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10-08-2003, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by thome_26
I think they'd easily be higher then top 15 - they are def. a top ten atleast. I mean who's ahead of them?
Avs, Sens, Devils, Flyers, Anaheim..... those'd be the teams I'd put ahead of them.... then there would be four-five teams who would all be arguable...... I'll say one thing though - the Devils forwards ranks won't be NEARLY as scary as in the past! No Yzerman (He might be present, but he isn't close to what he was) No Federov (has been one of the the top 3-4 two way centers in the NHL). Brett Hull is ancient and is poised to take a drop eventually. Larionov was an important part of those teams and was good two ways as well. Now there is a HUGE lack of defensively responsible forwards after the grind line. Zetterberg is a good young talent, but Datsyuk was riding on Hull's coat-tails, and unless he can really step up and emerge as an anchor they could be in some trouble.
If it's any consolation, when I put 10-15th, I had them closer to 10th in my mind. I couldn't justify putting them in the top 10 though, since there are quite a few teams I probably would put ahead of them.

I still consider Detroit to have a stronger forward core. Most of their guys are on the decline, but there's enough talent there, IMO, plus they're pretty strong on their 3rd and 4th lines.

Toronto, as much as I hate them, are strong at forward. St. Louis is also pretty strong. The Rangers have the talent as well, it's just a matter if they're going to use it or not.

There's a couple of teams who have a stronger top-end than Edmonton, like Boston, Vancouver and Tampa Bay, but may not have the depth. I would put Vancouver ahead of Edmonton. Boston and Tampa Bay are iffy though.

Everything at this time of the year is all theoretical though. Like I said earlier, Edmonton's got a young group there, which usually makes them more coachable, and gives them the potential to be more than the sum of their parts. As the season progresses, we'll see how the work as a team.

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