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11/12 Eastern Conference Standings Predictions

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Old
08-20-2011, 10:01 PM
  #1
Hackett
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11/12 Eastern Conference Standings Predictions

We are less than a month away from training camps starting up. I thought it would be a good time to start a predicition thread. Apologies if there already is one, but I didnt come across any. What do you guys have? Here is mine.

1. Washington Capitals - It was a slight off year for their big guns partly due to a more committed effort to defense, but also because it was simply a down year. I was impressed by johansson last season and he should only get better this season in the 2C slot. Throw in the additions of gritty veterans like ward, and brouwer while retaining laich, and you got a fairly massive group of forwards. Hamrlik brings stability on the backend and halpern is a strong pickup for specific roles. Most importantly, they get instant credibility in net with vokoun... something they haven't had since kolzig. McPhee had a terrific summer.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins - There are still questions regarding crosby's health but assuming he's in the lineup sooner than later, the pens 1-2-3 punch at centre are as good as anyone. Bylsma has a knack of getting the most out the supporting players too. They will be a force imo

3. Montreal Canadiens - Their resistance to folding after losing markov and gorges early on cannot be ignored. Markov's return will be an immediate boost to PP, PK, and 5 on 5 play. Price established himself as one of the league's best, and while there is no star forward, the habs potentially boast 3 balanced skill lines. The habs dont necessarily have to worry about injuries themselves, but rather injuries to key guys for extended lengths of time, as was the case last year.

4. Boston Bruins - I suspect a bit of a cup hangover, but I also have a feeling that the emerging star in seguin will offset a bit of the impact from it. They are still a team with no gaping holes and should be battling for the division all season long alongside mtl and buffalo

5. Tampa Bay Lightning - Their top forwards can stack up against anyone. Defense is decent enough and they really missed kubina down the stretch last year. The big question mark for me is in goal. Is this the year where roloson loses it, and if so, is garon the guy to take the reigns? Yzerman may be forced to make a move for a goalie at some point

6. Buffalo Sabres - One of the busiest teams in the summer, it will be interesting to see how it all comes together. They have upgraded themselves from bubble team to divisional contender imo

7. New York Rangers - You got 2 superstar calibur forwards in Gaborik and Richards. If torts can keep marian happy, and most importantly, if marian can stay healthy, this could be the making of an explosive duo. The rangers built an identity last year as a big team that wears you down physically and works very hard. Add in one of the best goalies in the game, and a decent youth core on the backend and you got a pretty good team. They just find themselves in a pretty intense division.

8. Philadelphia Flyers - I see this as a team that took one step back for the present in order to take two steps for the future. They have their best goalie since hextall in the 80's and there's still enough key veterans in guys like timonen, pronger, briere, as well as emerging youngsters in grioux and JVR to keep this club competitive for the present. Jagr is a wildcard, he can go either way. All in all, there's lots to look forward to in philly for years to come.

-------

9. New Jersey Devils - They will have parise back who obviously adds a different dimension to the club. I'm not sure what to expect from Brodeur anymore, and hedberg isnt getting any younger. This is a bubble team imo.

10. Carolina Hurricanes - They have a good collection of young talent and one of the better goalies in the league. Was kaberle's perfomance in the playoffs a sign of things to come or is he going to redeem himself? Here's another team that will compete for a playoff spot.

11. Toronto Maple Leafs - They are steering in the right direction. Its a matter of staying on course and not falling into temptation of making a move for the present by mortgaging some of the accumulated assets for the future. I see this as another transitional year in toronto.

12. Winnipeg Jets - They got some nice pieces in place for the future, however, they didnt really try to insulate them with any additional pieces during the summer. They seem a little low on overall depth. I think the travel will work against them as well with washington being the closest divisional rival... yikes

13. Florida Panthers - This just looks like a team that had one goal in mind and that was to get to the salary floor by any means. Outside of goaltending, I actually think the team improved, but the downgrade from vokoun to theodore is substantial.

14. Ottawa Senators - The aging alfredsson, and gonchar as well as spezza are going to need monster seasons to keep this club in some sort of playoff contention. Craig Anderson is a wildcard. Which Anderson will we see?

