Prediction Time: The Final 10 – and predictions for all teams in the Presidents’ Trophy Race.

We. Are. In. Stanley Cup Playoffs, here come the Jackets. This last prediction piece is going to be a little different. There are currently four teams (CBJ, PIT, WSH, CHI) that have a shot at the Presidents’ Trophy for best regular season record in the NHL. So I am not just going to predict the Jackets last 10 games, we are going to do all four teams. But first, here is how my last 7 game prediction fared:

Predicted: 6-1-0
Actual: 5-2-0

Close, but I really didn’t think we would lose to Buffalo in either of those games. Didn’t play well in Buffalo and they had to be motivated having dropped the last four before that game. The loss last night was tough to watch. A five minute PP and nothing to show for it, but Toronto is really coming on and the win last night vaulted them into third in the Atlantic.

Before I start predicting, what an incredible season. We set franchise records all over the place, have a rookie in the Calder conversation and a keeper who should win the Vezina. We still have the Presidents’ Trophy to play for, its going to be a photo finish.

Blue Jackets

@Washington – The Caps may have taken a nap at the beginning of march but they are 3-0-1 in their last four. Jackets are playing a b2b here. Jackets win to come even with the Caps in the standings.

Philadelphia – 5-2-0 in their last seven, this team may already be on the golf course. Jackets win at home.

Buffalo – Out of the playoff race but still playing tough. They owe me a loss from my last prediction. Jackets make it three in a row.

@Carolina – CBJ sit 2-1-0 on the season against the Hurricanes. The loss came when we were in Carolina. We avenge it – 4 game win streak.

@Chicago – Four game win streak over. 6-0-1 in their last seven (as of 3/23), they are in playoff mode. In their barn, second game in a back to back – it isn’t our night. Jackets lose.

Washington – If my predictions for both the Jackets and Caps are correct, both teams will be coming into this game at 108 points. This game is Nationwide. Goes to OT. Jackets win – Seth Jones snipe 3 on 3.

@Pittsburgh – We are 2-0-1 against the flightless birds this year. Last two went to OT. This could be a preview of the first round of the playoffs. Jackets lose in OT.

Winnipeg – Last home game of the regular season. I think coming off the murderers row of Chicago, Washington, Pittsburgh we drop a winnable game. CBJ fans already playoff focused.

@Philadelphia – Philly is out of the playoffs, phones this one in. Jackets get back to their winning ways.

@Toronto – My name is Joshua Anderson, you hurt Bjorkstrand. Prepare to die. Jackets win headed into the playoffs.

Prediction: 7-2-1. – That would be 115 points on the season.

Pittsburgh Penguins

@Ottawa – 1-2-2 in their last five. Pittsburgh’s due for a loss Ottawa wins.

Islanders – This game has OT written all over it. Islanders are fighting for their playoff lives. Pittsburgh gets the W in OT.

Philadelphia – Philly has moved on to the first tee box. Penguins win.

Chicago – Tight game against two playoff regulars. Chicago thumped them 4-1 in Chicago. Pittsburgh returns the favor.

@Rangers – Pittsburgh has gone 2-1-0 against the Rangers this year. Two of those wins were by 5+ goals. Rangers remember, get revenge in MSG.

Carolina – Carolina is down two strokes to the Flyers at the turn. Season over. Checked out. PIT wins.

Columbus – Pittsburgh is 1-2-0 against the most attractive looking team in the Metro this year. Last two went to OT. This could be a preview of the first round of the playoffs. Penguins win in OT.

@New Jersey – The Devils skipped golfing and went straight to the 19th hole. Pittsburgh wins in New Jersey.

@Toronto – Toronto’s playoff berth has the potential to still be on the line here. Maple Leafs are more motivated, take this one.

@Rangers – Clean skating pillow fight as both teams don’t want any injuries going into the first round. 2-1 Pittsburgh finish.

