This week’s show was broadcast from Streets of New York in Surprise, AZ. Along with Dave Isaac, Greg Isaac, and William Grigsby from lastwordonhockey.com this is podcast #9 for your listening pleasure.
2019-20 Team Point Projections: Real Hockey Talk Podcast #9
What Have I Learned
Greg’s contribution to our weekly “what have I learned” feature brings up that Johnny Gaudreau feels the Calgary Flames will be a much better team with Milan Lucic and Cam Talbot. Will Lucic be able to score more than six goals as he did last season? Will Talbot be able to step in and back up David Rittich in between the pipes?
We aren’t sold that either player (especially Lucic) will be able to make the Flames a Cup contender. We believe that James Neal will do fine with the Edmonton Oilers and could even score 15-20 goals.
William covers the five top lines according to the score.com. According to the article, the Vegas Golden Knights have the fifth-best line combination. Then, the Flames line follows in the fourth position. In the middle is the Toronto Maple Leafs line. The Boston Bruins powerful first-line finishes second. And, the highest-ranked line is… the Colorado Avalanche.
We all discuss this evaluation of each line combination.
Dave’s “what have I learned” covers some nostalgia such as what happened on August 10, 1995? Or what happened on the same date in 1993? Or 1994.
2019-20 Team Point Projections
We then have a lengthy discussion (intertwined with some “Real Movie Talk”) on The Athletic’s article by Alison Lukan (subscription required) analyzing where each team (based on analytics) and a local writer’s take will finish in the 2019-20 season.
We really have a serious disagreement with some team predictions. She predicts that the highly improved (Jack Hughes, Kaapo Kakko, P.K. Subban) New Jersey Devils will finish with 85 points and finish three points behind the Florida Panthers who get the last playoff spot with 88 points. Even more difficult to swallow is her prediction that the New York Rangers with the addition of Jacob Trouba, and newly signed free agent Artemi Panarin will only accumulate 75 points.
The highly contested Western Conference predictions give us some pause as well. While we all feel the Colorado Avalanche will do well and could exceed the predicted 92 points, we disagree with the fate of the San Jose Sharks. Dave feels they are much better than the 89 points Alison predicts. Greg and I feel with the losses of Joe Pavelski, Joonas Donskoi, and Gustav Nyquist will do the Sharks in as well as the goaltending of Martin Jones.
Arizona Coyotes And Los Angeles Kings Projections
When it comes to the local Arizona Coyotes both Greg and I feel that 76 points are below what they will claim next season. This is especially true when you factor in the addition of a true scoring forward like Phil Kessel. In addition, there hopefully is no way a repeat of the disabling injuries which plagued the team last season can repeat again.
If Antti Raanta can contribute and Darcy Kuemper can equal his performance of last season things should improve. With the maturing of forwards like Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz (who only played 17 games last season) and the addition of veteran Carl Soderberg, the offense should rise to the occasion.
Dave doesn’t agree with this. Both he and Greg are disturbed that the Los Angeles Kings are predicted to just get 58 points. That’s three points below the lowly Ottawa Senators with 61 points! There really is something wrong with this. What may be a good point of comparison is to see how close these predictions come to the way teams actually finish the season.