At Yahoo Canada Sports, we like our takes and predictions as we like our Doritos: bold, spicy, and a little absurd.
Our weekly Friday round up, “Rattling Around The Dome,” will feature a collection of random thoughts and fantasy-relevant musings from the replacement-level brain of yours truly. This week, as always, I’m enthralled and fascinated with hot takes and predictions. Everybody has them, but nobody is ever right — until now.
That said, here are 31 fantastically fearless prophecies to take to the bank this season.
Tomas Tatar is an All Star. This absolutely steamy prediction was obviously made before the season started and certainly before Tatar emerged as an early-season sniper for the Habs. These takes are serious to me and I would never cheat.
Tuukka Rask will regain the starting job after going all Tonya Harding on Jaroslav Halak. If you’re thinking of dropping Rask after his early struggles and Halak’s solid play in the Bruins crease — don’t. It’s only a matter of time before the former goes bananas and takes a pipe to Halak’s ACL after pracky one day.
Mitch Marner will lead the Maple Leafs in scoring. The kid could be staring down the barrel of a 70-apple season, which would put him firmly in the 95-plus-point range — ahead of Tavares and that Matthews schmuck.
Victor Hedman will be fine. Yes, the best defenceman on the planet will bounce back from a (kind of) slow start to 2018-19 and finish among the NHL’s top blueliners in every major offensive fantasy category when it’s all said and done. This is top notch going-out-on-a-limb prognosticating right here.
Thomas Chabot outscores Erik Karlsson’s last season in Ottawa. The 62-point mark is certainly in reach for a talented young cat getting an opportunity as the team’s go-to blueliner with the departure of EK.
A guy named Rasmus leads the Sabres defence corps in scoring. Take this one to the bank, this is the safest bet you’ll ever make.
Mike Hoffman is a wild card. Has a chance to score a ton of goals or go on several 10-game skids without touching the back of the net (or both). I guess this is more of a statement than a prediction, but let’s not get hung up on minor details like that.
Detroit’s goalie tandem could be historically bad. Jonathan Bernier plus Jimmy Howard plus a terrible Red Wings blue line and an unsound defensive structure equals two guaranteed-to-be dumpster fire stat lines in Detroit’s crease.
The Hurricanes will lead the NHL in dope names per 60 this season. Sebastien Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jaccob Slavin, Phillip Di Giuseppe and Valentin Zykov? C’mon, it’s not even fair.
Will Butcher will be a Norris candidate. The man they call Butch (probably) or The Butcher (even more likely) will be one of the three finalists for defenceman of the year after he leads the Devils to an Eastern Conference regular season crown.
Artemi Panarin goes off in his contract year. He’ll then tell the Jackets to shove it and pull a Tavares — leaving at season’s end and yielding his former team nothing in return. A classic move.
A centreman leads the Penguins in points. Will it be Malkin? Will it be Crosby? This may be my boldest prediction yet. Dripping with hot sauce, this one.
John Carlson puts up 60 without producing a single drop of sweat. Dude has the easiest job in the league as he quarterbacks the Capitals’ ridiculous powerplay.
A former Chiarelli/Oilers asset will be the Islanders’ top point producer. Mat Barzal, Jordan Eberle, Anthony Beauvillier. So many options!
Philly’s goalie tandem could be historically bad. Wait, I already used this one with Detroit’s tendies, didn’t I? Well, Brian Elliott and Calvin Pickard will give the Wings’ duo a run for their money in the futility department, that’s for sure.
Henrik Lundqvist finally murders a teammate. After another season of being literally the only part of the Rangers worth watching (and putting up another .920 Sv% campaign), Hank finally snaps on his terrible D and literally ends one of his teammates’ life in a fit of goalie rage.
Juuse Saros gets around the same number of starts as Pekka Rinne. Half Rinne’s size and he gets half the games, makes sense, right?
Colorado’s top unit outscores Boston’s terrifying trio. A lot less licking from this first line, too.
Mark Scheifele emerges as a Hart Trophy finalist. Based on nothing except the fact that he’s absolutely filthy.
Brent Seabrook bounces back. Please.
The Stars finish the year with three 80-point forwards. Radulov, Seguin and Benn can all legit reach the mark.
Devan Dubnyk starts 65-70 games again, doesn’t die. This guy sees a tonne of rubber and minutes, and somehow hasn’t perished in a freak workload-related accident. Expect this to continue in 2018-19.
Jake Allen will drive every fantasy owner insane. He can be so, so good and so, so bad. It’s infuriating for fantasy owners and I don’t see this letting up anytime soon. Just gotta ride that Allen wave, baby.
Some Swedish dude will lead the Ducks in scoring. Injuries will likely force Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf out of the running, so Swedish delights Rickard Rackell, Jakob Silfverberg, and Hampus Lindholm could all take the reins.
Mike Smith loses his starting job in Calgary. He’s just really bad.
Erik Gudbranson becomes the Grit Stats King. Blocks, hits, PIMS, punches to the nasal cavity — Gubby can do it all for the Canucks and your fantasy squad.
Evander is the highest scoring Kane this season. With a fresh contract extension in his pocket, Evander is fitting in perfectly with the Sharks’ veteran core and has a shot to outscore that other guy in Chicago for the first time ever.
Connor McDavid will score 150 points. Thought this would be a real out-there prediction but this could actually happen and no one would bat an eye.
M.A. Fleury has his leakiest season yet. I love this man. It hurt so much typing this.
The Kings are the NHL’s lowest scoring team. They might score 100 goals this year. LA’s lack of depth and talent up front is pretty stunning.
Antti Raanta wins the Vezina. Let’s end it on this, shall we?
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