Last year the Sports Forecaster magazine, which specializes in making predictions for hockey poolsters, predicted the top 16 players on the Edmonton Oilers would score 265 goals. In the end, the entire Oilers team had 229.

This year that same magazine has the top 16 players scoring 266 goals.

So we’ll see how that turns out, but it’s worth noting the magazine doesn’t always get it wrong. Before the 2016-17 season, for example, the Sports Forecaster predicted the Oilers, coming off a 199 goal season, would score 237. The Oilers finished with 243 goals in 2016-17.

I used to take such predictions seriously and judge folks who got it wrong with their predictions harshly, but I’m no longer in that camp.

I’m OK with folks getting it wrong with their guesses, including these magazines dedicated to predictions, which are about twice as likely to over-estimate how a player or a team will do as to under-estimate how that player or team will do.

This is no scandal. It makes perfect sense. These magazines are in the business of selling fun and optimism. If an Oilers fan were to pick up the magazine at the store and see his or her favourite player was predicted to have a major drop in production, would that make the fan more of less likely to buy the magazine. My hunch is it would make them less likely, possibly much less likely.

So as sensible fans we take these predictions for what they’re worth and what they’re about, which is all about fun and optimism and dreams of a better year to come.

Does that have any value? Well, it certainly made me happy when I saw The Sports Forecaster pegged Jesse Puljujarvi as scoring 26 goals and 48 points this year. So that’s something. I’m a fan because hockey entertains me, thrills me, distracts me from life’s larger challenges, and gives me a sense that some small thing in this world might just be a better place in the future. If that some small thing is Puljujarvi developing into a useful NHLer, maybe that’s not much, but the thought of it still makes me smile.

Of course, the same magazine predicted Puljujarvi would get 59 points in 80 games as a rookie. But we won’t dwell on that.

Other predictions from the Sports Forecaster this year? Connor McDavid will score 50 goals and get 120 points (numbers he’s certainly capable of attaining …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports

      

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Jesse Puljujarvi predicted to have strong goal-scoring year (again) by Sports Forecaster

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