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"Devils fan since day 1!"
Woodbridge, NJ • United States • 44 Years Old • Male
Hi All! Hope all of you on the East Coast are enjoying this brutally hot stretch of weather! As I sit here and observe the temperature outside rising to over 100 degrees, I figured this would be a perfect time to try to predict the final standings in the Atlantic Division.

Now granted, it is VERY early and there are certainly still roster decisions to be made by each club, and even perhaps a trade or two. So I will preface this by saying that these predictions are based on likely rosters as of TODAY!

Here is my predicted order of finish for the Atlantic Division. And asterisk after a team indicates that I believe they will make the playoffs.

1 - Pittsburgh Penguins 104 Pts **
2 - New York Rangers 98 Pts *
3 - New Jersey Devils 95 Pts *
4 - Philadelphia Flyers 89 Pts
5 - New York Islanders 74 Pts

Pittsburgh was a 100 point team last year, and that was without Sydney Crosby for half a season. Coach Dan Bylsma has them playing solid defense, Marc Andre Fleury is a solid netminder, and with a healthy Crosby and Malkin they are clearly the team to beat in the Atlantic.
The New York Rangers made a big splash with the Free-Agent signing of Brad Richards. Richards joins a young talented team that made the playoffs last year. The Rangers are solid in net with Henrik Lundqvist. The big question mark here is Marion Gaborik - can he return to his 40 goal form of seasons past? If so - the Rangers will be tough and could challenge Pittsburgh for the Division.
The big question in New Jersey is which NJ Devils team will show up this year? Will it be the bunch that started last season 10-29-2 or the same bunch that went on a 22-2-3 tear in the second half. I am betting they are closer to the second half team, as a healthy Zach Parise returns to join Kovy and Marty Brodeur for perhaps his final run at a cup.
The Flyers are the biggest question mark of the bunch. After a disappointing playoff ouster, GM Paul Holmgren felt it necessary to acquire a big time goalie, and he did in Ilya Bryzgalov. But the cost was prohibitive, as he was forced to deal both Mike Richards AND Jeff Carter to make Cap space for the Bryzgalov signing. Bryzgalov is certainly an upgrade over Brian Boucher, but who is going to make up for the 60+ goals and 120+ points lost, not to mentions Richards tenacity? Add an aging Chris Pronger, and Philly might take a drop in the standings this year.
Finally, the mess that is the New York Islanders continue to flounder out on Long Island. John Taveras is a gifted player, and Moulson and Grabner are nice compliments, but this team is still a mess. Gone is Doug Weight, the goalie situation is a mess with perpetually injured Rick Dipietro the probable number one, and the defense is thin. It looks like another long year on the Island.
Filed Under:   Devils   Flyers   Rangers   Penguins   Islanders  
July 22, 2011 3:52 PM ET | Delete
Reasonable. Flyers can go anywhere from 1-4 depending on the success of the new players and how well they gel as a team. With Schenn and Couturier in the mix in the next 2-4 years, I think the Flyers will struggle this year, but will be back to being a force very soon. The Islanders are talented but young. Your Pens analysis I agree with completely. Same with the Rangers and Devils. Nice unbiased assessment of where the Atlantic may end up!
July 22, 2011 4:08 PM ET | Delete
It might be a little harsh to refer to the Isles as a "mess," as they seem to finally be on the right track with their development. Granted, I agree with you they are still more likely to place last than any other Atlantic team. All-in-all, solid predictions and well within reasonable expectations.
July 22, 2011 6:45 PM ET | Delete
The Flyers didn't have to deal Richards or Carter to make cap room for Bryzgalov. They decided to cut the cord because of a variety of issues.
July 22, 2011 7:53 PM ET | Delete
Well, they did need cap space and dealing Carter gave that to them but you are right that they could have made other moves to get the space and that they were dealt more for other reasons.
July 22, 2011 8:23 PM ET | Delete
Isles aren't the mess you think they are. Most likely they will finish last but they still are $11 mill under the cap floor and lost over 600 games to injuries last season. they also had the 5th most points in NHL from December on.
July 22, 2011 8:47 PM ET | Delete
Isles316- If it means anything I think the Islanders finish ahead of Philly. Yes the Isles are 11 million under the cap floor but when was the last time somebody wanted to come play for the Islanders?
