There have been many surprises so far this season, and the following is judgement of which occurences are "real" so to speak and will continue throughout the season, and which are abberations and won't last very long:
Thomas Vanek will lead the league in goals
This young star is off to a quick start and is the real deal. After scoring 43 goals in his sophmore season, the Austrian's production fell off. He finished the last season strongly and it is carrying over. The competition is tough, but his speed, soft hands and hockey sense is better than ever.
The Southeast Division winner will have the 7th best record in the East
What continues to be the weakest division in hockey is off too another slow start amnd one that will continue throughout the year. These teams face division opponents 8 less times than last year, meaning more quality opponents and an even worse showing than last year. Even Tampa Bay's major changes have not helped them from falling to 1-2-3 on the year.
Mike Smith won't lead the league in Save Percentage
Smith seems to be an young imitation of Roberto Luongo, Panthers edition. He has an outstanding SV% of .943 right now, thanks in part, to the massive number of shots the Bolts allow. But Smith is in only his first year as a starter and will get worn down as a long season progresses. It is no fun to be great and still lose, and this young, rising star will get frustrated and fall out of the leading pack.
The Philadephia Flyers will not miss the playoffs
In the immortal words of Gerry Bourdeau, because "Eklund has my family." But in all seriousness, this team is too good to regress to their former bottom feeder status. They hav great scoring, lead by Briere and Richards and passable defense. Most of all, they have confidence, with most of their team returning after a run to the conference finals. Their goalies are struggling right now, but eventually either Biron or Nittymaki will get it figured out and lead the team into April.
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So those are my four real predictions. Only time will tell if they pan out, and if they do, look check back in the spring for some gloating.