Philadelphia Flyers Bonus Predictions: Playoff Edition

Remember, There are no Stupid Flyers Predictions, Just Stupid People Who Make Predictions

Turns out you have to be pretty dumb to make predictions during a global pandemic.  I did not get where I am by being smart, just check out my prediction success rate!  Because of the lag in Flyers play, the general uncertainty around the hockey season, and my inability to publish them a few of my predictions have grown stale of course some of the ones I got right, DOH!  One that I should have put in but chickened out on was Sean Couturier winning the Selke Trophy!

Flyers win no more than one playoff round (WIN) for the absolute wrong reasoning

First, let me say the playoff is rigged.  The format that was selected does not help the Flyers in any way, with the exception of the seeding (practice) round.  The playoffs do not deserve an asterisk, any team that wins it deserves it, but it is rigged.  Given the layoff and the practice restrictions, it heavily favors top-heavy, veteran-laden teams that have played together for a long time.  I do not think that Crosby, Malkin, and the boys are suddenly going to implement a new system.  I think it will be more like “You know the stuff we have done in the playoffs for the past decade…let’s do that!”.

The fact that veteran teams will be going in almost completely healthy, devoid of nagging injuries is also a big deal.  Would you rather face Ovechkin fully rested and healthy, or after a grueling eighty-two game season? Give me beat up and tired any day.

The Flyers will get the benefit of rest and healing like all the other playoff teams.  But eighteen percent of the on-ice dress slots were filled with guys with less than 80 professional games.  The Flyers are still a work in progress with nearly 20 percent of their line up still trying to ramp up to the NHL game.  A full regular season would have helped the Flyers more than it hurt them, catastrophic injuries aside, and I think it is going to tilt the odds against them

So sometimes you get lucky, my reasoning was completely out of phase, but somehow I was right.

2020 Playoffs, Caps, Blues, or Pens win it all. (LOSS, not even close)

First, again, let me say the playoff is rigged.  Because of the format, the health of the teams, I believe that a veteran team will be the one to hold the cup at the end.  I like the Pens, Caps, Blues, Bruins, Vegas, and the Blackhawks.  Yes the Blackhawks, a rested and veteran team.

Of these teams, I hate to say it, but the Pens are who I expect to take the cup.  With everyone well-rested and healthy I think they are the team to beat, with one caveat, Matt Murray.  Murray seems to have been in a bit of a mental break down starting during the playoffs last season. Former Eagles kicker Paul McFadden would be proud.  If Murray is bad (and Tristan is not great) the Pens go from a favorite to a punchers chance like Toronto or Edmonton.  If Murray is decent, average, the Pens are in the top three.  If Murray is good, I don’t think there is a team that can stop them.  Crosby and Malkin are just too much down the middle.

Unfortunately, for my soul’s sake, I think Murray will be inconsistent but not so much as to cost the Pens a series.

If Murray goes on tilt, I see the Caps and the Blues as the next best chance.  The Caps will be rested and are top to bottom solid.  I think Holtby dominates in a contract year.  The Blues were playing great hockey, and that was without TARASENKO, who should be healthy after a shoulder injury.  The Blues are scary.

Pens, out in the prelims, Caps, done in by the Islanders in their first series.  Blues were wiped out by the Canucks in their first round.  So I have a bit to learn about this COVID playoff format.

Oskar Lindblom will play at least 1 game for the Flyers next season (WIN)

Who knows what the rules will be regarding players with illness in a post COVID world, but I think that it favors us seeing Mr. Lindblom in 2021.  Seeing him on the ice last month was the best news I have digested in months. Watching him ring the bell made me feel like I had just kicked Sidney Crosby in the nuts. I pray that Oskar beats cancer, makes a full recovery, and is a dominant Flyer for the next decade.  But I would happily take him playing one last time for the Flyers, retiring and living to 104, never dealing with cancer again.

Well unless something unexpected happens Lindblom will be back playing for the Flyers next season…in about three months. He did end up playing a couple of games in the second round, making this early prediction already likely true. Lindblom’s struggle and victory have buoyed me, and it makes the loss to the Islanders seem like a small thing.