July 22, 2011 8:49 PM ET | Delete
Message PostI think the Isles need to improve the team via trade. I agree, no one wants to come here but yet the entire team seems to be happy being on Long Island. Isles need to make this building vote go through and have a season where Tavares shows he is a star and the team competes for a playoff spot. Could make next free agent session slightly different
July 22, 2011 8:49 PM ET | Delete
Devils are in no way making playoffs with Brodeur in goal. End of story.
July 22, 2011 10:47 PM ET | Delete
These have to be the worst playoff predictions I've ever seen...it's too early to predict anything. And, even if you were going to right now, i say Penguins, Flyers, Rangers (ONLY BY A HAIR in 3rd, IF EVEN FINISHING AHEAD OF), Islanders, Devils.
July 22, 2011 11:06 PM ET | Delete
schwartzee- The Devils will make the playoffs!Save_Us_John- There is no way the Islanders are finishing ahead of the Devils!
July 23, 2011 12:02 AM ET | Delete
I think that the Isles have a much better chance at being a playoff team than the Devils.
July 23, 2011 6:28 AM ET | Delete
The flyers may have a different look this season but you obviously have not looked at their roster. I'm not going to list which teams will finish where because it's to early for that but the one thing I do know is the flyers will make the playoffs.
July 23, 2011 8:17 AM ET | Delete
So the Flyers went out and addressed their biggest need with arguably one of the top 5 goalies in the league and now they are going to finish 17 point less than where they finished last year! That's rich. Hilarious. Devils and Rangers finishing ahead of the Flyers. LOL!
July 23, 2011 10:04 AM ET | Delete
@JSP92 - OK, so losing Richards and Carter and Lieno is no big deal? Thats about 80 goals lost. Explain to me how they are going to be as good as last year?
July 23, 2011 10:04 AM ET | Delete
Islanders will finish higher than both Philly and the Devils. The Islanders are in better shape than they were last year. The author of this blog does not folllow hockey very closely.
July 23, 2011 10:09 AM ET | Delete
@jimmc7722 - Well I am a season ticket holder and have NHL Home Ice so YES I follow hockey. I made my argument - no make yours - WHERE do you see the Islanders improving over last year? Name a few places. And where do you see enough improvement to suggest they will make the playoffs?
July 23, 2011 10:23 AM ET | Delete
Isn't it a bit early to predict? Transactions are still pending. heck, arbitration hearings are pending. As for the NYI loss of Weight, he only played 18 games last year. Meanwhile, Streit and Okposo should be back and healthy.
July 23, 2011 2:01 PM ET | Delete
As I said in my original post - I KNOW it is early, just doing this for fun. And for those of you leaving insulting comments - your comments will be deleted. AND if you don't agree with me fine - at least be able to back up your statement. It's easy to say "You know nothing about hockey" but if you honestly believe that then explain yourself. Otherwise I have to question YOUR hockey knowledge.
July 23, 2011 3:10 PM ET | Delete
NO WAY in hell does Pitt eclipse the 100 pt mark this coming season with or without Sidney. There you go. Wasnt that fun?
July 23, 2011 3:37 PM ET | Delete
PenguinsFlyersRangersDevilsIslanders
July 23, 2011 3:39 PM ET | Delete
@SCLI - Really? They won the division with 106 Points last season with Crosby, Malkin and others on IR for significant periods. They did lose Talbot and Rupp to Free Agency, but added Steve Sullivan. Explain to me how they do NOT get to 100 points if Crosby and Malkin are healthy?
July 23, 2011 3:48 PM ET | Delete
flyers won the division last year!
July 23, 2011 8:40 PM ET | Delete
HoshiBlitz- You're kidding me...right?
July 23, 2011 11:50 PM ET | Delete
If Bryzgalove can get the Coyotes in easily with one 20 goal scorer the Flyers will be in no problem they still have great defence and 6 20 goal scorers
July 24, 2011 4:49 AM ET | Delete
You are the only person that thinks the Flyers wont make the playoffs. The devils suck and the rangers have little depth. Awful article.
July 24, 2011 6:17 PM ET | Delete
Rangers have more depth hahaha there's a thing called defence they don't have it Bryzgalov is going to steal games something a goalies never did for them. They still have good forwards and the best defence/goaltending combo in the league along with Boston
July 24, 2011 6:45 PM ET | Delete
I think you're underestimating the islanders. Their young talent is starting to mesh and along with streit returning, they might surprise a lot of people this season. Wouldn't be surprised to see them finish ahead of NJD and PHI. Flyers will be hurting this season with Richards, Carter and Leino gone.
