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Cincinnati, OH • United States • 16 Years Old • Male
lesser 427

Central Preview (1 of 2)

Posted 10:25 PM ET | Comments 3
Hola guys.

Ice Melts at 32 F, or 0 C for those of you north of the border. And seeing as it got to 92 today, I should be thinking baseball. But with the Reds 40-55 and 13.5 games back, I'm just waiting for the next 78 days to pass, so that I can throw on that sweater and relax. Instead, I'm gonna take a stab at some Central Previews. I'll do another one in September, as teams start to take shape.

Chicago Blackhawks:
2006-07 Record: 31-42-9 - 71p - 5th Central

Last Season: Chicago's coming off a dissapointing season, the first time that they were in last place since the 2003-04 season. They're also 5 years seperated from a playoff berth.

Key Additions: Yanic Perreault (TOR), Robert Lang (DET)

Key Subtractions: Michal Handzus (LA)

Analysis: Chicago lost a 26 year-old center in Handzus, who was out for the majority of the 06-07 season with a torn ACL, who put up decent numbers the previous 8 seasons. They compensated with an aging Perreault and Lang. Perreault posted 21-17-38 and a -1 in 66 games with the Leafs last season. As Lang posted 20-42-62 and a +17 in 72 with the Wings.

Verdict: Winner
Projected Finish: Fourth

Columbus Blue Jackets:
2006-07 Record: 33-42-7 - 73p - 4th Central

Last Season: Disappointing, once again. Although they set a franchise record with 73 points, they still were pretty bad. Had Nash stayed healthy all season, this team might have been a contender. One small ray of hope came when the Jackets acquired Freddie Norrena, who was surprisingly good in his first NHL season.

Key Additions: Jiri Novotny (WAS), Jan Hejda (EDM)

Key Subtractions: Anders Eriksson (CGY)

Analysis: This team, although adding two defensemen, is still lacking a goaltender. Freddie Norrena may yet be a one hit wonder. Only time will tell. Overall, if Nash, Vyborny and Federov stay healthy, and they retain Zherdev, as long as those guys are scoring, and the goalies are at least decent, the Jackets should go far. Problem is, at least one of those four will go down.

Verdict: Neither
Projected Finish: Third

Detroit Red Wings
2006-07 Record: 50-19-13 - 113p - 1st Central

Last Season: Once again, Detroit continues to dominate the Central. They made it to the Western Final, where they lost in six to the eventual Cup Champs.

Key Additions: Brian Rafalski (NJ), Dallas Drake (STL),

Key Subtractions: Robert Lang (CHI), Matthieu Schneider (ANA),

Analysis: Following a trend here, the Wings lose two big ones, and then add two big ones in their spots. This division is really theirs to lose, which I don't think will happen.

Verdict: Winners
Projected Finish: First

Nashville Predators
2006-07 Record: 51-23-8 - 110p - 2nd

Last Season: The Predators were extremely hot last season, coming only three points shy of Detroit. But certainly don't expect them to repeat this season, because God only knows what's going on down there.

Key Additions: Jed Ortmeyer (NYR)

Key Subtractions: Paul Kariya (STL), Vitaly Vishnevski (NJ), Thomas Vokoun (FLA)

Analysis With the fire sale, and God knows what else, going on in Nashville it's clear to me that the Preds won't have a repeat of success this year, and after this year, it's even unclear as to whether or not they'll be playing in Nashville. I feel this is an injustice to the city of Nashville. Visit http://www.savethepredators.com if you'd like to do something about it.

Verdict: Big Losers
Projected Finish: Fifth

St. Louis Blues
2006-07 Record: 34-35-13 - 81p - 3rd

Last Season: Now failing to reach the playoffs twice in two years, a feat that hadn't occurred since the dawn of time for the Blues.

Key Additions: Paul Kariya (NSH),

Key Subtractions: Dallas Drake (DET), Radek Dvorak (FLA)

Analysis: Now that St. Louis has another big time scorer on the roster, maybe this will be the year that they get back to the playoffs.

Verdict: Winners
Projected Finish: Second


1. Detroit
2. St. Louis
3. Columbus
4. Chicago
5. Nashville

Another set of predictions coming in September, the Zherdev situation is tomorrow.

July 22, 2007 12:30 AM ET | Delete
wow handzus is only 26? dude seriously pick up a sprts pick he hasn't been 26 for some years now. he only played eight games for the blackhawks last year also. the blackhawks need steady goaltending and their kids to play great to do much. detriot's pretty solid but drake can barely play seven minutes a game, not to mention he's better if he sits some out in between. i'm sorry man but until your team gets some players who might consider showing up to the rink half the time your team will finish last. although nashville look like it lost a lot they really didn't. some of this hinges on mason and wether it was just his year last year. but they still have a solid team and plenty of youth to plug in their holes. losing kariya hurt them a bit more than the other two. the blues are most definitely on their way. and the best part is they have the depth to plug any holes the vetrans might create should any of them go down with an injury.
July 22, 2007 9:08 PM ET | Delete
Now hold on a moment, the last i checked Chicago was in last place...
July 22, 2007 9:08 PM ET | Delete
Now hold on a moment, the last i checked Chicago was in last place...
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