10 Bold Predictions For The Oilers 2018/2019 Season - A Recap
Those who have followed me for some time know that I have an acute and brilliant hockey mind and basically all of my predictions come to pass. It's not something I typically like to brag about, because deep down I really am a modest, charming, and outstanding human being.
However even I from time to time have gotten things wrong. Before last season I wrote a blog titled "10 Bold Predictions For The Oilers 2018/2019 Season" and in the spirit of fun and goodwill, I thought we could all go back to that simple innocent time of October 2018, before the season started and recap.
1) Drake Caggiula will playing AHL games before December
I was not Drake Caggiula's biggest fan. I felt he was a fringe NHL player who somehow got into the coach's good books and was gifted top ice time while having nothing to show for it. To his credit, this season Caggiula did provide the Oilers with some secondary scoring and improved on aspects of his game. He never did play in the AHL however he was traded for an AHL player so we will call this one a draw.
2) Evan Bouchard Sticks With The Team
I predicted Bouchard was going to go 3-3-6 through his first 9 games as an Oiler and stick with the club. From what it sounds like, behind the scenes there was a push to keep Bouchard on the team, but it was Todd McLellan who ended up putting a stop to that. Bouchard ended up playing only seven games and had one goal.
3) The Oilers Make The Playoffs (And Are The Only Alberta Team To Do So)
Yeah.... so this happened. I predicted both major falloffs for Mike Smith and Mark Giordano and that the Oilers would finish with 98 points and be 3rd in the Pacific. In reality, Calgary finished not only first in the Pacific, but first in the Western Conference, and Edmonton finished 19 points shy of 98.
4) Jesse Puljujarvi Scores 25 Goals
Part of my reasoning that Edmonton would be a playoff team was I felt Puljujarvi was prepared to break out in a top 6 role. The blame cannot be moved completely off of him, but management continued to fail this young player, bouncing him around in the lineup, pressbox, and AHL. Swing and a miss here.
5) Connor McDavid Scores 120 Points - Wins Hart and Art Ross
Pretty close on this one. Connor McDavid finished the season with 116 points (41-75-116) and would likely have won both awards had it not been for a brilliant season by Nikita Kucherov who finished the year with 128 points.
6) Cam Talbot Is A Vezina Finalist
7) The Oilers Trade For A Top 4 Defenceman before December - Likely Justin Faulk
Edmonton likely should have tried to address this need by December, but continued to let their backend suffer. Oscar Klefbom was out for a couple of months with an injury and to his credit Caleb Jones stepped up big and will be a player to look for next season. This is an area the Oilers still need to address.
8) Lucic Bounces Back To The Tune of 50 Points
Lucic had shown twice throughout his career that he was able to bounce back from poor seasons with a much more effective one the following. This was an optimistic pick but now we can say for absolute certain that this is what Milan Lucic is now. I do not think we see him crack the 30 point mark again in his career.
9) The Oilers Acquire Anders Lee at the Deadline
10) Darnell Nurse Finishes Season With 35 Points
My one prediction that went better than expected. I predicted Nurse would go 9-26-35 on the season and cement himself as a top four NHL player. There are still some warts to Nurse's game but his 10-31-41 season entrenches him in the Oilers top four as a player capable of providing offense.
So there we go, as you can all see even someone like me is capable of getting things wrong from time to time. Don't get too used to it though, I will be back in top form right away providing you every answer to the Oilers that you could ever ask for. Tune in tomorrow when I bring you the blog "Why Anthony Stolarz is the Oilers Vezina Goalie of the Future."