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We were right! We were wrong!

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We made some predictions at the start of the season and we’re not afraid to admit when we’re wrong.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most fun things about writing for an internet newspaper like this one, is making wild and crazy predictions and watching yourself be proven right. It’s always fun to crow about what you did right, and tell the doubters to suck it.

While that’s the fun part, it’s also important to admit what you got wrong. Here at PPP we’re about playing both sides. So suck it haters, here’s what you were right to hate about.


Species1967

Right: The Leafs made the playoffs. We were, after all, the ‘only blog’ to say that. No other Bloggers said that.

Wrong: Nikita Soshnikov. Babcock seems to like him, and he still plays that same style I liked when he was with the Marlies, but the offensive output I expected never materialized. I haven’t looked if it was perhaps a function of his line mates, but I thought he would have much more than 9 points in 57 games.


Acting the Fulemin

Right: I WAS RIGHT ABOUT ZACH HYMAN. You best believe I'm going to showboat about it. My boy Zachary is coming up on 100 NHL GP, the standard for NHL player. You can object that he hasn't been a perfect 1LW, which is fine; what he's done is established himself as a solid NHL player with two-way ability. Gonna coast on that right into next year's T25U25, when I probably overrate someone else trying to follow this up.

Wrong: Oh God my Jack Adams pick was Dave Tippett. I've mentioned this elsewhere but it probably needs explaining, because I missed hilariously badly. I really thought the Pacific would be weak enough to leave an opening around the second Wild Card (not too far off), that the Coyotes rookies would take a step forward in their sophomore season (no), that Dylan Strome would have a solid rookie year (hahaha oh no), that Goligoski would help stabilize their defence (gif of car exploding), and that Tippett would be rewarded with a surprise playoff appearance (lol) and another Jack Adams award based on his generally good reputation. So....yeah.


Achariya

Wrong and right: I predicted not-so-boldly with lots of hedging and qualification that given Babcock's expertise as a coach, Leafs would make the wild card slot this season. I think I had "maybe I'm too optimistic" in there somewhere too. So while I was right, I was not at all certain, and it would've been a good prediction if only I'd staked my ground more boldly. Also I predicted Tampa to win the Stanley Cup


elseldo

I was right about everything and wrong about nothing


Arvind

Right: So this is kind of cheating, because we all thought Auston Matthews was good, and as far as I'm concerned, you don't get credit for predicting that our prospects who had dominated every level below the NHL would also be good once they got there. That said, one of the more prescient things I said was that we shouldn't forget Auston Matthews' offensive brilliance. A lot of the talk about Matthews just before he started the season centred on his alleged 'two-way' ability. But really, he's special not just because of that, but because he has offensive tools to rival any non-McDavid player in the world.

Wrong: So there's a lot to get to here, but I'll narrow it down to a couple. For one, I didn't think it was likely that the Leafs would be in the position they are. I tend to view team predictions as probability distributions, and for the Leafs, I thought a Wild Card or sneaking into the Top 3 would be an upper 10th percentile outcome, while the median would be being a run of the mill 'below-average' team. I was also much higher on Martin Marincin than he deserved based off his showing this year. I think he's still a NHL player, but he was poor at times, and didn't have a lot of leash. I also expected the veterans like Laich, Greening, and Michalek to play more than they did this year. I didn't expect them to be AHL'd immediately and without any reprieve.


KatyaKnappe

Right: I was right about a lot of dumb things. But one meaningful thing that I think I got right really early came out of conversations with Achariya about the nature of coaching. We were kicking around the ideas of what the theme was for the Leafs this season back in the fall. What are they trying to do, who are they trying to be. And she has a lot of smart stuff to say about Yzerman and Cooper and what they're doing while they try to retool into a peak performance team. Made me think.The conclusion I came to long before Babcock had even finished experimenting with high-event offence with Team Canada was that he was done fooling around. He was done tanking, giving guys tryouts or worrying about asset value. I said that he was going for it, in the sense that he would put _his_ team on the ice and that was that. I'm not saying I called the extent to which he would cast aside guys he didn't want, but I did call his overall focus and how he was going to balance competing interests. He isn't "giving the kid a chance", he isn't tying things out, he _is_ putting his team on the ice to win the game the way he wants it won. As a result, I got a lot of his roster choices right off the drop and predicted quite a few trades. [Waves at Peter Holland]

Wrong: Hoo Baby, go read what I wrote about Martin Marincin. What a load of twaddle that is. I was really drawn in by how he played at a slower pace on a bad team that could still execute rigid systems well. I might have got Peter Holland and Frank Corrado right, I might have known who Babcock would leave on the Marlies and who he would play even if it pains the world to contemplate it. I might have called Matt Hunwick as okay in a depth role, but holy Hannah, did I get this one wrong. Wrong with wrong sauce, wrong sprinkles and big wrong cherry on top. And please don't tell me his Corsi! I watched this guy try to play NHL hockey at Leafs pace and fail over and over. He takes penalties suddenly, he can't break out, he can't keep the puck in offensively. He just isn't really doing anything well enough to even knock Hunwick off the roster. Wrong whipped cream on top too. Wrong.


Species

In the bold predictions post I said JvR would get 61 points. It could still happen!

Narrator: It did.


Fifty-Mission Cap

Right: I said the Flames were a legitimate playoff team with even average goaltending; lo and behold, once Brian Elliott came around and snapped out of his early-season funk, he was good. I also thought people counted out the Blackhawks too early; I didn't- and still don't- think they're done yet. I believed they were a team with one more deep run in them.

Wrong: I said the Panthers would fight for the division title, and hoo boy, was that bad. I said the Leafs finishing at 85 points was probably the most optimistic scenario, yet they sit at 91 with 5 games to play at the time of writing this.


JP Nikota

Right: Since Marner's playoff run with the Knights, I talked incessantly about how he was going to be a big factor in the NHL the following season. Then, through the summer, we were subjected to endless "but is he big/strong enough" interviews and articles. Feeling pretty vindicated at this point.

Wrong: Where to begin?

I didn't think the Leafs would finish in the bottom-five of the league, but I guessed probably not much higher than 20th overall. I think the only person on our pre-season podcast to say the Leafs would even get close to the playoffs was nafio (it was Acha, there’s something else you got wrong).

Wrong, but not totally: Frederik Andersen. I panned that deal, mostly because of the contract. I still think that the move was really risky, and I still don't believe that the Leafs had any kind of special knowledge or certainty that Andersen would be good (particularly that everyone else lacked), but the trade has worked out pretty darn well. The Leafs are now in a situation where if Andersen gets injured they're totally screwed, but for now, wheeeee! Hopefully the Leafs can find another backup in the summer and not get fooled into thinking McElhinney has magically become a good goalie.

Right: Matt Martin has been exactly what we said he was going to be. Yes, he limits shots against, but is overpaid given everything else he doesn't bring to the table.

Species: I was on it JP and I said 10%chance of last playoff slot

JP: I mean... I don't think you get to say 'called it!' with "10%" lol.


We were right, we were wrong (except me). It’s best to keep that perspective, you’re never the best at anything.

But when you’re right, you’re right, and eat it haters.