Forwards (C+): Weight and Iginla prove to be diamonds hidden amongst much lesser gems in this group. While both the two very talented players will obviously produce, and should also help boost up the numbers of left winger Sturm, the depth past that point is fairly dismal. Isbister and Halpern make up 2/3 of the second line, while the bottom six is average at best, with Niedermayer as the only true standout.
Defence (B-): Once again the Devils went top heavy on talent for the defense and leave the bottom 2/3rds of their back-end lacking. Jovanovski is extremely cpable as a #1 defender while Niinimaa is at least capable of #2 duties. After that however the defense is a mix of #4 and #5 d-men. None are exceptionally weak but the group as a whole still lacks any stellar picks for their spots.
Goaltending (B): Kolzig hasn't been his Vezina winning self for a few years now and one must question whether or not he can hold up for long as he grows older. He is however still a capable tender and should hold out. Prusek isn't in my opinion one of the strongest back-ups possible but is more than adaquate for the situation and should do well enough.
GM: Hopkinator was extremely quiet on the movement front throughout the draft. Some of his picks were a bit questionable (I felt Kolzig got picked up a bit early given his age, and Halpern went soon given his talent level in my mind). He made some nice picks with Vishnevski and Iginla, however I wasn't overly impressed.
Final Thoughts: I see New Jersey as being in contention for a playoff spot, but will likely end up as the odd man out, landing the #9 seed. Of course, if Boston can't live up to all the competition in the East, don't be overly surprised if NEw Jersey queezes into the race.
Cup Contenders: Unlikely
Current Leafs on Roster: 0
Former Leafs on Roster: 0
Forwards (A): Possibly the best current group of forwards in the league. The Islanders assembled an aging, but extremely capable offensive force through the draft with capable scorers throughout the top nine. There is a heavy mix of star-power and role-players throughout, and the Islanders should be able to generate plenty of offense.
Defence (B+): The blueline is also very capable, though half of it is on the verge of retirement. Each paringin seems to have a polar opposite of youth and age, however the overall qualkity for the season should be there.
Goaltending (C+): The goaltending here isn't very promising. Hasek has proven to be extremely injury prone in th past and with age could be comepletely incapable. Cechmanek does provide a good bumper as a back up plan, however no matter who's getting the starts it would be doubtful for goaltending to carry the team.
GM: I can't say that I would have gone through with WCJr's season plan of a heapo of aging vets with youth sprinkled throughout, but it should at least produce results for the upcoming season. Also, at least a competitive portion of the roster should be able to make it over the next few seasons, and Schwarz provides a light for the future in goal.
Final Thoughts: The Fishsticks could contend for the Eastern title this year especially if Toronto and Ottawa manage to detroy each other through division matchups, however even tops amongst the Atlantic isn't certain with Philadelphia providing strong competition and with an ace in net. Also, with a tonne of veteran presence, the team could do very well in the post season.
Cup Contenders: Possibly
Current Leafs on Roster: 1
Former Leafs on Roster: 2
Forwards (D): New York's forwards are a far cry from quality. They have strenth along with wings in their top six, however their centres are possibly the worst pack in the league. Depth on the wings runs out quickly once the bottom two lines are revealed as well. Defensive responsibiity is also lacking in many of their forwards.
Defence (C+): Defense for the Rangers is fairly competitive, with Blake Foote and Rathje as the top three. All are worthy of top pairing minutes and will provide an excllent foundation for the back-end. However with Timander, Trkna and Quint trailing behind, the defense is brought back down to earth. Still, with the top half extmreely proven, this should end up as New York's strong point.
Goaltending (C+): Belfour should produce results, however his back still remains a question and whether or not his paly will hold up given his potential workload is a major question. Snow as a backup is also extrmeely questionable given age and overall talent.
GM: I can't say I found any of the GMs to be overly impressive.
Final Thoughts: New York will likely be scrubbing the bottom of the barrel in the East this year but could pull ahead if injuries favour them, or Belfour carries the team.
Cup Contenders: No
Current Leafs on Roster: 1
Former Leafs on Roster: 2
Forwards (B): The Flyers have a well rounded team of forwards, with some excellent players scattered throughout. The top line should produce easily, providing Daze doesn't get hurt. The second line wingers are a bit questionable with Turgeon and Lagenbrunner on the left and right respectively, though Datsyuk is an excellent player who should improve both. The bottom six isn't overly impressive but is still solid.
Defence (C+): Overall I'm not extremely impressed with Philly's defense. Leetch should do well as a #1 guy for the season, but Smith has always seemed like a high-end second pairng D-man to me, while I am dissapointe dto see that Poti is getting top-four minutes even in a fantasy league. Still Shultz was a good acquisition and Popvic and Cullimore should do well enoguh together on the final paring.
Goaltending (A): Probably my favourite set of tenders in the league, the Flyer's went with young, Grade A quality twine-minders for the crease and should make up for deficiencies in the defense. The two will also be around for seasons to come haunting shooters throughout the East.
GM: Unfortunately Dar had a wrench thrown into his plans slightly as his list got lost in the mad list deletion of day one. As such he didn't get a defender with his #2 pick like he had asked for which likely is largely accountable for his blueline. Still, Dar did an admirable job putting together his roster while he was around and sniffed out a few steals.
Cup Contenders: Possibly
Current Leafs on Roster: 0
Former Leafs on Roster: 3
Forwards (C-): Pittsburgh is extremely top heavy when it comes to talent on forward as Kariya, Lemieux, Peca and Allison are all excellent talents, however the drop from them to Czerkawski, and then from Czerkawski to Sharp is mind boggeling. The score would likely be lower as well if these lines were definite, with Allison playing on the wing for some unknown reason.
