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3rd Annual Eastern Conference Predictions

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Old
09-04-2008, 09:46 AM
  #1
Devil Dancer
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3rd Annual Eastern Conference Predictions

Most of the chips have fallen into place, so let's predict some standings! Feel free to edit your predictions if Sundin lands in the East or if a big trade goes down, or you can wait a bit if you want to see what happens in camp.

Here's what we predicted in the past:

2006 Predictions
2007 Predictions

And here are my picks:

1. Pittsburgh
2. Montreal
3. Washington
4. Philadelphia
5. Boston
6. Carolina
7. New Jersey
8. Buffalo
9. Ottawa
10. NY Rangers
11. Tampa Bay
12. Florida
13. Toronto
14. NY Islanders
15. Atlanta

I'm very uncomfortable with Montreal at #2 since I think they could take a step back this year, but I don't know who else could take that #2 spot. I'm also nervous about putting Tampa at 11, since I have no idea what to expect from them for obvious reasons.

Note to self: Marshall's predictions thread for the 08-09 season is here.


Last edited by Devil Dancer: 10-03-2008 at 10:34 AM.
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Old
09-04-2008, 10:04 AM
  #2
cleaver
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Caps win the east. Boom. Out of here.

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Old
09-04-2008, 10:07 AM
  #3
CapsWolverinesUSA
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Tempted to put Philly ahead of Pittsburgh, but can't quite bring myself to do it.

I also think there are three clear tiers in the conference. The top 6 teams seem to me to be near playoff locks unless they are ravaged by injuries. The next 5 teams are fighting for 2 spots and no order would surprise me. The bottom 4 teams are pretty terrible and it's hard to imagine any scenario in which they would make the playoffs. Unlike last year where you had some teams that had been bad potentially poised for a jump due to tons of young talent (the Caps, Montreal, Philly), I think the bottom 4 are pretty damn hopeless this year.

1. Pittsburgh
2. Montreal
3. Washington
4. Philadelphia
5. New Jersey
6. Carolina
7. Ottawa
8. NY Rangers
9. Boston
10. Buffalo
11. Tampa Bay
12. Florida
13. Toronto
14. Atlanta
15. NY Islanders

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Old
09-04-2008, 10:09 AM
  #4
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I'd love to play the Canes. I think we match up well against them.

Also, that whole rivalry thing that's been lacking in the SE....that could be remedied.

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Old
09-04-2008, 10:25 AM
  #5
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Caps win the east. Boom. Out of here.
Agreed.

Sweet avatar BTW

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Old
09-04-2008, 10:50 AM
  #6
BrooklynCapsFan
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1) Washington
2) Philadelphia
3) Montreal
4) Pittsburgh
5) Carolina
6) NYR
7) Ottawa
8) NJD

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Old
09-04-2008, 01:20 PM
  #7
Burgh32
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Pretty tough this year - all teams, even the good ones, seem to have question marks. Outside of the bottom four teams or so, i should be a dogfight to the end for those last couple of playoff spots.

1. Philadelphia
2. Ottawa
3. Washington
4. Pittsburgh (more pts than the Caps and Ottawa)
5. Carolina
6. Montreal
7. Boston
8. Rangers
9. Tampa
10. Buffalo
11. New Jersey
12. Toronto
13. Florida
14. Islanders
15. Atlanta


Last edited by Burgh32: 09-04-2008 at 05:22 PM.
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Old
09-04-2008, 01:38 PM
  #8
Drake1588
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1. Philadelphia
2. Washington
3. Montreal
4. Pittsburgh
5. NY Rangers
6. New Jersey
7. Boston
8. Carolina
-------------
9. Ottawa
10. Tampa Bay
11. Florida
12. Buffalo
13. NY Islanders
14. Toronto
15. Atlanta

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09-04-2008, 01:46 PM
  #9
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1. Montreal
2. Washington
3. Pittsburgh
4. Philadelphia
5. New Jersey
6. Boston
7. Carolina
8. Ottawa
9. Buffalo
10. NY Rangers
11. Tampa Bay
12. Florida
13. NY Islanders
14. Toronto
15. Atlanta

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Old
09-04-2008, 02:29 PM
  #10
AllIsFehrNLoveAndWar
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Philadelphia
Washington
Ottawa
Pittsburgh
Carolina
NY Rangers
Montreal
Buffalo
----------
Florida
Boston
New Jersey
Atlanta
Tampa Bay
Toronto
NY Islanders

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Old
09-04-2008, 02:37 PM
  #11
BTD5504
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Montreal
Washington
Philly
Pittsburgh
NYR
Carolina
Boston
New Jersey
--------
Buffalo
Tampa Bay
Ottawa
Florida
Toronto
NY Islanders
Atlanta

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Old
09-04-2008, 03:00 PM
  #12
CapsWolverinesUSA
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A number of people have the Devils 8th or worse this year. What is the thought behind that? I could understand a healthy dose of skepticism last year after they lost Gomez, but they put up 99 points without Gomez and then added a solid top-6 winger in Rolston to the lineup this year while not really losing anything.

