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United States, NJ • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
With all the action in the Northeast (Edit - Atlantic), it's going to wind up being a very interesting year.

I suppose these would be some of the bigger questions on one's mind at the moment:

Will the Rangers actually benefit with Gomez and Drury?
Can the Flyers make a move up the ladder?
Will the Penguins be able to rally behind Fleury?
Has Guerin warranted the C in Long Island?
Do the Devils have a team this year?

Rangers
I believe people will dissect and berate the Rangers to no end, but from a non-biased position I'd say they will no doubt be playoff contenders. Drury, Gomez, Shanny and Jagr playing in front of Lunqvidst is a formidable combination for any team. If they find a way to lock up Avery all the better. It will be difficult though, considering a lack of cap room. Like the Rangers or hate the Rangers, they still have something going right for them if they can pick up two of the bigger names in hockey. Unstoppable? Not quite. Still a threat for first place? You bet.

Flyers
VanRiemsdyk has some years ahead of him still. Although no Crosby or Jordan Staal, he will eventually pose as a huge building block to the Philly offense. So, in the mean time, let Brierre get comfortable in his new role, let Gagne still put up 40+ goals and watch Biron cast a shadow on Nittymaki and Esche. I'd love to see the Flyers contend this year, but I still think they have a good year or two ahead of them.

Penguins
The young team is now one year older. Despite a 4-1 series with the Sens, I'm sure valuable playoff experience was gained in the long run. I read a comment from someone recently on this site about his predictions for Malkin, Crosby and Staal. In the end, his overall prediction was a combined 376 points between the three of them. I suppose anything is possible.

Islanders
They didn't get that first round draft pick because they gave it away to Edmonton earlier in the year for Ryan Smyth. Now they don't have Ryan Smyth. Poor management? I guess so. But this is hockey we're talking about. Build for the championship each and every year. The Islanders clearly thought they had something going for them. They did shoot down some naysayers in the playoffs, but it didn't take long till they were ousted. DiPietro aint going nowhere, Guerin is coming back to the East Coast and Sillinger may just have someone to work with. Can Witt tally up more than a single goal this year? I suppose he'll have to.

Devils
Brent Sutter is really the only acquisition I can think of with regards to the Devs. Sure, they picked up Weekes, but how much play do you really think he is going to get? They still have the team points leader Patrick Elias, but rumor has it Parise may be heading to Minnesota. He's a guy who came up big for them last year, especially in their influx of overtime matchups. Once again we're going to see a lackluster Devils offense, a stellar Devils defense and a mediocre overall hockey club.

Overall predicted standings in the northeast:

1. Penguins
2. Rangers
3. Islanders
4. Flyers
5. Devils

I think the biggest fight will no doubt be between the Rangers and Pens, similar in sense to the 06/07 battle between the Devs and Pitt.

