Although I don't doubt a single division is capable of locking down 5 of the 8 playoff slots, I tend to think even if so it wouldn't be the Atlantic. Last year, all but the Flyers made a show in the playoffs. The Devs and Pens each finished well up in the standings, while the Rangers and Islanders just slipped in towards the last week of the season.
The hardest part about this season is, I see the exact same happening again and still find it hard to accept. Now, I do expect the Rangers to finish with more than 94 points. In fact, I expect them to be top contenders for the conference. However, this is a cup year for them. No cup this year means they have to wave good bye to a lot of players with nothing to show for it.
The Pens have a great young team...blah blah blah. We've heard it before and again and will hear it all year. Seriously, I'm a Pens fan and I feel it's a bit overstated. Maybe it's my utter disdain for a preseason spotlight, or perhaps I'm just anticipating the start of the season, but let's just get things started and THEN we can talk.
The Devils will be contenders, there's no doubt. However, I don't see them finishing higher than third. I honestly feel the one and two slots will be owned by the Pens and Rangers, with the Rangers ultimately coming out on top. I expect the Devils to finish 4 or 6 points out in third. It's gonna be close.
As for the Islanders: Surprise me. A lot of people love to trash talk the Islanders. I'd love to see them finish at the least as playoff contenders in the 8 seed again. Even in just the first round last year, they still caught my eye as a team that can certainly grow. A healthy DiPietro is key.
And then there's the Flyers. This is still the one team I think will cost the Atlantic a full representation in the playoffs. It just takes time to build. I've seen it since 2000 with the Pens. I think Biron is a great goalie. Gagne still managed to pop 41 goals in last year, but only tallied 68 points. Why? Well, who was he going to pass it to? This year may be a different story, and I hope for Flyers' fans it is. But I just don't see the Flyers making a huge run till at least next season.
I'd like to hear what you guys have to say.
Here's my quick analysis why this doesn't work:1. These teams are not competing for 5/8 spots. They are competing for 4/5. The division winner will obviously get in, as will the NorthEast and SouthEast division winners. Virtually the are fighting for 5 spots with 8 other teams. Quick math here, basic probablility, hopefully I'm thinking clearly this morning.4 C 4 * 12 C 1 / 12 C 5 = 12/465 = 2.58% so pretty unlikely.However all teams are not equal, so lets think about this a different way.Last year Pittsburgh had over 100 points, as did New Jersey. Rags had 94. Pittsburgh is not getting worse, New Jersey did, but Rangers improved. Pens and Rangers should be over 100 points.Now 32 games for each team are division. Any game won by a team in the division takes away 2 points from another team in the division. So the best scenario here for all teams to make it is for everyone to go 16-16. (Best would be if they were all Shootouts, but thats quite unlikely) Let's say for arguements sake 4 of these losses are Shootout losses. Each team in the division has 36 points. To get to 100 the teams need to get 64 points out of 50 games. This is a 32-18 record, which is very good but possibly achieveable. To get the 90 points to make the playoffs NJ, NYI, PHILLY would need like 54 points or a 27-23 record. Again achievable I guess but pretty unlikely. However say Pittsburgh and NYR goes like 11-5 against the worst team in the division, say Philly. ThiLet Philly be 8-8 against the other two teams. That's 26 points. They would have to go 32-18 against the reast of the league to make it to 90.So in sum, due to the large amount of division games, I don't think it will ever happen that all 5 teams make teh playoffs from one division.
sorry, it's not 2003 anymore, the devils regardless of brodeur's play will be looking up at the rest of the division. if management decides to rest him more (he plays 60-65 games instead of 75-80) there is no way they play any better than 5 wins and 10 losses in those 15 games thats up to 20 points less than this year, forget the playoffs. if he plays 75 games again, they're out in the 1st round if they make it. where do the goals come from with this team???
i kinda stopped reading what oilers was saying, because it was so bloody long... but I think the gist of it (for others with ADD XD) is that because the atlantic teams face the other atlantic teams 32 times of the year, they can only each get 32 points, or else they'd be knocking another divisional team out of the standings... and then they'd need at least 60 points in the remaining 50 games to sneak in
monty, never underestimate the devils young guys... they have young players, and more importantly, a system... they don't need a skilled player to come up, just a player for that role
I don't expect much from the Rangers, just because they're a team of all-stars.Aside from that, though, is this: they're $1.68M over the cap right now, and they've only got 11 forwards signed... Hmm, how will that work for them? I sometimes wonder if they forgot all about the cap. If they get any injuries (which is likely to happen with a lineup of older guys), they'll be screwed. And besides, who will want to trade with a team who swiped all of the good talent just to help them get under the cap? I'm sure a lot of GMs out there would love to see them flounder. I don't know, from my persepective, they didn't plan, and success is about more than the number of all-stars on your team...