15. New York Islanders - I feel kind of wrong having the isles down here as they do have some exciting young talent, but I suppose someone needs to occupy this space. There's just so much youth so you expect some major inconsistencies too. I heard nabokov is going to report to camp, which could be interesting, and having streit back definitely helps.... but its the new york islanders.

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Old
08-20-2011, 10:15 PM
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Bill McNeal
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I suck at these...

1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Buffalo
4. New York
5. Boston
6. Montreal
7. Tampa Bay
8. Philadelphia

This is extremely lame on my part considering it's the same 8 teams as this past season. Up until recently I had the Devils in, but I've soured on them a bit.

9. New Jersey
10. Toronto
11. Carolina
12. New York Islanders
13. Winnipeg
14. Florida
15. Ottawa

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Old
08-20-2011, 10:18 PM
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Estimated_Prophet
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There is so much parity that it is very difficult to predict how the season will unfold.

Washington and Pittsburgh are IMO the top teams in the east on paper.

I think the Islanders will take a step forward this season and will be a first half surprise but will fall to earth in the second half.

The two sad sack teams will be Ottawa and Florida.

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Old
08-20-2011, 10:19 PM
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Hackett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill McNeal View Post
I suck at these...

1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Buffalo
4. New York
5. Boston
6. Montreal
7. Tampa Bay
8. Philadelphia

This is extremely lame on my part considering it's the same 8 teams as this past season. Up until recently I had the Devils in, but I've soured on them a bit.

9. New Jersey
10. Toronto
11. Carolina
12. New York Islanders
13. Winnipeg
14. Florida
15. Ottawa
same with me... but I only realized it now.... that is pretty lame lol

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Old
08-20-2011, 10:23 PM
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Bill McNeal
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Originally Posted by Hackett View Post
same with me... but I only realized it now.... that is pretty lame lol
I criticize publications for always being so conservative with their playoff predictions, but I'm the same away. I'm always hesitant to pick unproven teams. Hell, I'm still a bit leery of Tampa, though they did play excellent hockey in the playoffs.

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Old
08-20-2011, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill McNeal View Post
I suck at these...

1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Buffalo
4. New York
5. Boston
6. Montreal
7. Tampa Bay
8. Philadelphia

This is extremely lame on my part considering it's the same 8 teams as this past season. Up until recently I had the Devils in, but I've soured on them a bit.

9. New Jersey
10. Toronto
11. Carolina
12. New York Islanders
13. Winnipeg
14. Florida
15. Ottawa

This would probably be mine, except I'd switch the Flyers with the Devils.

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Old
08-20-2011, 10:53 PM
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1) Pittsburgh (if Crosby is healthy)
2) Washington
3) Montreal
4) Buffalo
5) Boston
6) New York Rangers
7) Carolina
8) Philadelphia
9) Tampa Bay
10) New Jersey
11) Winnipeg
12) New York Islanders
13) Ottawa
14) Toronto
15) Florida

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Old
08-20-2011, 11:41 PM
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1) Tampa Bay*
2) New Jersey*
3) Montreal*
4) Washington
5) Pittsburgh
6) Buffalo
7) Philadelphia
8) Boston
9) Carolina
10) New York Rangers
11) Toronto
12) Florida
13) Winnipeg
14) New York Islanders
15) Ottawa

* = division winners

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Old
08-21-2011, 12:20 AM
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Top-4 group: Serious Cup Contenders and Playoff locks


1- Washington
a veteran netminder of vokoun's caliber can bring up the whole teams level of play, ward/hamrlik/halpern are perfect additions to their young talented team.

2- Boston
i may hate the Bruins, but i think they are a team that will carry the swagger of being cup champions, horton is apparently ready to go and they still have a talented group of young fwds that should only be better this year (Krecj, Bergeron, Lucic, Seguin, Marchand...)