Prediction: 7-3-0, 115 points

Washington Capitals

Columbus – The team that everyone swoons for comes to town motivated after coming off a loss to Toronto. Bob between the pipes. Caps lose this one.

Arizona – Coyotes are terrible. Caps win.

@Minnesota – Locked into a playoff spot, Dubnyk makes a last push at the Vezina. Minnesota wins.

@Colorado – Only team more terrible than the Coyotes. Caps win in an empty stadium.

@Arizona – Coyotes skill has not improved in the short gap between games with Washington. Washington wins again.

@Columbus – If my predictions for both the Jackets and Caps are correct, both teams will be coming into this game at 108 points. This game is Nationwide. Goes to OT. Jackets win – Seth Jones snipe 3 on 3.

@Toronto – Toronto continues to battle for their playoff slot. Toronto wins.

Rangers – Caps take it to the Rangers, give them a preview of what a match-up in the playoffs might feel like.

@Boston – Caps just want to avoid injury going into the playoffs. Boston wants a playoff spot. Boston wins.

Florida – Caps finish the regular season with a win over the Panthers, sweeping their three game series.

Prediction: 5-4-1,  113 points.

Chicago Blackhawks

Dallas – Stars aren’t making the playoffs but break Chicago’s six game point streak. Stars win.

@Florida – Jaromir Jagr and the Panthers can’t keep the Blackhawks out of the net. Chicago bounce back, takes this one.

@Tampa Bay – No Stamkos, No win. Chicago wins again

@Pittsburgh – Tight game against two playoff regulars. Chicago thumped them 4-1 in Chicago. Pittsburgh returns the favor.

Columbus – Jackets are on a back to back, Chicago wins at home.

Boston – Boston is pushing hard for the playoffs, more motivated than the Blackhawks, steal one in the United Center.

@Colorado – Colorado is abysmal. Chicago is not. Chicago wins.

@Anaheim – Ducks fighting to stay out of the wildcard spot. Ducks win.

@Los Angeles – Chicago ends the season with a W. Jeff Carter sprains both ankles in warm-ups. All of Columbus rejoices.

Prediction: 5-4-0,  110 points

I believe that this would make the Blue Jackets the Presidents’ Trophy winner based on the tie-breaker of more wins (minus shootouts). Like I said, photo-finish.

Here’s hoping for a CBJ v an Atlantic team first round!

Let’s Go Jackets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prediction Time: Next 7

Here is how I did on the last 13 games: P= Predicted, A=Actual

Vancouver – P: W – A:L

Detroit –P: W – A: W

NY Rangers – P: W – A:L

Toronto – P: L – A: W

Pittsburgh – P: W – A: W

Nashville – P: L – A: L

Islanders – P: W – A: W

@Rangers – P: L – A: W

@Montreal – P: L – A: OTL

Minnesota – P: W – A: W

@Ottawa – P: OTL – A: L

@New Jersey – P: W – A: W

New Jersey – P:W – A: W

Predicted: 9-3-1  – – Actual: 8-4-1

Not bad if you ask me. For this round of predictions, I am only doing the next 7 games so that my final regular season prediction (we are going to the playoffs baby!) is the last 10 games. Let’s chase that President’s Cup.

Buffalo – The Sabres have dropped their last three. We are at home, Bob is in goal, this one’s not close. Jackets win.

@Buffalo – The Sabres have dropped their last four. We are away, Korpi is in goal, this one is closer, Jackets still win in the home/away back to back series.

@Philadelphia – We beat them in OT the last time we faced them, beat them in regulation this time. Jackets win.

Florida – We are 0-2 against the Panthers this season. I don’t think we get up for this one either. Lose a snoozer at home.

NY Islanders – Islanders are trying to keep Toronto at bay for the wild card. We are 2-1 against them, beating them 6-2, 7-0, and losing 4-2 at their place. Florida loss wakes us up, Jackets win 5-2.

@New Jersey – We just beat New Jersey in two of the most boring games of the season. We do it again in New Jersey.

