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07-04-2011, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by birddog View Post
Philly is being over-rated. You don't lose your two best players and get better. Richards and Carter are huge holes that haven't been filled. A 39 year old Jagr isn't enough. Vorachek and Schenn are nice editions but I have a hard time believing Vorachek will add more than Leino. Schenn is also young. Versteeg and Carcillo were also lost but that should be addition by subtraction.

Pronger is older and Philly's tenders played very well in the regular season last year. I expect them to drop. If they faulter out of the gate -- look out -- all hell will break loose.

What happens in Tampa if Stamkos is gone?

Buffalo lost Connolly and added Leino -- lateral move. Erhoff is good but his soft play and -13 in the playoffs is a concern. Let's remember his 50 points last year were a career year playing on the leagues best powerplay. Lots of excitement with the new owner but I'm unsure how Erhoff translates into instant contender status.

Boston will suffer from the Stanley Cup hang-over and nobody will take them lightly.

Guess what I am trying to say is that other than Washington and Pittsburg (if healthy) I don't see a lot of sure things in the east. It will be close to the wire like last year AND like every year there will be plenty of surprises.

You can't just look and say this team or that team is a lock. Firstly - a team on paper vs reality are two very different things. On paper, we weren't a lottery team in 2010, but we ended up there. On paper - the Rangers sign the big talent every year, and then it doesn't work like they expect .... every year.

Also - it's not about a #1C for the Leafs either. I know everyone wants to get excited about acquiring one - but the fact is if you get solid goaltending, good special teams, balanced scoring and compete every night - you have a shot at the playoffs. The beauty of hockey is that during the season it's completely a team game - one guy doesn't make a difference unless it's a goalie having an "out of this world" season - and that doesn't happen often.

We have more depth now than every before. The internal competition for jobs and ice time will be more intense than ever before. Burke will only add to that depth in the next two months, and who knows what late January rabbit he can pull out of his hat when teams pick which direction they're heading and need to make changes.

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