July 24, 2011 6:45 PM ET | Delete
LOL At all the Flyers fans hatin' on you because you predicted them closely missing the playoffs! Same thing happened to me two years ago, when I said they would miss the playoffs narrowly and they made it on the last night. Great article bro! Haters suck!
July 24, 2011 10:29 PM ET | Delete
HAHA 74 points for the Islanders. You clearly must not follow hockey.
July 24, 2011 10:31 PM ET | Delete
"There is no way the Islanders are finishing ahead of the Devils!"I think the Devils will finish ahead of the Islanders, but don't be so cocky. It is very plausible that the Islanders finish ahead of NJ this year.
July 24, 2011 10:50 PM ET | Delete
Islanders still have no defence or goaltending
July 25, 2011 12:27 AM ET | Delete
Richieattack18- The Devils do not suck! They will rebound big time this upcoming season, believe me!
July 25, 2011 12:28 AM ET | Delete
isles10289- It's not plausible at all!
July 25, 2011 8:54 AM ET | Delete
@njdevil267: Thats about 80 goals lost. Explain to me how they are going to be as good as last year? EXPLANATION: They've added Jagr (~20 goals), Voracek (~15 goals), Simmonds (~15 goals) and van Riemsdyk with more ice time (~10 goals). Finally, with Bryzgalov (~15-20 LESS GOALS SCORED AGAINST). I would say the Flyers goal differential will be pretty similar from last year.
July 25, 2011 9:31 AM ET | Delete
you forgot to mention Schenn and Talbot they'll combine for 20-30
July 25, 2011 9:34 AM ET | Delete
Yes, but Schenn and Talbot will simply nullify Versteeg and Powes production.
July 25, 2011 9:39 AM ET | Delete
@ Snotbubble - Very interesting assessment (a bit optimistic I think, but that is my opinion) but hey - Thanks for the input! Well done!
July 25, 2011 9:42 AM ET | Delete
@Isles10289 - OK you are right. I have no clue. The Isles have Managed 73, 79, 61, and 79 points the last 4 seasons, and did NOTHING to improve their team this off season. So I took an average of those numbers (73) and added a point. What do you think they will do? More or less???
July 25, 2011 11:20 AM ET | Delete
NYI are young. A year of experience for their youngsters can be considered improvement. As I said before, Mark Streit missed all of last year. Having him in the lineup is an improvement. Ditto Okposo. If they don't lead the league by over 100 man games lost to injury that constitutes improvement. We are starting the year with a coach who had things moving in the right direction as the season went along. (IMHO). We'll see on the ice, but I think the Isles are a better team than last year.
July 25, 2011 11:25 AM ET | Delete
I would have to agree with these standings good article
July 25, 2011 12:08 PM ET | Delete
versteeg and powe only combined for 14 goals, schenn and talbot will combine for more than that, the standings will go penguins or flyers at the top than devils,rangers and islanders
July 25, 2011 12:18 PM ET | Delete
Talbot has had 10 goals TOTAL the past 2 years. Powe and Talbot are a wash. As far as Schenn goes...you don't even know if he'll make the team. Even if he does, the best you should hope for is Mike Richards-type production from 2005/2006 (11 goals, 23 assists). I hope Schenn pans out, but I would be very skeptical of him coming into the NHL and lighting it up.
July 25, 2011 12:33 PM ET | Delete
Last year flyer forwards scored 234 goals this year they will have about 220. The goals against will drop alot, Boucher/Bobrovsky never had a shutout last year, Bryzgalov had 7 playing for the Coyotes, he's coming to a team that has Pronger, Timmonen, Coburn, Carle and Meszaros in front of him. The goals against will drop by 25-30 goals, Bryzgalov can steal games something they've never had
July 25, 2011 12:37 PM ET | Delete
I wouldn't go back two years with Talbot he only played half the season 2 years ago, this year he will get about 10. Schenn will make the team I've seen alot of articles saying he's ready, I predict about 15 from him
July 25, 2011 1:19 PM ET | Delete
Bryzgalov had a .921 save % last year, the best of his career. Extrapolating that save % to the amount of shot Bob/Bouch faces last year that means he would only have saved 15 more goals then what Bob/Bouch did. Unless you think Brygalov will post some ridiculous save % like .930 (which has been done 12 times in the history of the NHL).