Toronto – Another team fighting to get into the playoffs in that wild card spot. This one is close for two and Jackets pull away. We are getting into playoff form.

Predicted record: 6-1-0

Let’s Go Jackets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prediction Time: Predicting the next 13 with 30 games to go

Current CBJ Record:  34-13-5 (73 points), 2nd in Metro

How we did in the last 13: Not Good. Predicted 10-2-1  Actual – 6-6-1

Game by game recap:

@ Carolina – Prediction – W    Actual – L 3-5

@Tampa Bay – Prediction – W    Actual – W 3-1

@Florida – Prediction – L    Actual – L 3-4

Carolina – Prediction – W    Actual – W 4-1

Ottawa – Prediction – W    Actual – L 0-2

Carolina – Prediction – W    Actual – W 3-2

@Ottawa – Prediction – L    Actual – W 7-6 OT

@New York Islanders – Prediction – W    Actual – L 2-4

@Nashville – Prediction – W    Actual – L 3-4

@ New York Rangers – Prediction – W    Actual – W 6-4

@ Pittsburgh – Prediction – L    Actual – OTL 3-4

New Jersey – Prediction – W    Actual – L 1-5

@Detroit – Prediction – W Actual – W 3-2 OT

Not so hot in the last thirteen, so on to the next 13! I do not think the CBJ we have seen over the course of the last 13 games is the team we will see going forward. If this was our “dip” I will take it. We have really missed Savard the last few contests.

The next thirteen games features 7 straight home games (defend NWA), 6 metropolitan division games, and only one back to back. It appears we are currently tracking to play Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs as long as we can hold off the New York Rangers in the metro standings. The trade deadline will also pass during this thirteen (3/1) and I have to believe some type of move is made, even a small one, to help improve the lineup for our playoff run.

On to the predictions!:

Vancouver – They have looked really soft in the two games I have watched. Jackets win at home, get the home stand started right

Detroit – After the way our last game in the Joe went, this is going to be must see TV. Really chippy physical game. Jackets win with Korpisalo in goal.

NY Rangers – The rangers are perpetually the team we give up bunches of goals to in short durations of time. Close game, Jackets win.

Toronto – Trap game. Toronto has great young talent and this game is squeezed between two metro opponents. Jackets lose in OT.

Pittsburgh – We are feeling good being home this long, win in front of a rowdy nationwide Friday night crowd.

Nashville – The team is already one foot on the five day break, drop a second game to Nashville.

Islanders – Last game in our 7 game home stretch. Jackets win holding Tavares without a point.

@Rangers – Rangers look to gain on the CBJ in the standings, Rangers win in Madison Square Garden

@Montreal – Price finally plays against the Jackets, Habs fans want blood after dropping two games to the Jackets earlier in the season. Jackets lose second in a row.

Minnesota – No streak on the line in this game. Bob and Dubnyk put on a show, maybe each team has some trade deadline additions? Jackets win 2-1 at home.

@Ottawa – Korpisalo looks to make up for the 6 goals he gave up against Ottawa on the last trip. Jackets win in OT.

@New Jersey – We remember the 5-1 thumping we took at home. Repay the favor, Jackets win

New Jersey – We remember the 5-1 thumping we took at home. Repay the favor, Jackets beat New Jersey for the second time in under a week.

Prediction for next 13: 9-3-1.

After this 13 game stretch, only 17 games remain before the playoffs!

Let’s Go Jackets!

Prediction Time:39 in, 43 to go

We continue to make predictions in 13 game bunches. Let’s take a look at how we have done thus far:

Predicted total record (since beginning of season): 24-12-3

Actual total record: 28-7-4

60 points in 39 games! We are just about to the all-star break and the playoffs are within reach, even with the Metro collectively outplaying the rest of the league. ESPN keeps us at #1 in their power rankings for the third week in a row and we are back in the W column.

The McElhinney move today has left me guessing what game(s) our young Forsberg will be filling in, but here goes the prediction through game 52.

