.
How am I feeling about the pick? For the first half of the year, good - for the second half, less so. Their new ownership seems to be having a big psychological impact on a team that needed one.

Toronto Maple Leafs
I picked them: 11th in the East.
They’ll finish: 10th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Great, but not for long-suffering Leafs fans. A full year of James Reimer, Joffrey Lupul and others will push Toronto higher next year.

Atlanta Thrashers
I picked them: 12th in the East.
They’ll finish: 11th or 12th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Swell. Thrashers still need more character.

New York Rangers
I picked them: 13th in the East.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from sixth to eighth.
How am I feeling about the pick? As badly as any pick I made this year. Give Blueshirts credit for overcoming injuries – now let’s see if they’re better than a first-round-and-done team.

New York Islanders
I picked them: 14th in the East.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from 13th to 15th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Sad for Isles fans. All that could go wrong did and management’s off-ice shenanigans didn’t help.

Florida Panthers
I picked them: 15th in the East.
They’ll finish: Anywhere from 13th to 15th.
How am I feeling about the pick? Relatively correct. Poor Panthers supporters will be dealing with a similar result next season.

Follow Adam's hockey tweets at twitter.com/TheHockeyNews, and his non-hockey observations at twitter.com/ProteauType.

Adam Proteau, co-author of the book The Top 60 Since 1967, is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. Power Rankings appear Mondays, his blog appears Thursdays and his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays.

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