MONTREAL – With hockey-pool season right around the corner, it’s time to compare your predictions with those of the experts.
At the end of summer, every player heads into training camp and the new season with well-defined objectives in mind. Whether their focus is on scoring, assists, wins or hits, everyone has goals they’re looking to turn into reality.
For every player out there trying to reach an objective, there is also a fan with that player in his or her pool, hoping for the exact same thing. The experts are no different. After browsing a handful of hockey mags and their predictions for 2012-13, we’ve compiled a quick rundown of their player forecasts for next season.
After beating out two-time scoring leader Tomas Plekanec for the team lead last season, Max Pacioretty is predicted to repeat the feat again in the coming campaign. Of the publications consulted, each has Pacioretty finishing the season with 68 to 71 points.
If you’re in the habit of buying into expert opinions, then you should be looking forward to some solid offensive production from the Habs next season as they all predict four players will score 50-plus points. They also have an average of two cracking the 60-point mark. Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Erik Cole are all expected to get the job done for a second consecutive year, with usual suspect, Plekanec, estimated to pile up anywhere from 58 to 65 points.
Surprisingly, the Super Guide Hockey from The Hockey News even has promising young prospect, Alex Galchenyuk in the melee, picking up a handful of NHL points of his own. Not only do they predict he’ll be on the team, but according to the experts, he’ll be looking solid in his rookie year with 52 points. Pool Pro has slightly more modest results for the Canadiens’ third-overall pick, pegging Galchenyuk to finish with 27 points and fellow prospect Brendan Gallagher chipping in with 24 of his own.
On the blue line, P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov should be in a battle for the title of highest-scoring Canadiens defenseman. Subban is projected to put up between 43 and 47 points, while a healthy Markov should grab between 42 and 49 – unless you’re listening to the Hockey: The Magazine, in which case he won’t log more than 33.
Between the pipes, Carey Price will be looking solid as ever, and according to all publications should be good for 31 to 36 wins this season, with four to six shutouts tossed into the mix.
Who do you think will be the biggest impact player for the Canadiens in 2012-13?