Scott Cullen at TSN.ca has listed his projections for the top 250 points-getters for the 2010-11 NHL this season. He has 10 members of the Edmonton Oilers listed in that group.
CULLEN’S TOP THREE
1. Alexander Ovechkin 54-54-108
2. Sidney Crosby 43-60-103
3. Henrik Sedin 26-74-100
37. Ales Hemsky 21-44-65
67. Dustin Penner 26-32-58
72. Taylor Hall 26-31-57
100. Sam Gagner 20-32-52
101. Jordan Eberle 21-31-52
180. Andrew Cogliano 17-25-42
215. Ryan Whitney 9-29-38
225. Magnus Paajarvi 16-21-37
230. Kurtis Foster 7-29-36
244. Gilbert Brule 16-18-34
WELCOME TO FANTASY ISLAND
I’m not sure how Cullen came up with his projections, especially for rookies like Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi, so I’m not going to criticize his method of guessing, but a few things stand out for me as being off.
— If there’s anybody out there who wants to bet that Hall will outscore Brule by 23 points this season, I’d be more than willing to cover that wager with, say, $100. Cullen, by the way, has Brule playing just 67 games, so he’s obviously factoring in his injury history.
— When I stare into my trusty old peanut butter jar, which helps me predict future events (although it seems old Skippy f*cked me on Jeff Deslauriers), I don’t see Hall outscoring Paajarvi by 20 points, either. I see Paajarvi neck-and-neck with Hall, both in the 45-50 point range. Back on Aug. 2, Skippy pegged Hall at 23-28-51 in a guesstimate I made in response to Lowetide’s reasonable expectations item listing Hall at 40 points.
— Skippy tells me Cullen has Gagner projected just a touch low. If Gagner gets as much first-line time and power-play minutes as I think he will under Tom Renney, I see him in the 55-60 range, assuming he plays something close to a full 82 games, as opposed to the 68 of last season.
— I don’t see Shawn Horcoff in Cullen’s listings and that’s an oversight. I figure Horcoff slotting in behind Hemsky, Penner and Gagner in team scoring. My best guess is 50-55 points.
— No Tom Gilbert? Hmm.
JUST AN IDEA . . .
I haven’t bounced this off any of the other writers here, so I’m being a bit presumptuous in suggesting it, but I think it would be great fun to have a guess-off as far as Oilers points projections for 2010-11 go. I’m thinking of something along the lines of goals-assists-points for Edmonton’s top-nine forwards and top-four D-men.
Simple format: Pick your top nine and top four. Prognosticators start with zero points and lose a point for every point they are off on their top 13 picks. If you take Hemsky for 65 points and he gets 68, you’re minus-3. If he gets 61, you’re minus-4 etc. etc. Repeat for each player. Add them up and closest to zero wins.
Any manner of guesswork is allowed: projecting based on tea leaves, past performance, old Skippy, stolen from the HN, whatever. We could also had a twist by pitting guys who lean a bit heavier on advanced stats, Lowetide and Willis, against, say, Gregor and I in a combined team total and see how it turns out. Might be fun,
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.