3- Philly
Bryz lifted the Yotes from the basement to the playoffs, he should lift the revamped flyers back to the top of their division. Pronger/Laviolette will control the room keeping everyone on the same page and despite their moves, they still have the deepest collection of fwd talent in the league

4- Pittsburgh
if they stay healthy, will challenge for conference title, Crosby's ? knocks them down a few pegs


5-9 Group: playoff locks, could contend for div title if things go well, but team that suffers worse luck/injury problems will fall out of playoffs


5- Buffalo
might take them a bit of time to gel (but Ruff is the kind of coach to make that a quick transition), but they are probably the most improved team in the conference (with Washington). even without big stars(vanek/miller being only established elite talent), their fwd group is deep and talented, their defense is well-balanced, and Miller is among the leagues best in nets.

6- New Jersey
i think 2nd half was closer reflection to their potential, getting Parise back and Kovalchuk acclimatized should make them a very dangerous team, Brodeur will be ultra-motivated b/c he's close to the finish line (would have them higher, but their division will be toughest in the league, which will cost them points... swap them with Pitt if Crosby/Malkin are slowed by injuries).

7- Montreal
Price (supported by Martin's system) will continue to carry this team. If Eller/DD step up and solve centre depth issue and Cole/MaxPac help fix 5on5 scoring problems, we could contend with the top teams, but ultimately we are still far too thin in terms of reliable offensive talent (and "toughness") to be a contender.

8- Tampa Bay
Boucher will continue to get the most out of this group, but imo goaltending is a ?, can rolosson repeat last year's regular season heroics or will father time catch up to him...

9- New York Rangers
if Richards is/remains healthy, they could easily make the playoffs, but if not (or if Gaborik hits the IR yet again), they don't have the top-end talent to survive the toughest division in hockey imo. Lundqvist + a talented young defense is still their biggest strength.

10-13 group: not likely to make playoffs unless everything goes well AND a few teams above really struggle


10- Florida
if I had to pick a dark-horse to surprise and make the playoffs, I'd go with Florida... no elite talent but lots of solid depth, but with a rookie coach, getting everyone playing on the same page will take time.

11- Toronto
they are to thin up front to be a playoff lock, and Reimer will be a ? until he proves himself over a full season+. My prediction- they will stumble in the first 1/2, finally fire Wilson, and then go on a tear and miss the playoffs despite a big deadline acquisition by Burke.

12- Winnipeg
positive buzz will carry them through early goings, but ultimately the lack of depth up front and relying on too much youth will keep them on the outside looking in.

13- Carolina
last year they suffered virtually no serious injuries, and got solid seasons from all their key-personnel (not too mention Skinner's surprise explosion) and still missed the playoffs... unlikely that they will be that lucky again, losing Cole will hurt, and Kaberle won't be enough to lift them any higher.

14-15: basement teams

14- NY Islanders
did not improve their roster externally (reasoner is a nice depth player, that's it), and while getting Streit and Okposo back for full season will help, they are still far to thin to deal with injuries and every team in their division will be as good or better than last year... another lottery pick is the best they can hope for

15- Ottawa
looking at their moves (or lack thereof), i think the internal plan is to stay in the lottery pick range for one more year... Konopka, Filatov & Auld aren't exactly the kind of players that will lift a basement team into playoff contention. counting on Spezza/Alfredsson/Michalek to stay healthy and carry the offense is optimistic at best.


15-

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Old
08-21-2011, 12:30 AM
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My guess:

01 Washington*
02 Pittsburgh*
03 Boston*
04 Buffalo
05 Philadelphia
06 Montreal
07 New Jersey
08 NY Rangers
=
09 Tampa Bay
10 Toronto
11 Carolina
12 Winnipeg
13 NY Islanders
14 Ottawa
15 Florida

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08-21-2011, 12:49 AM
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tinyzombies
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1) Pittsburgh (if Crosby is healthy)
2) Washington
3) Buffalo
4) Montreal (I love our balance up front now and Markov really will boost our O)
5) Boston
6) New Jersey
7) Tampa Bay
8) Philadelphia
9) New York Rangers
10) Florida
11) Toronto
12) Carolina
13) Ottawa
14) New York Islanders
15) Winnipeg


Last edited by tinyzombies: 08-21-2011 at 01:03 AM.
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Old
08-21-2011, 01:36 AM
  #12
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Toronto, on paper, has a good d-core. How it works on the ice is yet to be seen. If Reimer is strong and their d-core gels along with consistent scoring they're a good team. That's a lot of ifs, but we made it to the conference finals on ifs and **** luck.

