Thursday, September 27, 2007

2007-08 Eastern Conference Forecast

Thanks to the whacky idea to play two games in England, ready or not here comes the NHL season this Saturday. I guess I better make a forecast like everyone else, just so we can re-visit this in about 6 months and look at how much of a dope I was....Here goes:

Atlantic Division
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. New York Rangers
3. New Jersey Devils
4. Philadelphia Flyers
5. New York Islanders

­-Every year, much like the Atlanta Braves of the ‘90s, people predict New Jersey’s downfall, as they attempt to replace proven talent with stop-gap measures (Zubrus, Vishnevski this year) and/or young players (Parise, Martin, etc). And every year, they keep on ticking…I got Pittsburgh as #1, a trendy pick, but one I honestly believe, given their lineup and how strongly they played against the division last season. Just like days of old, the Rangers made the sexiest free agent signings, and Philly seemingly turned over about their whole roster. I like 3-4 playoff teams from this division. Maybe this is the year that Brodeur shows his age and NJ falls off, but I’m not bold enough to predict it, they’ve proven me wrong too many times.

Northeast Division
Ottawa Senators
2. Montreal Canadiens
3. Buffalo Sabres
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
5. Boston Bruins

--Tough one to call. Boston, IMO, is the best team I have in the basement league wide, but they’re still their. It’s easy to leave Buffalo for dead after they bungled the Briere and Drury signings, so I did. I like what Montreal could possibly do. Ottawa is the consensus #1 and the reigning Eastern Conference heavyweight, but even they had a very slow start in this brutal division last season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen to Toronto, and them not having the firepower to dig out of the hole.

Southeast Division
Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Carolina Hurricanes
3. Washington Capitals
4. Florida Panthers
5. Atlanta Thrashers

--I’m leaving Atlanta for dead here, they’ve got basically no one up the middle and their defense isn’t that formidable. It’s a coin toss between two recent unlikely SC champs at the top, I’ll give the edge to Vinny and Marty over Eric and Rod. Washington will delight the locals in grandeurs of a playoff run, but fall short this year, probably with some obscure injury that Caps fans heavy blogosphere will decry all off-season.

Playoff teams (no particular order):
Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Tampa Bay (division winners)
New York Rangers, New Jersey, Carolina, Montreal, Buffalo

Just missing it (this year's Colorado, Montreal or Toronto):
Philadelphia, Washington

Somewhat competitive but not enough:
Toronto, Boston, Florida

It's gonna be a long, cold winter:
New York Islanders, Atlanta

1 comment:

DMG said...

Thank you! Someone else who thinks Atlanta stinks!