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"HockeyBuzz + New Jersey Devils Season Ticket Holder"
New Jersey, NJ • United States • 28 Years Old • Male
September is right around the corner, so it's time to take a look at what the Atlantic Division will look like for the 2009-10 season. This is written with the knowledge that rosters are not completely set, and rumors are still abound about a few of these teams...but comments are made based on how the teams stand right now. Even though nobody paid attention to it last time around, I will say it again: nobody's predictions should be taken as fact, including mine. Things change with injuries, trades, etc. I'm expecting the little homers to female dog and moan anyway, but don't say I didn't warn you.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
IN: Jay McKee, Brent Johnson, Wade Brookbank, Mike Rupp
OUT: Hal Gill, Rob Scuderi, Mathieu Garon, Chris Minard
The defending champions got a bit thinner on defense, but Alex Goligoski appears ready to step in for good. The young core is still intact, and all of them have another year of experience under their belts. The Pens are in an enviable position of being able to win now, as well as having a large group of youngsters waiting to step in. Whether or not they repeat is up in the air, but they will definitely be a prime contender once again.

2. Philadelphia Flyers
IN: Chris Pronger, Ray Emery, Brian Boucher, Ian Laperriere
OUT: Martin Biron, Antero Niitymaki, Derian Hatcher, Mike Knuble, Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa
Assuming the Flyers' new starting goaltender has learned his lesson--and I believe that he has--Philly will be just fine. They replaced two decent goaltenders with a clear-cut starter and capable backup, and although Chris Pronger does not guarantee a Stanley Cup, he does bring a wealth of experience to the backend. It was an interesting call trading a prime prospect in Sbisa for the services of Pronger, but a high-risk/high-reward move is just what the Cup-starved Flyers could have been missing.

3. New Jersey Devils
IN: Yann Danis, Cory Muprhy, Ilkka Pikkarainen
OUT: Brian Gionta, John Madden, Scott Clemmensen, Mike Rupp, Niclas Havelid
No question it was time for change in New Jersey. The Devils have gotten younger, bringing in Yann Danis to backup Brodeur and leaving the 3 vacated forward roster spots up for grabs for prospects. The Devils could put together anything from a simple learning year for a few new players to defying the odds and putting together another great season. Jacques Lemaire is great with the kids, but how he chooses to coach will have a big impact on the end result.

4. New York Rangers
IN: Marian Gaborik, Chris Higgins, Ales Kotalik, Vinny Prospal, Tyler Arnason, Brian Boyle, Enver Lisin, Donald Brashear
OUT: Scott Gomez, Nik Antropov, Derek Morris, Nikolai Zherdev, Fredrik Sjostrom, Colton Orr, Paul Mara, Doug Janik, Markus Naslund, Lauri Korpikoski
Once again, Glen Sather--the man whom even Rangers fans don't like--has put together a team that is simply not built to win. Gaborik, if he even stays healthy, will highlight a skill line with Prospal and either Drury or Higgins, but other than the still-unsigned Dubinsky, not much else is happening up front. The departure of Derek Morris has left a large hole on defense that will be filled by prospects. Once again, this team will only go as far as Lundqvist takes them.

5. New York Islanders
IN: Dwayne Roloson, Martin Biron, Matt Moulson
OUT: Ben Walter, Joey MacDonald, Thomas Pock, Yann Danis
Well, at least they have some goaltending now. With DiPietro's status still uncertain, it appears the Islanders will rely on a tandem of Roloson/Biron to support the youth movement. Players like Okposo and Tavares may one day carry this team to bigger and better things, but for at least another year, the highlight on the Isles' calendar will be draft day.
Filed Under:   atlantic   predictions   2010   penguins   flyers   devils  
August 30, 2009 1:50 PM ET | Delete
excellent write up... i cant believe the over haul the rangers did to there roster. it really is a completely different team
August 30, 2009 1:55 PM ET | Delete
August 30, 2009 2:05 PM ET | Delete
August 30, 2009 2:06 PM ET | Delete
u cant believe it nj.. we do it every year lmao.. we dont have a guy left from 2 years ago really.. its funny, but sad..if u compare last years opening roster to this years.. its much better..
