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Breakdown of Eastern Conference Playoff Teams

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02-14-2007, 01:19 AM
  #1
Sens4Cup
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Breakdown of Eastern Conference Playoff Teams

I thought it would be a good plan to break down the current Eastern Conference playoff teams, excluding the Sens to see what they'll be up against and see what glaring weaknesses might be present in their opponents.

1 - Buffalo - strong offense, strong defense, very solid goaltending
- lack a #1 d-man, and have been much weaker in the 2nd half
2 - New Jersey - very weak offense, but strong D, and lots of cup rings on the team
- weaker on D than in the Stanley Cup years
- if Brodeur falters at all, there out
3 - Atlanta - very weak D, no PP QB, no shutdown D, and a very high GA/g
- worst PK in the league
- offense could carry this team, but just how far?
4 - Pittsburgh - strong offense, improving defense, and Crosby, Malkin, Staal and Fleury
- are either great as a team or below average
- Fleury has shown large cracks in his game in pressure filled situations
- are young and inexperienced and their D can be exploited
5 - Ottawa - strong D, strong offense, and Emery's solid
- need to put it together in the playoffs
6 - Tampa Bay - by far the worst goaltending of any playoff team
- Lecavalier and St. Louis carry the team, if they're shutdown, it's lights out
- very exploitable defense
- will likely go down in 5 games to any team they face, though if they play Atlanta it could be a crapshoot
7 - Montreal - have a very poor defensive offense with lots of small and weak players, like Kovalev and Ryder, Koivu while tough is small and can be pushed around
- very much lack offense, and defense, scoring less than they allow
- good special teams, and solid goaltending
8 - Carolina - lack goaltending and defense
- are not the same team as last year, and will not go far if they make it into the playoffs
- poor PK and one of the worst PP in the league
- have yet to put together a solid stretch of wins

Anything to add?

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02-14-2007, 05:10 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sens4Cup View Post
I thought it would be a good plan to break down the current Eastern Conference playoff teams, excluding the Sens to see what they'll be up against and see what glaring weaknesses might be present in their opponents.

1 - Buffalo - strong offense, strong defense, very solid goaltending
- lack a #1 d-man, and have been much weaker in the 2nd half
2 - New Jersey - very weak offense, but strong D, and lots of cup rings on the team
- weaker on D than in the Stanley Cup years
- if Brodeur falters at all, there out
3 - Atlanta - very weak D, no PP QB, no shutdown D, and a very high GA/g
- worst PK in the league
- offense could carry this team, but just how far?
4 - Pittsburgh - strong offense, improving defense, and Crosby, Malkin, Staal and Fleury
- are either great as a team or below average
- Fleury has shown large cracks in his game in pressure filled situations
- are young and inexperienced and their D can be exploited
5 - Ottawa - strong D, strong offense, and Emery's solid
- need to put it together in the playoffs
6 - Tampa Bay - by far the worst goaltending of any playoff team
- Lecavalier and St. Louis carry the team, if they're shutdown, it's lights out
- very exploitable defense
- will likely go down in 5 games to any team they face, though if they play Atlanta it could be a crapshoot
7 - Montreal - have a very poor defensive offense with lots of small and weak players, like Kovalev and Ryder, Koivu while tough is small and can be pushed around
- very much lack offense, and defense, scoring less than they allow
- good special teams, and solid goaltending
8 - Carolina - lack goaltending and defense
- are not the same team as last year, and will not go far if they make it into the playoffs
- poor PK and one of the worst PP in the league
- have yet to put together a solid stretch of wins

Anything to add?


not really ... just an average defensive team i would say ... teams just get intimidate by their offense so they stick back ... they just have to pushed hard in their own zone

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02-14-2007, 07:21 AM
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A little early considering the teams will look different come playoffs, but here's my two cents on teams I think will challenge for a playoff spot.

Buffalo I think Ottawa matches up well against them. They have a softer D than they might like and will most likely address this by the trade deadline. IMO Ottawa's biggest threat to come out of the East.

New Jersey They will be a strong threat (like almost every year) in the postseason. All I need to say is Brodeur. Second to Buffalo in terms of threat factor to Ottawa.

Atlanta Fading fast. Tampa Bay might overtake them very soon. Yes they have a strong offense even strength, but they don't strike me as a very well built "playoff" team. Their special teams are brutal; worst in the league (PP, PK combined).

Pittsburgh Darkhorse comes to mind. I think they have the tools to go far as they finally seem to playing well as a "team". Very little playoff experience amongst the key players. This makes it hard to assess how they will react to playoff hockey. IMO a likely first round opponent for Ottawa. Would be a really fun series.

Tampa Bay Goaltending a weakness as is depth past the top line. It's far too easy for opposing teams to concentrate shutting down one line. IMO not a playoff threat.

Montreal Where to start. Biggest weakness is thier 5 on 5 play. This team would be a bottom feeder if not for thier great special teams play, especially earlier on in the year. To me this team is too soft and has a bad mix of players. Too many players of the same mold. I'd love Ottawa to play them in the post season.

Carolina IMO another darkhorse. I suspect Carolina is going to make a big splash before the trade deadline. As such, this is a tough team to evaluate.

Toronto A team that works very hard and is well coached which offsets thier lack of offensive talent. To me, the biggest question mark will be if they have any gas left once the post season starts. I think they will make the playoffs, but be out quite early.

NY Islanders I think they have the potential to upset a high seed in the first round. Tough, gritty team that won't be fun to play against. Dipietro has been strong this year.

