From Rivalry to Hatred, the 2020-2021 QMJHL Maritimes Division

The Maritimes Division is never short on storylines and this year will be no different.

Well other than the fact that rivalries will quickly turn to hatred.

There’s tons of respect between these six organizations, but certainly no love loss when they step on the ice.

From rivalry to hatred, the Maritimes will be a competitive juggernaut.

Predictions vs Projections

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.

Honesty there are too many variables.

There are too many variables, too many intangibles to make predictions on junior hockey during the preseason or even before the puck drops, especially given the circumstances of this season.

Predictions, predictions, predictions.

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 the time 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 the Saint John Sea Dogs to finish on the top of the division and there’s a great chance for them to do so if they manage their assets correctly.

Last time I checked a teams talent outlined on paper don’t mean shit.

You see that’s why you play the game and each game is going to mean something this season.

Here’s a prediction there aren’t going to be any easy games in the Maritimes division this year.

The Charlottetown Islanders have a great opportunity to push the Sea Dogs the entire way through given their depth, character, work ethic and experience.

The Isles are three or four moves away from being a legitimate President Cup contender.

The Dogs are extremely close to going back to back, again if they manage their assets correctly.

The addition of Greg Gilbert behind the bench will undoubtedly have a massive impact on the organization moving forward.

The Cape Breton Eagles have a phenomenal crop of prospects that are going to be chopping at the bit to play for Jake Grimes.

The Halifax Mooseheads are going to be a sneaky good team that will surprise.

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan will continue to battle their way through a very difficult rebuild, but they will be very competitive on a nightly basis.

What about the Moncton Wildcats?

Well things aren’t going to be as bad as people are making it out to be.

The Cats enter this year as severe underdogs given their load and go plan a year ago.

It’s very difficult to project the Wildcats line up given all the organizational variables that may play out with their high profile 19’s and 20’s.

I really think people don’t realize how Important the return of Daniel Lacroix actually is for the Wildcat organization.

Lacroix brings stability, experience and passion to the role which is a game changer for a rebuilding club.

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.

To count out teams before the puck is even dropped is difficult to comprehend.

Sure you can look at rebuilding teams within the Maritimes 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.

The Moncton Wildcats will surprise a lot of people this year, sure they might have their struggles in the second half, but I think they are going to be more competitive than people think based on projecting the talent and character they have within their core group.

It’s early.

It’s way too early to make predictions, but that certainly doesn’t keep us from talking about them.

Predictions or projections you can be the judge, I really can’t wait to see how the Maritimes Division will all play out.

It’s going to be intense, there will be bad blood or even hatred, but it will be extremely entertaining.

One highly reliable source asked me privately and confidentially last night ago how I saw the Maritimes Division shaking down.

Photo Credit the CHL

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 2020-2021 QMJHL season?

Ok here it is!

There are going to be a lot of entertaining and outstanding 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 and the game for what it is. An amazing brand of hockey, which for some might be the closest thing they see to the NHL.

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