August 30, 2009 2:06 PM ET | Delete
out: gomez zherdev naslund dawes prucha korpikoski betts sjostrom orr kalinin mara In: gaborik higgins prospal kotalik avery lisin anisimov boyle brashear byers gilroy (other defensemen.. potter sauer delzotto sanguinetti hikkanen)rangers are a better team talent wise.. it all comes down to how the players fit in together..
August 30, 2009 2:08 PM ET | Delete
compare the offenses.. were much much better.. gomez naslund zherdev dawes and prucha.. are replaced by gaborik higgins kotalik prospal and avery..korpikoski and fritsche are repalced by byers and anisimov.. orr is replaced by brashear.. and betts and sjostrom are replaced by lisin and boyle..
August 30, 2009 2:10 PM ET | Delete
on defense.. kalinin (who was god awful last year) and mara (who i liked cause of his heart and grit, but was also slow and took bad penalties).. are replaced by 2 of 6 possible rookies.. one of them being a hobey baker award winner.. so 1 spot is filled in by 5 other dmen fighting for a spot.. one of them has to be better than mara..and with hank in goal.. were pretty much set to make the playoffs..
August 30, 2009 2:12 PM ET | Delete
gotta be honest though.. devils look a lot worse.. compare who left to whos taking their spot.. worse team than last year.. however, you guys always find a way to be successful.. and im not so high on philly as everyone else is.. i dont think emery is a starting goalie.. thats my opinion.. its hard to win without a great goalie..
August 30, 2009 2:13 PM ET | Delete
to me.. the same 8 teams make he playoffs in the eat.. with buffalo and ottawa having a shot.. and florida and tampa with longshots..to me, toronto islanders, atlanta are out..
August 30, 2009 2:19 PM ET | Delete
Moshe, I agree with you, although you can never discount ANY Lou Lam team, I dont see the Devils being much better than-if not worse than the NYR's. They'll have as many Rookies in their line-up as the Rangers. Diff is going to be their D-corps as always. But the Rangers have better fire power than they had---defense is NYR question and concern.
August 30, 2009 2:22 PM ET | Delete
I am also not so sold on Philly! I thk the Pens will win the Division by prob 12 Pts, Philly will be 2nd by a slight margin with the possibility of the Rangers/Devils and Philly within mere Pts of each other. Thk it'll be closer than most think for 2nd-3rd-4th.....
August 30, 2009 2:24 PM ET | Delete
reason being, I thk the Isles are gonna steal some Pts from everyone around, theyre a tad bit better than last season, and some of those close games they were in will be OT-Wins instead of OT-Losses. Gonna be an interesting season for the Locals for sure...gonna be fun to watch again!!!
August 30, 2009 4:47 PM ET | Delete
I think the Isles will improve this year.. the Rgs.. will drop off a bit unless they have great chemistry.. I'm tired of Rags fans going on and on about how they are in the playoffs because of the goalie.. if he gets hurt they are Franked.. I would love for them to miss the Playoffs.. and I would love the Isles to make it.. but I don't see that happening.. altho they were very tough to play against at times.. and other times.. well it was like playing against Highschool kids
August 30, 2009 5:35 PM ET | Delete
Im gonna check back with you during the season just to see how important a goaltender is...No doubt you agree about that, but Lundqvuist def stole a few games for the Rngrs last season...I thk thats what Moshe was pointing out...Frankly, we have been overachieving since Hank has been here...
August 30, 2009 5:35 PM ET | Delete
Im gonna check back with you during the season just to see how important a goaltender is...No doubt you agree about that, but Lundqvuist def stole a few games for the Rngrs last season...I thk thats what Moshe was pointing out...Frankly, we have been overachieving since Hank has been here...
August 30, 2009 5:39 PM ET | Delete
If we had the back line the Flyers have and a Goalie of Hanks magnitude, we would probably be talking like we were invincible....sort of like a lot of Flyer Fans since they got Pronger...One thing for sure, the road to the Cup goes through Pittsburgh---Not Philly! Gonna be a fun fun season....
August 30, 2009 5:53 PM ET | Delete
never did I say it went thru Philly...and I was referring to those fans who think just because you got hank your a lock for the playoffs.. sure a goalie is important.. I know that .. we haven't had a decent goalie in years.. but a goalie can not win every game by themselves..I mostly am not a fan of the rangers D.. and if the forwards stay healthy you guys should finally score some goals..you guys only scored more goals then 2 teams last year and they were bottom 3 in the standings
August 30, 2009 7:19 PM ET | Delete
Agreed! Out of curiousity, Do you like the Pronger acquisition at the price paid? Do you think Philly will lose a step in scoring dept this season? I love Richards, losing Lupol I thk may lose at depth for 2nd line scoring....what are your thoughts?