July 25, 2011 2:12 PM ET | Delete
I'm saying that Bryzgalov carried the Coyotes to 6th in a tougher conference. The Flyers have much better defence and forwards than Phoenix, the Flyers defence is why they finished first last year they're still there, things will be much easier for him with the guys he's got in front of him. Bryzgalov has the potential to hit 10 shutouts this year and he will continue to steal games even without Richards/Carter/Leino good forwards were brought in and they will still be the favorite to win the divison
July 25, 2011 3:09 PM ET | Delete
How are the Devils really any different from last year? Pens, Rangers and Flyers will be in with The Devils and Isles looking out again. For all their changes, Philly diddn't really lose too much and has the second best goalie and best defensive squad in the Atlantic. (Lundy is the best current goalie)
July 25, 2011 5:02 PM ET | Delete
How are the Flyers the biggest question mark? The Devils have a new coach, haven't signed Parise, Brodeur who may be ineffective with his age, and an enigma for their best offensive player. Yeah, I'm not sold. The Flyers still have the same system, improved goalie, same defense, but some pretty drastic changes in O. I still think they'll finish 3-6 in the East.
July 25, 2011 7:24 PM ET | Delete
flyler- "How are the Devils really any different from last year? Pens, Rangers and Flyers will be in with The Devils and Isles looking out again."The reason why the Devils didn't make the playoffs last year was because of Maclean poor coaching
July 25, 2011 7:26 PM ET | Delete
flyler- The reason why the Devils didn't make the playoffs last year was because of Maclean poor coaching
July 25, 2011 11:27 PM ET | Delete
The reason why the Devils didn't make the playoffs last year was because of Macleans poor coaching? REALLY???? C'mon man can you really say that with a straight face. Listen I think the Devils will be a ton better this coming season but please the coaching was hardly the whole problem. Predicting the Atlantic division is a joke. Anyone in this division besides the Islanders can finish first in the division and that's not to say the Islanders won't be a playoff team either.
July 26, 2011 12:13 PM ET | Delete
Coaching? This is hardly a devils team of Rookies. And a new Coach and Systems means time to figure them out. That's why Philly fell apart after Lavy took over... it takes time. Philly changes are a buncha new younger forwards and a huge upgrade in net. Comparatively I don't think they lost any value and over time will get even better. With Parise and Mobile defense questions still lingering the Flyers future picture is much clearer, at least for now.
July 26, 2011 3:44 PM ET | Delete
Way Off Pittsburgh Philly Rangers Sabres Canadians and Leafs to round off top 6
July 26, 2011 8:37 PM ET | Delete
@UB1959 - I am only talking about the Atlantic Division, not the Eastern Conference. And you think the Leafs and Canadiens are going to finish in the Top 6 (and ahead of Boston) based on what? Explain that one please!
July 26, 2011 8:39 PM ET | Delete
And for anyone who thinks the Devils record last year was NOT related to the coach, all I can say is this: Under John Maclean 9-22-2 and under Jacques Lemaire 29-17-3. Same team, same players. In fact, Maclean at least had Parise for 12 games, Lemaire for all of one game.
July 26, 2011 11:00 PM ET | Delete
I wouldn't call the islanders defense shaky. Streit, Hamonic, Macdonald, Eaton, Jurcina, mottau plus I would put money on snow acquiring a top 4 d-man. Is it the best defense in the nhl of course not but would i call it shaky no. I'm looking forward to laughing at this prediction in april.
July 26, 2011 11:03 PM ET | Delete
hahahaha the Islanders acquiring a top 4 D-man. Not to be a d!ck but who wants to come to the Islanders when the franchise is in danger of moving? Nobody is coming to the Islanders not to rain on your parade.
July 26, 2011 11:05 PM ET | Delete
@adwolf theres this crazy thing in the nhl its called a trade.
July 27, 2011 9:37 AM ET | Delete
I will remember this convo on how you think the islanders are going to acquire a top 4 d-man. I doubt it happens. What are you trading to get a top 4 D-man? You have hamonic-streit, de-haan and macdonald. I would think that's your top 4
July 28, 2011 6:56 PM ET | Delete
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