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09-04-2008, 03:30 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsWolverinesUSA View Post
A number of people have the Devils 8th or worse this year. What is the thought behind that? I could understand a healthy dose of skepticism last year after they lost Gomez, but they put up 99 points without Gomez and then added a solid top-6 winger in Rolston to the lineup this year while not really losing anything.
That D is a ramshackle group. It took a Herculaen effort from Brodeur to get in last year and he's a year older now. I'll never count them out until Broudeur demonstrates that his skills are in fact slipping, but the teams around them got better and they stood pat and aged.

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Old
09-04-2008, 03:49 PM
  #14
CapsWolverinesUSA
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Originally Posted by BrooklynCapsFan View Post
That D is a ramshackle group. It took a Herculaen effort from Brodeur to get in last year and he's a year older now. I'll never count them out until Broudeur demonstrates that his skills are in fact slipping, but the teams around them got better and they stood pat and aged.
I guess I don't really see how the Rangers, Senators, Sabres, or Bruins got better (and I'm assuming that the Cats, Leafs, Thrash and Isles are not in the discussion). In my view, the Rangers are unquestionably worse on paper than they were last year, and have tremendous turnover to cope with. The Senators failed to fix their goalie mess and regressed on defense while adding nothing up front. The Sabres didn't really do anything. And the Bruins' big signing was Michael Ryder, who isn't exactly a world beater. Plus the Bruins are coming off a flukish season in which they had a goal differential (-10) which suggested they should be about 15 points worse than they ended up being, and was the worst to make the playoffs in at least 6 years.

I agree that the Devils have a hodge-podge defense, but Oduya and Martin played really well, and they seemed to find a way to get it done. Marty was Marty. Unless the prediction is that Marty is ready for a significant regression, I guess I just don't see how the Devils have slipped when their additions (and lack of subtractions) were better than most of the Eastern conference and they were already a 99 point club to start with. Time will tell, I suppose.

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Old
09-04-2008, 03:57 PM
  #15
brs03
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Montreal
Washington
Philly
Pitt
Carolina
Rangers
New Jersey
Ottawa

Boston
Tampa
Buffalo
Florida
Toronto
Islanders
Atlanta

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09-04-2008, 05:01 PM
  #16
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Montreal
Washington
Philly
Pittsburgh
Carolina
Boston
New Jersey
Buffalo
---------------------
Ottawa
Rangers
Tampa Bay
Florida
Islanders
Atlanta
Toronto

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09-04-2008, 05:30 PM
  #17
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Pittsburgh
Montreal
Washington
Philly
Carolina
New Jersey
Boston
Ottawa
--------
Rangers
Buffalo
Tampa Bay
Florida
NYI
Atlanta
Toronto

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Old
09-04-2008, 06:44 PM
  #18
Devil Dancer
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Originally Posted by CapsWolverinesUSA View Post
Plus the Bruins are coming off a flukish season in which they had a goal differential (-10) which suggested they should be about 15 points worse than they ended up being, and was the worst to make the playoffs in at least 6 years.
I have the Bruins at 6 because I think Bergeron is going to make a big impact on the second line, and because I expect some of the young players on that team to step up this year (Krejci, Kessel, Wideman, Lucic, Stuart, and maybe Lashoff).

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Old
09-04-2008, 07:33 PM
  #19
CapsWolverinesUSA
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I have the Bruins at 6 because I think Bergeron is going to make a big impact on the second line, and because I expect some of the young players on that team to step up this year (Krejci, Kessel, Wideman, Lucic, Stuart, and maybe Lashoff).
I tend to agree that they'll score more, both because of Bergeron, and some of their younger guys (mostly Kessel and Wideman, not so much Lucic or Krejci). But on the flip side, I will be floored if they get the same level of goalie play as they got last year. Thomas gave them a .921 save percentage last year. I just don't see that repeating itself. He is a solid goalie, but he isn't top 5 in the NHL quality (he was actually #2 in the NHL amongst guys who played 50+ games, .001 behind Gigeure and ahead of Brodeur, Luongo, Lundquivst, and Nabakov, among others). If you even assume a modest 10 point drop off, down to a still very respectable .911 sv%, that's something like 22 or 23 more goals allowed over the course of the season, in addition to the 20 or so they should need to score based on the pythag in order to replicate their 94 point finish. So, we're quite possibly talking about over 40 goals more just to stay at the point value that got them a #8 seed on the last day of the season. I don't think they can do it, even with Bergeron re-joining that 2nd line and some of the youngsters showing improvement. Maybe they can, or maybe they won't have to. But that's why I'm looking at them as an 8/9 team once again.


