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National Hockey League Talk Discuss NHL players, teams, games, and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Which teams do you think are dark horses to go far this year?

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Old
08-27-2013, 12:35 AM
  #1
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Which teams do you think are dark horses to go far this year?

Which teams do you think have the ability to surprise that no one really expects?

My picks would be Columbus, Tampa, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver.

Columbus:

I think they finally have the team to do something this year. The addition of Gaborik and Horton are huge for their offense and with a Vezina winning goaltender and a solid defensive core, they have the ability to get hot at the right time and possibly make a run.

Tampa Bay:

I think we all expect a team with players like Steven Stamkos and Marty St Louis to be able to do something this season. Their goaltending is questionable with Ben Bishop and Lindback fighting for the starting job, but I think if Bishop or Lindback play to the best of their ability, it could very much help Tampa make a run.

Edmonton:

With the addition of Perron, Gordon and Ference, Edmonton receives some much needed veteran leadership to their young team. Taylor Hall has superstar written all over him and seems to be ready for a huge break out season... Jordan Eberle, Yakupov, and Hopkins are not far behind.. Edmonton has the players to make a run, but can their newly acquired coach Dallas Eakins finally help them to the postseason?

Toronto:

Game 7 heartbreak from the 2013 playoffs was tough to handle, but can the Maple Leafs show resiliency and bounce back after their tough defeat? Even though they lost, the Maple Leafs gave all they could give and gave Boston, the Stanley cup runner up, a run for their money. There are some questions to be answered though in whether they have what it takes to make it again to the playoffs. Will the addition of Jonathan Bernier finally give the Leafs a nice one two punch in net? Will Lupul stay healthy? Will Kessel continue his offensive dominance? Will Nazem Kadri and Franson be re signed? If the answers to these questions are positive, look out for the Maple Leafs once again this season.

Vancouver:

Two back to back 1st round upsets after their emotional game 7 finals loss have destroyed the Canucks' status as an elite team in the league. Their core is aging, Luongo is questioning his place in Vancouver, and fans around the league are no longer looking at the Canucks as a threat. Vancouver for once in a very long time is now considered an underdog in the west. They no longer have an easy division to dominate and have to go up against the likes of Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles. Will the addition of tough coach John Tortorella give Vancouver the spark they've needed for so long? Will Luongo finally return to his old form? Will Ryan Kesler and David Booth stay healthy for the Canucks to make a run? There are many questions in Vancouver this year, but under all of their criticisms, they have as much as a chance as any if they finally play to where they're capable of.

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Old
08-27-2013, 12:41 AM
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I really seem them surprising A LOT of people this coming season. People are all up in arms about Kovy but that team still looks good to me. If they play hard they can go far.

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08-27-2013, 12:43 AM
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Beastly Bozak
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I really seem them surprising A LOT of people this coming season. People are all up in arms about Kovy but that team still looks good to me. If they play hard they can go far.
I think he means dark horse for the Stanley cup, not the draft lottery

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08-27-2013, 12:44 AM
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I don't think Toronto is a dark horse. But I'm curious about the Stars.

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08-27-2013, 12:45 AM
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08-27-2013, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilthyNote View Post


I really seem them surprising A LOT of people this coming season. People are all up in arms about Kovy but that team still looks good to me. If they play hard they can go far.
This I can agree with. But I still think they need another free agent or two. One of Brunner or Prospal and a depth defenseman. (Ron Hainsey, Lydman, etc)

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08-27-2013, 12:51 AM
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I'd watch out for the Hurricanes. With so much talent up front and Ward in net, they just need their defense to come together (which admittedly looks quite bleak right now)

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08-27-2013, 12:52 AM
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08-27-2013, 12:54 AM
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I'd watch out for the Hurricanes. With so much talent up front and Ward in net, they just need their defense to come together (which admittedly looks quite bleak right now)
Can they be considered a dark horse though when they've been considered at least a playoff contending team for a few years now? They've just not hit those expectations and fallen flat on their *****. lol

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08-27-2013, 12:59 AM
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Columbus, for sure. I could see them finishing second in the division, to be honest. All depends on their health.

