31 outlandish predictions & reality checks: Summertime musings on the 2018-19 NHL season – The Hockey News

It’s been two months since the NHL’s last game and it’s two months until the next one. In other words, we’re stuck in the dog days of August, the quietest time in the NHL schedule.

With that mind, we’re keeping things light with 31 outlandish predictions and reality checks, one for each and every NHL team:

Anaheim Ducks
Outlandish prediction: Rickard Rakell scores 50 goals.
Reality check: Coming off back-to-back 30-plus goal campaigns, the 25-year-old Rakell has clicked at a 0.45 goals-per-game rate over the past two seasons, which ranks ninth in the NHL. Fifty goals? OK, that’s a stretch. But 40 is well within his reach.

Arizona Coyotes
Outlandish prediction: Antti Raanta wins the Vezina Trophy.
Reality check: Raanta went 13-4-1 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .945 save percentage – for the Coyotes, remember – after the all-star break last season. He’s got the talent, he just needs a little more help from the rest of the team.

Boston Bruins
Outlandish prediction: David Pastrnak hits 100 points.
Reality check: After 27 and 26 points in his first two NHL campaigns, Pastrnak has posted 70 and 80 points in the past two seasons. He’s still only 22 and he’ll play with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on one of the league’s very best lines – 100 points feels more inevitable than outlandish.

Buffalo Sabres
Outlandish prediction: The Sabres make the playoffs.
Reality check: I’m just going to keep predicting this until one year it turns out to be right.

Calgary Flames
Outlandish prediction: The Flames win the West.
Reality check: Star power and reasonable depth up front, a solid defense corps and Mike Smith in net. It’s not as outlandish as you may think.

Carolina Hurricanes
Outlandish prediction: The Canes return to the playoffs after 10-year drought.
Reality check: The last time the Hurricanes made the playoffs was 2009, where they

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