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11-26-2003, 08:17 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Murfreesbo Tennessee
Country: United States
Posts: 1,487
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I think Hartley is a big reason why Atlanta is playing so well. Last year Kovalchuk was among lead leaders with a -24 plus/minus, and although the season is still young, he in pace for a much better +/-. I think Atlanta will more than likely make the playoffs. I like their young players.
think what seperates Atlanta from Nashville and makes us a legit playoff team is Kovalchuk and Heatly (when he returns). Two guys that scare people. Two guys that you have to change your defense for. Nashville does not have anyone CURRENTLY that scares people.
Getting the 1 or 2 pick in the draft 3 years in a row kind of helps. Nashville has only had 1 pick in the top 2 (Legwand), and we had to trade up to get him. Anyways back to the SAH. Atlanta if they keep getting solid goaltending probably makes the playoffs. Atlanta has better top ended talant than Nashville, but we probably have more depth. Sure Atlanta plays the Panthers and Canes 6 times, but we play the Jackets and Blackhawks 6 times. Grant it we do play the Wings and Blues 6 times, but they play the Bolts (underated team) and the Caps (underachieving team) 6 times. I think the West top to bottom is still stronger, but not by huge amounts. I want to congratulate Atlanta for the strong start and hope they keep it up. It will show that a young team can win without using the trap 65 minutes a game.

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