In the past, the Eastern Conference's most feared division was the Northeast division, which consisted of the Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, The Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Boston Bruins.
However, due to an eventful free agency, the division of Devils, Penguins, NY Rangers, Islanders, and Flyers
are going to be extremely tough to beat. I wouldn't be surprised if all 5 teams made the playoffs.
1. Rangers.1st or second in Eastern conference
As a leafs fan, I am not going to be watching the four games against the Rangers this season. Not only did they have, Straka, Jagr, Shanahan last year, they've added Drury, Gomez, and resigned Avery and Lunqvist.
2. Penguins. 4th in Conference
This young team can only get better. Crosby, Malkin, Staal, will only get better.
3. Devils 5th in eastern conference
They havent changed too much, but if Brodeur can't carry them like he did last year, i don't expect them to win their division.
4. Flyers 8th or 9th in eastern conference
After a horrible season, the Flyers GM, (whose name i forget) has reconstructed his team. Briere, Smith, Lupul just to name their acquisitions.
5. Islanders- 10th in eastern conference
They lost many good players, but also gained some. However, the goal production from Blake, Yashin, Smyth, is going to be hard to replace.
This should be an interesting conference to watch. Please leave comments
Flyers GM is named Paul Holmgren. He has done an amazing job at turning around the worst team in the league into a potential playoff team. Watch Briere between Gagne and Knuble as one of the better lines in hockey next year.SYF
Why does everybody think the Rangers are going to be first? They need to get under the cap if they plan on placing at all. $1.68M over the cap, and they don't even have a full roster yet. Only 11 forwards...
The Rangers will easily get under the cap by demoting Kaspar to Hartford. Plus, Shanny's bonuses will count against next year's cap.
I see only 3 of those teams making the postseason, most likely Pens, Rangers and Flyers. Devils always have a solid team, however, Zubrus and Vishnevski are no Gomez and Rafalski, who will be missed greatly. The Isles offseason acquisitions have not impressed me at all. You're in trouble when Mike Comrie is your number one centre, enough said. I also don't ever see all 5 teams from a division making it to the playoffs simply because they each play the other divisional teams 8 times! That's 32 games against supposedly other really good teams.
you forget the islanders only had smyth for like 20 games.. so although he was a big help to the team in those late season games he is not what brought our team to the playoffs.. and it certainly wasnt Yashin either.. However Blake is definitly a loss, but one i think with our UFA signing have made up for. The way i see the Atlantic ending up is with the Rangers and Pitsburg fighting it out for first and the Devils and Isles fighting for 3rd.. I just dont think Pitsburg even with briere have improved enough..
Philadelphia has Briere.
mvezza- I couldnt agree more. PHI also added Timonen and Hartnell and after they added a bunch of guys at the end of the season they were a much improved team down the stretch (upshall, coburn, biron).
yeah sorry i meant philly
Blake was a headache in the locker room. I think the Isles are going to be a great team chemsitry-wise. Now, whether they can't translate that into points remains to be seen. Should be an interesting season.
The Devils system, their All-World Goaltender, and the new coach will ENSURE the Devils will be back for the Playoffs. It might not be with a Division title, but like everyone's saying, each of these teams plays 32 games against the Division. Can't wait to see what happens.
I see the Flyers becoming a great team as long as the chemistry of their new units will work out well together. I wish they the best of luck though. Flyers are one of my favorites.
you make some good guesses ryu, but being a leafs fan you even said yourself the Northeast conference has always been the one to beat, and in your predictions your saying these atlantic teams will take 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 10th, you know as well as i do that every single northeast team is always strong, so you're giving them no credit, because they will find there way into the playoffs and definitely into one of the playoff spots that you claim the atlantic division will take.
I agree with your assesment, and I truly hope NYR gets 1st place. Ido think that Penguins will put up a good fight though. I also think that Philly will be better than Jersey this year. Their biggest question is Biron - can he be a starter? We'll have to wait and see. The Devs always find ways to play well though, regardless of who they lose. However, I totally agree that Zubrus and small V on D is no Gomez and Rafalski. You also have to take into account the fact that Weeks will probably start about 15 games for their team, which is a good move by Lou, as Brodeur was done by the playoffs last year. But Weeks (whom I liked on NYR BTW) will win about 60% of those games, which means less wins for Devs already from last season without even taking into account Gomez and Rafalski.