I don't see any way the Rangers finish ahead of the pens barring major injuries. The Rags are playing at their potential right now. The pens are missing 2 of their top dmen and are just starting to mesh. If Jordan Staal can score 25+ goals this year the pens will be first in the conference.
Well, the Pens won't be getting back the more important defenseman, Gonchar, for a long time. Far too long to make a significant impact on this years standings. Whitney will help, and I'm sure Crosby will start playing better, but the Rangers have already been clicking, and despite the slow down of Dubinsky, as well as their Roszival problem, they will only get better from a chemistry perspective, and I see no reason why Redden and Drury can't turn it around as the season progresses to really round out and balance the team.
Also, Lundqvist will probably win the Vezina with Brodeur out. I'm not convinced Marc-Andre Fleury can keep up for Pittsburgh.
Originally Posted by Flyers84
I honestly think Philly has a chance to win the division if they get their act together and start beating the Pens and Rags. I'm not just saying this because I'm from Philly but our 3 lines can each put up their share of goals. I'm not saying the Flyers will pull away from the pack. I'm sayng the exact opposite, it will be a tight battle til the end and as I said if we start beating pit and nyc we just may have what it takes to do it.
Well, the Pens won't be getting back the more important defenseman, Gonchar, for a long time. Far too long to make a significant impact on this years standings. Whitney will help, and I'm sure Crosby will start playing better, but the Rangers have already been clicking, and despite the slow down of Dubinsky, as well as their Roszival problem. They will only get better from a chemistry perspective, and I see no reason why Redden and Drury can't turn it around as the season progresses.
rangers are clicking yet the pens still have a better win % and will soon be adding a dman who scored 40 and 59 pts the last two years.
I don't think Montreal stays part of that group unless they really turn it around. They aren't playing very good hockey and it's been that way all season.
Totally agree with you. Our team with the leafs heart and one more player as talanted as Malkin and to the finals we would go.
The teams good but needs a fire lit under their butts.I still think were a Malkin type player away to contend against the winner from the West.We don't have that game breaker type of player.
I would expect that the Pens and Habs will pull away from the crowd by the end of the year.
The Pens are playing great right now, and once Gonch and Whits come back they wont need to score 5 goals a game to win, but they still will.
The Habs have been shaky this past week. I watch the game last night and they were something like 0 for 10 on the PP, which clearly will change. Once the PP starts clicking they will start winning again (I know they won in a shootout but with 10 PPs they should have scored more then 2 goals against St. Louis).
The Rangers are still living off their early wins when Voros was the leagues leading scorer. They will only go as far as The King will take them, which is pretty far but he isn't a miracle worker.
Like the Rags, the Bruins are living off Thomas' heroics. If he stumbles the B's will lose out on some much needed points.
The Caps are scoring big against some weak teams (Car and a depleted NJ) but I'm not sure how they will fair agains some of the better teams in the league. Their game against SJ will be a test to see if their one line will be able to handle a great team. They will win the SE again, but that isn't really saying much (no offense to the SE but it's not very competitive).
I kinda disagree on the Pens playing well. I thought for the most part we have been playing like ***** and fortunately have been able to win. But we have blown serveral games and given points away that never should have happened. Crosby has been just starting to warm up, and Staal just showed up this season about three games ago. I don't know who that other dude was skating with his jersey on before then? I think they are improving, but our first 12 ganes of the season have not been easy on my heart.
I am curious to see if Semin can keep up his production and if the Caps might be too top heavy. I think Semin will probably stay consistent, but not at the level he is now. After their first line, which burned our ***** in Pittsburgh, I am not worried about the rest of the team...but I swear I have been wrong before. Hopefully Semin will suck
Agreed, Habs also had a slump in November last year when we lost big time to Carolina, NJ, Dallas etc. The team got out of it by December and finished 30-12-6.
That was in December. November saw the Habs start hot, end cold. Don't forget whipped by the Wings 4-1 and blowing 4-1 lead with 9 minutes to go losing 5-4 in OT/SO to the Preds. Things were looking on the verge of falling apart until the Habs turned it around in January.
The fact that Montreal has played 1 60-minute game all season and has looked like absolute crap and are still 10-4-2 is kinda, as another poster said, "frightening."
If they get their act together, which imo they will soon...they will win alot of games for sure.
I don't know what defines a 60-minute effort and if a team has a big lead and sits on it, is it such a bad thing it wasn't a "60 minute effort" especially when they didn't need it? Habs looked fine beating the Yotes 4-1 and against Toronto if they had a 60-min. effort there, the final score could have been 10-1 instead of 6-1. It was one of the few games they actually flexed their talent instead of their crappy work ethic which has been the case in tons of others.
Also, the 4-0 shutout of Ottawa was pretty complete. Other than that, wins have been either uninspired or ugly and losses have often been pretty worrisome. If they can ride momentum from an actual win on the road Sunday, they could unload on a similarly struggling Canes team. Shouldn't be easy, but could be easier since Williams is out and even huger Hab killer Cole is in the West!