2019-2020 QMJHL Predictions
I’m not a big fan of making predictions, honestly I never have been. Sure, I’ve gone out on the limb before, but I’m just not a fan of making predictions about a season that hasn’t even started.
Talk to me at the mid way point, or at the start of the playoffs, I’ll talk to you then.
Too Many Variables
There are too many variables, too many intangibles to make predictions on junior hockey, especially during the preseason or even before the puck drops.
It’s not about being right or wrong.
It’s not about being more knowledgeable then the next person, I’ve always hated predictions.
Maybe it’s the old coach in me, but I just hate predictions.
I know people in the media are supposed to be in the know and that making predictions gets views, retweets and attracts attention. I get it, it’s the game we often play.
I still don’t like predictions.
Right from Wrong
If you are correct on your predictions, then you must know what you’re talking about? Does that make you a great hockey mind?
I don’t know, I just hate making predictions. Sure some of you are probably saying well, Craig you tweeted all Fall about players to watch and that’s a kind of prediction.
Well, you’re right, I did make some player predictions and I stand by those assessments and projections.
How are predictions and projections different?
I try to project player performance based on past performance history and my knowledge of the player, their character, work ethic and work habits throughout the off-season. I realize that most people base their team predictions on the same principles.
Well, here’s the difference.
Tons of people have Moncton finishing in top spot of the Maritimes Division.
That’s great and they might be right, nonetheless, do they realize how important Jeremy McKenna and Jonathan Aspirot were to that organization and that their absence literally screws everything up!
You see projections and predictions are very similar, but in junior hockey there are so many variables that it’s really difficult to make sound knowledgeable predictions on overall team success.
If the team’s top players are injured or go away for World Juniors it changes the dynamic of the team, it drastically effects team success, hence royally screwing up everyone’s preseason predictions.
I know it’s not about being right or wrong, but case in point, I went on record last year listing three players I thought would score 50 goals, I was wrong. I was very wrong. I learned my lesson, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t tweet out some point projections for individual player success this season, but it all depends on the team dynamic and well there are too many intangibles to accurately predict that aspect of the game. I never thought Jeremy McKenna would only average 16 mins of ice time a night for the Wildcats.
I never predicted McKenna being taken off the Cats top line in favour of spreading out the offence. You see my prediction that the Summerside Sniper would score 50 was wrong, but if he would have played 20 mins a night, and played with Pelletier and Cyr every night. Would he have scored 50? Probably, but does that make me a great hockey mind, no it just makes me wrong.
Down for the Count
Here’s a bold prediction, don’t bet against a team against all odds, they may just surprise you.
How’s that for a prediction!
So why do us “hockey people” feel so compelled to make predictions?
I’m not sure, I guess it’s an outlet to talk about the game we love, and that’s perfectly ok and acceptable, but all I know is if I was coaching a Q team right now I would tell my players to either ignore all social media and the bold prognosticators out there, or I would be collecting a wide assortment of bulletin board material, just for a little more fuel for the fire.
To count out teams before the puck is even dropped is difficult to comprehend. I really just can’t get my head around that.
Sure you can look at rebuilding teams and say they are going to finish in the basement, but isn’t that a given?
No, rebuilding teams have been know to do some damage and surprise a lot of people, hell some rebuilding junior teams even make the playoffs in year one just on hard work alone.
Plenty of hockey people had the St. Louis Blues down for the count at the mid way point last season, well we all know how that played out.
It’s early. It’s way too early to make predictions, but that certainly doesn’t keep us from talking about it.
Ok, I have confession to make.
One NHL Scout asked me privately and confidentially about two weeks ago how I saw the Maritimes Division shaking down.
I’m not going to share my predictions or thoughts because that was a private conversation and like Clint Eastwood so nicely put it, “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.”
I’m going to keep my opinions to myself.
That’s just my opinion, which I’m entitled to, just like everyone else making bold preseason predictions.
I guess when we use the word preseason, it changes everything doesn’t it.
Oh well, let’s go on the record then with our preseason predictions and if they come true write about that and tell the masses how right we were all along.
Well I understand that sells newspapers, gets lots of clicks and draws lots of attention to the game, which is great and all, but I still don’t like predictions.
Ok, so do you really want my prediction for the 2019-2020 QMJHL season?
Ok here it is!
There are going to be hundreds of entertaining games this season in the QMJHL, with teams beating teams that they shouldn’t beat, and teams losing to teams they should beat handily.
There are going to be fantastic individual efforts every night, with some players having career seasons.
That’s my prediction.
Hockey isn’t played on paper, it’s played on the ice so let’s just get past all the preseason predictions and crystal ball stuff and just enjoy the league for what it is.
An amazing brand of hockey, which for some might be the closest thing they see to the NHL.