Banter, bashing and comments welcome.
Filed Under:   Flyers   Penguins   Rangers   Devils   Islanders   Northeast  
July 19, 2007 11:53 AM ET | Delete
Sorry but I just don't see the Islanders finishing anywhere but last in this now very strong division. The Devils still have Brodeur, Elias, Parise and they play a system to perfection. Also the Penguins will score a lot of goals no doubt, but their defense corp doesn't scare anyone and they don't check or play defense as a team all that well either. My picks: 1. Rangers: offense, solid defense, great goaltending and great veteran leadership with Shanahan and Drury; 2. Philly: the flyers have the divisions most improved and quite possibly best defense corps, they can score goals and finally have a decent goalie; 3. Pittsburgh: the Pens were a sleeper team last year who no one took seriously the first half of the season, they still have holes although by next year they may well be a powerhouse; 4. Devils: the Devils will check teams to death and squeak into the playoffs as the 7 or 8 seed; 5. NYI: good team but will be hurt by 32 division games and a lack of scoring and defensive depth, I expect them to finish with 80 to 85 pts and miss the playoffs.
July 19, 2007 12:31 PM ET | Delete
Uh, don't you mean these are your "Atlantic Predictions?"
July 19, 2007 12:34 PM ET | Delete
dont forget the devils also got zubrus (and 24 goals)
July 19, 2007 1:12 PM ET | Delete
I believe you are right in your comparisons, but i would bump the Isles down to last and just move the Flyers and Devils up. The battle between Philly and Jersey will be very much like the on the Pens and Rangers will be going through. Quite possible this again will be the strongest division in the NHL with 4 playoff teams.
July 19, 2007 1:13 PM ET | Delete
I believe you are right in your comparisons, but i would bump the Isles down to last and just move the Flyers and Devils up. The battle between Philly and Jersey will be very much like the on the Pens and Rangers will be going through. Quite possible this again will be the strongest division in the NHL with 4 playoff teams.
July 19, 2007 3:21 PM ET | Delete
I think this will be the most exciting (stars/competition/goaltending) division in the NHL this year (Atlantic- not Northeaster). However, I believe the Islander will be one of the worst teams in the league. Great coaching but a horrible D and no real consistent scoring threats. That said: 1. PITT 2. NYR 3. PHI 4. NJD 5. NYI If the NYR dont find some help on D they may be caught by the Flyers and if the flyers cant find chemistry and good goaltending they may be caught by the Devils. Lets hope PIT finds the sophmore slump and Fluery was rushed too soon or they are my choice to win a cup in the next few years.
July 19, 2007 4:15 PM ET | Delete
ginogold even tho i hate the flyers because it's in the nature of a devils, i still respect your team and i agree with what you said because the islanders lost good players like blake, and i see them finishing last. the devils will have an underrated defense though becuase their system makes everyone look good. frank d where did you hear parise might go to minnesota?
July 19, 2007 5:16 PM ET | Delete
Thats not the northeastern divison dude, its the atlantic
July 19, 2007 10:58 PM ET | Delete
Well to be honest the post started with an attempt to do the East...then I just gave up and said let's do Northeast...then I said screw it and just did Atlantic. There, end of story.
July 19, 2007 11:00 PM ET | Delete
I don't know where the rumor of Parise going to the Wild started, but I do think it stemmed from the fact he is from Minnesota and currently a FA
July 19, 2007 11:01 PM ET | Delete
Gino...do you genuinely think the Flyers are going to finish second? I don't doubt they'll comeback from a terrible 05/06 season, but I think second may be a bit overzealous.
July 20, 2007 12:02 AM ET | Delete
This guy didnt even know what division he was predicting, no wonder he picked the Devils dead last. Keep dreaming haters.Parise is the future of the Devils, expect Lou to lock him up with a deal before the season starts. How do you pick the Isles over ANY team in this division?
July 20, 2007 12:10 AM ET | Delete
once again no respect to the best team in the division
July 20, 2007 12:17 AM ET | Delete
Hey, I could have very well edited my post and content and deleted all of the previous comments, but I don't mind admitting it was 2:30am, I was bored and tired and decided to type something up regardless of what people say AND in that period threw around a bunch of thoughts and came up with a non-sensical post that somehow managed to draw comments. Happy?
July 20, 2007 2:56 PM ET | Delete
Go ahead, continue to pick the Isles as last in the division, last in the conference last in the league.... Sure they have a hell of a hill to climb, but after the surprising season last year nothing will shock me.
July 20, 2007 4:32 PM ET | Delete
ok, NYI will be last in the league....but your right anything is possible, but on paper you guys look horrible, like the flyers midways through the season last year. Poor D and a bunch of guys without any experience to fill roster spots. Atleast you have a good goalie and coach!
July 21, 2007 3:23 PM ET | Delete
There is no way NYI are above the Devils or Flyers, they will finish dead last, no doubt.
July 22, 2007 1:23 PM ET | Delete
Frank D...I think the Flyers are going to finish second, thats true, but lets face I'm not betting the house on it. I believe the Flyers, Penguins and Rangers could all battle for this division and the Devils could be a dark horse sleeper. When we get a little closer to the season, I'll be posting my conference picks, and as of now I see Philly, the Rangers, Jersey and Pittsburgh all making the playoffs, just as I firmly believe the Islanders will finish last and will be on the outside looking in.
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