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Revisiting our pre-season over/under predictions

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Looking back on a much more optimistic time.

Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils
Both of these guys just missed out on the lines we posted for them. Others missed by ... a lot more.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

At the beginning of this past season, we were optimistic. Very stupid, but optimistic. One way in which we showed that optimism was through predictions, including those in our very own BSH Over/Under Game. We made 20 different predictions across two different posts just before the season began. Those predictions were ... well ... look, we’re just going to show them to you.

And for good measure, for each prediction, we’ll include one comment from one of our writers from the beginning of the season regarding said line. Maybe it’s one that ended up being prescient, maybe it ended up being funny, maybe it ended up being sad. But we’ll include it.

Onwards!


1. Claude Giroux over/under 87.5 points

TOOK THE OVER: Brad, Steve, Jay, Steph, Paul, Joe
TOOK THE UNDER: Kurt, Kelly, Jake, Craig, Mike, Kyle
THE RESULT: Under. Not by much, but at 85 points (22 goals and 63 assists) Giroux slid in just under this line. Still a strong season for the captain, in any case.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “I think he gets around 25 goals and 60 assists, so he’ll just barely miss the mark. Still over a point-per-game player.” — Craig, correctly predicting Giroux’s exact point total (85) and just barely missing the mark on the goals/assists breakdown.

2. Sean Couturier over/under 60.5 points

TOOK THE OVER: Everybody except Steph
TOOK THE UNDER: Steph, who may have saved us from an unanymous jinx here.
THE RESULT: Over. Couturier matched his previous-season total with 76 points once again, setting a career-high with 33 goals in the process.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “Unless he gets hurt, I have a hard time seeing him not reaching this. Very little in his performance last year suggests that his scoring numbers were fluky.” — Me (Kurt). 76 points in 82 games both seasons. Seems non-flukey to me.

3. James van Riemsdyk over/under 31.5 goals

TOOK THE OVER: Steve, Mike, Kyle, Paul
TOOK THE UNDER: Kurt, Kelly, Brad, Jake, Jay, Craig, Steph, Joe
THE RESULT: Under. JVR tallied 27 goals in his 66 games this season. Of course, missing six weeks across October and November set him back here, and it seems reasonably safe to guess he’d probably have topped it had he not suffered his first major injury since 2015-16.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “JVR has only beat that number once in his career, and that’s while getting time on the top power play unit; something he won’t start the season with. Unless the power play struggles out of the gate and he gets moved up, it’ll be quite the challenge for him to get to 30.” — Brad. Hey, what do you know: the top power play did struggle out the gate and he did get moved up and he’d probably have hit 30 had he not got hurt.

4. Mikhail Vorobyev over/under 33.5 points

TOOK THE OVER: Kurt, Brad, Steph, Paul
TOOK THE UNDER: Kelly, Steve, Jake, Jay, Craig, Mike, Kyle, Joe
THE RESULT: Under. It was close — he did have precisely two points in his 15 NHL games this year — but just a slight miss on this one for those of us who took the over.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “I worry that Hakstol won’t trust him if he makes a few mistakes and his ice time will suffer.” — Kelly, expressing a theme that was common at the time and ended up being more true than we possibly could have imagined given how little Vorobyev was trusted during his initial NHL stint. (Not unfairly, given the fact that he played, y’know ... poorly.)

5. Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov over/under 29.5 goals combined

TOOK THE OVER: Kelly, Jake, Jay, Craig, Mike, Kyle, Steph, Paul, Joe
TOOK THE UNDER: Kurt, Brad, Steve
THE RESULT: Under. As we know well by now, Gostisbehere and Provorov both stepped back a bit from their excellent 2017-18 campaigns, including in the goal column, where Ghost picked up nine goals and Provorov seven.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: It is so difficult to rely on goals from defensemen.” — Steve, who is correct. Let’s not forget that.

6. Wayne Simmonds over/under 13.5 power play goals

TOOK THE OVER: Kelly, Kyle, Paul, Joe
TOOK THE UNDER: Kurt, Brad, Steve, Jake, Jay, Craig, Mike, Steph
THE RESULT: Under. This is becoming a trend. Simmonds tallied just five power play goals before the February trade that shipped him off to Nashville.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “Is he even 100% healthy? Anyway, this season is where we start to see the real decline for Simmonds.” — Jay, who certainly appears to have nailed that one as much as it may hurt to say.