Defence (D+): Much like their forwards, they have good top end talent in Lidstrom, but it goes downhill quickly. Tallinder has no business in a top painring while Wesley and Ference comprise a rather weak second pairing. Kuznetsov and Krajicek shouldn't even be getting NHL ice time in my opinion at this point.
Goaltending (C-): Roloson is an average starter at best in the league and won't be able to carry the team for any length of time. Pittsburgh also sports one of the most questionable back-up selections in the league in Deslauriers which is definitely worrying.
GM: Leafs_fan1001 went all out on young talent, including some really surprising picks (Higgins) and his roster isn't going to compete as a result. The future might hold something for the Pens, but I kind of doubt it.
Final Thoughts: Pittsburgh should be contending for the first overall pick at the lottery come the off-season.
Cup Contenders: No
Current Leafs on Roster: 2
Former Leafs on Roster: 1
Last edited by Verbal Kint*: 09-10-2005 at 12:12 PM.
Offence: Any offence with Iginla certainly has the potential to be dangerous. However, goal scoring outside the top line will be hard to come by. The offence from the blueline is solid with Ninnima and Jovo anchoring a PP should be fairly efficient
Defence: The Devils have good all around forwards on their squad, and some excellent defencemen in Jovo,Vishnevski and Ninnima. Team D is one of the strengths of this team.
Goaltending: probably the biggest hole. Kolzig can no longer boast about being one of the top keepers in the league, and Prusek cannot handle more then your average backup.
Immediate Impact-Devils will put forward a solid team this year and should grab the last playoff spot in the East. They get to play the Rangers and Pens 16 times in total which will make thier record better then their roster.
Long Term Impact: the Devils will stay on a similar course for awhile. They need a long term solution in net, but there is no reason to believe there will be a huge drop off in the coming years, but also theres no reason to believe a Cup run is in their future either.
Overall a decent team that will put a decent season together, but the best they can hope for is a playoff spot.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Offence:An excellent crop of forwards, probably one of the best, in the league will mean goal scoring will not be a problem in Long Island.
Defence: strong all the way through. The emergence of Liles will be a key factor in the succes of this unit.
Goaltending: The one question mark on this team. Hasek is getting up in years and is not the player he once was, nor can he be expected to play 65 games, which could be a problem with Cechmanek being one of the biggest enigmas in the game. He can stand on his head one week and then the next makes you wonder why he's in the league
Short Term: veteran laden team is sure to be VERY good this year. Defintley a cup contender, and probably one the favourites at this point
Long term: The Isles were smart to fire Milbury and replace him with WCjr who obviously has a much better knowledge then mad Mike. Several prospects wait in the wings for this long term contender
Cup Contender: YES
NEW YORK RANGERS
Offence: Weak, not much guaranteed scoring other then Naslund who may be on the trading block. While Mogilny can score injuries are an issue and Zednik has been known to disappear at times.Blake represents some offense from the blueline but other then that the Rangers will not score many goals this year.
Defence:Blake and Foote make up an excellent top pairing, and evemn Rathje is a decent addition to the top 4, after that the bottom drops out very fast. Good defence from the forwards, but their are too many defensive lines when the Rangers really need scoring.
Goaltending:Belfour and Snow make up a good tandem. While injury prone, Eddie has been stellar the last few years and may have another year in him, if not though, the Rangers can rely on Snow to split the duties and be a mroe then capable backup
Short Term: The Rangers will have a lot of trouble scoring and if their goaltending does not pan out they'll be contenders in the Kessel sweepstakes. If the goaltending is good, they'll be able to win some 2-1 games because of strong defensive forwards
Long Term: trouble. the Rangers have no future strong nhl prospects.
It all comes down to Eddie in New York. He'll be the difference between a respectable team and a horrid one.
Offence: the top two lines are strong, and there is even potential on the bottom two lines as well. The offence from the blueline is solid as well with Leetch.
Defence: decent, but not spectacular. Poti may cause trouble if the plays too many minutes
Goaltending: Robert Luongo is a Vezina contender. No problem at all in nets in Philly
Short Term: Definite cup contenders
Long Term: only real problem will be on Defence where some of the players are getting up there with no replacments that can keep the D at the level it is now.
Cup Contenders: Yes
Offence: VERY good on the top line, but thats about it. Pens better hope the Lemieux of old is healthy all year.
Defence: Lindstrom may be a better player then the rest of the D combined
Goaltending: Rolosson is ok in a platoon role, but cannot handle the load he'll get this year
Short Termhil Kessel
Long Term: Some prospects who will be decent role players on this team, but the Pens lack future stars too build the franchise upon.
Devils: Prediction: 3rd in Atlantic
Isles: Prediction: 1st in Atlantic
Rangers: Prediction: 4th in Atlantic
Flyers: Prediction: 2nd in Atlantic
Penguins: Prediction: 4th in Northeast
I don't get it! Why not just rank them 12345?
Why start with 3rd? I'm assuming the Pens 4th in the Northeast was a mistake. Maybe 5th in Atlantic?
I think it would be best if you started with the 5th and went your way down to the 1st!! but that's just moi.
I do them alphabetically and yes, Pittsburgh were supposed to be 5th, I had copied and pasted the Boston one from the Northeast forecast for the teams and fixed everything (well, except for the Pen's prediction).