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01-15-2013, 01:14 AM
Talks to Goalposts
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
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1. Pittsburgh.
On paper their skaters are worse without Staal and Michalek. That won't matter enough to derail a team that was one of the best in the league 5 on 5 without Crosby. Vokoun can save them from MAF's flashy mediocrity.

2. Boston.
Too good at playing both sides of the puck to keep down. Sadly. Hopefully Chara gets eaten by a passing polar bear so we don't have to put up with them being so good.

3. Washington.
I had to pick someone to win that division. This isn't an endorsement of Washington so much as I believe they've got a decently well balanced lineup and I feel withering contempt for their compatriots in the SE.

4. New York
Nash is over-rated, Kreider won't be a 2nd line winger for them and I think they lost a bunch of defensive acumen at forward. D-corp, primary scoring and goaltending too solid too ignore. Relying on blocking shots rather than retrieving the puck and pushing it forward is why they are as good as Pittsburgh.

5. Philadelphia
Defensive corps is one injury to Timonen or Coburn away from utter catastrophy and I don't have confidence in their goaltending. Will score enough to keep near the top of the conference but they are a faint shadow of their Pronger era selves.

6. Ottawa
Being a pretty normal team in the week eastern conference and North East has some perks. Making the playoffs often one of them.

7. New Jersey
Deep on D, Kovalchuk and Elias are stars, nothing else to write home about. Could fall to bottom if Broduer pulls a Roloson.

8. Winnipeg
Nice well balance lineup with questionable goaltending. They could do some damage if they could find a real star forward to lead them.

9. Carolina
Best off-season in the league. Still can't play defense or get depth scoring.

10. Montreal
Until the stench of Randypuck and the we see something resembling winger depth and a 2nd pairing, I'm avoiding optomisim. They didn't deserve 15th last year though. What ever happens, they have the Price and the enemy does not.

11. Tampa Bay
Liked adding Carle, but Lindback isn't a proven starter and Boucher's system is hell on goaltenders. Deficent in forwards that can play both sides of the puck. Plus Lecavilier and St. Louis are old.

12. Buffalo
Bad team dumped their only top 40 C, leaving a void reminiscent of Calgary down the middle. Come back in a couple years when you can expect something out of Hodgson and Grigorenko.

13. Toronto
Going nowhere no where fast. Not young enough to expect improvement, never fix major weakness and were lucky to accomplish what they did last year. Maybe drafting top 5 will bring them a savior.

14. Florida
Made the playoffs on smoke and mirrors, the only quality part of their lineup in the top pairing has been dismantled with Garrison leaving and Jose Theodore starts in nets.

15. NYI
They were the Oilers before it was popular, darn Brooklyn Hipsters. Gradually improving, still stink like week old socks. They have nice pieces, but brutal bottom six forwards and weak goaltending doom them from the start. Maybe one more lottery pick will do it for them.

Of course, random factors in a short schedule make projections unreliable to useless. Some bad team is going to ride a lucky streak into the playoffs.

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