'Twas the night before hockey and all though the Saddlesphere...
(These are all predictions for this season and this season only.)
1. Jarome Iginla will play at least 75 games this year. How effective he will be remains to be seen, but he'll at least be on the ice.
2. Miikka Kiprusoff maintains his pattern of sub-par goaltending with a EVSV% around .915.
3. As a result, we will see Henrik Karlsson in at least 20 games this year, and he will post at least a .920 EVSV%.
4. Jay Bouwmeester will put up 35 points this year, even though his defensive responsibility will increase by a fair margin.
5. Scott Hannan will have good underlying numbers and will perform well enough that we'll mostly forget about Robyn Regehr.
6. Mikael Backlund will score at least 15 goals and put up at least 30 assists this year, even with his broken finger.
7. Brent Sutter will make it past Christmas.
8. The PP will be in the top half of the league and the PK will be in the top 20.
9. We will not make it out of October before we get our first major "Iginla to Team X" rumour.
10. The team will not lose more then 3 games in a row (Including OT/SO losses) the entire season.
11. One more major (read: salary of >3 million) player will be traded before the deadline.
12. The team will be buyers at the deadline, however misguided that might be.
13. They will win at least 14 games against divisional opponents this year.
14. Roman Horak will not play more then 20 games in the NHL.
15. The combined games played from Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and Raitis Ivanans will total 1 more then Horak's GP.
16. Rene Bourque will again score 50 points, but his underlying numbers will be crap. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Curtis Glencross will not score more then 15 goals at even strength but will have good underlying numbers.
17. Matt Stajan will not be demoted.
18. Chris Butler will not perform at a top-4 level, and thus we will see both Cory Sarich and Anton Babchuk play top-4 minutes for a stretch of games this season.
19. This will be the last season we see Kipper in a Flames uniform.
20. The Flames will finish just outside of the playoffs-9th place, with 93 points.