Last edited by CapsWolverinesUSA: 09-04-2008 at 07:41 PM.
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Old
09-04-2008, 09:09 PM
  #20
Langway
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Pittsburgh
Montreal
Washington
Philadelphia
Carolina
NY Rangers
Boston
New Jersey
-----------
Buffalo
Tampa Bay
Ottawa
Florida
Atlanta
Toronto
NY Islanders

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Old
09-05-2008, 12:07 AM
  #21
Devil Dancer
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Originally Posted by CapsWolverinesUSA View Post
I tend to agree that they'll score more, both because of Bergeron, and some of their younger guys (mostly Kessel and Wideman, not so much Lucic or Krejci). But on the flip side, I will be floored if they get the same level of goalie play as they got last year. Thomas gave them a .921 save percentage last year. I just don't see that repeating itself. He is a solid goalie, but he isn't top 5 in the NHL quality (he was actually #2 in the NHL amongst guys who played 50+ games, .001 behind Gigeure and ahead of Brodeur, Luongo, Lundquivst, and Nabakov, among others). If you even assume a modest 10 point drop off, down to a still very respectable .911 sv%, that's something like 22 or 23 more goals allowed over the course of the season, in addition to the 20 or so they should need to score based on the pythag in order to replicate their 94 point finish. So, we're quite possibly talking about over 40 goals more just to stay at the point value that got them a #8 seed on the last day of the season. I don't think they can do it, even with Bergeron re-joining that 2nd line and some of the youngsters showing improvement. Maybe they can, or maybe they won't have to. But that's why I'm looking at them as an 8/9 team once again.
Damnit, I was going to argue with you but the NHL stats machine is down right now. My theory is that Thomas didn't actually play that many games for Boston, maybe 55, and their tending the rest of the time wasn't great, so their overall goaltending wasn't abnormal last year after all.

But I can't back it up right now.

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09-05-2008, 12:47 AM
  #22
CapsWolverinesUSA
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Damnit, I was going to argue with you but the NHL stats machine is down right now. My theory is that Thomas didn't actually play that many games for Boston, maybe 55, and their tending the rest of the time wasn't great, so their overall goaltending wasn't abnormal last year after all.

But I can't back it up right now.
Well, Auld played well too. In brief appearances, Fernandez and Rask were crap. So, if my math is good, their combined team sv% was .916 for the year, exactly halfway between Thomas' .921 and the .911 I suggested. Given the full season facing the same number of shots, a .05 difference represents 12.4 goal. Of course, I was assuming Thomas would contribute the .911 as the #1 goalie, playing ~60 games. I expect Fernandez, coming off a wasted year and playing a backup's role, might not be able to match the .911 figure. But that's another can of worms.

So, 12.4 is less than the 20+ I mentioned earlier, but, my math was also off in suggesting that only 20 more goals would be needed from the scoring side in order to square up the pythag. I was just estimating to make a broader point. Once I actually crunched the numbers, it's way more. If we take the pre-existing 222 goals allowed by the Bruins in 07-08, and add the 12 goal figure (discussed above, rounding down) to that 222, we get a predicted 234 goals allowed for 08-09 based on identical shots faced totals and the .911 sv% assumption. To achieve 94 points with 234 goals allowed according to the pythag, the Bruins should need to score something in the vicinity of 272 goals, which would be a 60 goal increase from the 212 they actually posted. Personally, I think the Pythag overestimates that a bit. But you get the picture. They would need 22 more goals just to break even at 234, and then some significant sum more to achieve a level high enough to justify an above-average 94 point season. Whether it's a total of 32 goals more, or 42, or 52, or 60, it's a lot. The stats suggest that they need major offensive improvements to re-achieve 94 points. And, again, 94 points got them the last seed on the last day. The bar raises even higher to get up to the #5 seed.

It's easy to get buried in the numbers. My take-away point here is that the Bruins were a tremendous statistical aberration last year, and pythag analysis suggests that deviations from the expected results are almost always based in luck, not some intangible quality unique to the aberrant team. Do I think the Bruins are going to be a better team in the competitive sense? Yes, I do. But I also expect them to be far less lucky.


Last edited by CapsWolverinesUSA: 09-05-2008 at 01:01 AM.
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Old
09-08-2008, 02:20 PM
  #23
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just my .02 cents

1. Philadelphia
2. Washington
3. Montreal
4. Pittsburgh
5. New Jersey
6. NY Rangers
7. Carolina
8. Boston
9. Ottawa
10. Buffalo
11. Tampa Bay
12. Florida
13. NY Islanders
14. Toronto
15. Atlanta

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09-08-2008, 02:42 PM
  #24
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1. Ugh.........
2. Washington
3. Montreal
4. Boston
5. Flyers
6. NJ
7. Carolina
8. Buffalo
9. Florida
10. NY Rangers
11. Tampa Bay
12. NY Islanders
13. Ottawa
14. Toronto
15. Atlanta

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09-08-2008, 05:03 PM
  #25
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1. Pittsburgh
2. Washington
3. Montreal
4. Boston
5. Philadelphia
6. NJ
7. NYR
8. Florida
9. Carolina
10. Ottawa
11. Buffalo
12. Tampa
13. Toronto
14. NYI
15. Atlanta

Three sort of "unpopular" picks with the Rangers, Bruins, and Panthers. I hate predicting the norm. I expect one of those teams will do what I said they would, I'll feel good if two do, and amazed if all three finish that high. But hey, at least my list doesn't look like everyone else's.

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