1. Detroit Redwings - Not much of an argument.
2. Chicago Blackhawks - Team improved, barring a sophomore slump, their playoff locks
3. Columbus Blue Jackets - Nash has two actual linemates, and their defense has improved. Leclaire will be more impressive, and Brassard and Voracek will step up. They're a year away.
4. Nashville Predators - they're always fighting for a spot, even if they're lacking talent.
5. St. Louis Blues - Not enough offensive talent, berglund and oshie will probably make the team, and stuff.
Nashville- Damn Radulov...what that team will do next year?
There's a fellow by the name of Patric Hörnqvist who would like to answer that question for you.
As of right now:
1. Detroit- Book it right now, they will win the West again, both regular season and playoffs. Probably will repeat as Cup champions. Nobody has improved enough to beat these guys, and the addition of Hossa makes them THE team to beat in the NHL.
2. Chicago- Rocky's done a great job of letting Tallon spend aggressively and get a pair of big free agents. I think Huet has a bigger impact for them than Campbell, though, as it answers the club's biggest question mark from last year. I'd really like to see what they do to get back under the cap though.
3. Nashville- The loss of Radulov stings in the long-term, but not in the short term. Poile's been pretty quiet this summer, but he's always got something up his sleeve. Don't pass judgement on this team until they break camp.
4. Columbus- Made some strides, got a great signing in Huselius but way overpaid Commodore and will likely expect more out of him than he can deliver. They're on the cusp, though. I think they're a #1 center and a power play QB away from a really competitive team.
5. St. Louis- The only thing that's changed is Oshie and Berglund and possibly Pietrangelo. They won't make a big enough impact to push this team into the playoffs, but it's a step in the right direction. They still need a power play QB and a younger goalie playing in the NHL because Legace doesn't have many more years left in him.
The last two are pretty much interchangeable IMO because they'll be the only ones not competing for a playoff spot this year.
Last edited by worstfaceoffmanever: 07-21-2008 at 05:49 AM.
Detroit - 'nuff said.
Nashville - Best young blue line 1 year more experienced, Sullivan and Legwand healthy.
Blackhawks - Great young team, not catching anyone by surpise this year
Blue Jackets - Good addition to D in Tyutin, good addition up front in Umberger, +LeClaire, will compete.
Blues - Not much threat upfront, decent D and tending.
I think Detroit is a lock to win the division, but the other 4 teams are all respectable and competitive. I think Nashville or Chicago will be the best bet to finish second, and Columbus the darkhorse. I just don't think this is the Blue's year, but I think they are also a team on the rise, need to find some scoring depth.
Doesn't look that way at the minute, he is still struggling.
Wings- Going out on a limb.
Hawks- just like the improvement this team has been making, last year was a step in the right direction, offseason moves will gain them a playoff berth.
Preds- Will be in the hunt, but I don't think they will make it, I got this wrong last season, hopefully I am wrong again.
Blues- I think they will be a very exciting team to watch with two Calder candidates in Oshie and Berglund, Oshie will be terrific.
Jackets- I always tip them 7th in the west like the sporting news, not this year though
Wings - ...
Hawks - They wont be anywhere near Det but will win a close battle with the next 2
Jackets - Defense got alot better, is a big Hitchcock team but still no expolsive scoring.
Preds - They get worse and worse every year.
Blues - They bring nothing to the division.