Boston should experience a cup hangover, but they'll still be a great team.

Buffalo has improved a lot. However, it may, or may not work. That's yet to be seen.

Philadelphia and New Jersey are up in the air.

Washington should finish 1st and it shouldn't be a contest.

Pittsburgh and the Rangers will probably battle for the Pacific.

Islanders are another question mark team. Though, I think their d and ****** goaltending will cause them to finish out of the playoffs again.

As long as Rollie is healthy T-bay is fine.

Ottawa and the Jets will probably be 1-2 in terms of being last. However, Ottawa should be a fun team to watch with a mixture of young talent and goons to turn a game into a slugfest. However, that's only cool if they're not beating up our soft as butter habs.

Florida is pretty much a new team.

Carolina fits into the question mark team. They've improved, but every team in front of them has improved.

For the habs a 70+ game season for Markov and Gorges is a huge boost. + Cole gives us more size and allows us to keep our speed game.

Habs should finish 2nd-6th.

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Old
08-21-2011, 04:42 AM
  #13
Naoned
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1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Boston
4. Tampa Bay
5. Buffalo
6. Montréal
7. Philadelphia
8. NYR
9. New Jersey
10. Carolina
11. Toronto
12. New York Islanders
13. Winnipeg
14. Florida
15. Ottawa

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Old
08-21-2011, 09:09 AM
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I'm predicting the Habs finish between 1st and 15th in the East

1. Washington Capitals
2. Pittsburgh Penguins
3. Boston Bruins
4. Tampa Bay Lightning
5. Montreal Canadiens
6. Buffalo Sabres
7. New York Rangers
8. Carolina Hurricanes

9. Philadelphia Flyers
10. New Jersey Devils
11. Toronto Maple Leafs
12. Winnipeg Jets
13. Ottawa Senators
14. Florida Panthers
15. New York Islanders

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Old
08-21-2011, 09:26 AM
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1 - Washington Capitals
2 - Boston Bruins
3 - Pittsburgh Penguins
4 -Tampa Bay Lightning
5 - Buffalo Sabres
6 - Montreal Canadiens
7 - New York Rangers
8 - Philadelphia Flyers
9 - Carolina Hurricanes
10 - New Jersey Devils
11 - Winnipeg Jets
12 - Toronto Maple Leafs
13 - New York Islanders
14 - Florida Panthers
15 - Ottawa Senators

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Old
08-21-2011, 10:33 AM
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1. Washington Capitals - President's Trophy.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins
3. Boston Bruins
4. Tampa Bay Lightning
5. Montreal Canadiens
6. New York Rangers
7. Buffalo Sabres
8. New Jersey Devils

9. Philadelphia Flyers
10. New York Islanders
11. Carolina Hurricanes
12. Toronto Maple Leafs
13. Winnipeg Jets
14. Ottawa Senators
15. Florida Panthers

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Old
08-21-2011, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naoned View Post
1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Boston
4. Tampa Bay
5. Buffalo
6. Montréal
7. Philadelphia
8. NYR
9. New Jersey
10. Carolina
11. Toronto
12. New York Islanders
13. Winnipeg
14. Florida
15. Ottawa
This is what i have also.

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08-21-2011, 11:35 AM
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1. x-Washington
2. x-Philadelphia
3. x-Boston
4. Pittsburgh
5. Tampa Bay
6. Montreal
7. Buffalo
8. New Jersey
9. New York Rangers
10. Toronto
11. Carolina
12. Florida
13. Winnipeg
14. New York Islanders
15. Ottawa

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Old
08-21-2011, 01:09 PM
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I wouldn't say that Price has established himself as one of the league's best yet, but he was one of them last year. It takes several years to earn the status of being one of the best in the game.

