Hope everyone had a good weekend. Today I want to tell you 5 teams I'm excited to see this upcomming season.
<h3>5. St. Louis Blues</h3>
After two dismal seasons, the Blues are going to attempt to turn it around this season. After making key additions, I believe the Blues will be headed on the right path this season. GM John Davidson has done a spectacular job of building this team. He has talent galore on this team including Paul Kariya, Doug Weight, and Keith Tkachuck. Also he has a great goaltender in Manny Legace and former Bruins goaltender Hannu Toivonen who may be the backup this year. Look for this team to be in the thick of the race with a more competitive Central division this year. Don't be suprised if they slip into the playoffs as a 7 or 8 seed.
<h3>4. Calgary Flames</h3>
The Calgary Flames have a great team. Unfortunately, last season the Flames were unable to defeat the Red Wings in the first round. Mostly their lack of discipline during that series was the reason for their downfall. With that being said the Flames management decided to bring the notorious Mike Keenan back to the NHL. Keenan, known for his strict nature, tends to make teams play well. However, Keenan has failed to see success in the playoffs since his Stanley Cup win with the Rangers in 1994. I expect the Flames to be a 4 or 5 seed, and should be a tough opponent all season.
<h3>3. Boston Bruins</h3>
This may be a suprising team this upcomming season. Now that the Bruins have finally signed an established goaltender. This time, they can't give up on a young goaltender! Also with a maturing squad, the Bruins could be contenders this year. They are in a rough division where they will be seeing the Sabres and Senators a lot. The only problem this team will have making the playoffs will be beating out the other Atlantic division teams. This will be an exciting year for the Bruins, and will probably considered a success if they can muster 80-90 points.
<h3>2. Anaheim Ducks</h3>
I wouldn't be suiprised to see the ducks contend for the Stanley Cup again, because they have re-loaded with more talent. With additions such as Todd Bertuzzi and Matthieu Schneider, the Ducks will again be a gritty defensive squad. The team is solid on every front. To defeat the Ducks it will take a lot of discipline. Even with the loss of Dustin Penner, the Ducks will not lose a lot. They will not be as much of a scoring threat as they were this past season, but they will still be able to be a threat. They should be able to easily take their division, however this team will rack up the penalty minutes. This team will be great again, and may be an early favorite to win the west.
<h3>1. New York Rangers</h3>
This roster is stacked! With the additions they made this off-season, the Rangers triggered an arms race in the Atlantic division. However, I believe the Rangers may have made the best moves. They picked up Sabres captain Chris Drury, nd long-time Devils cetner Scott Gomez. In addition, the Rangers solidified their line-up re-signing Brendan Shanahan, Steve Avery, and Henrik Lundqvist. Jaromir Jagr will continue to lead this team. and hopefully to a Stanley Cup. Other key players will play a large role in the team's success include: Martin Straka, Michal Rozsival, and Marcel Hossa. This team to me seems set up for a Stanley Cup run, and this is the first time in years I can honestly say that.
The Rangers and Flyers have their teams pretty much locked up for the next two years, so they better like their teams I guess. In Glen Sather's case, he should be very pleased with what he has, because his team will be very competitive this year, if not in great shape to take a stab at the Stanley Cup. If there is one thing that could send the NHL into the mainstream without ridicule it would be a Stanley Cup victory by the New York Rangers.