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Beast of the East?

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03-04-2004, 03:19 PM
  #1
south-sentral
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Beast of the East?

With the east shoring up on big name players and loading up for the stretch run, I don't think there is any clear-cut favorite. We have the annual contenders with Philly, NJ, Ottawa, and Toronto but Boston is looking stronger with the acquisitions of Gonchar and Nylander, Montreal is a threat as well. Tampa Bay came out of nowhere and now are competing for a conference title.

So who would you bank on coming out of the East? I haven't seen a talent gap this thin in years before.

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03-04-2004, 03:21 PM
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Histrion
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Well, I am an Habs fan and I wouldn't dare putting the Habs near the level of these teams.

I think that Ottawa is the better team of the bunch followed by Philadelphia.

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03-04-2004, 03:48 PM
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I'd personally say there is a group of six top teams right now(Leafs, Sens, Bruins, Devils, Flyers, Bolts) with (with all due respect) the Habs and Islanders some distance behind these teams. However these two teams still have the potential to cause an upset or major (physical) damage (Isles moreso than Habs). Things are shaping up to be very interesitng in the East to say the least...

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03-04-2004, 04:48 PM
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Blackjack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awesome`
Well, I am an Habs fan and I wouldn't dare putting the Habs near the level of these teams.

I think that Ottawa is the better team of the bunch followed by Philadelphia.
I think you're selling your team short. The Habs have one of the most important elements of a playoff contender: Elite goaltending.

I also think that people forget just how good Alexei Kovalev is. The guy is an absolutely temendous hockey player. If the Habs make 1 or 2 more deals I think they're right there with Philly, TB, Toronto and the rest...

I agree with you about Ottawa. I think they're the best team in the league and have been for at least 2 years.

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03-04-2004, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack
I think you're selling your team short. The Habs have one of the most important elements of a playoff contender: Elite goaltending.

I also think that people forget just how good Alexei Kovalev is. The guy is an absolutely temendous hockey player. If the Habs make 1 or 2 more deals I think they're right there with Philly, TB, Toronto and the rest...

I agree with you about Ottawa. I think they're the best team in the league and have been for at least 2 years.
As it is, we are already up there in terms of the standings. Odds are we won't pass the Devils, and will remain in 7th, but the playoffs are a certainty at this point, meaning unlike 2002, we don't need a dog fight just to make it, and can rest Theo down the stretch, and don't need to worry about Gilmour just running out of steam.

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03-04-2004, 05:27 PM
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I think the Habs are in the race.

With the acquisition of Kovalev, they are a better team than the Isles. It's up to New Island to acquire a elite player like Kovalev, and it would be one hell of a "top 8".

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03-04-2004, 05:49 PM
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I think any team can beat anybody in the East right now and it would be overconfidence of someone to say that there are any easy opponents in the East. This is shaping up to be one hell of a playoffs in the East. Everyone is loading up except the Isles and I wouldnt be surprised to see the Isles make a move.

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03-05-2004, 10:34 AM
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This question is in all of us. Nobody is sitting pretty. There is too much competetion this year. I would like to be a red wings or Colorado fan at this point to know that my team should make the conference final but in the east no matter how much we believe our team is the best we are scarred little kids knowing about how tough and excoiing it will be this year. Philly looked like an early favourite early on and then got hurt. They should be just as good when healthy and also added Zhamnov. It will be on Esche. Then Ottawa went and got Bondra and are simply waiting on Lalime and overall team chemistry to strengthen for the title. Toronto got a crapload better with Leech and they are always playoff warriors. They have the only proven goalie in the East who has won it. Montreal got alot better with Kovalev and if he reaches the potential that we know he can then it will all lay on Theodore and what he can do. We know what he can do but anyone other then a habs fans will be hoping he doesn't. Tampa bay probably won't make any trades but what a team. They are in the same position Ottawa was a few years ago if not better. Thye could go a long way just like Ottawa could have going back a few years. They are very scarry. Boston is a strange one--strong and alot stronger with the addition of Gonch and Nylan but for wahtever reason they just (imo) seem to lack grit come playoff time. Finally the Isles. They do not need Alexi Cashin back. Is this guy a cancer or what? Isles should be out in the first round. Lack of scoring and tending. lenty of grit but not well rounded.
It will be alot of fun this year. I haven't wanted playoffs to start so badly before

