Welcome back to the Shelf’s recurring feature from its frequently-humbled editor, “Well, I was wrong.”
When your job is to watch sports, you’re supposed to know a little something about them. I like to think I do, so I gamble and make pre-season predictions and just generally run my mouth about them a little too often.
I know this news will rock you, but it’s true – I occasionally get stuff wrong.
Below is the latest list of predictions I’ve made that I’m already glaringly wrong on.
Well, I was wrong – Ottawa isn’t the worst team in the history of ever.
If you’d like to, you’re welcome to reference this post I wrote before the puck dropped on the NHL season where I explained that the only two teams with a 0.0% chance of making playoffs in the Eastern Conference were Carolina and Ottawa.
The way I saw it was that if you’re heading into the season with Craig Anderson as your starting goalie and you’re relying on basically Sergei Gonchar, Jason Spezza and the elderly Daniel Alfredsson to provide your offense, you’re screwed.
Oh yeah, Erik Karlsson. Oh yeah, Milan Mihalek. Oh yeah – I was wrong.
Well, I was wrong – the Rangers are really good.
Partly for my own entertainment as an Isles fan and partly because I believed it, I had the Rangers finishing the year in 12th, one spot behind the New York Islanders. And while I still believe the Isles can climb to 11th (depressing sentence), I’m pre-tty sure the NHL-leading New York Rangers aren’t dropping to 12th, which they’re currently 18 points up on.
Gaborik is still healthy. Dan Girardi is having an all-star season. Michael Del Zotto is having a great year. Ryan McDonagh is playing great. Everything has just fallen perfectly into place.
I’m still not sold they’re the best team in the East, but I will say this: I was sorely wrong about them.
Well, I was wrong – Tampa Bay isn’t even going to be a playoff threat.
While it took some nerve to list Tampa outside of playoffs in pre-season - I had them finishing 9th after making it to the Conference Final the season prior – even I didn’t see them being this bad. I at least thought they’d be in the mix. I mean, you look at a team like Carolina or Winnipeg and go “okay, I can see them struggling, they don’t even have a true top line.” But this team? This team has multiple studs.
I just don’t get how you can fall that far that quick. Dwayne Roloson has let them down so far this year, I just didn’t think they were relying on him that much last season.
Well, I was wrong – Brian Elliott might not suck after all.
It’s ridiculous to claim that any NHL player “sucks,” but in the blog world, you have a little more leeway. I don’t think I ever directly wrote that he “sucks,” but I certainly thought it. There’s a whole class of goaltenders who I have unfairly filed away under that tab. Well hello, Conklin, Varlamov, Neuvirth and friends…
But, turns out I was way off – Brian Elliott has played in 22 games this season. He’s 15-5 with a 1.68 goals-against-average and a .937 save percentage. He’s on a two-way NHL/AHL contract, yet going to the NHL All-Star game. He does not “suck.”
And sadly, I’m sure this won’t be the last time I write this post. I swear I could write a “Told You So” post too if it weren’t obnoxious, so don’t give up on me yet, friends. I’m not always this far off.