We play Carolina three times in a little under three weeks. Once away and twice at home. Two back to backs in this group of games and our first trips to Pittsburgh, Madison Square Garden and Nashville. Exciting times.

@ Carolina – divisional game against a team that has been in almost every game they have played. OT win carries positive vibes forward, Jackets win.

@Tampa Bay – Bob in goal on the front end of a back to back, Stamos still out of the lineup – three game win streak for the Jackets

@Florida – Forsberg gets his first NHL start of the year. Jagr and company stay out of the penalty box, we drop game one of our two games in the sunshine state

Carolina – Jackets are a different beast at home this year. Take down Carolina for the second time in seven days.

Ottawa – Senators have had a knack for giving up 3+ goals in their losses this season. Load up the cannon, Jackets win.

Carolina – Final game of the groundhog’s day series. OT win for the Jackets who sweep the Puxatony Hurricanes.

@Ottawa – Revenge game after being embarrassed in Nationwide. End up in overtime for the second consecutive game, don’t win this one.

@New York Islanders – Tavares and his crew are missing the magic this year. Jackets win in a tight divisional game.

@Nashville – Seth Jones returns to Nashville, defense stands tall – CBJ 2-0

@ New York Rangers – We lost to them in the last 16 seconds of the last meeting, we beat them outright in the Garden.

@ Pittsburgh – Crosby and company have not forgotten 7-1. Jackets drop in a really physical game.

New Jersey – Return to Nationwide, return to the win column.

@Detroit – Wings aren’t making the playoffs this year, they also aren’t winning this game. Jackets win.

Prediction for this 13 games – 10-2-1.

I am not in love with this prediction as this hopes that Forsberg has a much better showing during this trip up from the AHL

Prediction Time: 26 In, 56 to go

I have never been so happy to be wrong about something. In my prediction for the last thirteen games I had us going 8-4-1 for a predicted overall record of 15-8-3. Compared to the last couple of years, this would have been glorious and satisfying – but we have out done ourselves thus far. 17-5-4. 17-5-4. You read that right. 17-5-4 with a 10-1-2 run in the last thirteen games. Possession is increasing, as to shut up the corsi snobs, shots attempted is going through the roof (safe is death), and our transition from defense to offense looks the best it ever has been – and I am talking about since the club’s inception.

It is an exciting time to be a Blue Jacket fan and coming off the divisional win against the surging Islanders (and being in Nationwide for it) has made the first (a little under a) third of the season unbelievably enjoyable. Let’s take a look at our opponents over the next thirteen games and try to make another prediction.

We play four divisional games in this stretch and two back to backs. This run of thirteen games ends in early January with a back to back with the Rangers and Flyers. We only draw one team twice over this period (Edmonton). Of the 12 opponents we face eight of them are in the top three within their given division, including all three of the leaders in the Metro division as of this writing (NYR, PIT, PHI) although we have games in hand on all of them.

@ Edmonton – This has the feeling of an overtime game for me. Excited for the Jackets and every opportunity to watch the NHL point leader Connor McDavid (12-27-39) skate. Jackets win in OT in Edmonton.

@ Calgary – I think this is a win, but I have gone back and forth. Jackets normally play well on western trips, but this year has been anything but typical. Jackets win.

@ Vancouver – This feels like a trap game. We have been playing exceptionally against greater talent and relaxing against lesser foes. This game feels like an OTL to me.

Los Angeles – Back in Nationwide the Jackets are the fifth game of the Kings 9 game road stretch. Jonathan Quick may still be out, we defend NWA – Jackets win avenging our early season OTL against them back in October.

Pittsburgh – There will be a lot of attention paid to this game and for better or worse it will be seen as a test of how good the CBJ really are. The Penguins are playing some of the best hockey in the league (seven skaters scored last night). Club needs the fans to help defend NWA, Jackets win 4-3 on the late game heroics of Brandon Saad.

Montreal – Carey Price in net and they have not forgotten the 10 goal drubbing we gave them last time. This one probably doesn’t go our way against a pumped-up Habs team and the next night after a tough game against Pittsburgh.

