If there’s one thing I’ve learned after years of being a Blues fan, predicting standings is like playing roulette: you’re standing there, yelling “black! Black!” and the damn ball flies off of the wheel, hitting some poor old woman playing slots. Nothing ever winds up the way that it should. I predicted St. Louis finishing 3rd and in the playoffs last season; where they ended up was more than slightly different than where I wanted.
I’m a pragmitist. I know that they won’t finish 1st in the Central Division – I’m not an idiot and I am more than aware that Detroit’s roster, system, and coaches are probably going to wander off with yet another banner come April. So, what order am I guessing here? Let’s see…
5) Columbus Blue Jackets
Ok, I know they got big names in Jeff Carter and James Wizsomethingoranother in the off season, and their offense is usually pretty solid. Defensivlely, though, they were terrible last season and might not be much better now. They were 26th in the league in goals allowed per game, and 22nd in their PK’s effectiveness. Who’se the most important penalty killer/last line of defense? Steve Mason? And there we go.
4. Chicago Blackhawks
Shot in the dark here, but Corey Crawford not having a proven backup and half of the team being under the age of six isn’t going to bode well for the ‘Hawks. God willing Jonathan Toews doesn’t get confused and take out Marcus Kruger on accident. Coach Q’ll make the best out of an iffy situation, but I don’t know if it’ll be enough to keep the momentum going for the Blackhawks.
3. St. Louis Blues
I’m rational, reasonable, and expect a rash of injuries and AHL call-ups for 20 or more games a pop. Also, I think Halak bounces back and Petro continues to be the sort of defenseman that we all know he is.
2. Nashville Predators
You don’t have to be a master in online casino strategy to know that Barry Trotz is one hell of a coach. He can get water out of a stone, blood out of a turnip, and he can get 23 goals out of Sergei Kostitsyn.
1. Detroit Red Wings
I might be a Blues fan, but I’m not an idiot.