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03-29-2004, 10:34 AM
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mcphee
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Rate the Eastern playoff teams

Rate the playoff teams. The top 5 or 6 teams in the East could win itr all this year and surprise nobody. How do you see them ?

In no particular order ?

Boston- More talented and deeper than any Bruin team in quite awhile. The addition of Gonchar means they can get a few PP goals on nights where they come up flat. Goaltending looks real solid. Raycroft has to prove himself in the post season, but I haven't seen him get intimidated by much. If they don't get wrapped up in retaliatory stuff and stay focused, they look good.

Toronto- Their strong point is also their weak point, veteran leadership and experience, but could wear down over a long playoff. Belfour is as good as anybody right now but fatigue and back problems are related. To me, Nieuwendyk being healthy is the key because he adds scoring depth.

Tampa Bay- No idea. How will Lecav.,Richards, and co. play ? They could go all the way or tank. Hardest team to read imo.

Philly-- Really deep team that could be dangerous, but hard to know how healthy they are. Loaded with talent though some of it on the downside. Hitchcock is a smart coach and will play a style suited to his personnel though. very similar to Toronto. Lots of size and veteran leadership.

Ottawa- all kinds of talent. I just think that this could be the year they make their move. If they get any kind of goaltending, I can't imagine them not going deep.

NJ -- everyone seems to be writing them off, which is starting to make me think they'll be tough. Brodeur is still there and they won't give up many chances. Coming from behind will be tough as they don't have the scoring depth that the rest of the conference has.

NYI or Buff. Who knows what team shows up from game to game ? NYI has a lot of talent on the roster but it seems to be pretty inconsistent.

Nos glorieux- Definitely not favorites, but enough goaltending and talent to get by. They have been very streaky, and beat the best when hot, but outclassed when not. If Kovalev gets hot, who knows.

You know who my heart chooses, my head is looking at Ottawa and wondering how the team we saw last Wednesday can lose if they play like that .

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