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02-14-2007, 08:47 AM
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The only change I would make is that I think NJ has good offense, and phenomenol goaltending, but I don't respect their defensemen per se. They give up few goals because the team as a whole backchecks and Brodeur stands on his head...but looking at their defense corps, I don't see anyone that scares me.

That being said, it's quite clear to me that they, Buffalo, and possibly Carolina are the ones to watch out for. If NJ and Buffalo end up in the top three (which they probably will), and we finish above NUmber 5, the the good news is we don't have to face them in the first round!

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02-14-2007, 08:47 AM
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Buffalo - A great team - will play to max potential. Weakness is lack of size up front and lack of physical play. Beatable. Too much offense by committee.

New Jersey - Perenial Danger in post season. Led by Goalie, protects weak defense. Strong nucleus of experienced forwards - strength is coaching and team concept. Defense may crumble to speedy team. Could go all the way.....

Atlanta - relies on few elite players. Weak defense and lack of team concept should spell early exit in playoffs. Would be lower seeded in other division.

Pittsburgh - team led by group of exciting young stars. Could win a round but will yield experience to almost any opponent. Defense and goaltending questionable. Expect to see team flaws exposed in playoffs.

Tampa Bay - goaltending is this team's nemesis. Until they possess a proven goaltender this team is going nowhere. Strong group of proven stars up front should be able to provide offense.

Montreal - the ball is ended and Cinderella's carriage has become a pumpkin again. It only looked like a porche.

Carolina - will the stars align again ? Team looks weak on defense and has stuttered all season. May tighten up again in playoffs. May attempt to obtain help before deadline.

Toronto - speed up front should have generated more wins but defense is slow and goaltending is inconsistent. Lacks team identity.
Could win a round if make playoffs but will likely have little left in tank.


NY Islanders - strong defense core could win a round if goaltending holds. Lack of leadership up front. Poor management will likely prevent team from acquiring needed components.

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02-14-2007, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rban View Post
The only change I would make is that I think NJ has good offense, and phenomenol goaltending, but I don't respect their defensemen per se. They give up few goals because the team as a whole backchecks and Brodeur stands on his head...but looking at their defense corps, I don't see anyone that scares me.

Did anyone see the Devils/Lightning game on Sunday? New Jersey was still playing the trap when they were down 4-1. They never waiver from their style of play no matter the situation. Will they employ this strategy in the playoffs? Maybe not but they have little experience changing to a more offensive game when the get behind. Their gameplan comes down to two words: Bro Deur. While that isn't a terrible gameplan, Ottawa has great defense and solid goaltending and a quick game with hard forechecking will generate plenty of offensive opportunities.

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02-14-2007, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by PlayItAgain View Post
Pittsburgh IMO a likely first round opponent for Ottawa. Would be a really fun series.
I agree. It's looking right now like we could see them first round right now although there is still plenty of hockey to play. That would be an awesome, exciting match-up.

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02-14-2007, 02:05 PM
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Pitts vs Ottawa:

A-train/Phillips vs Crosby-Recchi line
Redden/Mesz vs Malkin-Staal line

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02-14-2007, 02:08 PM
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Honestly the only team in the East capable of beating us, to me, is New Jersey. As great as Buffalo has been hyped up to be, they're going to fold under the pressure in my opinion. They're not underdogs anymore, and we can definately beat them this year.

I'd love to play Pittsburgh in the first round. I think they're CAPABLE of an upset but I just don't see it happening. It'll end up Crosby vs Ottawa and they don't have the defense to stop 3 lines constantly firing at them. Volchenkov/Phillips on the other hand can handle their top line.

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02-14-2007, 02:31 PM
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Pittsburgh's probably going to be a force in years to come, but this is the year where making the playoffs is a huge deal to them. Not that they might not upset in the first round, but I don't expect them to make a lot of noise. They'll be gaining experience.

Anyway, I'm not hoping for any matchups, because that never goes well for me.

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02-14-2007, 02:35 PM
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I just want to make the playoffs and be #4.

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02-15-2007, 11:58 AM
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Pitts is not just a one-line team, they ae a 2-line team. Both the Crosby-Recchi line and the Malkin-Staal line constantly generate good offense. So Phillips/Atrain alone won't do; Mesz-Redden needs to improve drasticaaly before the playoff, or else it'll be an early exit for us.

Even Tampa Bay, whom we consider a one-line team, are really more of a 2-line team. We gotta have more than just one good defensive pairing or we're screwed. Mesz and Redden are NOT playing well, and I want them to improve drastically come playoff time.

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02-15-2007, 12:09 PM
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Apparently most of the Pittsburgh fans aren't all that concerned about facing us in the playoffs this year. They're getting seriously cocky over there and I'd say only about 30 percent look at us as a serious threat. Of course a lot of them are bringing up the age old argument of us being playoff chokers. If the team is thinking the same way (which I highly doubt) it may work to our advantage considering this is a completely different team with a completely different mindset this year. Time will tell I guess.

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02-15-2007, 12:52 PM
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Here's the Eastern teams schedule for tonight.

Oilers - Sabres = Let's go Oilers
Rangers - Hurricanes = Let's go Rangers
Maple Leafs - Flyers = Let's go Flyers
Bruins - Islanders = Let's go Bruins
Capitals - Lightning = Let's go Capitals

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02-15-2007, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr8full View Post
Apparently most of the Pittsburgh fans aren't all that concerned about facing us in the playoffs this year. They're getting seriously cocky over there and I'd say only about 30 percent look at us as a serious threat. Of course a lot of them are bringing up the age old argument of us being playoff chokers. If the team is thinking the same way (which I highly doubt) it may work to our advantage considering this is a completely different team with a completely different mindset this year. Time will tell I guess.
I really doubt the actual Penguins team feels that way.

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