Carolina is another one. Adding Sekera gives a huge boost to their defense provided it stays healthy. Very underrated player.

In the west, I think Phoenix could make some noise if a few of their young forwards take a step forward, specifically Boedker. Dallas is another one. Love their young crop of forwards and I am a huge fan of Brendan Dillon.

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08-27-2013, 01:18 AM
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Beastly Bozak
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08-27-2013, 01:36 AM
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i would say most teams in the northeast(atlantic) have the ability to go far. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if either of toronto, montreal, boston, tampa, detroit, or ottawa make the playoffs and go deep(maybe a little bit for tampa)

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08-27-2013, 01:38 AM
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Can they be considered a dark horse though when they've been considered at least a playoff contending team for a few years now? They've just not hit those expectations and fallen flat on their *****. lol
No...9 out of 10 metropolitan predictions i've seen have had them in the bottom 3.

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08-27-2013, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Beastly Bozak View Post
Washington Capitals
Wouldn't call them a dark horse per say. I think they have a pretty good shot.

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08-27-2013, 06:43 AM
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Buffalo for maybe a first round win. They'd be waay dark horse. But if things click with the rookies and guys getting a 2nd and in some case 3rd chance, things might come together. (Myers, Adams, Grigerenko, etc)

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08-27-2013, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilthyNote View Post


I really seem them surprising A LOT of people this coming season. People are all up in arms about Kovy but that team still looks good to me. If they play hard they can go far.
I agree that the Devils are a solid dark horse pick. Their puck possession numbers last season were great and I think Peter Deboer is a very good coach. I don't think the top end talent is there for a deep Cup run and I'm skeptical about some of their older forwards they'll be relying on in their top 9 holding up for a whole season, but I think they can definitely surprise some people and grab a playoff spot even without Kovi.

Also like to give a shout out to the Flyers who everyone seems to think have the worst defense and goaltending in the league. Emery/Mason certainly isn't anything to get excited about but the defense is going to be better than a lot of people expect, and with their talent up front I could see them making a semi-deep run.

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08-27-2013, 07:05 AM
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As long as Donovan and Strome or PMB play the way they are expected to, this team will surprise.

IMO, one of the best bottom 6 in the NHL. Goaltending might be the thing holding them back.

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08-27-2013, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Face Of Bear View Post
I'd watch out for the Hurricanes. With so much talent up front and Ward in net, they just need their defense to come together (which admittedly looks quite bleak right now)
Good choice. They do have some pretty talented forwards and I can see them doing pretty well with an addition of a good defenseman.

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08-27-2013, 07:16 AM
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Are the Sens still considered a darkhorse? If so: them.

Otherwise, I like the Hurricanes

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08-27-2013, 07:46 AM
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08-27-2013, 07:48 AM
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Agreed with everyone who has said the Canes, esp talking about those forwards, and if Ward can come back strong. Also liking the Stars provided Lehtonen can stay healthy and they can build some chemistry with those new additions.

I think I like the Jets to make some noise too, but I'm not as confident in that. They do have a scary, young group there. Kane is gonna blow up this year methinks, but Pavelec has got to be more consistent for them to go anywhere. If he can do that and those youngsters can take another step forward, watch out.

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08-27-2013, 08:00 AM
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08-27-2013, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beastly Bozak View Post
I think he means dark horse for the Stanley cup, not the draft lottery
It's funny because NJ is actually a much better team than Toronto. If the Leafs play like they did last year, they won't sniff the playoffs

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08-27-2013, 08:24 AM
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08-27-2013, 08:34 AM
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Dallas made some good moves this off season. Ruff as coach, they were close last year, and they have good goaltending

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