Later today, I’ll begin my playoff series picks. But right now, I wanted to just look back at my preseason picks for the regular season.

I think I fared pretty well. I had 13 of the correct 16 playoff teams, even if they weren’t in exactly the right order. I had five of the six division winner right, and Pittsburgh nearly made it a perfect 6-for-6 for me.

Here’s a look at the top eight in Eastern and Western Conference as the teams finished and as I picked them in October:

Actual standings    Preseason prediction

1. Washington         Pittsburgh
2. Philadelphia        Washington
3. Bruins                     Bruins
4. Pittsburgh            Philadelphia
5. Tampa Bay           Buffalo
6. Montreal               New Jersey
7. Buffalo                   Montreal
8. NY Rangers         Carolina

In the East, I didn’t believe the Rangers had enough offense to make the playoffs, and I was almost right. I, like many, couldn’t foresee such a large drop-off by New Jersey. And I wasn’t buying into the marked improvement of Tampa Bay, which proved me wrong.

Actual standings    Preseason prediction

1. Vancouver                   San Jose
2. San Jose                       Detroit
3. Detroit                          Vancouver
4. Anaheim                      Phoenix
5. Nashville                     Nashville
6. Phoenix                       Chicago
7. Los Angeles                Los Angeles
8. Chicago                       Calgary

I labored over which team I thought would be the eighth Western team to get in. I didn’t think Anaheim would make it based on its lack of depth on defense, and the Ducks went out and got Francois Beauchemin via trade and got a lot more from rookie Cam Fowler, who I expected to be returned to junior hockey. Dallas, which came one win shy of the playoff, surprised me. I had the Stars pegged for 15th in the West.