SJS finally gets it over Pittsburgh in 7. They were the only elite team that made notable moves (Havlat and Burns). Pittsburgh was great last year without Crosby and Malkin, so I think they're the class of the east at this point.
In the West, Vancouver, Chicago, Detroit will be in the hunt as usual, with LAK perhaps joining that group of elite teams.
As far as the Bruins go, Tim Thomas won the Cup for them. I can't say he's likely to do it again, but you never know.
I understand the Penguins love, with Crosby and Russian Crosby, but explain the Sharks?
It's simple really. It was late, I was tired, and the Flyers seemed like a logical choice out of the East. Then, I wondered which team out of the West would be good. And the Sharks were the first team that popped into my mind.
If I had a do-over I'd pick Detroit.
We all know the Sharks can't make it to the finals. And I almost feel that way about the modern day Flyers. And honestly, if the NHL can't put a Canadian team in the finals, they may as well just fold up and go home. Detroit's the best Canadian team in the west, is my guess! (we should give that city to Ontario)
Hmm...I think Vancouver won't get back to the finals. To me it isn't like Pittsburgh who lost to Detroit, but were still and up and coming team (were never expected to beat Detroit that year). Vancouver reminds me more of Ottawa a few years back. Dominant team, made it to the cup, but after getting embarrassed by Anaheim, they were never the same.
I see that happening to Vancouver as well after losing 2 games (including game 7 at home) against Boston. On the flipside, I think Boston gains some swagger from that win.
I think it's between Detroit, Chicago or LA in the West. I'll pick Detroit.
I think it's between Philly, Boston or Pittsburgh in the East, I'll pick Boston.