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Rate the Eastern playoff teams

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Old
03-29-2004, 09:34 AM
  #1
mcphee
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Rate the Eastern playoff teams

Rate the playoff teams. The top 5 or 6 teams in the East could win itr all this year and surprise nobody. How do you see them ?

In no particular order ?

Boston- More talented and deeper than any Bruin team in quite awhile. The addition of Gonchar means they can get a few PP goals on nights where they come up flat. Goaltending looks real solid. Raycroft has to prove himself in the post season, but I haven't seen him get intimidated by much. If they don't get wrapped up in retaliatory stuff and stay focused, they look good.

Toronto- Their strong point is also their weak point, veteran leadership and experience, but could wear down over a long playoff. Belfour is as good as anybody right now but fatigue and back problems are related. To me, Nieuwendyk being healthy is the key because he adds scoring depth.

Tampa Bay- No idea. How will Lecav.,Richards, and co. play ? They could go all the way or tank. Hardest team to read imo.

Philly-- Really deep team that could be dangerous, but hard to know how healthy they are. Loaded with talent though some of it on the downside. Hitchcock is a smart coach and will play a style suited to his personnel though. very similar to Toronto. Lots of size and veteran leadership.

Ottawa- all kinds of talent. I just think that this could be the year they make their move. If they get any kind of goaltending, I can't imagine them not going deep.

NJ -- everyone seems to be writing them off, which is starting to make me think they'll be tough. Brodeur is still there and they won't give up many chances. Coming from behind will be tough as they don't have the scoring depth that the rest of the conference has.

NYI or Buff. Who knows what team shows up from game to game ? NYI has a lot of talent on the roster but it seems to be pretty inconsistent.

Nos glorieux- Definitely not favorites, but enough goaltending and talent to get by. They have been very streaky, and beat the best when hot, but outclassed when not. If Kovalev gets hot, who knows.

You know who my heart chooses, my head is looking at Ottawa and wondering how the team we saw last Wednesday can lose if they play like that .

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Old
03-29-2004, 10:28 AM
  #2
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[QUOTE=mcphee]Rate the playoff teams. The top 5 or 6 teams in the East could win itr all this year and surprise nobody. How do you see them ?

In no particular order ?

Boston- As somebody over 40 it is hard to look at Boston and not see them as the team with Harry S. doing just enough to lose in the quarter finals. But the trade for Gonchar filled a huge hole and the trade for Nylander gives them two scoring lines which they haven't had in a while. They look like the real deal.

Toronto- Living in Southern Ontario its hard to believe the rest of the league haven't awarded Toronto the cup already with the powerhouse they have. But they sure have a damn good team this year. Not so good two years from now but they will buy one when this one gets old. Not a shot at the Leafs just a reality of how they are doing busines and being sucessful at it. Will they win this year. I still think they are weak on defence. Not points by the dmen but coverage in their own end. If they had traded for a Sean Hill or Jason Smith I would have picked them for the cup. Now I don't think they have all the tools.

Tampa Bay- People forget that last year this team came from nowhere to win their division only to get edged out by NJ. Usually a young team takes a loss in the play-offs to move that next step forward. I don't think they will colapse in the play-offs. I hope Mtl doesn't play them because I think they are the one team that can embarass the Habs with size and speed.

Philly-- A strong team with a much improved defence. I still think they are the best chance for the habs to win a round as I believe the speed of Mtl would be most beneficial against Philly.

Ottawa- All about where their heads are at. Most talented team in the East. Sometimes they show up sometimes they don't. If they don't play Toronto I pick in the first round. I pick them to beat anyone else. If they get Toronto in round 2 or 3 I pick Ottawa.

NJ -- Depends on Stevens & Rafalski. They need both to win. They don't have enough offence, although they may get a boost from Parise who just signed.

NYI or Buff. Islanders will probably finish 8th and are no slouch, but I think Tampa will not have a let down in the first round this year.

Nos glorieux- To win a round Mtl needs Kovalev to step up and somebody to help out on the first line. The 3rd and 4th lines are more than adequate if the first two are applying pressure. In the last 3 games the first two lines have been non existant, so it seemed like we were playing defence all night.

Who will win. Assuming Philly finishes 2nd I would think the winners in the first round would be Tampa,Mtl,Boston,Ottawa. I would expect Tampa to beat Mtl and Ottawa to win a squeaker over Bos. I would think Ottawa would'nt settle for losing in the semis again where as Tampa would call it a great year if they did. (I know nobody wants to lose or doesn't try hard to win, but it always seems to happen that way.)

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Old
03-29-2004, 10:30 AM
  #3
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Nice evaluations. I tend to agree with pretty much all of it.

I can't recall a situation like this, where there are 6 or 7 teams capable of winning the East. Even if Jersey finishes 6th in the standing, I would have a hard time calling them an underdog.

When it's this close, goaltending is where most turn and I'm in that boat so that’s what I’ll focus on:

TO - Belfour - I don't think there's any doubt he will elevate his game immensely for the playoffs. He's a vet, been there before and knows what it takes. It's a matter of whether he's going to be great or outstanding.

Boston - Raycroft - Who knows? Every sign has pointed to him continuing his brilliance in the playoffs, but you never can tell how a guy will react in the pressure cooker until he's actually placed there.

TB - Khabibulin - The Bulin Wall will be good enough to give Tampa a chance to win, but I can't see him stealing any games for them. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just think he's a notch below the elite tenders.

