[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was written for The Broad Street Bully, a blog and podcast my friend Drew and I started based off of our mutual interest in the Philadelphia Flyers. See it on http://broadstreetbully.net.]
I continue the working trend of commenting on other people’s comments. Today, I look at Sam Cardichi’s Flyers and NHL season outlook for 2015-2016.
His predictions come first. Then my comments. The original article can be found here.
Points for Claude Giroux: 82
This is reasonable. If everyone is skating better, and everyone has better stamina, then that means Giroux can keep producing late into games. He’s going to play serious minutes. And he’s going to be out there in every situation. So, yeah, 82 points is not unrealistic. Giroux and Voracek are the only real bright spots for the Flyers this year. Sorry if you didn’t realize that before, Flyers fans.
Points for Jake Voracek: 77
If he keeps up the pace he was on to end last year for the Flyers, 77 isn’t too far away. Let’s see!
GAA for Steve Mason: 2.35
Poor Steve Mason. His numbers never reflect how well he plays because the Flyers defense is in a constant state of terrible flux. Will he hit 2.35? I hope. Will his numbers not be indicative of how well he plays? Probably. It’s been the common trend.
Most likely Flyer to be traded at deadline: Mark Streit
I only agree if Luke Schenn isn’t already gone. But Streit is a believable choice. He’s a bit older but he has the offensive capability that teams are looking for down the stretch run for defenseman. Let’s just make sure if we’re going to trade him that we get some decent picks for him.
NHL scoring champion: John Tavares, Islanders, 95 points
Seriously? I don’t think Tavares takes the points lead. He’s still playing with Okposo. Crosby is always up at the top and this year he has Kessel on his wing. Assuming Kessel doesn’t get hurt, Crosby’s assists go up. Unfortunately for Flyers fan, I think Crosby has a good shot of winning the points race. Again.
Goal-scoring champion: Alex Overchkin, Capitals, 52 goals
Why not? Ovechkin shoots all the time. It makes sense that he scores a lot. Especially if Kuznetsov slots in suitably enough for Backstrom while he’s out.
MVP (Hart Trophy): Ovechkin
I think the Caps will be the best team in the Metropolitan division so thumbs up for this.
Rookie of year (Calder Trophy): Buffalo’s Jack Eichel upsets Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. (Dark horse: Chicago’s Artemi Panarin)
I’ll go with Jack Eichel only because Edmonton has been a graveyard of talent. Seriously. They’re still waiting until they put all that talent together.
Best defenseman (Norris Trophy): Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty
I really like Drew Doughty. But there’s Duncan Keith, Shea Weber, and Eric Karlsson to name a few. It’s a tough choice to make right now. I think Keith continues his play from last year and takes it.
Best goalie (Vezina Trophy): Nashville’s Pekka Rinne
I had Pekka Rinne for fantasy hockey that year he went down with his hip injury. Before and after that injury, he was aces. It’s a good pick. The Nashville defense is maturing so if he plays at his usual level then his numbers should be lights out.
Coach of year (Jack Adams Award): Washington’s Barry Trotz
You add TJ Oshie and Justin Williams in the offseason. Their defense has gotten better. I think they’ll win the division. But, given all the talent, does Trotz win coach of the year for doing what everyone expects him to? Meh.
Atlantic: Tampa Bay.
The Ducks had a great playoffs last year and got eliminated in a series that could’ve went either way. Does Hagelin and the offseason changes make them Cup contenders? Maybe.
Not sure about this. But they always cut salary after a Stanley Cup win and manage to get right back to where they were.
Most improved team: Columbus.
Yep. Columbus is only getting better. They have a lot of upside. Which is bad news now that they’re part of the Metropolitan Division.
Eastern Conference finals: Washington over Columbus.
Western Conference finals: Anaheim over Nashville.
Who knows? Right now, to me, it sounds like that series could go either way. I’d want to see how everything shakes out over a season.
Stanley Cup Finals: Washington over Anaheim.
I think Washington is good. But not Stanley Cup good. Yet. I feel like the Ducks are more physically imposing.