7. Over/under 4.5 goalies playing in at least one game this year

TOOK THE OVER: Kurt, Craig, Kyle, Mike, Paul
TOOK THE UNDER: Kelly, Brad, Steve, Jake, Jay, Steph, Joe
THE RESULT: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA over.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “Let’s get weird.” — Mike, in what ended up being the understatement of the year.

8. Brian Elliott over/under 24.5 wins

TOOK THE OVER: Kelly, Brad, Steve, Craig, Kyle, Paul
TOOK THE UNDER: Kurt, Jake, Jay, Mike, Steph, Joe
THE RESULT: Under, naturally. Elliott only played in 26 games, tallying 11 wins in the process.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “Only because of injury, not because I don’t think he’s capable of the same average performance as last year.” — Steph. Pretty much!

9. Travis Sanheim over/under 5.5 healthy scratches

TOOK THE OVER: Brad, Jay
TOOK THE UNDER: Kelly, Mike, Kurt, Steve, Jake, Craig, Kyle, Steph, Paul, Joe
THE RESULT: Under. Hey, a positive one! Sanheim was one of three defensemen to play in all 82 games this year, and it became pretty clear after Rick Wilson came in that he wasn’t going to see the press box again any time soon.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “Last year was Sanheim’s dog house year, like Ghost’s sophomore season was. I think he’ll be good enough to keep himself in the lineup and avoid being “Hak’d” too much this year.” — Kyle, nailing it.

10. Over/under 4.5 games worth of suspensions

TOOK THE OVER: Kurt, Brad, Jake, Craig, Kyle, Mike, Joe
TOOK THE UNDER: Kelly, Steve, Jay, Steph, Paul
THE RESULT: Under, just barely. Radko Gudas and Jakub Voracek both received two-game suspensions.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “Unless Gudas does something exceptionally in the Badko realm, I can’t see this happening. Your dad still wants to know why the Flyers don’t hit anymore, by the way.” — Steve, who makes a really good point here. If the Flyers really want to win, shouldn’t they be hitting guys in suspension-worthy fashion more often? Really makes you think.

11. Over/under 5.5 Flyers with at least 20 goals

TOOK THE OVER: Everybody
TOOK THE UNDER: Nobody
THE RESULT: Under. Oops. Couturier (33), van Riemsdyk (27), Konecny (24), Giroux (22), and Voracek (20) all topped the marker, but Lindblom (17) and Simmonds (16) both failed to clear the bar there to get us over on this one.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “If this team has trouble scoring this year, it’s not due to a lack of talent.” — Jake, who is right but also whose rightness just makes this whole season more infuriating.

12. Penalty kill ranking over/under 20.5 in the league

TOOK THE OVER: Brad, Kyle, Mike
TOOK THE UNDER: Kelly, Kurt, Steve, Jake, Jay, Craig, Steph, Paul, Joe
THE RESULT: Under. The Flyers ended up 26th in the NHL on the PK. They tried to make this one close with some strong PKing later in the year after Gordon came in, but the utterly abhorrent work from this unit in the first two months of the season really did seal their fate before we even really got going.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “I really don’t know if the penalty kill issues were because of personnel. They’ve changed forwards, defensemen, and goalies over the years under Lappy’s penalty kill and nothing has worked. Maybe not 29th, but I still don’t have much faith in the penalty kill.” — Craig. Funny how that works!

13. Longest winning streak over/under 5.5 games

TOOK THE OVER: Kelly, Brad, Jake, Jay, Craig, Kyle, Mike, Steph, Paul, Joe
TOOK THE UNDER: Kurt, Steve
THE RESULT: Over. The Flyers reeled off an eight-game winning streak between mid-January and early February, thanks in large part to Carter Hart being good at hockey.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “This is the Flyers. They go on streaks. Both winning and losing. Strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” — Paul, who knows this team as we all do.