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03-05-2004, 11:42 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tytech
This question is in all of us. Nobody is sitting pretty. There is too much competetion this year. I would like to be a red wings or Colorado fan at this point to know that my team should make the conference final but in the east no matter how much we believe our team is the best we are scarred little kids knowing about how tough and excoiing it will be this year. Philly looked like an early favourite early on and then got hurt. They should be just as good when healthy and also added Zhamnov. It will be on Esche. Then Ottawa went and got Bondra and are simply waiting on Lalime and overall team chemistry to strengthen for the title. Toronto got a crapload better with Leech and they are always playoff warriors. They have the only proven goalie in the East who has won it. Montreal got alot better with Kovalev and if he reaches the potential that we know he can then it will all lay on Theodore and what he can do. We know what he can do but anyone other then a habs fans will be hoping he doesn't. Tampa bay probably won't make any trades but what a team. They are in the same position Ottawa was a few years ago if not better. Thye could go a long way just like Ottawa could have going back a few years. They are very scarry. Boston is a strange one--strong and alot stronger with the addition of Gonch and Nylan but for wahtever reason they just (imo) seem to lack grit come playoff time. Finally the Isles. They do not need Alexi Cashin back. Is this guy a cancer or what? Isles should be out in the first round. Lack of scoring and tending. lenty of grit but not well rounded.
It will be alot of fun this year. I haven't wanted playoffs to start so badly before
I think you forgot one very important team. The defending Stanley Cup champs.

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03-05-2004, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icewind Dale
I think you forgot one very important team. The defending Stanley Cup champs.
Thats Ok, it's the way we like it, we always seem to play our best in the playoffs when we are under everybody's radar.

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03-05-2004, 12:10 PM
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I like the Leafs now more than the Flyers.

But don't count out the New Jersey Devils, guys. Remember last year coming into the playoffs, they were 3rd or 4th on everyones 'Eastern Cup Contenders' list, and once again they reached up and snatched it away from everyone.

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03-05-2004, 12:21 PM
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tytech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icewind Dale
I think you forgot one very important team. The defending Stanley Cup champs.

I didn't forget about them. I refuse to acknowledge them.

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03-05-2004, 01:55 PM
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New Jersey or Tampa Bay

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Old
03-05-2004, 01:59 PM
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Ronnie Bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tytech
I didn't forget about them. I refuse to acknowledge them.
Fear does lead to denial. :p

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Old
03-05-2004, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tytech
This question is in all of us. Nobody is sitting pretty. There is too much competetion this year. I would like to be a red wings or Colorado fan at this point to know that my team should make the conference final but in the east no matter how much we believe our team is the best we are scarred little kids knowing about how tough and excoiing it will be this year.
Actually I think we Red Wings fans are quite aware that we are not guaranteed a conference final spot. But it does seem like all the major contenders are sucking up the best players from non-contenders. This should be a fantastic playoff year.

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Old
03-05-2004, 02:11 PM
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Honestly... i'd have to say a tie at top: NJ, Toronto, Ottawa then philly et al.

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03-05-2004, 04:24 PM
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Bruins baby!!!YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

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Old
03-05-2004, 06:00 PM
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The East is very weird this year. I still look at the conference and say one of Philly, Jersey, Ottawa, or Toronto will come out, with a possiblity of Tampa as well. However, Ottawa seems to have an edge on the Flyers, the Flyers have dominated the Leafs recently, Jersey has the ability to beat anyone and we don't really know how Tampa will fair in the playoffs this year. If one of those 4 big teams manages to avoid the others in the first two rounds, I think that's who will come out of the east.

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