Colorado (Blake, Forsberg, Hejduk, Foote; plenty of grit and playoff experience; Aebischer has been consistent all season)
Detroit (Defense is deeper; almost everyone on the team has won the cup in past 5 years; 3 reliable goalies :p ; Yzerman > Sundin as far as leadership goes)
Tampa (Khabibulin over any Calgary goalie; more proven and playoff tested; Andreychuk > Iginla in leadership)
San Jose (Goaltending, Nabokov playoff experience; leadership (Ricci, McAuley, Stuart); team unity; coaching more experienced)
Vancouver (Deeper defense; Naslund line is just a little better than Demitra line; coaching and scoring depth is about the same)
1. Ottawa-Maybe not the same skill upfront, but the more balanced team.
2. Detroit- I really like the make-up of this team top to bottom.
3. Tampa Bay- Much more balanced.
4. Islanders- At least a healthy Islanders team.
5. St. Louis- Healthy Blues team is more balanced than the Canucks.
Colorado or Ottawa?: Ottawa by a very slim margin.
Toronto or Detriot? : Detroit
Calgary or Tampa? : draw. the one with the hottest goaltending will win this one.
NY Islanders or San Jose? : SJ. When they play as they are doing now, they can (and do) take down any team in the league.
Vancouver or St. Louis? : Van, mostly because Blues defense has taken a huge hit.
Ottawa while Colorado has key guys (Forsberg!) injured Detroit since Toronto is slumping Tampa till Calgary gets back Kiprusoff, then maybe Calgary San Jose easily over NYI, they are much better than given credit for!! Vancouver over STL, Blues season is whacked due to injury
Choices would be completely different without the injuries... I think San Jose is better than the Blues right now, and San Jose is closer to Vancouver and Colorado and Detroit then most give them credit for...
Ottawa and Detroit are probably the top two teams right now, used to be Ottawa and Colorado, but with Forsberg out and Hasek back in soon, Detroit gets it now.