14. Longest losing streak over/under 4.5 games

TOOK THE OVER: Kelly, Brad, Jay, Craig, Mike, Paul
TOOK THE UNDER: Kurt, Steve, Jake, Kyle, Steph, Joe
THE RESULT: Over. Just prior to that eight-game winning streak mentioned in the above question, the Flyers went eight straight games without a win in their first eight games following the Christmas break.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “They’re gonna have a long losing streak just to piss us all off just because.” — Mike. I dunno, were we pissed at that point or had we all pretty much moved into the ennui phase?

15. Over/under 3.5 wins against the Capitals and Penguins combined

TOOK THE OVER: Kelly, Kurt, Jake, Kyle, Steph, Paul, Joe
TOOK THE UNDER: Brad, Steve, Jay, Craig, Mike
THE RESULT: Under. The roles were reversed from the 2017-18 season; this time, the Flyers took 3 out of 4 against the Pens, but were swept in four tries against the Capitals. Bryce Harper is a Phillie.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “I think we get exactly three wins from the Pens and Caps, no more, no less.” — Brad, thank you.

16. Over/under 10.5 overtime losses

TOOK THE OVER: Everybody except Paul
TOOK THE UNDER: Paul
THE RESULT: Under. The Flyers had the decency to only drag our inevitable suffering into extra hockey eight times this season, their fewest OT losses in an 82-game season since 2009-10.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “Because everyone else chose over, and I want to be the smart one.” — Paul, who bid $501 when the rest of us bid $500 and won like a big jerk.

17. Over/under 0.5 awards finalists (Hart, Calder, Norris, Vezina, Lady Byng, or Selke)

TOOK THE OVER: Everybody except Kurt
TOOK THE UNDER: Kurt
THE RESULT: Under. Well, we don’t know this one with 100 percent certainty yet, but with Wednesday night’s announcement that Sean Couturier was not named a Selke finalist, it seems like a pretty safe bet that no Flyer will be a finalist for any of the awards listed above.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT:And I don’t like it.” — Me (Kurt), inadvertently writing out what may be the motto of this Flyers season.

18. Over/under 99.5 standings points

TOOK THE OVER: Kelly, Steve, Jake, Craig, Kyle, Steph, Paul, Joe
TOOK THE UNDER: Brad, Kurt, Jay, Mike
THE RESULT: What do you think?
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “I feel confident thinking that this is a 100 point team. Unless uh...things go horribly wrong.” — Kelly. Ron Howard will tell you what happened next.

19. Over/under 3.5 home playoff games

TOOK THE OVER: Kelly, Kurt, Jake, Kyle, Craig, Mike, Steph, Paul, Joe
TOOK THE UNDER: Brad, Steve, Jay
THE RESULT: I don’t think the Flyers are playing in any playoff games this year. So, y’know ... under.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: Let’s make it to the second round for the love of our sanity.” — Steph, inadvertently writing out what may be the motto of the next Flyers season.

20. 0.5 games paused because of something Gritty did

TOOK THE OVER: Steve, Jay, Craig, Mike, Steph, Paul, Joe
TOOK THE UNDER: Kelly, Brad, Kurt, Jake, Kyle
THE RESULT: Under. If you want to get technical about it, no, I do not consider Gritty’s streaking during the outdoor game as something that paused that game, as it happened during a commercial.
A COMMENT THAT SEEMS NOTEWORTHY IN HINDSIGHT: “He’s Gritty. Do we really need an explanation? Oh, you’re asking for a prediction? Hmm, well ok. Picture this, it’s game 82. The Flyers need to win and they’re in the playoffs. Lauren Hart and Kate Smith finish God Bless America. The arena goes dark… a single spotlight shines at center ice. Descending from the video board is Gritty. But, his cable gets stuck. Gritty is stuck dangling there. It takes a team of six people forty minutes to get him down. Gary Bettman, who has been furious with Gritty’s antics all season long, decides he’s had enough. He forfeits the game, the Flyers lose.” — Joe, with a scenario that would have been much more interesting than anything that actually happened at a Flyers game this year.


With that, here are our final tallies for who got the most right:

Jay: 12
Kurt: 12
Craig: 11
Brad: 10
Jake: 10
Kelly: 10
Mike: 10
Steve: 9
Kyle: 8
Paul: 8
Joe: 7
Steph: 7

On average, we each got 9.5 right out of 20, meaning that a coin flip would likely have performed better than we did. I don’t know why you’re here, either.

Anywho, fun times. See you next year.