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09-29-2003, 01:02 PM
The Frugal Gourmet
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 2,529
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Some random thoughts...

1) St. Louis, top tier yet?: I always see St. Louis as right up there with the "big three" and every season I predict a coup of sorts... or at least a great playoff run.. and every season I am wrong. Maybe soon, though. On paper, I think that team is pretty top notch. But on the ice? Something always seem to happen... usually they blame it on the goaltender, but I think there have been other failings less emphasized (perhaps unfairly). If St. Louis doesn't establish themself as an elite team this season, I'm no longer sure it's all Osgood's fault. How many goalies have they tried now?

2) Vancouver: I dunno. Their strength is firepower, but Colorado has them beat on all fronts this season... except maybe goaltending. But does anyone believe Lacroix sits back and does nothing if his goaltender struggles? Hell no. This guy won't hesitate if Aebischer fails.

3) Colorado: Best in the West. I think Colorado is the class of the West, frankly. Goaltending may be the most important position in hockey, but the advantage is there's only one guy you need to change if it doesn't work out.

4) The Trade Deadline: Watch out for it. This is *THE* season of the rent-a-player. Think about it. How many UFA's are hitting the market before the potential lockout? Colorado struggles in goal? They'll have a new 'tender at the deadline. Detroit needs more firepower? I guarantee they pick someone up. Dallas needs more defense? I guarantee they shop for a UFA, if that turns out to be the case.

5) Anaheim: Not elite, but this team is pretty good. There's a lot of negative wishful thinking going on regarding Anaheim this season (they'll be another Carolina, they'll fail, etc.). But, frankly, I don't see it. Look at this team. They are really quite solid, and they will be a nuisance. I guarantee it.

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