Boston – Why, oh why, do we play so poorly against Boston? We don’t lose two in a row, beat Boston (finally) back on the winning track.

@ Winnipeg – Jackets drop one that isn’t expected to be an L in Winnipeg.

@ Minnesota – Dubnyk is playing out of his mind currently. Jackets win a close one with McIllhenny in net.

Edmonton – McDavid comes to Columbus, falls in love with Schmidt’s lunch buffet, leaves with a loss. Jackets win.

@ Washington – We have gotten them twice. Don’t think it will be a third time in their place. Jackets lose 4-2.

Rangers – New York looks to avenge their early season loss and keep Columbus down in the metro division. Doesn’t work. 4th line magic pushes CBJ to the win.

Philadelphia – Much like the Montreal game, coming off a tough game with the Rangers the night before costs Columbus the win in a tight game.

13 Game Prediction – 8-4-1

NOTE: I did not mean for my prediction to be the same for each thirteen games, it has just worked out that way. I try to look at every game individually and find it somewhat funny that 8-4-1 per each thirteen is where I have landed all three times.

Let’s Go Jackets.

 

 

Prediction Time: the next thirteen. 

How we did in the first thirteen:

We predicted 8-4-1 and the team sits at 7-4-2. We are pretty pleased with ourselves. Please do not look at the game by game predictions too closely as it greatly diminishes how smart we look. Do however check out the Montreal prediction where we surmised that they would rest Carey Price against us and pay the price for it. 10-0 was way better than we could have ever expected.

Defending NWA. The Jackets are currently 5-2 at home (two wins in OT) and we now wade into divisional play. Let’s make some predictions.

The Next Thirteen:

Not to sound repetitious, but we say 8-4-1 again with losses coming in these games:

Tampa Bay x2

@Washington

New York Rangers

While I don’t like the idea of dropping two in division games, Washington may be the best team in the NHL and New York is putting the puck on net by the bucket.

I am telling you. We are making the playoffs.

Predicted record after 26 games: 15-8-3 (33 points)

OPENING NIGHT!!!! The Bruins come to town

While I have zero intention of writing a game preview post for every game this season, I am going to do it when it is an important game (based on my 100 point game importance scale) and opening night just squeaks in with a score of 2,437.

The Bruins were set to come to town with one of the most dangerous pairings in the east (maybe the NHL) with Marchand and Bergeron (combined 129 points last year). Now Bergeron is out for the opener with a lower body injury. Their second line center Krejci racked up 63 points individually last season and I look for him to only get better. Boston also will have a chip on their shoulder after missing the playoffs the last two seasons (somewhat smaller chip than what we are boasting). Tuuka Rask will be between the pipes again coming off a season that saw him finish with a .915 save percentage and a 2.56 goals against average.

The Bruins did however lose Eriksson to Vancouver and anytime you lose a 63 point scorer, it is going to have some effect. David Backes joins the Bruins after a 40 point campaign in St. Louis last year and he is a somewhat of a wildcard as most pundits are not exactly crystal clear on how/where he will be used in the lineup.

Krug leads a defensive corp that can struggle at times and I don’t know how much you really expect out of a 38 year old Chara. The Bruins will also have two rookie defenders (Carlo, O’Gara) to go along with 2nd year defenseman Colin Miller.

In my opinion, this game comes down to surviving the Bruins first line (even without Bergeron) when they are on the ice. If this line starts consistently getting good looks, it is too talented for Bob to stop them all. I look for this game to be a battle of the 2nd and 3rd lines and while the Jackets 4th line looks a little weak, I think they are propped up (along with the rest of the team) with solid defensive play and a first regular season peek at a defensive line-up that should move the puck dramatically better than last year.

I said it in my first thirteen prediction and I will repeat it here. JACKETS WIN. Open the season with a win and on our way to surprising everyone outside of Columbus.

LET’S GO JACKETS!