As we do every year, we at Pension Plan Puppets have come together to answer some questions about how the Toronto Maple Leafs will finish the season, who will be traded, and who wins the cup. Not to brag, but last year I picked the Penguins to win the cup over the Predators, Auston Matthews to win the Calder, and Mike Babcock to win the Jack Adams. [Editor’s note: two out of three ain’t bad]
Will I be correct about everything again this year? Probably.
Let’s start with where everyone picked the Leafs to finish in the division, conference, or league.
|Name||Leafs finish in Division||Leafs finish in conference||Leafs finish overall|
Now is the time for blind optimism! I could have been “realistic” but that’s no fun. The best case for the Leafs is to finish second in the division and not face the wild card team. I assume the playoffs will shape up like they did last year with the Atlantic division winner facing a Metro Wild Card team that finished with a similar record.
|Name||# of wins||Goals For||Goals Against|
I was the only one to pick goals against going up, most saw a ten or more goal drop.
So, who are the players we don’t think will survive the season? Below are the players we thought would be traded.
|Katya||Josh Leivo, Eric Fehr|
|Nafio||Josh Leivo, Andreas Johnsson|
|Janik||Picks and AHLers|
Josh Leivo is a popular pick, but half the predictors said no roster players would be on the move. If the Leafs are doing well, I think they’ll keep JVR, but I still think Tyler Bozak is on the move. The Leafs will need to get something before they both walk (if they do).
So, how do we think the Leafs will do? This is their best result on our (realtistic) guesses.
Katya, Fulemin, nafio, and I all said the Leafs best outcome is making the conference finals, and arvind agreed but added the disclaimer that they’d need an easy path to do it.
Both Kevin and Janik said their best outcome is winning the Stanley Cup.
What if it all goes to hell? Well, everyone except Janik thinks the worst case is missing the playoffs, where Janik think the worst case for the Leafs is a first round exit. He’s very confident in this team.
Taking off our blogger hats and just looking at the team as a fan, what do we want?
Me, I just want the Leafs to beat the Habs. Please. It’s been for freaking ever since they’ve done that.
Fulemin wants a cup. Now. No more waiting.
Katya wants a low draft pick next season. We all know what that means, she’s just being less jinxy than Fulemin.
nafio wants one game where two of Marner, Matthews, and Nylander score a hat trick each.
arvind wants the Leafs to stop making dumb moves. And I want a unicorn that poops rocky road ice cream.
Kevin wants Matthews to improve defensively.
Janik wants the kids to repeat their success from last year.
These aren’t drastic wishes, there’s no reason they can’t all become true.
Those are out Maple Leafs team predictions, if that’s you’re jam feel free to stop reading now, but you’ll miss our NHL picks!
Let’s start big: Who wins the cup?
Predictions: Cup winner!
|Name||Who wins the EC?||Who wins the WC?||Who wins the cup?|
|seldo||Tampa Bay||Edmonton||Tampa Bay|
|Arvind||Washington (it has to happen eventually, right?)||Minnesota||Washington|
Pittsburgh was the most popular pick to win the east yet again with three votes, and Edmonton got four votes to win the west. Edmonton and Pittsburgh tied for winning the cup with two votes each.
Finally, our individual awards picks are below, as well as who we think is the first coach fired:
Predictions: NHL Awards
|Name||Hart||Art Ross||Richard||Norris||Vezina||Selke||Calder||Adams||Best GM||First coach fired?|
|Last Year||McDavid||McDavid||Crosby||Burns||Bobrovsky||Bergeron||Matthews||Tortorella||Poile||Gerard Gallant, Florida|
|seldo||McDavid||McDavid||McDavid||Ekman-Larsson||Holtby||Kadri!||Patrick||Babcock||Chiarelli||Whoever is coaching Florida|
|Katya||Malkin||McDavid||Tarasenko||Burns||Crawford||Bergeron||Keller||Sullivan||Whoever gets Duchene||Whoever is coaching the Islanders|
|Janik||McDavid||McDavid||Draisaitl||Hedman||Holtby||Bergeron||Strome||Babcock||Jim Benning (every poll has some joke responses)||no idea|
We may as well rename the Selke the Bergeron, but I’ll stay on the Kadri for Selke bandwagon. nafio went with tradition and picked last years Jack Adams winner to be fired, but I think Florida will get the honour of first coach fired for the second year in a row, and Janik didn’t want to play our silly game.
These are our predictions, feel free to yell at us or make your own in the comments.