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08-21-2011, 01:26 PM
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1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Boston
4. Montreal
5. Philadelphia
6. Tampa Bay
7. Buffalo
8. Toronto

9. New York
10. Winnipeg
11. New Jersey
12. Carolina
13. New York Islanders
14. Florida
15. Ottawa

I think two things will happen. Boston/Montreal will duke it out all year, Buffalo will be close behind but never fight it out disappointing their fans after the big UFA year.

Second thing I think could/might happen is the emergence of Toronto sneaking into 8th banging out the rags who will rely heavily on Gaborik, Richards and Lundqvist.

Toronto plays 6 games against Ottawa. That could potentially be a major factor. I think Ottawa will tank big time.

So yes I believe it's possible for 4 teams in this division to make the playoffs. I also think you could flip any of the 8th 9th or 10th on my list. Will be interesting. If Lombardi comes back towards the end and they go on a tear... plus imagine the first round match-ups:

Wash-Toronto
Pitts-Buff
Tampa-Boston (rematch)
Montreal-Philly (ouch)

Would be exciting none the less.

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08-21-2011, 01:57 PM
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1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Buffalo
4. Montréal
5. New Jersey
6. Boston
7. Tampa Bay
8. Philadelphia

9. Carolina
10. New York Rangers
11. Toronto Maple Leafs
12. New York Islanders
13. Winnipeg Jets
14. Florida Panthers
15. Ottawa Senators

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Old
08-21-2011, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by neofury View Post
1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Boston
4. Montreal
5. Philadelphia
6. Tampa Bay
7. Buffalo
8. Toronto

9. New York
10. Winnipeg
11. New Jersey
12. Carolina
13. New York Islanders
14. Florida
15. Ottawa

I think two things will happen. Boston/Montreal will duke it out all year, Buffalo will be close behind but never fight it out disappointing their fans after the big UFA year.

Second thing I think could/might happen is the emergence of Toronto sneaking into 8th banging out the rags who will rely heavily on Gaborik, Richards and Lundqvist.

Toronto plays 6 games against Ottawa. That could potentially be a major factor. I think Ottawa will tank big time.

So yes I believe it's possible for 4 teams in this division to make the playoffs. I also think you could flip any of the 8th 9th or 10th on my list. Will be interesting. If Lombardi comes back towards the end and they go on a tear... plus imagine the first round match-ups:

Wash-Toronto
Pitts-Buff
Tampa-Boston (rematch)
Montreal-Philly (ouch)

Would be exciting none the less.
Neo I think you're underestimating how good Callahan and Dubinsky are, plus they have a couple other young forwards and their defence is pretty solid as well.

Buffalo is also very good, Roy missed the 2nd half of last year and Myers didn't have that great of a season.

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08-21-2011, 04:44 PM
  #23
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1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Boston
4. Montréal
5. Philadelphia
6. Buffalo
7. Tampa Bay
8. New Jersey

9. Carolina
10. New York R
11. Ottawa
12. New York I
13. Winnipeg
14. Florida
15. Toronto

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08-21-2011, 04:55 PM
  #24
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Neo I think you're underestimating how good Callahan and Dubinsky are, plus they have a couple other young forwards and their defence is pretty solid as well.

Buffalo is also very good, Roy missed the 2nd half of last year and Myers didn't have that great of a season.
I've had a gut feeling all year that if any team gets screwed out of a spot it's them. Call it underestimating if you want, just a gut feeling though.

Gaborik might go down, I don't think Callahan and Dubinsky are bad. I do think Callahan is overrated though.

We'll have to wait and see. Think Marc Staal is overrated too. Not a fan of their line-up at all.

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Old
08-21-2011, 09:16 PM
  #25
Hackett
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I wouldn't say that Price has established himself as one of the league's best yet, but he was one of them last year. It takes several years to earn the status of being one of the best in the game.
That's fair.

But it was the circumstances under which Price performed in that sold me.

He already has the most pressure packed job in the game, then you add the burden of living up to halak's heroics, and the uneasy feeling of knowing that the fans were ready to turn on him at the slightest mistake.

Despite all that, price not only performed, but he thrived, and that leads me to believe that he has very strong mental makeup, thus, I cant see him regressing this season. It should be alot easier on him mentally entering this season than last.

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