Well, this is it. In a few hours, we'll be watching hockey instead of talking about it. Our 2013 prediction panel has covered the gamut so far, talking about everything from goalies to retirement, but most of us have played it pretty safe and that's no fun. We suspected that might happen, and so threw in a little question just to stretch our imaginations. Bonus Frenzy round: What will be the biggest surprise this year?
The biggest surprise will be Sergei Gonchar scoring around 30 points, which is a 50 point season in an 82 game schedule.
Craig Anderson does not finish the year as the starter, and is not the starter in the playoffs.
Bryan Murray retires a year early, stays on as an adviser, and Tim Murray takes over.
This guy's made me look bad in predictions before, but I don't care: Peter Regin's spontaneous resurgence as a serious contender for top-six minutes on the Ottawa Senators roster. A move to the wing will be much easier on his shoulders (no face-offs), and although he'll start on the third line, I'd wager that he should be able to climb up the depth chart. His responsible play should also endear him to the Paulrus, which should lead to lots of short-handed time.
Despite losing a top scorer and top defender to the big club, Binghamton win their second Calder Cup in three years. Robin Lehner finishes the playoffs with eight shutouts, twelve penalty minutes, and a second MVP title, as the B-Sens will register 1 shot for every 2.4 taken by their opponents.
Peter Regin's season-ending injury will not be shoulder-related.
The Sens announce in the spring they'll change uniforms for 2013-14 and will be keeping the beautiful black heritage jerseys, the original white jerseys, and an improved red jersey design. The league, overcome by the brilliance of the move, announces white jerseys will be worn at home the following year.
I think the biggest surprise will be not making the playoffs, to be honest. I think a lot of pundits are picking the Sens to finish in the Top 8, and fans will be surprised and disappointed if it doesn't happen. Other than that, I'm not sure there will be too many surprises.
That with all the talk of Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner going into camp, Craig Anderson has top of the league type stats. (seriously, my fantasy team depends on it)
Some bold stuff right there. What better way to pass the time until the puck drops than offering your own predictions for the biggest surprise this season? We'd love to hear what you think!