Yes, what I wrote did turn into a big mess when it took out all the spacing between lines. The two points were: It is extremely unlike for it to happen by chance, and It is even more unlikely because of all the interdivision games.
heh, this is kinda like my article
1. PIT 2. NYR 3. PHI 4. NJ 5. NYI The idea that philly cant win because of chemistry can be said about NYI and NYR as well- all three teams look very different then last year so please stop using that as a reason for your predictions. NJ not having many scorers is a big deal...yes they have a system but in the new NHL the PP and PK is one of the most important parts of the game- they lost their two biggest PP producers- sorry they're screwed! NYI lost more then they gained and adding a new 1st line is not a good game plan...especially when they are worse then the previous one.
Simple answer is not a chance. Pitt and NYR will be the class of that division. NJ is well NJ and they are always good and find a way, even if it puts the rest of the league to sleep. Philly improved no doubt, but did they improve enough to close a 36 point gap on the 8th playoff spot, I don't think so. They still have a week defense and a very average goalie so I don't think Philly or NYI make the playoffs.I think Ottawa wins the NE and Buffalo also makes it, Pitt, NYR and NJ from the Atlantic and whoever wins the SE plus one more, I'll say Carolina bounces back and Tampa makes it again, means there is one spot left and it goes to Toronto or Montreal, with Atlanta and a team nobody ever gives a second look to, Florida in it until the very end.
I think Philly makes it. I don't think NYI does though.
Homer, you said the Philly defense is still weak, but what about the Rangers? If anything, the Philly D might be 1st or second in the division. Kukkonen topped all rookies in blocked shots last season, and they have Smith, Timonen, and Coburn. Hatcher, while slow, was a huge reason why their PK was in the top 10 for the whole year. Plus they got rid of their defensive hole in Pitkanen. Seems like their D was improved greatly, if you ask me. But if anything, you can't say that the Rangers have a better defense.
If anyone misses it's the Isles. The Ranger's lack of D will destroy them later rather than sooner (meaning in the playoffs IMO). Philly should make it, Pittsburgh is in. NJ in on the bubble - Brodeur or no Brodeur. Remember how many other teams are 'improved' and gunning for a spot. In the end I'll say it's only the Isles that miss.
I love how everyone is a contender in the offseason. I tend to think that unless Phi finds instant chemestry with all their new players they will miss the post season but will probably put up a strong second half. The NYR will do well in during regular season with an all-star goalie and tremendous depth at forward, however the defense will cost them in the playoffs. Pitt should be nasty again and will battle the Rangers for first place in the division, a year in for Malkin and Staal will impress people. NJ will be boring as always and DiPietro does not make up enough for what NYI lost up front. Islanders squeaked into the playoffs last year, but they won't be that close this year.
Hell no. The Islanders? Please. Even though they overachieve every year, the Devils might be in tough this year, as may the Flyers if neither of their goalies can play as expected. The Devils have the goalie, but a weaker team, while the Flyers have the team, but a weaker goalie AND team chemistry to build. I can see the Islanders and the Flyers missing the playoffs, despite their improvement.
I suppose it is impossible for all 5 teams to go...perhaps just an unwritten law of the NHL that makes it impossible. Although Oiler did a good job of breaking it down, it does make sense just by looking at the Flyers. If last place Philly had 56 points, and 8th place Islanders had 92 points, then the difference o f 36 points would have caused just another team in the atlantic to barely miss making the playoffs by the simple rules of interdivision play. We can also conclude that Train A would arrive at 2pm and Train B would arrive at 2:15. Thanks hockeybuzz friends!
Hey Feeling sorry I jut don't think two young kids in Kukk and Coburn make them better now, maybe in a few years sure, but not this year. Smith is kinda like Hatcher, tough but slow, so you have Timmonen and a bunch of OK D men, thats why I think you have a weak D. The Rangers D did good enough last year to keep the GAA down, they where hard to score againist down the stretch, plus they will out outscore teams and they have a great goalie when the D lets them down, Philly doesn;t have that.
Rangers win the division, Pens finish fourth, Devils will be in sixth, mainly thanks to Brodeur, Flyers squeak in 8th spot, while the Isles, who are overwhelmed, don't make it.
I honestly think that Flyers are better than Devs this season, as long as BIron can prove to be #1 goalie. Brodeur will still be good, but Weeks will play about 15 games this season, and win about 8 of those games. Plus, Zubrus and Vishnevski is no Gomez and Rafalski.