As part of our ongoing preview of the 2013-14 NHL Season, it is time to continue the season predictions series! Instead of the standard “what will happen?” format, Mike Majeski thought an Over / Under format would be more interesting. In this series, each staff writer at the Union and Blue will answer Over or Under in response to several hypothetical stats for the 2013-14 season and then explain why they selected that option. In a future post we will check back and see how everyone did. Make sure to check out the other posts in this series: Part 1 - Over Or Under – Mike Majeski, Part 2 - Over Or Under – Mark Huss, Part 3 - Over or Under – Clint Linn, Part 4 - Over or Under – Lindsay Wilson, and Part 5 - Over Or Under – Rob Brumfield.
The Blue Jackets will finish the season with 90 points: Over or Under?
I, like every other fan, have high expectations for the Columbus Blue Jackets this year. I both expect and predict at least a playoff berth, and I believe that in order to attain that goal, they will need to get to 90 points.
This will be a big year for young guns Boone Jenner and Ryan Murray, and I believe that, coupled with the established skill, they will become breakout stars in the NHL. Not to mention, we also have the reigning Vezina champ in Sergei Bobrovsky, and my faith in him doesn’t seem to be wavering. All in all, I have faith in the boys getting to 90, maybe even more!
Bobrovsky will win 35 games in the 2013-14 season: Over or Under?
It may not be by much in my opinion, but I think he can do it. As long as the team stays firm defensively and they block some shots,
Bob ought to be able to win 35 of about 60 I foresee him playing in.
He’s a strong goaltender, but even he can only do so much. He needs a strong support system in his defense, and communication will be key. In tandem, Bob and the D will be able to keep the puck out of the net and the W’s will pile up.
Bobrovsky’s Goals Against Average (GAA), 2.00: Over or Under?
Look, I know I just said I have such strong faith in Bob, and I do, but a GAA of 2.00 is pretty steep. Three goalies hit that mark last year, and two of them were the 2013 Stanley Cup champs. Bob himself had a 2.00 average on the money, and it’s always difficult to back up a breakout performance (see: Mason, Steve), so even though I expect greatness from beloved Bob, I don’t believe the mark of 2.00 GAA is in the cards.
Marian Gaborik will finish the season with 75 points: Over or Under?
Similar to what I said about Bob’s GAA, the goal of 75 points is just a bit too steep. Gaborik is a very strong player, but I see him as a 60 point producer in the right environment. I hope he surprises me, however. It would be great to have such a strong scoring leader.
Steven Stamkos in Tampa is a prime example of what someone can do given the right environment. As a 60 goal scorer in 2012, Stamkos used the passing talents of Martin St. Louis to his advantage. His trademark one-timer accounts for a large portion of his goals. If Gaby can find a niche on the ice and use that to his advantage, he too could put up big numbers.
Jared Boll will rack up 200 penalty minutes this season: Over or Under?
As the teams only true enforcer (yeah there are a few other grinders among our boys, but come on), Boll will be looked to the most when it comes to dropping the gloves, and those 5 minute majors pile up. Mix in some average penalties and a few frivolous incursions like a removing the helmet before a fight, and you’ve got a recipe for 200+ PIM’s. But hey, Boll already knows his role, and he does it better than most.
The Blue Jackets will win a playoff game this year: Over or Under?
I tried so hard to think logically about this. Yes, I expect a playoff berth, and naturally, I expect a win. But when it comes to predicting
these things, well, that’s another story.
I chose over for this question simply because it just feels like this is the year. All the logical thoughts of stats and new players and what other teams will be like bounced around in my head. The new division will be difficult, but think about this: when was the last time any of these new teams played CBJ?
A while ago. Back in the dark age of Columbus hockey. Not a single Metro Division team saw the Jackets in action firsthand last year, so how can anyone compare those teams and ours? We’re a different team than they remember, and I have no doubt that opponents will find out just how different we are. It’s difficult to predict one way or another as to when the Jackets season will end, but I just have that feeling of success.
Well, there you have it. My somewhat informed, hardly qualified predictions for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. Want to join in the predicting fun? Tweet us, Facebook us, or leave a comment with what you think will happen.