In the last Navigator issue prior to the summer break, Ben Chessor, our previous sports editor, made the five following predictions:
- 1. The Canucks will win a playoff series,
- 2. The Seattle Mariners are going to make the playoffs,
- 3. Tiger Woods won’t win a gold tournament,
- 4. The Tampa Bay Lightning will win the Stanley Cup, and
- 5. The Cleveland Cavaliers will win the NBA Championship.
In some respects, his predictions came true. Just a few weeks after the last issue was published, the Canucks and Calgary Flames fought it out on the ice, with Calgary coming out on top in the end. Though at the time it was uncertain whether the Canucks would face the Flames or Los Angeles Kings in the final weeks of the regular NHL season, Canucks fans got their wish of seeing their team against the Flames in the first round. Despite Chessor’s confidence that “Vancouver will be able to dispose of either opponent in the first round,” Calgary ultimately beat them 2-1 on April 15. After six games against Calgary, the Canucks had only won two games, despite some strategic moves by new Canucks Manager Jim Benning.
With the Canucks’ pre-season schedule kick off September 21 against the San Jose Sharks, it’s hard to say what will happen this year for the BC team.
It has been a tough 20 years for Canadian baseball teams, with the Toronto Blue Jays winning their last World Series in 1993 and not qualifying for the playoffs since. The Seattle Mariners, however, have had better luck, if not by much. Though neither team had qualified for playoffs since 2001, the Mariners came close last year. Only time will tell if they can reverse this streak of bad luck.
As Chessor puts it, the signing on of MLB Nelson Cruz, as well as several new additions to the team, should “put an end to their playoff drought, allowing BC baseball fans to get their first taste of playoff baseball in 14 years.”
Tiger Woods has been slowly slinking off from the world of golf in the past few years, largely due to injuries. The Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia this summer did not improve his long list of previous ailments, as he injured himself even more during the competition, jamming a wrist and right shoulder during the competition. Despite all this, the 2015 tournament was his best finish since 2013, and though Chessor’s prediction was correct in saying that his injuries may cause him more losses than wins, Woods managed to pull through, even though he slid down the leaderboard quite significantly during the tournament.
June signaled the beginning of the Stanley Cup, and Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Chicago Blackhawks by four games to two. The team managed to make it to the final rounds, and though they did not win, they made some NHL history by becoming the only team to face an Original Six team at every stage of the competition.
As with Tampa Bay, Chessor’s prediction on NBA Championships was the same, with the Cleveland Cavaliers losing to the Golden State Warriors. Though it meant a loss for the Cavaliers, the 4-2 game gained the Warriors their first title in 40 years.
As with everything, sports are hard to predict. No matter how many strategic changes made by coaches or between players, it’s only when two teams fight it out that we can safely gauge the outcome. Chessor made some valid and insightful predictions, however the true deciding factor was time.