August 30, 2009 7:41 PM ET | Delete
I think Knuble is more of a loss then Lupul.. I never liked him..he didnt work hard.. only thing that really hurt in the Pronger trade was Sbisa.. well to me.. but hopefully a Healthy Briere and a full season of Giroux should help.. and if Maroon or JVR make the team they may be able to pitch in a few goals..
August 30, 2009 9:27 PM ET | Delete
Forgot about Knuble...Giroux added a nice element....well, Im looking forward to some Hockey....I know we arent winning the Cup...hoping for a Playoof spot and then its on to the next season.....Hope we dampen openiong night for the Penguins too!
August 30, 2009 9:47 PM ET | Delete
yes.. one thing I dislike are the pens..LOL.. I can not wait till the season gets going.. its been a long few months
August 31, 2009 1:08 PM ET | Delete
Wow, a Devils fan picking the Rangers to finish 4th, how original. You're the biggest idiot since Sam Woo. The Rangers have only one line? Have you seen the Ranger's rooster lately? Have you seen the Devils rooster lately? They don't even HAVE one line. Your prospects totally SUCK. Your best one, Bergfors, looked way out of his league in the AHL, and he's going to play in the NHL to fill the MANY holes on the Devils offense? Nice try, homer.
August 31, 2009 1:44 PM ET | Delete
wow look at the bias christ almighty
August 31, 2009 3:06 PM ET | Delete
Isles are gonna suck this year but the shitty Devils won't be much better.
August 31, 2009 3:52 PM ET | Delete
Yes I have seen the Rangers' "rooster," as you so elegantly put it. And it reminds me of how the Rangers used to operate in the late 90's/early 2000's. The Rangers sign a group of big name players who can't work together because they're prima donnas. Always looks great on paper, doesn't work in the real world.
August 31, 2009 3:55 PM ET | Delete
Oh, and the Rangers were 28th in the league in scoring last year, the Devils were 15th. I don't have the numbers in front of me but it's safe to say that the Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner line, who all achieved career highs last year, accomplished way more than any Ranger line.
August 31, 2009 10:23 PM ET | Delete
The Devils look like trash and the Rangers are going to actually make the playoffs and you should be happy if the devils beat the islanders in the division
September 1, 2009 12:53 PM ET | Delete
Way to back up your opinion with some facts nyr23. I have an explanation for why I think what I do. Clearly you don't, therefore no one is going to take you seriously.
September 1, 2009 9:48 PM ET | Delete
Hmmm, NJD...one minute your making bold predictions based on ????, next minute your defending the teams you bashed, then your bashing someone elses opinion, I dont know what makes you an authority on ass-umption! But, GioRock isnt a ranger fan and he wasnt defending the Rangers......
September 1, 2009 9:49 PM ET | Delete
Furthermore, GioRock is 100% Correct about the Devils...theyre in worse shape than the Rangers are. The Devils dont have ANY depth, and they arent getting ANY HELP from their Farm System---which RANKS 29 out of 30 teams!!!!
September 2, 2009 8:02 PM ET | Delete
Have ranger fans not learned anything? We have went in with "no name" teams and making no improvements and we still end up ahead in the standings. This has been the story since the lock-out. Rosival and Lundqvist are the only 2 players I believe have played with the rangers since the lockout. You all undervalue chemistry, always put teams that look good on paper on the ice, and end up 5th or 6th in the standings. If gaborik goes down you have no other 1st line forward.
September 2, 2009 8:10 PM ET | Delete
September 3, 2009 10:25 PM ET | Delete
RMDevil...If Parise goes down---all you have is Defense!...so pipe down
September 3, 2009 10:26 PM ET | Delete
Oh, Im sorry, I forgot----You have Clarkson...lol
September 3, 2009 11:00 PM ET | Delete
Elias was a point per game player last year, hardly all defense. Zajac is turning into a number 1 center. We would be hurt, but not devastated by a parise injury. It would effect us minimally. And to all the rags fans calling the writer a homer, almost every hockey analyst have the devils ahead of the rangers, so calling him a homer is ridiculous. Look in the mirror.
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