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We are only a little more than a month away from the start of pre season action! While there still will be more signings and possibles trades, I thought that today I would make predictions of the Atlantic Division if the season started tomorrow. I will look into the other divisions and conferences as a whole, but the Atlantic in more depth.


ATLANTIC DIVISION (record against Flyers)
1. Rangers: 52-24-6= 110 pts (3-3)
2. Flyers: 45-25-12= 102 pts
3. Penguins: 48-29-5= 101 pts (2-4)
4. Devils: 41-33-8= 90 pts (2-4)
5. Islanders: 37-36-9= 83 pts (2-4)

I see the Rangers playing good hockey before the return of Gaborik, and then the Rangers go on to play some serious hockey to finish out the season strong heading into the playoffs. I also see Rick Nash hitting the 30 goal mark, but no more than 35. I also see D. Stepan continue his growth with a bigger role on the squad and a definite point increase. Lundqvist? I don't see him cooling off too much over the summer. I see the Rangers ready to make a strong push for the cup.

The Flyers are going to have a decent year I imagine, with last years rookies stepping into more of a dominant role on the team. I see Giroux breaking the 100 point mark landing somewhere in the 103-107 range, while Hartnell cooling off ending in the 55 point area. I think Brayden Schenn will have the best year for the sophs while Matt Read cools off alot. I see Schenner in the 48-54 mark, Read in 38-43 area, and Couts around 43-47 points. Also, I see a former Sabres Captain becoming the newest Captain in Flyers history.

The Penguins always are a competitive team, and how couldn't they with their roster? Yes they lost Jordan Staal which hurts them down the middle, but Crosby should be back full time and hungry to get his team back. While I do see Crosby having a solid year with high 90's in points, I have a feeling a power struggle with get into Malkins head having Sid back full time and "Geno" drop down to high 80's.

The Devils lost Parise, they lost Ponikarovsky, Taormina, and Boulton. They also have a few UFAs they still have to deal with. They got to keep Marty in town which was key, but I do not see the numbers and threat that they were last year. Their captain... gone, is Ilya back in the role he had in Atlanta? Not only captain, but their main guy on the ice? Adam Henrique will hopefully have a breakout season for the Devils, but all in all, I see them finishing 4th in the Atlantic, and this time, not in the playoffs.

The Islanders...oh the Islanders. While they are always at the bottom of the barrel, they still seem to play pretty good hockey againt the Flyers. I see them grabbing two, but falling to the bottom and missing the playoffs yet again. Tavares had a very good year (81 pts) and I dont see him and Matt Moulson (69 points) calming down much. Expect Tavares to break the 90 point mark this year.

So there is my outlook of the Atlantic Division if the season started tomorrow. You may have different opinions or thoughts on players and the type of year they will have. Id like to hear it in the comments page!

Thanks for reading
August 3, 2012 8:25 PM ET | Delete
What makes you think the Flyers will beat the Rangers 3 let alone once? What have the Flyers done to improve themselves that much where they go from getting swept in the season series to winning half of the games?
August 3, 2012 10:42 PM ET | Delete
Rangers let their to intimidators go.....no1 to be afraid of anymore.....Flyers will win some games from them this year
August 4, 2012 12:29 AM ET | Delete
so crosby who was on pace to get 120 pts when healthy a season or 2 ago will be in the 90pt range, malkin will drop 20ish pts, yet giroux will beat both while his linemate drops in points? something doesnt add up
August 4, 2012 1:25 PM ET | Delete
I actually think giroux will come down to earth,
August 4, 2012 3:32 PM ET | Delete
This guy is an idiot. Hey I'm a Red Wings fan and I expect datsyuk to have 100 points and zetterberg to have 90 and with the loss of lidstrom i expect kronwall to step up and have 60 points. Expect the wings to make a strong push for a cup.....yeah right in my wildest dreams. stop being bias towards the flyers when they did nothing to improve their team like Efs5030 said
August 4, 2012 3:48 PM ET | Delete
The rangers picked up asham who can just about throw them with anyone in the nhl. Flyers do have shelly (who is absolutely not the fighter he was 2-3 seasons ago) but how often is he going to be on the ice with all the young talent philly has? I think the flyers are capable of winning 2, I can not see them winning 3.
August 4, 2012 9:00 PM ET | Delete
Urrrr Crosby mid 90s and Malkin in 80's? I wish! C'mon dude gotta be more realistic than this
August 4, 2012 11:31 PM ET | Delete
http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...er_id=51280
August 5, 2012 9:16 AM ET | Delete
Philly could take a step back this year with defense the way it is no pronged no carle timmonin is almost 40. If brysgalov dosent have a good season it could a long year for Philly just my opinion not craping on Philly
August 5, 2012 8:32 PM ET | Delete
yeah crosby mid 90s and malkin in 80s. everyones getting all hype, i see power struggles happening. again MY opinion in a BLOG, if your a professional, why am i reading your comments and not reading your writings on nhl.com?
August 6, 2012 2:02 PM ET | Delete
I think Philly's Defense is simply shifting. Don't forget that since Pronger's been out that they added Grossman towards the end and it really helped Bryz. The addition of Schenn for Carle will probably mean less offensive help from the blueline, but Philly just got that much harder to score goals on. As long as Lavy makes adjustments to his playing style, Philly can still bring in the wins, but might end up scoring less goals.
August 6, 2012 5:44 PM ET | Delete
August 8, 2012 2:44 AM ET | Delete
Rangers go undefeated against the flyers again. Book it.
August 8, 2012 5:18 AM ET | Delete
Philly isn't as good as it once was . Philly will creep into playoffs but won't get very far
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