© 2013 Michael Parkatti sexyGretz

10 Random Predictions for 2013-14

Last season I wrote a post setting out 10 random predictions for the upcoming season.  I didn’t do too badly:

  1. Devan Dubnyk will post a 0.920 overall save percentage.  –> 0.921. Close enough.
  2. The Oilers will flirt with posting more shots for at even strength than shot against.  –> Not even close. 26.9/60 mins for, 32.2 / 60 mins against.
  3. Ryan Whitney will post a points per game (PPG) mark that is closer to his 2011-12 career low (0.39) than his 2010-11 career high (0.77).  –> True. 0.38 PPG set a new career low.
  4. Sam Gagner will finally score at a level that would have provided him a 50 point season over an 82 game schedule.  This will require him to score 30 points this season over the 48 game schedule.  –> True. His 0.79 PPG last year would have resulted in a 65 point season.
  5. Justin Schultz will see the 4th highest total average time on ice for Oiler defencemen playing at least 35 games this season.  –> Dead wrong. He led the team in average TOI, at 21:27
  6. The Oilers will add another defenceman during the season, either because of injuries or because of needed depth for a push to make the playoffs.  –> Wrong. Stood pat.
  7. The Oilers will lose more shootouts than they win.  –> True. They went 2-3 last year in the shootout.
  8. Darcy Hordichuk will draw in for less than 20 contests this year.  –> True. He played in 4 games.
  9. The Oilers will finish ahead of the Calgary Flames for the first  time since 2002-03.  –> True. The Oilers finished 3 points and 1 conference spot ahead of the Flames.
  10. Two Oilers will finish in the top 20 scorers in the NHL this season, something that hasn’t happened since Messier and Kurri finished 2nd and 19th in 1989-90. –> Just missed. Taylor Hall finished 9th, Sam Gagner tied for 34th.

Because I don’t gamble or play fantasy hockey, this gives me a chance to make totally ascientific guesses and also provides something fun to track.  Here’s 10 for this season:

  1. The Oilers will have the highest improved 5×5 shot differential this season. Last season they were a 44.5% shot differential squad.  Even getting up to 48% in this metric will give them a shot at having the highest year-over-year improvement.
  2. Devan Dubnyk will be among the top 10 goalies in total time on ice. Last year he was 14th in this metric.  He’s 27 years old.  His backup is relatively unheralded. This is the season he establishes himself as an unquestioned NHL starter.
  3. The team’s short handed goals total will be in the top 5 in the league.  Last year they were tied for the 8th highest total without players like Hall, Hemsky, RNH, or hell even Yakupov seeing much PK time.
  4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ personal shooting percentage will be 2.5 times higher than last year’s.  He shot at a 5.1% pace last season.  He’ll need to shoot 12.75% to reach this prediction.  Coming off shoulder surgery, I’m guessing he gets his sneakily deadly shot back.  I lost track of how much he missed high and wide last year.
  5. Jesse Joensuu will have a 30+ point season.  His NHL career totals normalize to having an 18 point season.  He’s the only Fin left on the roster. You better believe I’m cheering for my ancestral bro.
  6. Luke Gazdic and Steve MacIntyre combined will play less games than Sam Gagner, illegally broken jaw and all.
  7. Three Oilers will finish in the top 30 in NHL scoring. I’m upping the ante on this one.  This hasn’t happened since 1988-89, when Kurri, Carson, and Messier finished 8th, 9th, and 13th, respectively.
  8. Petry and Smid will be in the bottom half of Oilers D-men playing > 35 games in terms of RelCorsi.  They’re going to get thrown to the wolves, meanwhile the Oilers’ backend depth has improved.  We’ll extend Petry for cheaper than we’d feared next summer.
  9. Ryan Smyth will become the franchise leader in power-play goals scored.  He’s at 121 right now. Anderson leads at 126, Gretzky’s next at 125.  He needs 5 to tie, 6 to take outright lead.  Horcoff’s departure has left a pretty clear spot for the “crafty old guy to stick ass in goalie’s face” job description.  Just imagine, with this team’s history, Ryan Smyth having one of the career Oiler scoring records. It’ll mean a lot to us, because it’ll mean so much for him. Excuse me, I have something in my eye..!..
  10. The Oilers will make the playoffs, and won’t need a wild card spot to do it. Throw down: let’s cheer for this damn team.

One Comment

  1. normmm campbell
    Posted October 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm | #

    it’s been only one game and therefore hindsight being 20/20 I am fairly confident that Smyttie will have a tough time getting those PP goals. So far he has been on the PP as much as he has deserverd to be there. Eakins’ eye doesn’t tear up when he looks at Ryan as much as your or mine might do. And that’s a good thing for the team. next: This team absolutely needs Doobie to perform at last year’s .920 save clip. I want you to be right, but I’m afraid this one (single, solitary) game may be more representative of his true play than anyone in the media is willing to admit. I wait for him to prove me wrong and you right. Next: Gazdic will play much more than you think. Next: imho Petry is vastly over rated. Yeah, the corsi says otherwise. Well, I have the right to be wrong on this one too. Good for you to put your thoughts on the table, though.

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