Philly – Esche/Burke – I don’t know who’s starting but I’m willing to bet we see both before the 1st round is finished. Getting good goaltending seems to be an eternal struggle for the Flyers, right through from Hextall to the present. I hear a broken-record excuse every year from my Philly-fan friends. “It wasn’t _________’s (Insert one of Cechmanek, Boucher, Beezer, Hextall) fault. We couldn’t score” or “the refs screwed us”, etc. Maybe it has never been a tenders fault they lost, but they haven’t had a tender that’s going to win them any games, and I don’t think this year’s any different.

Ottawa – Lalime – Definitely his last chance with the Sens.. If he doesn’t step up to the plate he’ll find himself in another uniform next year, and his latest injury sure doesn’t help his chances. He’s had good numbers in the playoffs in the past, but he needs to find another level to his game.

New Jersey – I hear they have this Martin Brodeur guy that supposed to be good.

Habs – Theo’s been great all season and I get the sense he’s been gearing for the playoffs all season long. I don’t think we’ll see the heroics of 2 years ago, but just because he won’t have to. I believe he’s a better goalie now than he was then. His positioning is stronger and his rebound control has vastly improved. Goals against him will be hard to come by.

Looking strictly at goaltending, I think the Habs, Jersey and the Leafs are a cut above the rest going in, (two cuts in the case of Philly and the Sens) just because Theo, Brodeur, and Belfour have already shown they can do it. I think this will give these three an advantage going into a series, and something an opposing team would have to overcome to beat them.

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Old
03-29-2004, 10:41 AM
  #4
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[QUOTE=Habber]


New Jersey I hear they have this Martin Brodeur guy that supposed to be good.


Bahh, one hit wonder ? what's he ever proven ? i didn't know about Parise, that could be interesting. A prized rookie's first pro exposure with kindly Pat Burns, hope he likes verbal abuse. Could be a real shot in the armto their offense.

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Old
03-29-2004, 10:48 AM
  #5
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Boston
Good: 2 scoring lines, dominant center, good power play with depth
Bad: Last 4 defenseman are slow, not disciplined, unproven playoff goalie

Toronto:
Good: Leadership, been there a lot,depth, size, scoring
Bad: Undiciplined, injury prone, old, Belfour back ok??

Philadelphia:
Good: Lots of depth, size at centre is ridicilous, scoring depth,
Bad:injury prone, unproven playoff goalie

Ottawa:
Good: Depth, scoring machine, power play, good defenseman
Bad: Lalime is good??

New Jersey:
Good: Brodeur, Brodeur , Brodeur, Elias.
Bad: Loss of depth and good players on D, weak powerplay

Tampa Bay:
Good: Scoring punch, Good System
Bad: Defensively good enough? How will Bulin react?

A couple of teams I would like to avoid are Ottawa and Philly. The rest I wouldn't mind taking on.

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Old
03-29-2004, 02:00 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komisarek8
Boston
Good: 2 scoring lines, dominant center, good power play with depth
Bad: Last 4 defenseman are slow, not disciplined, unproven playoff goalie

Toronto:
Good: Leadership, been there a lot,depth, size, scoring
Bad: Undiciplined, injury prone, old, Belfour back ok??

Philadelphia:
Good: Lots of depth, size at centre is ridicilous, scoring depth,
Bad:injury prone, unproven playoff goalie

Ottawa:
Good: Depth, scoring machine, power play, good defenseman
Bad: Lalime is good??

New Jersey:
Good: Brodeur, Brodeur , Brodeur, Elias.
Bad: Loss of depth and good players on D, weak powerplay

Tampa Bay:
Good: Scoring punch, Good System
Bad: Defensively good enough? How will Bulin react?

A couple of teams I would like to avoid are Ottawa and Philly. The rest I wouldn't mind taking on.
Montreal:
Good: Goalie, Creative forwards
Bad: Size and Strenght, Average offensive & defensive depth

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Old
03-29-2004, 02:02 PM
  #7
Darz
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Here are my ranking, not including the habs.

1. Ottawa:
This team has the ability to throw 3 good scoring lines at there opponent, and also has a great defensive crop. If they get some decent goaltending, they are going to be very hard to beat. The scary thing about them is I think they have been keeping it in second gear all season, waiting for the playoffs. Imo, they are the best in the East.

2. Tampa Bay:
Thety scare me in the first round, and less and less as the playoffs wear on. I think they are still a year or two away from being Stanley Cup final contenders, but they do have the ability to throw alot of different scorers at you. For some reason I see them walking all over someone in the first round, but getting knocked out in the second.

3. Toronto:
Although I don't see them making the semi's, I think this team will be a force in round 1. The team has decent players and depth on the offensive and defensive side of the puck and a good goalie, but I doubt they will be able to get through a couple playoff series without major injury problems that will finally sink them. Any game Ed Belfour can't play should be considered an automatic loss.

4. Boston:
Raycroft gives them good goaltending, they have the offensive weapons to make a charge, and there defense is probabely underrated. They will play every team tough, but I don't think they have what it takes to make it to the finals.

5. New Jersey:
With a heathly defensive unit, they are the perfect playoff team. Without one they are going to struggle mightly and will have a hard time making out of the first round. A real wild card.

6. Philly:
The Flyers are paper look pretty good, but with health issues at every position and goaltending that might not be able to win when it counts, Philly has the most question out of the big 6. They won't go out easy, but they just don't look like a team ready for the playoffs. Definately have the talent to make some noise, but I just don't see it.

7. New York Islanders:
If there is a team with 'knocked out in first round' written all over them it is the Isle's. They seems to have question marks in many areas and I can only see the Chow's and Yashin's of the world disappearing come playoff time. They will get there 2 playoff home games in, but I would be surprised if they get any more than that in.

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