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Where do the Sabres Rank in the Eastern Conference?

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07-16-2011, 01:30 AM
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Now that the mania surrounding the kickoff of NHL free agency has subsided, which teams have improved most so far this off-season? Thatís our focus in todayís THN.com Top 10. In reverse order:

10. Rangers
9. Maple Leafs
8. Panthers
7. Blue Jackets
6. Blues
5. Wild

4. Sabres

The Sabres received enough of a boost this past season when new team owner Terry Pegula assumed control of the organization. And Pegula put a lot of his money where his Sabres-loving mouth is this summer, ponying up for D-man Christian Ehrhoff, outbidding numerous teams for left winger Ville Leino and adding rugged blueliner Robyn Regehr from Calgary. If the Sabres donít challenge Boston for the Northeast Division title, it wonít be because they donít have the players

3. Blackhawks
2. Kings
1. Capitals

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07-16-2011, 11:24 AM
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Am I the only one expecting a serious regression from Tampa Bay?

Look, that team came out of nowhere last season to race out to a great year. However, it took a serious confluence of events to make that happen. Namely:

An explosive year from the ageless Marty St. Louis, who will turn 37 this season
Great play by Stamkos, only reason to think it wouldn't continue is a contract hangover
Career year from Teddy Purcell
Career year from Steve Downie
Career year from Dominic Moore
Another solid season from Simon Gagne
Vinny getting back to form
Borderline career-year from Ryan Malone
A poor defense that overperformed
A 3-headed goalie monster that was just good enough, and is now led by almost 42-year old Rolie

Now Purcell is going to arb, Stamkos we all know, Gagne is gone, Bergenheim is gone, etc etc. I could honestly see them flaming out and winding up 10th without a whole lot of issue.

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07-16-2011, 02:00 PM
boots electric
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Originally Posted by HarryNealesGarden View Post
Am I the only one expecting a serious regression from Tampa Bay?
I'm not sure what to think of them either. If you told me they were going to win the SE, I wouldn't be surprised. If you told me they were going to finish somewhere around 10th, I wouldn't be surprised either.

My best guess:

1) Washington
2) Pittsburgh
3) Boston
4) Buffalo
5) New Jersey
6) Tampa Bay*
7) New York (Rangers)
8) Philadelphia
9) Montreal*
10) New York (Islanders)
11) Toronto
12) Winnipeg
13) Carolina*
14) Florida
15) Ottawa

*Tampa Bay - I think they're going to struggle mightily in the 2nd half of the season and back into the playoffs big-time. They'll go as far as Roloson will take then, and given his age, I think the injury bug is inevitable.

*Montreal - They're going to be a victim of the division I think. Boston always plays them rough, Toronto tries to do the same, and I foresee Regehr's physical play on the blueline becoming contagious and putting the fire into some of our young guys (Myers, Weber in particular). I feel bad predicting it, but I don't see Markov finishing the season.

*Carolina - They're going to be more or less the same team as last year. The problem is everyone else around them has gotten better. I don't see Kaberle having any sort of significant impact. Complacency is going to burn them here.

Honestly though, regardless of who occupies them, positions 6-13 are probably going to be separated by 10 points or less.

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