OK, you be the judge on these five off-the-wall mini-prognostos…
1. Washington will score more goals than will the Pittsburgh Penguins this year.
Pittsburgh is the darling of those who would like to see a return to firewagon, balls-out offense in the NHL. Sidney Crosby!...Evgeni Malkin!...Petr Sykora (the good one)!...Jordan Staal!...Mark Recchi (he’s still here?)! There’s 200 goals, right there!! The Peerless doesn’t think that there are 200 goals there, but that’s only a part of the point. The Caps will be deep (certainly deeper than they have been in recent memory), and they’ll have a third line that can put up some points.
2. Washington will have more wins than the New Jersey Devils.
OK, part of that is that The Peerless thinks the Devils are in for a rude time of it this year, given the strength at the top of the Atlantic. However, the Caps will be a lot better than last year. Heck, improving their shootout record to .500 adds about half a dozen wins.
3. Washington will have four 30-goal scorers this year.
Last year, the Caps had three (Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and Chris Clark). This year, Clark will not get 30, but Viktor Kozlov and Michael Nylander will. It will be the first 30-goal seasons for Kozlov and Nylander.
4. Boyd Gordon will be a Selke finalist.
Well, why not? He was a mighty-fine defensive forward last year, and if the Caps end up being the surprise team in the East, he’s likely to get more exposure. Besides, if not this year, then not too long from now.
5. Alexander Ovechkin will join Bengt Gustafsson and Peter Bondra as the only Capitals with five-goal games.
You think this is far fetched? Thus far, Ovechkin’s hallmark has been consistency – he has 98 goals in 161 career games, but only two hat tricks (both on the road). But that’s also been without the benefit of talented playmakers. That won’t be a problem this year. Some nights, the puck just can’t help but go in, and for Ovechkin one of those nights is coming.
So, you be the judge…”daring?”…or “dopey?”