One of my favorite posts to write every year is my Oddly Specific Predictions for the coming season. Shortly before opening night, I’ll go through each team and make one prediction that’s way too detailed. Anyone can guess that something might happen; I’ll try to tell you where and when and exactly how. It’s become an annual tradition, and it’s all in good fun.
One of my least favorite posts to write is this one, where I see how those predictions actually did. Let’s just say it’s not pretty.
That’s the whole point, of course, and some years are better than others. Last year featured probably the most unlikely hit that I’ll ever have, as I not only predicted that 30-year-old defensive defenseman Joel Hanley would score his first regular-season NHL goal, but nailed the exact game he would do it in.
I probably should have dropped the mic and quit while I was ahead, but that’s not how the prediction game works. I made a new slate of calls for the 2022-23 season, which you can find here. And now it’s time to take my medicine and see how they held up.
As always, we’ll divide the list into various categories that highlight the ones I got wrong, the ones I got embarrassingly wrong, and the ones I got right. Will there be anything at all in that last group? Miracles happen, so let’s find out how I did.
Tier 1: Not just wrong but almost impressively wrong
Winnipeg Jets: I said the Jets would lose three of their first four, but get a win in the Rick Bowness return to Dallas. This one was dead in the water before that game even arrived, since the Jets beat the Rangers in their opener. Then they lost to Dallas. And to top it off, Bowness wasn’t even behind the bench for that game, because he had COVID-19. Other than that, went great.
Calgary Flames: I predicted that Johnny Gaudreau and Jonathan Huberdeau would finish the season tied in points scored. Flames fans wish I’d been right here – Gaudreau settled for a disappointing 74 points, but that was still way ahead of Huberdeau’s disastrous 55.
Washington Capitals: They didn’t finish the season with the same record as last year, falling just short by (runs numbers) 20 points.
Toronto Maple Leafs: I predicted that the Leafs wouldn’t lose a single chance-to-advance game all postseason, after dropping nine straight in the Auston Matthews era. Clever readers noted that this prediction was phrased in a way where it could be true if the Leafs won the Cup, lost in the first round, or even missed the playoffs altogether. That was intentional. It was also pointless, because the Leafs lost their very first…
Read More: Oddly specific NHL predictions: Revisiting the right, wrong and very wrong 2023-05-19 14:15:25